The Best Chicken Enchilada recipe is easy to make, filled with chicken, and topped with homemade enchilada sauce. Mexican food favorite that’s ready in 30 minutes!
Chicken Enchiladas are always a family favorite dinner choice! They are cheesy and loaded with chicken and can be customized with your favorite fillings. The homemade enchilada sauce is ready in minutes and is so delicious. I like to serve the enchiladas with Cilantro Lime Rice or tortilla chips and salsa or Pico de Gallo, guacamole and queso dip!
Chicken Enchilada Recipe
I’ve always been a huge fan of delicious, simple suppers – and my enchiladas like these chicken enchiladas and my beef enchiladas are most definitely that. I’ll even go so far as to say these are the BEST Chicken Enchiladas I’ve ever tasted! Not only are these the best, but because they are so quick and simple, I make them often. These classic chicken enchiladas make a great quick and easy weeknight dinner, yet are still a favorite choice for weekends as well.
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Why I Love This Recipe
- Quick and Easy – These enchiladas are ready in under 30 minutes. They are simple to make and can be customized to suit your tastes.
- Great Meal Prep Recipe – I love that I can cook a lot of chicken and then use it to make the shredded chicken for these enchiladas. The homemade enchilada sauce is made within a few minutes in the blender, but can also be made ahead and kept in the fridge.
- Full of Flavor – My entire family enjoys this recipe and always has, even when my son was small. I can customize the toppings and the amount of spiciness to suit our tastes. It’s always a great recipe for serving friends, too.
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas
To make this recipe, there are just a few things you’ll need:
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.
- Tortillas – You can use your favorite corn or flour tortilla for this recipe. If you are using corn tortillas, I’ve found that warming them in the microwave on a damp paper towel for a few moments makes them more easily pliable to prevent any tearing as they are filled and rolled. If you are using flour tortillas, they are generally pliable enough to use without warming them.
- Cheese – the recipe includes cheese in the filling of the enchilada as well as more on top for baking. I typically like to shred my own cheese straight from the block to use in recipes, but you can also use pre-shredded store-bought cheese if you prefer. For the cheese, I like to use Monterey Jack cheese. If I use store-bought shredded cheese, I also like to use a Mexican cheese blend.
- Enchilada Sauce – I use my easy homemade enchilada sauce for this recipe. It is so quick and easy to make in your blender. If you prefer, you can also use your favorite store-bought.
- Chicken – For this recipe, you’ll use 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken that can be made in the Instant Pot, a slow cooker, or on the stovetop (it’s great for meal prep!). It is a great recipe to use leftover chicken, like baked chicken or rotisserie chicken, and shred it.
Optional Fillings and Toppings
- Onion – a bit of diced onion adds additional flavor and texture to these enchiladas.
- Green chilis – the flavor of the green chilis reminds me so much of some delicious enchiladas at my favorite Mexican restaurant. A small can of drained green chilis is all you need.
- Black beans – we love to add a can of drained and rinsed black beans to this recipe from time to time. It stretches the recipe and allows you to reduce the amount of chicken needed for the recipe by half if you wish.
- Toppings – sour cream, diced green onions, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomatoes all make delicious options.
- Prep the dish and tortillas. After prepping the dish with nonstick cooking spray, spread enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking dish as directed. If using corn tortillas, you may want to warm them as described in the recipe—no need to do this for flour tortillas.
- Assemble chicken enchiladas. In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, enchilada sauce, and any additional fillings desired. Spoon the chicken mixture into the center of the tortilla and top with shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla and place seam-side down into the prepared baking dish, and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Bake the enchiladas. Pour enchilada sauce over the assembled enchiladas and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbly.
- Top and serve. Top with your favorite toppings and serve.
Slow Cooker Tip!
You’ll also notice in the recipe video that I love to sometimes toss the ingredient fillings (chicken, enchilada sauce, onions, green chilis) into a slow cooker and let it cook for 6 hours on low. This is great when I don’t already have shredded chicken made. Once cooked, I then shred my chicken in the slow cooker, fill my tortillas, top with cheese, and proceed with the recipe. The chicken, when cooked all day with the enchilada sauce, onions, and chilis, has an incredible flavor that I highly recommend you try!
A Great Meal Prep Recipe!
This chicken enchilada recipe is perfect for meal prepping! You can make the chicken for a recipe earlier in the week and have the extra chicken ready to go for this recipe. They are also freezer-friendly and can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months!
Store. Allow the enchiladas to cool. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freeze. Allow enchiladas to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container. If the baking dish used is freezer-safe, use an airtight lid if the dish has one, or wrap it well with a freezer-safe wrap to make the dish as airtight as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheat. Place the enchiladas in the refrigerator and allow them to thaw overnight. Reheat in the oven at 350º F until warmed throughout and the cheese is bubbly (about 20 minutes).
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use either type of tortilla in this recipe. Corn tortillas are commonly used in many Mexican restaurants and Mexican-style enchiladas. But I often use flour tortillas in making enchiladas as they are softer, roll easier, and are ones my family often prefers. Again, you can use either type of tortillas in this recipe, and they are delicious!
More Delicious Mexican and Tex-Mex Recipes
If you love enchiladas and Mexican and Tex-Mex food as my family does, then you may want to give some of my other recipes a try:
Here’s my Chicken Enchilada Recipe. I think you are going to LOVE them!
Chicken Enchilada Recipe
Optional Fillings and Toppings
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 (4-ounce) green chiles, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Prep. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. If using corn tortillas, warm tortillas in the microwave wrapped in a damp paper towel or tea towel until soft and easily pliable, about 30 seconds. If using flour tortillas, there is generally no need to warm them.
- Assemble chicken enchiladas. In a large bowl, stir together the cooked shredded chicken, 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce, and preferred fillings. Spoon chicken mixture into the center of each tortilla. Top with about 1/4 cup grated cheese and fold two ends of tortilla over the filled center. Place the tortilla seam side down into the baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas have been filled.
- Bake enchiladas. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the assembled tortillas. Top with grated cheese. Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until cheese has melted thoroughly and has become bubbly.
- Garnish and serve. Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve warm.
Storage and Freezer InstructionsTo store. Allow the enchiladas to cool. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To freeze. Allow enchiladas to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container. If the baking dish used is freezer-safe, use an airtight lid if the dish has one, or wrap it well with a freezer-safe wrap to make the dish as airtight as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve. Place the enchiladas in the refrigerator and allow them to thaw overnight. Reheat in the oven at 350º F until warmed throughout, and the cheese is bubbly (about 20 minutes).
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2012.