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Chicken Enchiladas

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close up overhead shot of a plate of Chicken Enchiladas garnished with sliced avocados and peppers
Chicken enchiladas are filled with just chicken, cheese, and sauce and are a simple, easy way to make your favorite Mexican food at home.
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Table of Contents
  1. Chicken Enchiladas Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These delicious chicken enchiladas are simple to make and better than any takeout! Shredded chicken, cheese, and enchilada sauce are wrapped in soft flour tortillas before being topped with more sauce and three kinds of cheese.

Can’t get enough Mexican food? Sheet pan nachos and Mexican beef and rice casserole are perfect for an at-home fiesta anytime.

close up shot of a plate of Chicken Enchiladas garnished with sliced avocados and peppers

Chicken Enchiladas Ingredients

Enchiladas raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 5-6 cups shredded chicken, white and dark meat (1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts and 1½ pounds boneless skinless thighs)
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans red enchilada sauce
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies 
  • 1 (1-ounce) packet taco seasoning or use homemade taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1¼ cups crumbled cotija cheese, divided
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 8 flour tortilla shells (soft taco size)
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded & sliced for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • ½ small avocado, sliced for garnish

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

TORTILLAS: Corn tortillas add a more “authentic” touch to this chicken enchiladas recipe, and can easily replace the flour tortillas. Because they are usually smaller than flour tortillas, you may need to use more than 8.

COTIJA CHEESE: Cojita is available in many grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, crumbled feta or grated parmesan or romano will work in this easy recipe.

CHICKEN: Use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or leftover oven-baked chicken for a great way to make this recipe easy. Another easy method is to cook your chicken in an Instant pot (following your machine’s instructions) then once your chicken has cooled it can be shredded.

CHEESE: Your cheese options for this dish are endless. Some substitution options are Colby jack blend, pepper jack cheese, all cotija, or any combination of those. You just want to keep your measurements for the total cheese the same. However, if you like more or less cheese then feel free to adjust your chicken enchiladas according to your tastes.

SAUCE: Experiment with different brands of red sauce to see what you prefer. You can spice up the sauce with chipotle chili powder or red chile powder if you can find it. Adding tomato sauce will make it milder, and potentially more kid-friendly.

BEANS: Adding black beans or pinto beans is perfect added to this filling. 

ONIONS AND CHILES: You can add onions and diced green chiles to the filling for an added kick. 

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How To Make This Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

PRO TIP:

Easily make these enchiladas into a freezer meal by covering the pan with plastic wrap and freezing them instead of baking. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and cook according to the instructions.

STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken meat, 1 (10-ounce) can of the enchilada sauce, the diced green chilies, taco seasoning, salt, black pepper and 1 cup of the crumbled cotija cheese. Using a large spoon, mix to combine.

PRO TIP:

If you prefer extra saucy enchiladas, add more sauce to the mixture. For lighter flavor and texture, use less sauce, or leave it out of this step.

Chicken Enchiladas process shot of ingredients combined in a bowl

STEP THREE: Fill and roll each tortilla by placing ½ to ¾ cup of the chicken mixture onto one side of the flour tortilla (you will want to create a line of chicken filling about an inch offset from the center) and start rolling from the end that has the filling. 

Chicken Enchiladas process shot of chicken mixture placed on top of tortilla and rolled up

STEP FOUR: Place the filled and rolled tortilla, seam side down, into the prepared baking dish starting at one end. You will repeat this until all the flour tortillas are filled, rolled, and placed into the baking dish.

PRO TIP:

If you opt for yellow corn tortilla shells in your enchiladas, they need to be warmed slightly before rolling or they will break apart. Either fry them quickly in a skillet greased with a little oil, or warm up the sauce before adding it to the pan, and thoroughly coat the tortillas with sauce before filling. It is not necessary to warm flour tortillas before filling them.

STEP FIVE: Slowly and evenly pour the second (10-ounce) can of enchilada sauce onto the tops of the filled and rolled tortillas. Do not go all the way to the open edges of the chicken enchiladas. Leave about 1 inch of the edges of the enchiladas without sauce.

STEP SIX: Top the sauce-covered chicken enchiladas with the cheddar and jack shredded cheese. Make sure you get an even layer.

Chicken Enchiladas process shot of cheese sprinkled on top of enchiladas

STEP SEVEN: Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese is melted.

STEP EIGHT: Garnish your baked chicken enchiladas with a few slices of jalapeño, a sprinkle of the remaining ¼ cup cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, and a few avocado slices.

Chicken Enchiladas process shot of enchiladas topped with toppings

How To Serve

Serve these simple chicken enchiladas hot with a salad or beans and Spanish rice. Add chips and salsa, queso dip, sour cream, green onion, or guacamole for extra toppings with this Mexican-inspired dish.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover enchiladas in an airtight container for up to 2 days. They can be reheated in the microwave, in 30-second intervals, until the desired temperature is reached.

IN THE FREEZER: These enchiladas can be covered and frozen in the pan for up to three months. Use a throw-away aluminum foil pan for an easy meal to share.

close up shot of a baking dish of Chicken Enchiladas garnished with sliced avocados and peppers

Saucy, spicy, cheesy chicken enchiladas are comfort food with a kick. Make dinner a fiesta with the flavors of the southwest in this classic dish.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

You can assemble this great recipe earlier in the day or the night before and pop it in the oven right before dinner time.

Can I use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas?

While we find that corn tortillas don’t roll as well in this easy recipe, you can still use them if you soften them up first. Since they tend to be smaller than flour tortillas, you may need more than the recipe calls for.

Can I freeze these chicken enchiladas?

You can make and assemble this recipe ahead of time and freeze it. Follow our instructions above.

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close up overhead shot of a plate of Chicken Enchiladas garnished with sliced avocados and peppers

Chicken Enchiladas

5 from 10 votes
Chicken enchiladas are filled with just chicken, cheese, and sauce and are a simple, easy way to make your favorite Mexican food at home.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 5 to 6 cups shredded chicken, white and dark meat 1½-pounds boneless/skinless chicken breast and 1½ pounds boneless/skinless thighs
  • 20 ounce enchilada sauce (two 10-ounce cans)
  • 4 ounces diced green chilies
  • 1 ounces taco seasoning, or homemade taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • cups crumbled cotija cheese, divided
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup jack cheese, shredded
  • 8 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and sliced for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • ½ small avocado, sliced for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking oil spray.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken meat, 1 (10-ounce) can of the enchilada sauce, the diced green chilies, taco seasoning, salt, black pepper and 1 cup of the crumbled cotija cheese. Using a large spoon, mix to combine.
  • Fill and roll each tortilla by placing ½ to ¾ cup filling onto one side of the flour tortilla (you will want to create a line of chicken filling about an inch offset from the center) and start rolling from the end that has the filling.
  • Place the filled and rolled tortilla, seam side down, into the prepared baking dish starting at one end.  You will repeat this until all the flour tortillas are filled, rolled, and placed into the baking dish.
  • Slowly and evenly pour the second (10-ounce) can of enchilada sauce onto the tops of the filled and rolled tortillas. Do not go all the way to the open edges of the chicken enchiladas. Leave about 1 inch of the edges of the enchiladas without sauce.
  • Top the sauce-covered chicken enchiladas with the cheddar and jack shredded cheese. Make sure you get an even layer.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese is melted.
  • Garnish your baked chicken enchiladas with a few slices of jalapeño, a sprinkle of the remaining ¼ cup cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, and a few avocado slices.

Notes

  • If you prefer extra saucy enchiladas, add more sauce to the mixture. For lighter flavor and texture, use less sauce, or leave it out of this step.
  • If you opt for yellow corn tortilla shells in your enchiladas, they need to be warmed slightly before rolling or they will break apart. Either fry them quickly in a skillet greased with a little oil, or warm up the sauce before adding it to the pan, and thoroughly coat the tortillas with sauce before filling. It is not necessary to warm flour tortillas before filling them.
  • Easily make these enchiladas a freezer meal by covering the pan with plastic wrap and freezing them instead of baking. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and cook according to the instructions.

Nutrition

Sodium: 855mg | Calcium: 367mg | Vitamin C: 3mg | Vitamin A: 443IU | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 353mg | Cholesterol: 114mg | Calories: 429kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Fat: 24g | Protein: 35g | Carbohydrates: 18g | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Toni Thomason says

    5 stars
    Chicken enchiladas is totally my go-to dish for Mexican food night. Living in the south, knowing how to make the perfect enchilada is a must and this recipe does not disappoint.

  2. Elizabeth says

    5 stars
    This is a good recipe, however, I tweaked it a bit. I make it with corn tortillas they way enchiladas are meant to made and I also emake my own sauce.

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