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 210 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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1,411 comments on “Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!”

  1. 5 stars
    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!!!

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  3. 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.

  4. 5 stars
    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!

  5. 5 stars
    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 !

  6. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight and my family loved it.
    Thank you!!

  7. 5 stars
    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.

  8. 5 stars
    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!

  9. 5 stars
    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!

  10. 5 stars
    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!

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  13. I want to try this!

  14. 5 stars
    Wow! Super easy and super delicious!! My entire family loved this so much! My kids even begged me to make it “all the time”!!! A must try recipe!!!

  15. 5 stars
    I made these for dinner last night, and they were amazing! I also used the homemade enchilada sauce, and it was so easy, I am never going back to canned. My boyfriend took one bite, said how delicious they were, and dived back in. This is definitely going to be part of my regular rotation. Thanks for an incredible (and easy) recipe. I don’t generally comment on recipes, but I just had to fir this one.

  16. Green chili substitute?

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  18. Very tasty, especially the sautéed onion and chiles with diced chicken breast. We used fire roasted chiles for a hint of smoker flavor – YUM!
    The only drawback was not locating the measurements for the touted red enchilada sauce. I was able to locate the ingredients, but not the amount of each. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  19. 5 stars
    I use the recipe for Enchilada Sauce constantly. Always double it. I also make the Best Chicken Enchiladas. Grandchildren give it a thumbs up.

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  21. 5 stars
    I need to thank you for honestly providing the BEST enchilada recipe I’ve tried. It’s literally a weekly go to for me for over 2 years now and can’t see it ever not being a regular. Love the recipe and the sauce!!

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  25. Hi Ali,

    These chicken enchiladas are INDEED the very best EVER. Today was my day to make chicken enchiladas and yet I had searched in times past for a really scrumptious recipe and not found it.
    But your recipe DOES IT. And yes, you’re right: the secret is in that amazing red enchilada sauce! There are no superlatives good enough!
    Thank you so much for posting both the recipes.

    I had to make a couple of changes, according to what I had in my cupboard today. I didn’t have black beans so I threw in some cooked rice instead. I also used a 7 oz can of diced green chilies (again, that’s what I had on hand). And I had 6″ corn tortillas so I used those.

    Two tips that I lifted from other sites which I believe also contributed something good which I will include here if you don’t mind:
    1) After I used some veggie oil spray on the baking dish, I spread enough enchilada sauce over the bottom of the dish to cover it before filling the tortillas.
    2) I heated 1″ of veggie oil in a pan until it was very hot, and fried each corn tortilla about 10 seconds on each side and then drained them on paper towels. This really improved the flavor over raw tortillas.

    Thank you again for this Chicken Enchilada recipe and the Red Enchilada Sauce recipes They are works of art!

  26. So yummy! I used rotisserie chicken, removed the skin and shredded/diced it… I prefer it because it’s moist when compared to grilled chicken breast. Great recipe and so easy! 😍

  27. 5 stars
    I have made these enchiladas many times. So easy and always a hit with family & firiends. The enchilada sauce is good and easy to make as well.

  28. 5 stars
    I made the chicken a few weeks ago, which were awesome! Tonight, I used the same recipe, but used beef instead. Oh my goodness, so good! I also put cooked rice in the enchilada’s. Amazing! This recipe is a keeper. Any protein can be used as far as I am concerned.

  29. 5 stars
    I made this recipe and my boys love it!! It was really good and I also made the enchilada red sauce and it was amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe I will definitely make it again.

  30. I loved your Mexican recipe for quesadillas with oaxaca cheese. Thank you for respecting Mexican cuisine. I just wanted to say that Enchiladas are always made with corn tortillas, otherwise the wheat tortillas become soggy, I have never tried enchiladas like that before. Whether you use fresh tortillas or you heat them a bit in the microwave. You also have the option to fry them a bit so they are easy to handle. If you can try to look for latino cheese, cotija for the top of the enchiladas or you can also use gouda cheese for melting it.

  31. 5 stars
    Amazing Recipe! I won’t ever go back to canned enchilada sauce – red or green!
    My family just loved the beef and the chicken enchiladas! Thank you for sharing!

  32. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! Sauce was killer, and very easy to make. Only changes to the recipe were corn tortillas and a rotisserie chicken. I followed your directions, which are awesome, and this turned out unbelievably great! Thanks for the recipe.

  33. What are the instructions for the freezer meal?? Do you freeze and then bake at the same temp/time or bake and then freeze with different reheating instructions? Sorry I’m not a cook so I need specifics:)

  34. 3 stars
    Your recipe is fantastic .
    Only comment: flour tortillas are solo para gringas.
    Take corn tortillas and just give each one a quick (10 seconds each side) bath in a tiny bit of hot oil in a saute pan. They will be very flexible and forgiving. They will not only taste better, they will stay intact and not turn into goo.

  35. Can you microwave chicken enchiladas?

  36. 5 stars
    Outstanding!
    I made this after I had made another homemade red sauce (that I had to add quite a bit of chili powder to make it spicy enough), but used this for the enchiladas themselves. Really delicious! I’ll make this over and over.

  37. Seriously are the best enchiladas! The sauce…the best ever! In fact the beef version are dinner tonight!

  38. 5 stars
    These have been in our regular rotation for awhile! Plus the ancho version, enfrijoladas, and holy mole ones. They’re all amazing! Fun fact…my husband is Mexican and told me that these aren’t actually enchiladas…they’re technically wet burritos. He said to be enchiladas they have to be made with corn tortillas. I didn’t believe him so I googled it and it turned out he was totally right! Well whatever they technically are, they’re delicious and I share this recipe often. :)

  39. 5 stars
    Over the past couple of years, this recipe has become a staple in our household. By far the best enchiladas my boyfriend and I had ever made!

  40. 5 stars
    This is my go to recipe when I want comfort food. I pair it with a Spanish style rice and live off its leftovers for a week. The sauce is the best and the whole dish comes together in no time.

  41. 5 stars
    Oh yes, they are the best ever !!
    I have made these several times along with the homemade sauce and i always have to stop myself from eating the entire pan !
    My husband gets very happy when I tell him we are having these for dinner (and his next day lunch).
    So good, so satisfying and sooo cheesy !
    Yum !!

  42. Wow! These were delicious, and the homemade sauce is the best. I’ll bet they would be good with ground beef instead of chicken, with corn added, too, and sliced olives. So many possibilities!

  43. 5 stars
    in my past life I was a chef. I can cook, and I like to cook fresh and from scratch. I’m not big on Mexican though; don’t really care for it, not beans, not tortillas, not peppers… . My husband and kids keep asking for enchiladas and it’s probably been a couple years since I’ve made some. just the thought of opening a can for the sauce blows the wind out of my sails. The other day there was a turkey running in our yard and my 7 y.o. talked dad into shooting it with the bow… we barbecued it, but it was left unattended a little too long and was kind of dry. Not a great success… I really didn’t want it to go to waste, and no one in this household doesn’t like to eat food that’s not great. so I had an idea, and thought I can kill two birds with one stone ;P and make some enchiladas from the turkey meat! I was thrilled to find the Enchilada sauce recipe. I’ve tried another recipe of Ali’s in the past and it was pretty amazing, so I trusted that this one won’t disappoint either. I followed the enchiladas recipe except for using the precooked meat that I shredded and sautéed in some broth to moisten it a bit. The result was amazing! even I enjoyed it… and hubby said it was the best enchiladas he’s ever had!
    Thanks for another winning recipe Ali!

  44. 4 stars
    I have my own recipe for the sauce but I used the ‘cooking the chicken’ part of this to do it a bit differently. It worked out great.

    BTW, using flour tortillas makes these burritos. Enchiladas are made with corn tortillas.

  45. 5 stars
    I made this recipe like 20 times. We loveee it! I always stick to the exact sauce. Depending on what I have I’ll add bell peppers to the chicken mix too.

  46. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Thank you for sharing! I’ve made it 2 times in 3 weeks, and it’s just phenomenal.

    If I want to freeze these as a meal prep, should I do so before or after baking?

  47. I love all of your ingredients, but how much of each ingredient do I use. Grandma used to use a handful of this, a scoop of that and a pinch of something else, but I need ingredients and measurements please

  48. 5 stars
    Self-named or not, she deserves the title for best enchiladas ever! I’ve made these repeatedly and done a few freezer batches as well and they are THE BOMB. You have to make her sauce of course to get the full effect. I actually do 1 1/2 times the sauce because it’s that good and I love to smother them with it! I also use a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat off of that (easier for me) and add frozen corn to the mixture. We top with homemade guac and hot sauce. These are a must try! (Btw I don’t even really cook…. like ever! These are my exception to the rule :))

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  50. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh! These enchiladas were the best ever – because of that homemade enchilada sauce! I truly wanted to eat the sauce with a spoon like soup before I drenched my enchiladas with it! DELICIOUS!