Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

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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

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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1,786 comments on “Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!”

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  1. Hi Ali, 
    I have been using your enchilada recipe (and the sauce) for the last 6 months or so and my family absolutely loves it!  I never thought I could make enchilada’s from scratch taste so good.  The sauce… it is so flavourful, easy, and nutritious… I’ll never use the canned stuff again.  I actually sometimes replace the can of green peppers (which are yummy) with a similar sized can of HOT green peppers for my spice-loving family and it works too.  Thank you for sharing this recipe and all its goodness.  
    Have a blessed day!
    Ann

    • Thank you for taking the time to share this with us Ann! We’re so happy you love the enchilada sauce! Thank you for giving it a try. :)

  2. These were amazing, I was looking for the best recipe and I found it. The whole family went crazy over them devouring them as soon as possible. I added a bit of tomato sauce to the sauce and some sour cream for a topping and it just tasted yum!

    • Thanks for sharing Luis — we’re glad to hear they were a hit with your family! :)

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  4. Holy moly!!! This is a new staple for the family!! BEST.SAUCE.EVER.

  5. I made these with the homemade red sauce. I freaked out at first when I made the sauce because it tasted a little off. I thought it was too salty but persevered incase everything came together at the end. I’m soooo glad I did. These turned out AMAZING! I added fresh jalapeño to a few because my father and I like spicy and my mom doesn’t. Still awesome either way. Served them with plain white rice. I WILL be making these babies again. Thank you for this recipe!

    • We’re glad the sauce worked out for you Haley, and that you enjoyed the enchiladas as well! Thanks for giving these recipes a try! :)

  6. Just made this for dinner tonite-really easy and painless for even me and I hate to cook!  Really tasty and not too spicy-next time though I’d like to try with shredded chicken ?

  7. Have you used corn tortillas instead of flour? 

  8. Im sure these enchiladas are great. I hate to disagree with you but my mom makes the best enchiladas hands down in the country and in Mexico. Period. They are not baked. They are pan fried in a tiny bit of oil and enchilada sauce. I would put her enchiladas against any restaurant and chef in the world.

    • We believe you Pete, they sound wonderful. Moms always make the best food! :)

  9. I made this for my husband and he loved it. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Made the enchiladas tonite and they were a hit, especially with my 7 and 10 year olds. Made the sauce with homemade chicken stock and it was delish as written. A little tomato paste stirred in made it even more velvety and rich. Thanks for the great recipe. 

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  13. Anxious to try these.  Do they freeze well before cooking?  I want to make them at home, freeze them and take them camping.

    • Hi Linda! Yes you can assemble these and freeze before baking. We suggest assembling them without the sauce and cheese (on top), then covering them tightly with foil, and putting them in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake them, remove the foil, top with the sauce and cheese, re-cover with the foil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown (with the cheese melted completely). We hope all of this is helpful, and that you enjoy!

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  15. Hi, I love these enchiladas! They are my go to recipe for feeding guests. Could these be made as a freezer meal for a new mom? Would I freeze them before or after baking them? Thanks for your help!

    • Thank you Maria — we’re so glad to hear that! For freezing, they can either be baked and then frozen once cooled, or assembled,(unbaked), then frozen and baked later. If you’re freezing them after assembling, just leave off the sauce and cheese that go on top. If you bake these and then freeze them (again, just make sure they’ve cooled completely before popping them into the freezer), top with the sauce and cheese, and bake (covered) for about 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes (or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown). We hope this is helpful!

  16. Hi! Made this recipe twice already. It was a big hit with my family. First time I tried it I used corn tortillas cause that’s what I had in the refrigerator. I had a hard time rolling it up cause it wasn’t as pliable as the flour ones and it the shell cracked. Next time I’ll stick to the flour tortillas. Thank’s a lot. Aloha!

    • Hi Donna! We’re so glad to hear you and your family loved these — thanks for sharing with us! :)

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  18. Mexian cheese? I am in Australia, any substitute cheese I could use here? They sound so delicious, would like them served to me now!

    • Hi Rebecca! Any kind of spicy cheese and/or shredded cheddar or mozzarella will work great in this recipe. We hope you enjoy! :)

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  20. I made these last night for dinner. They were beyond delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this. 

     And I do have to ask… Where in the world did you get your silverware? I absolutely love it!

    • Hey Brittany! We’re so happy you enjoyed the enchiladas, and the silverware is from Word Market! Here is the link! :)

  21. Add washed babyleaf spinach into enchilada before chicken makes them extra tastey 

  22. Made this tonight for dinner. I also made the red enchilada sauce. It turned out wonderful. The sauce really made them special. I did make a double recipie of the sauce and used a good portion of it. Did not measure amount just until it looks right. I already have requests to make it again soon. This is a new addition for family meals. Thanks!

    • Thanks for sharing with us Linda — we’re happy to hear you and your family enjoyed both the sauce and the enchiladas! :)

  23. I’ve never made enchiladas before so I tried out your recipe. They were so good. The whole process was so easy. The homemade sauce is definitely worth it. Thank you!

    • Thanks for sharing with us Shan, and for giving these a try! We’re glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! :)

  24. Wow!!!  Loved this recipe.  I made it with vegetarian chicken chunks and it was awesome!  I want to add more spice next time but the homemade sauce is a great place to start before customizing it to your heat level. I thought it a bit salty and I only used half the amount of salt. Overall this was so easy and super delicious!!  Thanks!!

  25. I’ve got mine in oven. My own personal twist, washed babyleaf spinach and slices of pepperoni ?

  26. I make these for dinner almost once a month, they are perfect and are a hit with the whole family (whom never seem to agree on anything!). Making the sauce from scratch makes them seem even more delicious, and it’s so easy! 

    • Thank you Shannon — we’re so happy you and your family love these (and the sauce too)! :D

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  31. Best ever – no kidding. It is a great base. I have used different enchilada sauces, and even mole with this recipe. It holds up very well. The secret to cooking is the spices/sauce. This recipe supports whatever one might wish to do. Very well done Ali.

    • Thanks for your sweet words John – we’re so happy you love this sauce! :)

  32. These were amazing! Big hit with the hubby! Couldn’t have asked for an easier or delicious recipe. Thanks!

  33. Planning on making no these tonight. I’m doing my fitness pal, though. Do you have nutritional information for them? Particularly calories?

    • Hi Gail! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  34. Flout tortillas? Dios mío sin! 

    • Yes — we know they’re traditionally made with corn tortillas, so feel free to use those if you prefer! :)

  35. Absolutely Delicious!! Thank you!!

  36. There were so delicious! I have two questions…
    1. Can I use a cornstarch slurry or maybe tomato paste to thicken the enchilada sauce? I simmered mine for quite a bit and while it tasted fabulous I felt like it wasn’t really thickening up and was too thin.
    2. Is this a freezer friendly dish? I have a friend due with her first baby soon and would love to give her a tray of these to have handy in the freezer. I wasn’t sure if the tortillas would get soggy in the freezer? 

    Thanks so much! Absolutely LOVE your entire blog, I have yet to see someone take as beautiful food pictures as you!

  37. Making these tonight but even with much less chilli than suggested the sauces still has a significant kick – I’m quite scared the guests will find them too spicy!

  38. Made this tonight! First try at making Chicken Enchiladas. I followed your recipe and also made the Red Enchilada Sauce. I loved it! My sons loved it! Wonderful recipe! This one is a keeper! 

    • Thanks for sharing Ana — we’re so happy you and your family enjoyed these! :)

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  41. Made this for Cinco de Mayo tonight. Everyone loved it! I used your recipe for red enchilada sauce. Added 1 Tbs of corn starch to the enchilada sauce to thicken it more. I mixed everything  together instead of doing an assembly line  (shredded rotisserie chicken, black beans, sautéed onion and green chilies mix, cheese and a can of drained diced tomatoes with green chiles and some of the enchilada sauce). Spooned mixture into tortilla and rolled it up. Poured rest of sauce on top and added cheese. Baked covered (because I didn’t have much sauce left to pour on top and I didn’t want dried out tortillas) . Added chopped cilantro after baking. Was delicious. However, next time I will add some tomato paste to the sauce as it simmers bc the chili powder seemed to over power the other flavors in the sauce. Overall this was simple and very delicious! Thank you! 

    • Thanks for sharing Lori — we’re so happy these were a hit! Thanks for giving them a try! :D

  42. Made these last night for Cinco de Mayo.  Turned out awesome.  Only thing I did different is I added a few cloves of garlic to the chicken mixture after I sweated the onions a bit.  Homemade sauce is quite good.  Great base recipe and honestly if you like it hotter it’d be easy to kick it up a notch.  Saw canned serrano mix at the store, or some fresh jalapenos would also work.  My wife doesn’t like spicy so this was perfect for her, I just added some hot sauce to mine.  Outstanding recipe!  I may try large corn tortillas next time, but there will certainly be a next time.  Thanks!

    • Hey Vince! Thanks for sharing with us — we’re glad you two enjoyed the sauce and the enchiladas! :D

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  44. Made this tasty dish for dinner tonight and LOVED it! The sauce was perfect and the taste was beyond comparison to the pre-made sauce you can buy in a can (and who knew it could be so easy?!?!) I am a full time working mother and also a part time student, so I am often grateful for your recipes that are quick, easy, made from ingredients already on hand, healthy, and never disappoint with taste.  My husband and his stomach send his compliments as well! 

    • Thanks for sharing Becky — we’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed it! :)

  45. I use this recipe every time that I fix enchiladas! It is easy and delicious! Thanks!

  46. I tried this recipe today and made the red enchilada sauce….it was a big hit.  I will be saving this recipe and sharing it on Facebook.  A must try for everyone.  Thanks for sharing your recipe a real keeper.  

    • Thanks for sharing Wanda — we’re happy to hear it was a hit! :)

  47. WILL MAKE THESE TOMORROW

  48. Hi ! Do you drain the green chilies ? 
    Thank you !! 

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  50. I truly agree, these are awesome and the special sauce is what makes them so special!  Thank you for sharing!