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Chicken Enchiladas: the simple, tasty recipe for a popular Mexican main dish

Total time: 45 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Looking for a fast, easy Mexican dish to please a crowd? Try making these delicious chicken enchiladas. They're perfect for a fast yet flavorful weeknight dinner and double up as a fantastic dish to serve up on Cinco de Mayo or other celebrations.

Enchiladas are made by placing a filling in tortillas, rolling them up tightly, then covering it with a delicious sauce and loads of cheese. The dish is then baked. You can use any type of filling for your enchiladas, but this version is made with shredded cooked chicken, beans, spices, and cheese.

That said, you can customize your enchiladas any way you like. One thing is essential when making enchiladas at home – don't forget your favorite toppings when it's time to tuck in! Green onions, red onions, and cilantro add a tasty crunch that makes these chicken enchiladas irresistible.

Chicken Enchiladas Ingredients

These easy chicken enchiladas are packed with tasty ingredients to make your mouth water.

You'll need some cooked chicken (a smart way to use up any leftovers), black beans, onions, and garlic for the filling.

For seasonings, cumin, oregano, chilis, plus a dash of salt and pepper bring loads of flavor to the savory chicken filling.

For assembling the enchiladas, you'll need enchilada sauce – either homemade or store-bought will do, plus plenty of cheese, and of course, tortillas.

You can use either homemade corn tortillas or flour tortillas for making your chicken enchiladas. Corn is more traditional and tastier, but flour is just as popular.


How to Make Chicken Enchiladas

Making the best chicken enchiladas at home couldn't be easier. Start by sauteing the onion until it starts to soften, then stir in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant. Mix the chicken, beans, chilis, spices, and seasonings, plus ½ cup of enchilada sauce into the onions. Mix well, then remove from heat.

Layer 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce over the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Lightly fry each of the tortillas. This will prevent soggy enchiladas. Put ½ cup of the chicken mixture into a tortilla then top with 1/3 cup of cheese. Roll the tortilla up very tightly, then put it in the casserole dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the rest of the filling and tortillas.

Ladle the rest of the enchilada sauce over the stuffed tortillas then sprinkle a generous amount of cheese over the top. Bake the enchiladas at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes, then serve with extra toppings like sour cream, cilantro, and avocado.

What to Serve with Chicken Enchiladas

Serve your enchiladas with delicious garnishes like cilantro, sour cream, chopped spring onions, or red onion. For side dishes, other classic Mexican dishes like elote, rice and beans, Mexican slaw, and guacamole are all tasty options.

You can also try serving your enchiladas with a green salad, a quinoa salad, or pepper poppers.


Easy Chicken Enchilada Variations

Use a verde (green) sauce instead of using the classic rojo (red) enchilada sauce for a delicious variation on this easy dish.

Use any cheese you like. Sharp cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Mexican cheese blend, or Colby are a few favorites.

Swap out the chicken for pulled pork or shredded beef.

Add extra veggies to your chicken enchiladas. Bell peppers, squash, broccoli, and spinach all work well.

Tips for Making the Best Chicken Enchiladas

You can use homemade or store-bought enchilada sauce.

Make sure to grate the cheese yourself. It will melt more evenly over your enchiladas.

The easiest way to avoid soggy enchiladas is to lightly heat or fry your tortillas. This helps stop the tortillas from soaking up so much of the sauce, which keeps them from getting soggy.

Use your favorite toppings as garnishes for your enchiladas. Popular choices include chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, sour cream, chopped red onions, and sliced avocado.

How to Store Chicken Enchiladas

Let the enchiladas cool slightly, then transfer them to an airtight container and place them in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can You Freeze Chicken Enchiladas?

Of course you can freeze chicken enchiladas! Simply wrap them and freeze them for up to 3 months. Both unbaked and cooked enchiladas will freeze well.

More Enchilada Recipes You'll Like

Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp
Onion, finely chopped
1 cup
Garlic, minced
2 cloves
cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups
black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can
green chiles, diced
1 4-ounce can
Chili powder
1 tsp
Ground cumin
1 tsp
Dried oregano
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp
enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups
Cheese, shredded
12 ounces
large tortillas


Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes or until it becomes soft.

Mix in the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin and oregano.

Add in the chilis.

Pour in 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into the pan.

Stir in the beans.

Add the chicken, and salt. Mix well, then remove from heat.

Coat the bottom of the casserole dish with ½ cup enchilada sauce.

Lightly fry the tortillas for about 10 seconds on each side. Place just a little bit of cheese on each tortilla.

Place ½ cup of the chicken mixture into a tortilla.

Top with 1/3 cup of cheese.

Roll the tortilla up very tightly.

Place it in the casserole dish, seam-side down.

Repeat with the rest of the filling and tortillas.

Coat the top of the tortillas with the rest of the enchilada sauce.

Garnish with cheese.

Spread the cheese evenly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow the enchiladas to rest for 5 minutes.

Garnish with your favorite topping, then serve and enjoy!


Use a 9×13-inch casserole dish to make your enchiladas.

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