Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Updated on July 24, 2022

Easy chicken enchiladas are one of Mexican style dinners to prepare ahead of time. If you wonder what to make for dinner, look no further. This is one of the best chicken recipes to serve!

I love that chicken enchiladas has soft tortillas, cheese and shredded chicken as a main protein. All of that is covered with spicy homemade enchilada sauce! This is what really delicious chicken enchiladas are.

Chicken enchiladas bake is great for family of 4 up to 6 people, depending on desired serving size.

Moreover, this is one of the best leftover chicken recipes! Chicken enchiladas are soft and spicy.

This is an easy recipe for chicken enchiladas. One of the best dinner ideas for your family!

You will need less than 40 minutes to make Mexican enchiladas.

Chicken enchiladas on a plate and enchilada bake in the background

Chicken enchiladas ingredients

I used boiled chicken breast for this enchilada recipe. I’ve included instructions on how to boil chicken, but you can use leftover chicken.

You will need corn or flour tortillas, Greek yogurt or sour cream.

I love adding greens like parsley or cilantro, but I think you can add chopped spinach instead.

For the enchiladas I use the semi-soft or hard cheese I have in my fridge. I like Maasdam and Cheddar. If you can find authentic Mexican cheese, sprinkle Cotija or Queso Chihuahua on top of the enchiladas.

The best part is homemade enchiladas sauce!

Chicken enchilada bake with red enchilada sauce on the black table

The sauce for chicken enchiladas

You can use ready-made chicken enchiladas sauce. But I recommend making this homemade sauce version, it is easy and full of flavor!
Enchiladas sauce can last about 7 days in the fridge.

Chicken enchiladas red sauce consists of canned tomatoes, a bunch of spices and chicken broth (left from cooked chicken). If you use leftover chicken, you can make chicken broth from the cube.

Enchiladas with red sauce are delicious and tasty. Red colour makes it so appealing, and the aroma of spices and garlic make you kitchen smell amazing!

Spices for red sauce chicken enchiladas are simple, but hearty. Spices for chicken enchiladas include oregano, cumin, coriander seeds, ground paprika, lemon pepper, chili flakes and pickled jalapeno.

I added salt and pepper to the chicken filling, but not to the sauce. If you will use fresh jalapeno or chilies instead of pickled, you will need to add salt and pepper for the flavour.

Cook the sauce on the stove about 10 minutes or more until thickened. If your sauce won’t be thick enough, enchiladas will become soggy.

If you are using marinated jalapeno as we do, add a tiny slice, as it is more hot than the fresh one! By the way, if you serve these chicken enchiladas for kids, don’t add jalapeno, as it will be too much spicy for a little one.

How to make chicken enchiladas

Making enchiladas couldn’t be more simple! All you need is tortilla wraps, cooked chicken, enchilada sauce and some cheese. I will teach you how to make chicken enchiladas from scratch.

Enchiladas are one of delicious and easy chicken dinner recipes to make!

Filling for chicken enchiladas

If you want to prepare enchiladas ahead, cook the chicken, shred and leave to cool.

Follow the instructions on making the enchiladas sauce.

Add a 1/4 cup of the sauce to the shredded chicken, fresh chopped parsley.

Leave both in the fridge in separate boxes, until ready to go!

Prepare tortillas by adding Greek yogurt and baking each tortilla separately. No Greek yogurt? No worries, you can make chicken enchiladas with sour cream instead.

Add the filling to tortilla, fold as shown in the recipe card.

Add a ladle of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange wrapped tortillas with a seam side down.

Don’t add the sauce and transfer to the oven, preheated to 400 F / 200 C. Bake chicken enchiladas 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cover with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes more.

Chicken enchiladas with parsley on top

How to know when enchiladas are done

Baking chicken enchiladas is easy, if you have thick sauce. When your sauce is bubbling cheese melted and enchiladas are covered with delicious sauce, remove from the oven.

If you think it looks too runny, keep it longer in the oven.

Don’t forget to add the cheese for enchiladas in the end of cooking.

Also, keep in mind that the sauce will become thicker, when you et it cool a little, at least 5 minutes before serving.

I cook enchiladas uncovered, as it let’s me see how the food is cooked. Uncovered enchiladas will be crunchier on top and cook faster.

Reheating enchiladas

You will need 15 minutes to heat it through in the oven after removing from the fridge.

I think enchiladas are best served warm! Try to Reheat the portions, not the whole baking dish, so enchiladas last longer.

Make real Mexican enchiladas! This chicken enchilada bake is colorful and full of great taste. We love spicy food!

If you love Mexican recipes, definitely check our Mexican tortilla soup and Chile con Queso.

Which tortillas are best for enchiladas

I used corn tortillas, but you can use flour tortillas as well.

Chicken enchiladas using corn tortillas is a more traditional Mexican recipe.

Do you fry chicken tortillas for enchiladas

Traditionally tortillas are fried for enchiladas, but baking tortillas with yogurt is much more healthier and easier.

If you like your food extra crunchy, skip the baking step and fry tortillas without yogurt instead. Let them cool, then add yogurt and chicken filling.

How to keep enchiladas from falling apart and that aren’t soggy

Don’t skip the step of baking or frying tortillas before adding the filling. Also, as instructed in the recipe, bake enchiladas before adding the remaining sauce on top. That way tortillas will be dryer or crispier.

If you like more saucy enchiladas, better add it on the side, don’t make soup the enchiladas.

Chicken Enchiladas in the baking dish

Chicken meals – dinner ideas

This is best chicken enchilada recipe, if you are looking for dinner ideas up to four people! Tasty and easy chicken dish to serve and enjoy.

You can use cooked chicken for different dinner recipes.

If you prefer baked chicken meals for dinner, you can find more easy chicken recipes like these:

What can you add to the chicken enchiladas?

If you are looking for variations of adding on top, add sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, yogurt or Crema, fresh or pickled jalapeno.

What side dishes go with chicken enchiladas

Best sides with chicken enchiladas are rice and beans.

I prefer to serve chicken meals with Cauliflower rice to have more low carbohydrates side dish. Spicy dishes are great to serve with rice or pasta.

A good salad like Lentil salad, Greek Salad, Quinoa salad or Cauliflower salad.

What are your favorite sides for chicken enchiladas? Leave in comments below.

Storing and freezing enchiladas

You can make chicken enchiladas ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate.

How long do chicken enchiladas last in the fridge? Refrigerate up to 5 days, but reheat the portions, not the whole dish.

Chicken enchiladas can be frozen.

You can make chicken enchiladas and freeze them for a month. Bake the chicken dish extra 20 minutes more, if you place it in the oven without defrosting.

However, such easy dinners a best served fresh out of the oven.

Making enchiladas ahead of time

If you want to make ahead of time, prepare the sauce and shredded chicken filling. Store them separately in the fridge until you need to assemble the enchiladas with corn tortillas.

Just make sure you have cooked chicken and the sauce, and you can serve chicken enchiladas almost every day! Ha, I think I’m never tired eating chicken enchiladas!

You will need about 30 minutes to make and bake enchiladas, if you have all the ingredients prepared.

Easy chicken enchiladas can be great healthy snack between the meals too! You should also check our turkey tortilla wraps for more healthy snack ideas.

If you like spicy Mexican food, these 30 + Easy Mexican Recipes for Cinco de Mayo.

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Chicken enchiladas with parsley on top

Chicken Enchiladas

Cooking Journey
5 from 3 votes
Chicken enchiladas is one of easy dinners to make straight ahead. If you wonder what to make for dinner, look no further. This is one of the best chicken recipes to serve!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 46 mins
Total Time 56 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 313 kcal

Equipment

  • a pot with a lid
  • 7 x 10 inch / 18 x25 cm baking dish
  • large bowl
  • wooden spoon or spatula
  • Oven
  • saucepan
  • soup ladle
  • two forks
  • Baking tray




Ingredients
 
 
  • 2 chicken breasts halved
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp corn meal or corn flour
  • 1 tsp oregano dried, ground
  • 1 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds ground
  • 1 tsp paprika ground
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper ground
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp pickled jalapeno pepper minced
  • 6 5/7 oz tomatoes in juice canned
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup parsley or cilantro for serving
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper ground



Instructions
 
  • Bring water with salt to boil, add chicken breasts and bay leaves. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steam 6 minutes more.
    2 cups water, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp salt, 2 chicken breasts
    Bring water with salt to boil, add chicken breasts and bay leaves. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steam 6 minutes more.
  • While chicken is steaming, start making enchilada sauce. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add minced garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring. Then add cornflour and all spices. Cook, stirring for 1 minute until aromatic.
    2 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp corn meal, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp lemon pepper, 1/2 tsp chili flakes, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp pickled jalapeno pepper
    While chicken is steaming, start making enchilada sauce. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add minced garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring. Then add cornflour and all spices. Cook, stirring for 1 minute until aromatic.
  • Whisk in 3 soup ladles of chicken broth (from cookied chicken) and tomatoes with juice. Crush tomatoes with wooden spoon and bring the sauce to a boil.
    6 5/7 oz tomatoes in juice
    Whisk in 3 soup ladles of chicken broth and tomatoes with juice. Crush tomatoes with wooden spoon and bring the sauce to a boil.
  • Simmer enchilada sauce, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 7 to 10 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
    Simmer enchilada sauce, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 7 to 10 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F / 205 C.
    Preheat oven to 400 F / 205 C.
  • Transfer cooked chicken to a bowl and shred with two forks. Add 1 cup of enchilada sauce and 3/4 of parsley (cilantro). Combine.
    1/2 cup parsley or cilantro
    Transfer cooked chicken to a bowl and shred with two forks. Add 1 cup of enchilada sauce and 3/4 of parsley (cilantro). Combine.
  • Add a ladle of enchilada sauce to the bottom of baking dish.
    Add a ladle of enchilada sauce to the bottom of baking dish.
  • Brush every tortilla with 1 tsp of yogurt on one side and bake about 1 minute (each tortilla separately).
    1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 4 corn tortillas
    Brush every tortilla with 1 tsp of yogurt on one side and bake about 1 minute (each tortilla separately).
  • Fill each tortilla with 2 tbs of chicken mixture. Roll enchiladas tightly.
    Fill each tortilla with 2 tbs of chicken mixture. Roll enchiladas tightly.
  • Arrange enchiladas side by side in baking dish with seam side down, Bake chicken enchiladas 10 minutes.
    Cover with remaining sauce, and top with grated cheese. Bake 10 minutes more.
  • Cover with remaining sauce, and top with grated cheese. Bake 10 minutes more.
    1/4 cup cheese
    Arrange enchiladas side by side in baking dish with seam side down, Bake chicken enchiladas 10 minutes.
  • Let chicken enchiladas cool 5 minutes before serving. Add more parsley and yogurt on top, if you wish.
    Let chicken enchiladas cool 5 minutes before serving. Add more parsley and yogurt on top, if you wish.
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Notes

*I used wheat tortillas, approx. 8 inch / 20 cm in diameter.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Enchiladas
Amount per Serving
Calories
313
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
13
g
20
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
78
mg
26
%
Sodium
 
893
mg
39
%
Potassium
 
736
mg
21
%
Carbohydrates
 
20
g
7
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Protein
 
30
g
60
%
Vitamin A
 
1201
IU
24
%
Vitamin C
 
17
mg
21
%
Calcium
 
131
mg
13
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword easy, spicy chicken

Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    What an AMAZING idea!!! YUM, these really sound delicious! One of my favs! Is good food and this looks like one of the BEST!! I definitely want to try it! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Enchiladas are a food that I really enjoy eating but for some reason, I have never made them. Definitely going to try this one, I love how it has all simple ingredients from scratch. We are trying to stay away from processed stuff for the most part here.

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