Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

My all-time favorite chicken enchilada recipe — easy to make, totally customizable with your favorite fillings, and made with the hands-down best homemade enchilada sauce!

Chicken Enchiladas

This year will mark the tenth (!!!) anniversary that my favorite chicken enchilada recipe has been hanging out here on the blog.  And all of these years later — including dozens and dozens of batches baked up in my own kitchens, thousands more in yours, and literally now millions of pageviews on this little corner of the blog later — I stand by my original title.

These really are the best chicken enchiladas ever! ♡

I was first introduced to the magic of this enchilada recipe by my good friend, Liisa, back when we were living together as roommates in Kansas City.  Liisa hailed proudly from New Mexico — and even had a string of chiles hanging from our kitchen ceiling to prove it — and was equally as obsessed as I was with all forms of Mexican food.  And once she introduced me to her favorite chicken enchilada recipe, I instantly adopted it as my new favorite as well.

At first glance, these enchiladas are totally typical — just sautéed chicken and onion and green chiles, rolled up with beans and cheese in your choice of tortillas.  But the second anyone takes a bite, they come to find that the magic lies completely in this extra-special homemade enchilada sauce.  It packs the most delicious, rich and complex flavors that make these enchiladas taste like you’ve been working on them all day.  But in reality, this simple sauce only takes a few extra minutes to prep, and it’s made with a handful of everyday ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

I memorized this recipe long ago and make it regularly for dinner in our house.  (Or for my vegetarian husband, I’ll make this roasted cauliflower version.)  And while I’m at it, I usually make a double batch as well to freeze, or to bring to whatever friends might be needing a hand that week.  And I can vouch — over the course of a decade, no less — that people go crazy for these enchiladas.  I always get requests for the recipe.  And I always point people back to this post.

So with Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I thought it was time to bump this one back to the top of the blog.  Because if you’re looking for a killer chicken enchilada recipe to add to your repertoire, this one won’t let you down.

Chicken Enchilada Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Chicken Enchilada Ingredients:

As I mentioned above, this easy chicken enchilada recipe is extremely flexible when it comes to ingredients.  So feel free to get creative and customize your chicken enchiladas however you like!  In general, you will need:

  • Chicken: I typically just use diced boneless skinless chicken breasts.  But feel free to use pre-cooked chicken (such as a shredded rotisserie or any leftover baked chicken) if you would like to save time.
  • Onion and diced green chiles: Which we will add to the filling for seasoning.
  • Beans: Black beans, pinto beans, white beans, or lentils would all work great here.
  • Tortillas: Corn tortillas are traditional in enchiladas, but I typically use flour tortillas since they are much easier to roll.  Any of your favorite tortillas will work though.
  • Cheese: I like to use either Pepper Jack or Mexican-blend shredded cheese for these enchiladas.  But cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or other shredded cheeses would also do.
  • Toppings: Chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, diced red onion, sour cream, crumbled cotija, or whatever else sounds good!  When it comes to enchilada toppings, the more the merrier.

Finally, there is one more very important ingredient we must discuss…

Enchilada Sauce Recipe

The BEST Enchilada Sauce Recipe

The Best Enchilada Sauce:

this homemade enchilada sauce. ♡♡♡

It is my all-time favorite enchilada sauce, and it is quite literally the secret sauce that makes these enchiladas the hands-down best.  It tastes a million times better than anything in the can.  It’s quick and easy to make on the stovetop while you prepare the rest of the enchiladas.  And it’s made with super-simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry — oil, flour, a handful of spices, salt and stock.

Thousands of our readers have made this enchilada sauce over the years and agree that it’s the best.  So it’s definitely worth the extra few minutes to whip up a batch from scratch.

How To Make Chicken Enchiladas

How To Make Chicken Enchiladas:

Alright, now that we have our ingredients all ready to go, let’s talk about how to make enchiladas.  For this recipe, simply…

  1. Prepare your sauce.  Get your homemade enchilada sauce simmering in a separate saucepan while you prepare the rest of the enchiladas.
  2. Prepare your filling.  Sauté the onion, followed by the diced chicken and green chiles.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then (recipe update!) go ahead and stir in the black beans to complete your filling.
  3. Assemble your enchiladas.  Lay a single tortilla on a flat surface.  Spread a generous spoonful of enchilada sauce over the surface of the tortilla.  Then spoon your filling mixture in a line down the middle of the tortilla, roll it up, and…
  4. Arrange the enchiladas in a baking dish. You can either place the chicken enchiladas seam-side-up or seam-side-down.  Then pour any remaining sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle on some extra cheese.
  5. Bake the enchiladas. Bake uncovered until the enchiladas are cooked through and the edges of the tortillas get slightly crispy.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle with your favorite toppings, and…
  6. Serve warm.  And enjoy!

How To Make Enchiladas

What To Serve With Chicken Enchiladas:

Looking for some delicious side dishes to round out your meal?  Any of these Mexi faves would be delicious served with these easy chicken enchiladas.

Or as always, feel free to check out our Mexican recipe archives here on the blog for more inspiration.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

More Favorite Chicken Enchilada Recipes:

Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe

¡Buen provecho, everyone!  

Best Chicken Enchiladas

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Chicken Enchiladas
4.9 from 183 reviews

Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

My all-time favorite chicken enchilada recipe — easy to make, totally customizable with your favorite fillings, and made with the hands-down best homemade enchilada sauce!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 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, avocado, sour cream, and/or crumbled cotija cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare your enchilada sauce.
  2. 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. 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.
  4. Assemble the remaining enchiladas.  Then spread any remaining sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas, followed by any extra cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the enchiladas are cooked through and the tortillas are slightly crispy on the outside.  Remove pan from the oven and serve the enchiladas while they’re nice and warm, garnished with lots of toppings.
  6. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Chicken Enchiladas from Gimme Some Oven

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1,370 comments on “Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!”

  1. 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.


  2. 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!


  3. 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…

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  5. Love the sauce. It makes the recipe.

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

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  10. 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?

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


  12. 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!


  13. 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.

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  15. 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!


  16. 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……


  17. 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.

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  19. 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!

  20. Corn>flour


  21. 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!


  22. 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!


  23. 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!


  24. 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!


  25. A family favorite!!!

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  27. 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.


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


  29. 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!


  30. 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.

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

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


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

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

  38. 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.

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  40. 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!

  41. Yum! Looks deliciously amazing.

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


  44. 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! ❤️😊

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


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


  47. 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!

  48. 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?

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