The BEST Chicken Enchilada Recipe

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4.96 from 24 votes
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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!

Glass baking dish filled with enchiladas topped with melted cheese and enchilada sauce and garnished with green onion.

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.

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:

Ingredients to make chicken enchiladas on a baking sheet.

Ingredients

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.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Baking dish with baked chicken enchiladas topped with green onions.

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!

Storage Tips

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

What’s good to serve with chicken enchiladas?

Chips and Queso, as well as salsa and guacamole, are always favorites. They are also delicious with a house salad, cilantro lime rice, refried beans, or black beans.

Do you use corn or flour tortillas for making chicken enchiladas?

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:

Steak Fajitas

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The Best Tacos

Barbacoa

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Here’s my Chicken Enchilada Recipe. I think you are going to LOVE them!

Chicken Enchilada Recipe

4.96 from 24 votes
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! Video included.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Storage and Freezer Instructions

To 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).

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1enchilada | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 650mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 607IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 275mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2012.

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review




99 Comments

  1. Down Punxx says:

    Am I crazy of is 1 cup of shredded cheese 16 oz? Your recipe calls for 12 oz for the whole thing, but it says 1/2 cup per enchilada, and the 7 in the pan from your video would be 7 x .5 cups = 3.5 cups = 56 oz or shredded cheese for the enchiladas alone, which leaves nothing to top them with. Is the cheese number way off or am I?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      ! cup of shredded cheese is actually 4 ounces not 16. Sorry this confusing. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks

    2. Donna Packer says:

      It tasted great but the corn tortillas tore as I was placing them in the dish. I thought they were supposed to be better than flour ones, which I was told would fall apart!

    3. Robyn Stone says:

      Donna, I have made these with both corn and flour tortillas and haven’t had them tear. If the corn tortillas aren’t flexible, you can heat them wrapped in a wet paper towel in the microwave or oven or dip them in the enchilada sauce which will help prevent breaking. I’m glad you enjoyed the taste.

  2. Carol says:

    These look so yummy! Is there a particular enchilada sauce brand you would suggest buying (too lazy to make it) as I know different sauces have different tastes? Thank you—company is coming!

    1. Ashley says:

      The homemade enchilada sauce is so good and so simple to make.

  3. Lynn says:

    How would you make these ahead of time? To freeze

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Lynn,
      I would assemble these up to the point of topping the folded enchiladas with the grated cheese (save that til cooking). Store these in airtight container in freezer for up to 3 months.
      Thaw in refrigerator, then add grated cheese and bake according to recipe instructions.
      I hope you enjoy them! xo

  4. Carolyn Town says:

    5 stars
    So delicious and easy. Thank you 

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks Carolyn! xo

  5. David Reams says:

    5 stars
    Thank you very much for this recipe. I tried them and the flavor was absolutely what I hoped it would be. I just made one adjustment and it was more structural than ingredients-wise. I made a “stack” with three of the flat-out wraps and an 8×11 pan by putting sauce and one sheet down, and then half the cream cheese and chicken mixture, another sheet and other half of the mixture, and then the last sheet and topping with the cheese. It’s just me eating and I like lots of room for veggie carbs, so my macros only would have allowed me one enchilada per day and they wouldn’t have stayed good the whole 12 days. I’m definitely keeping this recipe, thank you!

  6. Danijela says:

    This looks so delicious, love it!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      It’s one of our favorites! Thanks Danijela!

  7. Barbara says:

    Question about making ahead. Have chicken all cooked and ready to assemble. Have to make an unexpected trip out of town. Do I bake it before freezing, or just assemble,freeze, thaw and bake later?

  8. Mandy Moodley says:

    Hi Robyn

    I always try out your recipes but with a twist due to the difference in ingredients
    I live in Durban, South Africa
    What other sauce can I use, if we don’t get enchilada sauce.
    I definitely want to try this for my kids

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Mandy!
      I’m so glad you make many of the recipes – I hope that you and your family enjoy them!
      I’m not sure of another product you could purchase that would replace the enchilada sauce if you can’t find it, but I do have a recipe I use for Enchilada Sauce if you are able to find the ingredients to make it. My family loves it!
      I hope this helps and that you enjoy these! Thanks so much! xo

  9. Beverly Mays says:

    We like green enchilada sauce – will that work okay for this recipe or the Tortilla Soup recipe?

  10. JT says:

    5 stars
    Whole family liked it. I made your homemade sauce with whatever tomato products I had on hand. I also added some tomatillo salsa for dad cause he likes spicy! 

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I’m so glad everyone loved it!! xo