Chicken Enchiladas

LAST UPDATED: Oct 26, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Sep 18, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

These easy chicken enchiladas are the best kind of family dinner – simple, fast and absolutely delicious! A fresh take on this classic Tex-Mex comfort food, this is a chicken enchilada recipe the whole family will love.

Enchiladas are a cheese lover’s dream come true! In fact, they’re the ultimate style of comfort food, with a little something for everyone thanks to the combination of soft tortillas, flavorful fillings, vibrant sauce and so much creamy cheese.

A white casserole dish filled with chicken enchiladas topped in melted cheese.

I’m so excited to share this little series of delicious Tex-Mex inspired family dinners with you! Around here, nothing gets the kids more excited than a casserole dish filled cheesy chicken enchiladas. They’re not too spicy and yet full of vibrant flavors!

These chicken enchiladas are full of bright zesty flavors and come together in a snap. With a few of my favorite tips, you’ll have the whole family begging for more!

A white casserole dish filled with an easy chicken enchilada recipe.

Recently, I brought you these delicious cheese enchiladas and my favorite homemade enchilada sauce. Add a side salad and a homemade margarita and you’ll be totally set for dinner!

I’ve also got an incredible Mexican Spaghetti casserole you can’t miss. It’s a comforting family meal that everyone loves!

A white casserole dish filled with an easy chicken enchilada recipe.

Why You’ll Love Chicken Enchiladas

  • They are an updated comfort food, with a zesty take on a traditional casserole style dish.
  • The homemade enchilada sauce is so easy and fast to make, once you’ve tried it you’ll never go back to store bought cans!
  • This dish is so easy to customize. Add more or less seasoning, spices, and easily make it gluten free.
  • It’s perfect as a make-ahead dish and it works beautifully reheated for leftovers, too.
A close up shot of baked chicken enchiladas

Chicken Enchilada Ingredients

  • Oil – A neutral oil like canola is preferable, but vegetable oil, olive oil or butter also work.
  • White Onion – chopped.
  • Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed or rotisserie chicken.
  • Diced Green Chiles – The small cans work perfectly here.
  • Salt
  • Pepper – Thick flakes of fresh cracked pepper.
  • Enchilada Sauce – make my homemade sauce or use a 10 ounce can.
  • 8″ Tortillas – Flour or corn. Use corn for gluten free or traditional enchiladas. You can fry them in a tablespoon of oil first to make them sturdy.
  • Shredded Cheese – Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Cheddar or Cotija.
  • Black Beans – Canned black beans drained work really well. Omit if you prefer without.
The ingredients for a chicken enchilada recipe on a marble surface.

Variations

  • Refried Beans – replace the black beans with refried.
  • Eliminate the beans entirely if you wish.
  • Add a tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning or fajita seasoning blend to the chicken for an even more flavorful filling.
  • Use a verde (green) enchilada sauce instead of the traditional red.
  • Refried Beans – replace the black beans with refried.
  • Eliminate the beans entirely if you wish.
  • Add a tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning or fajita seasoning blend to the chicken for an even more flavorful filling.
  • Use a verde (green) enchilada sauce instead of the traditional red.
  • Add 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream to the bottom of your baking dish to make them extra creamy!
Looking into the end of a chicken enchilada.

How to Make this Chicken Enchilada Recipe

  1. Prep – Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Sauté Onion – In a skillet over medium heat, add oil and onion. Sauté about 3 minutes until the onion is tender and translucent. A frying pan filled with diced white onion, a wooden spatula stirring.
  3. Brown Chicken – Add chicken and green chilies. Brown about 6 minutes stirring occasionally. (Skip if you’re using rotisserie chicken).A frying pan on a stove top with cubed chicken cooking for chicken enchiladas.
  4. Add Sauce – Spread 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of baking dish.
  5. Fill – In the center of each tortilla, layer with 1/8th of chicken leaving room at both edges. Add a spoonful of black beans and approximately 1 ounce shredded cheese. A flour tortilla rolled up on a marble surface.
  6. Fold and Top – Fold tortilla over the filling and tightly wrap. Place in baking dish. Top generously with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  7. Bake – Bake 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas slightly crisp and brown.
A white casserole dish filled with chicken enchiladas topped in melted cheese.

Garnish Ideas

A white casserole dish filled with a chicken enchilada recipe.

Tips

  • Grease your baking dish and add a layer of enchilada sauce to prevent them from sticking to the dish. It also makes the bottom of the enchilada perfectly tender.
  • Shred your cheese fresh! I mention this with every cheesy recipe, and that’s because I really believe in the difference it makes in our food – fresh is best.

How to Warm Tortillas

It is best to warm corn tortillas before filling and rolling to prevent tears.

In the Microwave

Wrap in a damp paper towel or flour sack towel and microwave 20 seconds.

On the Stovetop

In a skillet over medium heat, warm tortilla 15 seconds on each side. If you’re using the uncooked tortillas, follow package directions to pan fry until they bubble- so good!

Fry

Add a tablespoon (or two) of oil to cast iron skillet and fry on each side until just brown.

A white casserole dish filled with a chicken enchilada recipe.

Shortcuts

  • Make with rotisserie chicken! Simply shred approximately 3 cups (or half a chicken).
  • You can also buy pre-shredded cheese for these chicken enchiladas to save you a step.
What is the difference between a burrito and an enchilada?

One of the most important differences is that a burrito is generally considered a hand-held food! Enchiladas are generally smothered in sauce and cheese and consumed with a fork.

Are enchiladas healthy?

This is a wholesome family meal! Because they are baked instead of frying, these chicken enchiladas are an excellent protein-filled family dinner option.

A white casserole dish filled with a chicken enchilada recipe.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate – Tightly cover and store in the fridge for up to three days.
  • Freeze – Cover enchiladas tightly before baking. Freeze up to three months. When it’s time to bake, simply unwrap, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover them and continue baking for 5-10 minutes longer, or until fully heated.

What to Do with Leftovers

  • Reheat your enchiladas in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. They make the best lunch on the second day when all the flavors have combined even more!
  • You can also microwave your chicken enchiladas but they will be softer, with less of the crispy edges.
A white casserole dish filled with a chicken enchilada recipe.

What to Serve with Chicken Enchiladas

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free (with corn tortillas instead of flour!)
  • Nut Free

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A close up shot of baked chicken enchiladas

More Easy Chicken Recipes

A white casserole dish filled with chicken enchiladas topped in melted cheese.

Chicken Enchiladas

Julie Blanner
These easy chicken enchiladas are the best kind of family dinner – simple, fast and absolutely delicious! A fresh take on this classic Tex-Mex comfort food, this is a chicken enchilada recipe the whole family will love.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 695 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons oil canola, vegetable, olive or butter
  • 1 cup white onion chopped (about 1 small onion)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • cup enchilada sauce (homemade or 10 ounce can)
  • 8 8" flour tortillas
  • 3 cups cheese shredded (Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Cheddar or Cotija)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans drained

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, add oil and onion. Sauté about 3 minutes until the onion is tender and translucent.
  • Add chicken and green chilies. Brown about 6 minutes stirring occassionally.
  • Grease 9×13 baking dish. Spread 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of dish.
  • In the center of each tortilla, layer with 1/8th of chicken leaving room at both edges. Add a spoonful of black beans and approximately 1 ounce shredded cheese.
  • Fold tortilla over the filling and tightly wrap. Place in baking dish. Top generously with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas slightly crisp and brown.

Optional Garnish

    Video

    Notes

    Variations

    • Add 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream to the bottom of your baking dish to make them extra creamy!
    • Replace the black beans with refried beans.
    • Use a verde (green) enchilada sauce instead of the traditional red.
    • Add a tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning or fajita seasoning blend to the chicken for an even more flavorful filling.
    • Eliminate the beans entirely if you wish.

    Tips

    • Grease your baking dish and add a layer of enchilada sauce to prevent them from sticking to the dish. 
    • Shred your cheese fresh for creamiest results.

    How to Store

    • Refrigerate – Tightly cover and store in the fridge for up to three days.
    • Freeze – Cover enchiladas tightly before baking. Freeze up to three months. When it’s time to bake, simply unwrap, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover them and continue baking for 5-10 minutes longer, or until fully heated.

    Nutrition

    Calories:695kcalCarbohydrates:42gProtein:40gFat:41gSaturated Fat:20gCholesterol:125mgSodium:1946mgPotassium:442mgFiber:3gSugar:10gVitamin A:1366IUVitamin C:5mgCalcium:687mgIron:3mg
    Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
    Disclosure

    mini loaves of bread gift wrapped