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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”

  1. Do you have to add beans

  2. My soon to be exwife said it is the best thing I’ve made in 5 years. It is the only time in 5 years she has not criticized my cooking.

    • Tim, My husband has been doing the laundry for the 49 years we have been married. I never criticize him, because I don’t want to do it myself! I agree that your soon to be X-wife shouldn’t criticize your cooking, but should encourage you to keep on cooking! Good luck in your future with another woman who will appreciate your talents! I am going to make these tonight for the first time for my husband.

    • Sorry Tim :( that is a great review though. Thanks for your comment

    • Dang, this recipe must be good!

    • I hope everything worked out.

    • Omg cry to a therapist please.

  3. Amazing

  4. Made as written using freshly made burrito size tortillas, which after cooking, I split in half to serve with a dollop of guacamole in between the two halves. Lightly sprinkled with thinly sliced green and red onions, cilantro and a drizzle of creme. Stupendous!! Fresh, flavorful and very filling. Wouldn’t change a thing. This is a keeper.

  5. How many enchiladas is this recipe supposed to yield?

  6. Let me give more details: I need to feed 12 so am planning to double, but if I use soft taco size tortillas, which means smaller in size, do you think this recipe can generate 12 enchiladas per batch?

  7. Made this recipe. It is awey.

    • Turns out great! I lightly charred my tortillas first for little extra flavor. Next time I will up the sauce by half because it was so good everybody wanted more. Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  8. Really enjoyed the dish! Was pretty simple to make, well explained, and very tasty. Thank you!!

  9. Made this and I loved it! The only difference was that I already had some leftover cooked chicken and a jalapeño in the fridge used in place of the chiles. I sautéed the diced jalapeño with the onions and added the chicken after the onions and peppers cooked for a bit just to warm it up. Absolutely loved the enchilada sauce. It was my first time making an enchilada sauce that was not tomato based, and I’m not sure if I can ever go back. I’ll definitely be using this recipe again.

  10. Keep that nasty cilantro off the enchiladas. One out of five people have a gene that causes them to taste the aldehydes in cilantro, which taste like bitter soap. That means that if you are serving, say, a half dozen people or more, then one or two of them will HATE your enchiladas. Just don’t use it. Throw it out.

    • Or, put the toppings in small bowls and let people choose what they want. Chill, buddy.

    • Pete, you do realize that there are also plenty of people out there who do enjoy cilantro so, perhaps, instead of being so angry and aggressive and telling the community as a whole to ‘leave it out or throw it out’ you could just make smaller pans of one with and one without to appease all your guests? Cooking and dining with a group is meant to be fun.

      Loved the various options in the recipe! Easy to customize and the enchilada sauce is delicious! Thank you!

    • I’ll take extra cilantro. Speak for yourself.

    • I’m with Kyle…extra cilantro for me!

    • Your enchiladas were great… they tasted even better with the added cilantro. Good thing I didn’t listen to the super annoying and probably old fart Pete hehe!

    • What very passionate reply. 😂 Super excited to make these . I run a restaurant and I develop recipes all the time. Love anything new that inspires so much spirited feedback.

  11. Easy and so delicious!

  12. Looks a good recipe. We’ve never had enchiladas so want to give this a try. HOWEVER, WE LIVE IN ENGLAND SO NONE OF THE CHEESES ARE EASY TO FIND . . . IM SURE THEY ARE IN DELIS. AND UPMARKET SUPERMARKETS, BUT WE LIVE OUT IN THE STICKS AND ARE ON A BUDGET . . . can you tell me either what ordinary English cheese is equivalent or what properties I’m looking for in a cheese please.

    • I think if you mixed some cheddar and mozzerella it would work out fine Emma. Or even just with cheddar they will still taste great. Just different.

    • Hi! You’re looking for melty cheddar, Colby, or jack cheese or similar. Something that will melt well and not overpower the rest of the dish.

    • I always use Monterrey Jack, and have made this recipe many times. I’m not sure whether you can find that in the UK, but the least rich English cheese you can find. It is not as rich as cheddar.

    • For the UK friend: Cheddar cheese, and an orange colored varietal is best but white will do in a pinch. I suggest avoiding sharp!

      I also don’t think this recipe requires black beans (as a Texan), so if you end up not finding them, note that substituting a different bean could have a really off-putting result. Don’t risk it!

  13. Making enchiladas tonight, wii Badia brand chili powder be ok?

    • The BEST enchilada recipe!

      I ALWAYS make a double batch of the enchilada sauce and make breakfast enchiladas in the morning. I simply substitute scrambled eggs for the chicken. Yum!

  14. My wife loves these enchiladas! I add some enchilada sauce to the chicken mixture while heat it up . If you make the enchilada sauce that’s attached add a 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar at the end to smooth it out . Delicious!!!

  15. My husband said this was “the BEST ENCHILADAS” he ever had! Haha! That’s a tall order coming from my husband! He complains about everything! I did a few modifications. I used a shredded rotisserie chicken and I added a packet of Old El Paso taco seasoning to the chicken and onion mixture. It turned out phenomenal!

  16. These were great! Served with Spanish rice and a tomato/ Cucumber Salad. They were a big hit! Thanks for a delicious and easy recipe.

  17. Have had this recipe multiple times and each time it was very delicious. Very simple to make

  18. My fave enchilada recipe! Mix this with Cookie & Kates red sauce recipe? Yes ma’am

  19. Hi! Excellent recipe! Keep smiling! It’s all good! I wish there weren’t so many people that need to make negative comments!! Like mom used to say, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say nothing at all!”.
    Your recipe is great! 😊

  20. I used a whole rotisserie chicken and was able to make 12 enchiladas with a little extra filling in each pan which fit into 3 8×8 pans. A perfect pre baby prep meal!

  21. Great tasting recipe. I found that not baking it and throwing the prepared ingredients into the tortilla shell and then into the sandwich press worked better for us. It crisped up the tortilla a little bit. When done I threw shredded cheese and more enchilada sauce on. This was not only quicker but less soggy when finished as well.

  22. These were delicious! Made them for several elderly people I cook for and they loved them. My father said “it was my best creation yet” ha! No worries I didn’t take credit! Couple of things I did differently, I sauteed the onions and then put in crock pot with chicken breasts and canned green chilies and cooked for 5 hours on low. I shredded the chicken and it was so moist and tender and EASY! I did not drain it when cooked and it was a little wet so I added about 3 oz cream cheese and stirred it in just to thicken it up a bit. I will definitely be making these again and trying a variety of fillings, like black bean and sweet potato or butternut squash for my vegetarian friends! Thank you for sharing this recipe. (On a side note I did make the enchilada sauce and it was very good but I felt it needed something to smooth it out so I added a tablespoon of brown sugar and a squeeze of lime juice….I liked the result)

  23. This is one of the most incredible recipes! I’ve started making this recipe after being introduced to them by my MIL! Whenever she makes a double batch, she always makes a smaller pan and freezes it (assembled but unbaked) for us. It’s the most perfect gift of love when I get to just pop them in the oven and have a home-cooked dinner made by “Mama.” For baking straight from frozen, I found 375 for 25-30 min to be a winner. We actually prefer these after they’ve been frozen….something about the flavors getting even better with time?! 🤩

    The homemade enchilada sauce is a must! 👌🏻I originally found it to be too spicy when I made it with regular chili powder, but after using Organic chili powder, it’s perfectly mild for me. I also appreciate how the enchilada sauce is tomato-free, and you really don’t even feel like you’re missing anything. We enjoy using the mini flour and carb-savy tortillas from Trader Joe’s.

    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. It’s a family favorite. I advise to always make an extra pan for the freezer…you never know when you will need it!

  24. The chicken enchilada recipe says bake uncovered for 20minutes. Yet the cook time for the recipe says 45 min.

    Do I bake it uncovered for 20 minutes or uncovered for 45 minutes? Thanks.

  25. I made these last night they were the Best enchiladas I have ever tasted such a Big hit with my family this recipe is a keeper for sure ❤❤❤

  26. Instead of rolling into enchiladas, I prepared these “deconstructed” style. I layered the ingredients into a greased 9×13” pan in the following order: a little enchilada sauce, corn tortillas cut to fit pan, some more enchilada sauce spread over tortillas, meat/bean filling, about 1/2 of the cheese, enchilada sauce, corn tortillas cut to fit pan, cnchilada sauce, remaining cheese. I baked the dish at 350 degrees till heated through and cheese was bubbling, about 25 minutes. I served with the usual enchilada accompaniments.
    We loved it!

  27. Yummy!!! My 22 year old son says this is the best meal I’ve ever made lol!!! So good that I had to leave a review and I never leave reviews for anything! And the homemade enchilada sauce…..sooo very good!!! It just made the enchiladas even better!!! 😁

  28. Fixing to try this recipe lol. Can I do it in an instant pot. Not worried about the looks for its just for myself. Also I have to puree it do to medical reasons. Can I add whatever I would like? Like black beans chilies in adobo sauce?

  29. What are we doing with the beans? A side dish, or mixed into enchiladas?

  30. I made this using a rotisserie chicken for ease – delicious! The homemade enchilada sauce was absolutely worth the little bit of extra effort. I served it with your Everyday Mexican Salad – also delicious!! My sweetheart thought the enchiladas were the best I’ve ever made and he also loved the salad. All three recipes are keepers and I’ll be making them again and again. Thank you!!!

  31. Hi! I’m making this as we speak! I took your advise and made your red sauce and added 1T of crushed red pepper, 1/2tsp of onion powder. I didn’t have oregano but did have ITL BLEND Grinder which I just did a quick 1/2 turns I also added two am cubes of garlic plus I don’t know if you have ever tried trader Joe’s taco seasoning but I think it is the best Taco seasoning I have tried so I added cple table spoons or a lite sprinkle I used both chicken and vegetable stock just cause I had lil bit in the carton lol anyways I love Love the Red sauce!! As for the chicken mixture I added variety of mini peppers (orange, Red, and yellow) half can corn and the recipe says to add the beans to it and blend but the video shows it differently, I’m sure it don’t matter it all goes in it .. anyway I gotta go roll them up now! Thanks for the recipe it’s now my go to! I made Spanish rice and Trader Joe’s Authentic Tamales in corn husks lol and that a lot of food for just me!! 😆 I’ll let ya know how they tasted.. stay tuned .. 😉

  32. This is very much not authentic. Firstly, you do not use flour tortillas for enchaladas. Try again with corn. I would recommend you look for recipes on actual Mexican sites. Don’t take offense, please. I love many of
    your recipes. Just really tired of seeing so many sites calling for flour tortillas instead of corn. It makes a world of difference.

    • Did you read the post? Direct quote from this page: “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 (emphasis mine) if you are looking to try authentic Mexican-style chicken enchiladas, I would encourage you to consider this traditional recipe (linked above). So many delicious enchilada recipes to try!”

  33. These are actually the best chicken enchiladas ever!! We have made this more times than I can count so I had to come back and review it. Sometimes when we’re lazy we use rotisserie chicken and Italian seasoning (instead of the individual herbs) but otherwise we don’t change a thing!

  34. Love the recipe, it is delicious! But I’m wondering, how much is a “batch” of enchilada sauce? In your pictures it looks like a pint mason jar, but when I’ve made the sauces in the past, its turned out to be much more than that. Also, when I need to sub for store bought, not sure how much to use.

  35. I almost never leave comments…. But this is definitely worthy of my top kudos!! Made both the chicken variety and today, a shredded beef version!!!!! Both completely delish! I delivered 4 chicken enchiladas to my neighbors for dinner and Bonnie hid them and ate them all!! LOL Seriously, the red enchilada sauce MAKES this dish, way worth the effort!!!

  36. Make this at least every other week!! I’ve modified it slightly but not too much!!! So good!!!

  37. I would never, ever, ever make enchiladas using soggy, pasty flour tortillas. 🤮

  38. Made this tonight, using the red enchilada sauce recipe. Only because my daughter had fancied some corn tortillas she’d spotted in the supermarket and I needed to use up some leftover chicken thighs, and so I made a very ‘store cupboard’ version just using up whatever was handy and needed finished off after Christmas. And Wow! Easy to cook. Looked great. It was completely delicious! It was like magic! The recipe was so easy to follow, seems really flexible and delivered perfect results. Can’t wait to make it again! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  39. Great recipe

  40. So I got a little confused with the instructions. It says cook time: 45 mins. But the next to last step says bake uncovered for 20 mins. then transfer to wire rack. Then do I cook it for the next 25 mins on the rack? Or is it for cooling purposes?

  41. DELICIOUS!! Added Bell pepper to the onions and sautéed together and topped with cheese cilantro and fresh tomato!!

  42. This is the only recipe I’ve ever left a review on, it’s that delicious.
    I live in Germany right now and used sliced, jarred jalapeños instead of green chiles bc thats all that’s available here. Also used emmentaler cheese and then topped with lemon juice, salt, avocado, and cilantro! Should have made the full amount of the sauce, because YUM 😍😍

  43. This is our go-to recipe for enchiladas. I ONCE tried another recipe and all I wished was that I made this one instead. It’s just so good and easy to make, you explain it all so well. Thank you so much!!

  44. LOVED IT! We made this to use up leftover roasted chicken so a mix of white and dark meat. It would be great with almost any kind of meat. I like this with salsa, sour cream and avocado on the side.

  45. First time I have made this recipe. Used Colby jack cheese. I will be making again! Love it!!

  46. These enchiladas were awesome!! I used rotisserie chicken & a 7oz can of green chilies. But, what made these enchiladas so good? Your enchilada red sauce! That was off-the-chart lol! Really good. Thank you for a great recipe

  47. Absolute hit in our household! Thank you for making me look like I have a clue when it comes to preparing meals for my family! Your recipes never disappoint! I made this tonight and your red velvet cupcakes earlier this week. Thank you!

  48. These were absolutely delicious! Would shrimp be just as good with the red sauce and would the cooking time be the same? Thank you.

  49. Made this for dinner tonight per the recipe, simply amazing as well as the red sauce! *Chefs Kiss!

  50. One of my all time very favorite recipes. Rave reviews from everyone. This recipe is in the front of my recipe book and each time I am asked to bring something to a party …… YES, THIS IS THE ONE I BRING.