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Chicken Enchiladas

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My favorite chicken enchilada recipe is easy to make, customizable with your favorite fillings, and made with my favorite homemade enchilada sauce. It’s always a crowd fave, and perfect for meal prep and freezing too!

Chicken Enchiladas

Say hello to my all-time favorite chicken enchiladas. ♡

This chicken enchilada recipe was actually one of the first-ever posts that I shared here on Gimme Some Oven back in 2009. And now, more than a decade later, it still continues to be one of the recipes I make most often for dinner here in our house — and one of the recipes that our readers make most often too! I’m so happy you all continue to enjoy it!

For those of you who are new to this recipe, these Tex-Mex style chicken enchiladas are easy to make with a basic filling of sautéed chicken, green chiles, onions, beans and shredded cheese. Then they are rolled up in your choice of either flour or corn tortillas, baked until hot and melty, and sprinkled with lots of fresh toppings. But I have to say that the real magic of this recipe lies in the homemade red enchilada sauce that brings it all together. This red enchilada sauce only requires a few extra minutes of prep time, but the flavor that it adds to these enchiladas is major. Sooo much better than the canned stuff!

I’m also a big fan of these homemade chicken enchiladas because they are easy to make ahead (perfect for meal prep), the leftovers freeze beautifully (which is why I usually go ahead and make a double batch while I’m at it), and they are also a wonderful meal to pack up and bring to friends who may be in need of some cozy comfort food (another good reason to make and freeze a second batch ♡). This recipe can also easily be adapted to be gluten-free or customized with your choice of protein, beans or cheese. And if you’d really like to make the prep quick and easy, I’ve included a few additional time-saving shortcuts below too.

Bottom line, these chicken enchiladas have been one of my go-to recipes for years and years, and they are always a hit when we serve them to friends and family. So if you have yet to give this recipe a try, I say that it’s time we make some enchiladas together!

Chicken Enchilada Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Enchilada Sauce Recipe

The History of Enchiladas

We have the rich food traditions of Mexico to thank for bringing enchiladas to the world. ♡ Historians believe that the origins of enchiladas actually date back to Aztec times, when the tradition of rolling or folding food into corn tortillas is believed to have begun. (The word enchilada is derived from the Spanish verb enchilar, which means “to season with chili.”)

In the centuries and decades since, dozens of different varieties of enchiladas have become traditional in different regions around Mexico, as well as in various nearby countries in Latin America (such as Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala). And of course, they have also become wildly popular in the United States as well, especially in New Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.

This particular chicken enchilada recipe probably most closely aligns with Tex-Mex and New Mexican styles of enchiladas, especially being made with flour tortillas (although you are welcome to use corn tortillas), filled with green chiles and soft shredded cheese, and made with a tomato-free red chile sauce. But if you are looking to try authentic Mexican-style chicken enchiladas, I would encourage you to consider this traditional recipe. So many delicious enchilada recipes to try!

Step by Step of How To Make Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchilada Ingredients

Before we get to the full recipe below for how to make chicken enchiladas, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need to make this easy chicken enchilada recipe…

  • Chicken: I typically sauté diced boneless skinless chicken breasts for the enchilada filling. But feel free to use pre-cooked chicken (such as a shredded rotisserie or any leftover diced/shredded baked chicken) if you would like to save some prep time.
  • Onion and diced green chiles: White, yellow or red onion will work for the enchilada filling sauté. Then I always like to add in a can of diced green chiles too for extra flavor.
  • Beans: I typically add a can of black beans or pinto beans to the filling for extra protein. But white beans, lentils or chickpeas would also work well here.
  • Tortillas: Corn tortillas are traditionally used in Mexican-style enchiladas, but I typically use flour tortillas (which are more commonly used in Tex-Mex and American-style enchiladas) since they are much easier to roll. That said, just about any style of tortillas will work in this recipe.
  • Cheese: I most often use either Asadero, Pepper Jack, or a Mexican-blend of shredded cheese for these enchiladas. But feel free to use any type of shredded cheese that you love best.
  • Toppings: When it comes to enchiladas, I vote the more toppings the merrier! Any combination of chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, diced red onion (or quick pickled red onions), sliced radishes, fresh or pickled jalapeños, sour cream or Mexican crema, and/or extra cheese would be delicious!
  • Enchilada sauce: Finally, you can use any type of enchilada sauce that you prefer for this recipe, but I highly recommend using my favorite homemade enchilada sauce! It only takes a few extra minutes to prep and can simmer on the stovetop while you prepare the rest of the enchiladas. It’s made with simple ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry (oil, flour, a handful of spices, and chicken stock). But most importantly, it’s incredibly delicious and tastes a million times better than the store-bought canned stuff. Thousands of our readers have made and loved it over the years, so I highly recommend giving it a try!

Homemade Enchiladas Unbaked In Pan

Chicken Enchilada Recipe Variations

As I mentioned above, this chicken enchilada recipe is incredibly flexible, so please feel free to customize it however you would like! For example, feel free to…

  • Use corn tortillas: To make Mexican-style enchiladas, use corn tortillas (homemade or store-bought) in place of flour tortillas. Since corn tortillas are typically smaller, you will likely need to use nearly double the quantity of tortillas. (Just arrange them in the pan however you’d like.) Then to bring out that toasty corn flavor and prevent the corn tortillas from tearing, I recommend either flash-frying the tortillas for about 10 seconds per side in a skillet that has been lightly drizzled with oil. Or alternately, you can just dip the tortillas briefly in the warm enchilada sauce before rolling them up.
  • Use green enchilada sauce: Instead of red enchilada sauce, try making green chicken enchiladas with my homemade green enchilada sauce recipe. It’s also very simple to make and brings the most delicious savory green chile flavor to this dish.
  • Use a different protein: I most often make these enchiladas with chicken, but they would also be delicious with ground or shredded beef, shredded pork (especially carnitas), shrimp, or any other protein that you prefer.
  • Use different beans: As I mentioned above, white beans, lentils or chickpeas would also work well here in place of pinto or black beans.
  • Make vegetarian enchiladas: To make these vegetarian enchiladas, simply omit the chicken and replace it with veggies (such as roasted cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, etc), extra beans, or any other vegetarian fillings you prefer. To make vegan enchiladas, use a vegetarian filling as well as vegan cheese.
  • Make gluten-free enchiladas: To make gluten-free enchiladas, use gluten-free corn or flour tortillas. And also be sure to use a 1-for-1 gluten-free flour blend (in place of all-purpose flour) in the homemade enchilada sauce recipe.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Cheese

What To Serve With Chicken Enchiladas

Looking for some recommendations for side dishes to round out your meal? Feel free to check out our Mexican recipe archives for inspiration, or consider some of these favorite recipes…

Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe

More Favorite Enchilada Recipes

Looking for more awesome enchilada recipes to try? Here are a few of my faves…

Best Chicken Enchiladas

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Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 701 reviews
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


My all-time favorite chicken enchilada recipe! See notes above for possible ingredient variations.


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • 3 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese
  • 1 batch red enchilada sauce
  • optional toppings: fresh cilantro, chopped red onions, diced avocado, sour cream, and/or crumbled cotija cheese


  1. Prep oven and enchilada sauce. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare your enchilada sauce.
  2. Sauté the filling mixture. In large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add diced chicken and green chiles, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Sauté the mixture for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Add in the beans and stir until evenly combined.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  3. Assemble the enchiladas. To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, chicken mixture, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread two tablespoons of sauce over the surface of the tortilla.  Add a generous spoonful of the chicken mixture in a line down the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Roll up tortilla and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Assemble the remaining enchiladas.  Then spread any remaining sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas, followed by any extra cheese.
  4. Bake. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the enchiladas are cooked through and the tortillas are slightly crispy on the outside.  Transfer the baking dish to a wire baking rack.
  5. Serve. Serve the enchiladas immediately while they’re nice and hot and melty, garnished with lots of fresh toppings. Enjoy!


Storage instructions: Leftover (cooked) enchiladas can be transferred to a sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Make ahead instructions. If you would like to make a pan of enchiladas in advance, follow the recipe instructions through step 3 (assembling the enchiladas). Wrap the pan tightly with foil. Then you can either refrigerate the enchiladas for up to 3 days, then bake as directed. Or you can freeze the enchiladas for up to 3 months, then let them thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then bake as directed.

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2,055 comments on “Chicken Enchiladas”

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  1. Can I get this recipe in Spanish?

  2. I made these some time ago and they were absolutely the best chicken enchiladas I’ve ever eaten!! The sauce is amazing! The only reason I haven’t made them again is because I found assembling them to be kinda time consuming and messy. I was wondering if you’ve ever assembled them ahead of time and then refrigerated them until time to bake them? I’d love to do them when we have friends over for dinner but don’t want to be messing around putting them together while entertaining. Thanks!

  3. Love your enchilada sauce recipe as the crowning touch! Super easy recipe and satisfied the whole family. Spicy enough for my guys who like the heat and I was surprised that I really enjoyed it too because I am not a fan of spicy foods. Will definitely make this again!

  4. I made these this past weekend, Wow! They are so good and it really was pretty easy to make. I want to make them for an upcoming family get together but I need to know how to make them ahead of time and freeze them so all they have to do is cook or warm up the day of. HOW?

    • Love these. I just let them cool then put in container to freeze. Thaw in refrigerator and heat in oven or stove top.

  5. This was easy and delicious! I had all of the ingredients in the house for the sauce and I can’t believe I made it from scratch–definitely a five star recipe! Thank you!

  6. Sweet lord you’re a goddess! Thank you for posting this recipe and a thousand blessings on your college roommate for passing it on to you. I made it last weekend to rave reviews and even our young teenage son’s friend who likes nothing, loved it. Family coming in for this weekend and it’s on the menu – by request. Many thanks again! BTW – I made the red enchilada sauce as well; so easy and so delicious…

  7. Love the sauce. It makes the recipe.

  8. Wow! These look delicious! How can I freeze them ahead of time?

  9. Question – if you freeze this do you do it after you bake it or make it all the way until the baking step and then freeze. If so do you need to thaw it before you bake or just increase baking time?

  10. Your suppose to cook the “corn” tortillas in oil first then full and pour sauce over.

  11. These are amazing!! My husband tells everyone about them and always asks me to make them when we have people over for dinner. I usually change recipes up a bit, but with this one I make them exactly as is with no changes and they are perfect!

  12. Bravo Ali!

    Clever and and well-thought-out recipe. I used canned Enchilada sauce as I also made Mexican rice and guacamole. It was delicious, like eating at a Mexican restaurant.

    I used organic corn and flour tortillas from Trader Joe’s and that kicked it up another notch.

  13. These turned out delicious! I followed the recipe almost exactly. I only had 1lb of chicken so I decided to add 1 cup of cooked white rice to make up for it. I will definitely be adding this to my recipe collection.

    Thank you!

  14. I love this recipe!! Ok,I am lazy so I always use left over chicken,usually smoked in fruit wood and umm,lazy again I mix the chicken beans,throw in some corn, again left over from grilled on the cob. Then I add the sautéed onions and Hatch chilis. Yummy goodness. The sauce is truly the secret and I make it all the time to use with tamales as well. Thank you Sooooo much. Now there’s a noodle recipe to try……

  15. Really nice… stayed with recipe , well almost . I added a tsp of Spanish smoked paprika with sauce.
    Also added sweet red pepper with the filling. Yum!
    Thanks for sharing a recipe that if followed correctly turns out great first time.

  16. We LOVE these enchiladas. My son requests them almost daily for dinner, he’s a HUGE FAN. We always make it with your homemade enchilada sauce and Mexican rice too. YUM. I was just wondering how you would freeze this? We are having Mexican food for our small wedding this summer and everyone wants this to be on the buffet table. But I’m the bride and I don’t want to be doing a bunch of prep the day of the wedding!

  17. Corn>flour

  18. Awesome! I used corn tortillas instead of flour, and boiled and shredded the chicken instead of cooking it with the onions and peppers. The only thing I would have done differently is make more sauce. Super easy recipe, and will definitely make again!

  19. This is a HIGHLY requested recipe in our household, even with the pickiest members! The sauce is everything and the last time I made it with ground turkey instead of chicken and corn tortillas instead of flour. It was just as delicious!

  20. These are the best enchiladas ever! You have to make your own enchilada sauce, this recipe is so much better than store bought and so easy to make! One is my husband’s favourites meals!

  21. I made this today! My Hubby said it was a Top 10!! Squee!!!! I made mine sweet potato, black bean, chicken onion & yellow bell pepper with a flour tortilla & your amazing enchilada sauce! High 5!!! It was delish!

  22. A family favorite!!!

  23. I made these with ground beef instead of chicken. Yum! It was easy and delicious. My family placed dibs on leftovers, a sure sign of a meal that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

  24. Amazing and easy to make. I put chicken with salsa in the crockpot. I’ve made these a few times!

  25. These are seriously the best enchiladas! Super easy to make, including the sauce! Hate to admit it but these are made almost once a week in our house!

  26. We made this tonight and it was great! We made the enchilada sauce, too. Easy peasy and worth the effort all around. My husband was very happy with it.

  27. My family loves this! Totally worth making the homemade enchilda sauce. Super easy and delicious!

  28. Yum! Everyone had seconds! Thank you! The only thing we added was a bag a chopped spinach when we sautéed the chicken. Delicious!

  29. Obsessed with this recipe! Your homemade sauce is the best. ❤️❤️❤️

  30. Recipe was simple to follow and the results are a delicious dish!

  31. Making it tonight, I’m looking forward to it I’ll get back to you. But thanks again n advance as it already sounds good.

  32. All I can say is Wow! Hands down it completely lives up to its title as the BEST chicken enchiladas. That sauce! Come on! That is the piece de resistance?
    Thank you for the amazing recipes!

  33. Yum! Looks deliciously amazing.

  34. Can you freeze this sauce? Do you put in a ziplock baggie?

  35. I love this recipe, I have made this for my husband 3 times now! We love the homemade sauce and the recipe for your chicken enchiladas! I’ve made it without changing anything, and made it adding more spice and it is delicious either way! ❤️?

  36. Is it okay if I make it without the green chiles?

  37. So good!! A few variations, not the homemade enchilada sauce. Used the crockpot for chicken. Easy and everyone loves them.

  38. First off, I never write reviews so that’s a very good sign! Lol I live in California where we eat authentic Mexican food all the time, so our standards for Mexican food is high. I’ve made enchiladas before and they never came out as good as I’d hoped (my sister is the enchilada queen). I made this recipe as written and made my own sauce with the sauce recipe (I used my homemade frozen chicken broth). These came out so fucking delicious. My boyfriend who loves Mexican food was impressed and delighted and we ate them with sour cream, cilantro, and some homemade salsa. Great recipe. Definitely a keeper!

  39. Could you please provide guidance on making this a freezer meal – would you bake them first, freeze and reheat? Or would you skip baking and go straight to the freezer? Would you thaw before baking or go straight from the freezer to the oven?

  40. So easy and delicious. My very picky husband even liked it. THANK YOU!!!!

  41. I’m so excited! I’ve made this recipe a few times and everytime it’s a HIT! Tonight I am trying it with ground elk, can’t wait to try it!!!

  42. This is some really good information about how to make good enchiladas. I am terrible at cooking, but I love eating Tucson and Mexican food. I liked that you explained that I could put any type of roasted vegetables I want inside of them. It might be smart for me to just go taste some really good enchiladas at several restaurants and see what vegetables they put in theirs.

  43. I made these this weekend and they are SO delicious!! Do you know what the approx calorie content of a portion would be?
    Thanks So Much!

  44. These are heavenly and SO simple. My son can’t eat gluten so I used Rudi’s gluten free tortillas, and while not fluffy and soft like regular flour tortillas, they were still excellent. The flavors in this recipe are excellent (I’m a stickler for well-seasoned dishes and this one delivers) and the homemade red sauce is a must in this dish, and so simple to boot.
    It’s become a part of our regular rotation and every time I serve them my kids and husband are delighted !

  45. I made this recipe tonight and my family loved it.
    Thank you!!

  46. WOW! These are real good, nothing to add, really good! I lived in the southwest for many years and this is as good as it gets, fresh, tasty, just plain good! I will make these again and again, thank you.

  47. I’ve made these at least 5 times. They are so delicious and easy. I use the smaller flour tortillas so they fit a little better in the pan, and I use green enchilada sauce (store bought) because I’m not a fan of the red sauce. These are always a hit!

  48. These were amazing! Declared one of the best things I’ve ever made by my significant other (and he generally likes the things I make). I think maybe I did something a little off though as I didn’t seem to have enough sauce. I think I will double the recipe next time and simmer it a little shorter time. Maybe my measurements weren’t as precise as they should have been.

    Also, the house smelled DELICIOUS!

  49. This is my new favorite recipe! I’m obsessed with the enchilada sauce, have made the chicken enchiladas, and this week made black bean and rice enchiladas. The sauce is key. Thank you for giving me a new food favorite!

  50. I want to try this!