Quick Overview: Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe
- Preheat your oven to 350º F as you prepare the chicken enchiladas.
- Add salt, black pepper, shredded chicken, and ¼ cup of enchilada sauce in a bowl.
- Warm tortillas of your choice in the microwave for a minute. Flip them after 30 seconds.
- Place the enchilada filling onto the flour tortillas. Then, add the shredded chicken with the cheese of your choice. Most people use Mexican cheeses.
- Then, place the enchiladas in a casserole or baking dish greased with olive oil. The seam of the tortillas should be placed down.
- Then, pour your homemade enchilada sauce over the tortillas and garnish with more cheese.
- Lastly, bake your enchiladas for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese has a tinge of gold and is bubbly.
- Serve hot with a corn salad or red enchilada sauce to dip.
- What Are Chicken Enchiladas?
- Quick And Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipes For You
- Dalstrong Tools You Will Need
- Kitchen Tips To Make The Best Chicken Enchiladas
- Nutritional Facts About Chicken Enchiladas
- Frequently Asked Questions
I’m just going to say it – Mexican food is by far the most versatile cuisine that is not only delectable but also super easy to make if you have the right ingredients. Both home cooks and professional chefs can add their twist to this recipe. Game day, movie night-in, or Cinco De Mayo, a quick batch of chicken enchiladas can set the mood.
Here’s everything you need to know about the mouth-watering and FAMILY-LOVED chicken enchiladas.
1. What Are Chicken Enchiladas?
Chicken enchiladas are corn tortillas stuffed with a special red sauce or enchilada sauce, Mexican cheeses, black beans, and pinto beans. Enchiladas come out of the oven with a bubbly cheese layer that oozes creamy chicken and saucy goodness. While I prefer a baked enchilada casserole, they can be made in the oven with baking dishes, instant pots, and even the air fryer for a low-carb version.
The chicken mixture can be made easily with leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken. You can bake the chicken in advance if you like your meat cooked a certain way. Feel free to give it your twist of spices and seasonings – It all comes together with a delicious homemade enchilada sauce.
The Mexican cheeses give your enchiladas the ‘perfect bite’. Usually, the cheeses used for enchiladas are Monterey Jack cheese. But, feel free to use the shredded cheese of your choice if you want, there are no hard rules for this recipe. You can even top it off with some sour cream for that extra tinge of flavor.
Now that you know a little about chicken enchiladas, let’s talk about how you can cook them for weeknight meals or an easy dinner after a long and tiring day. Trust me, these recipes will have you hooked on them.
2. Quick And Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipes For You
The Original Chicken Enchilada Recipe
I’m going to break this recipe down into three parts – how to make the shredded chicken mixture for your enchiladas, how to make homemade enchilada sauce from scratch, and how to assemble your enchiladas before placing them in the oven. The tools you will need for this recipe are a skillet/frying pan, chef’s knife, and cutting board.
Shredded Chicken Mixture
- White chicken meat (chicken thighs or breasts, skinless and boneless)
- Salt and pepper
- Chili powder or green chilies
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Frozen pinto beans or black beans
- Frozen corn
- Lime Juice
- Chopped cilantro
- On a sturdy cutting board, chop your chicken thighs or breast into medium-sized pieces.
- Then, in a bowl, season your chicken with salt, black pepper, chili powder or green chilies, garlic powder, and lime juice.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes and then transfer the seasoned chicken to a skillet at medium-low heat and pour ¼ cup of water over it.
- While the chicken cooks, thaw the frozen corn and pinto beans, and black beans.
- Cook for another 15 minutes and flip the chicken over after 6-7 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the chicken sit for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a clean cutting board and shred the meat with two forks.
- Add corn and beans and lightly toss the chicken mixture.
- Season with more lime juice, a dash of olive oil, and some chopped cilantro.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- Guajillo chiles
- Ancho chiles
- Arbol chiles
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- In a bowl, add all your dried chilies. Make sure they’re rinsed and don’t have pieces of stems attached.
- Add a cup of hot water and cover the bowl for 20 minutes while the chiles soak in the water.
- Then, transfer the chiles to a blender with a spoon.
- Add another cup of chile-soaked water with some garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Add half a cup of fresh water and blend until you have a puree-like consistency. Add more water to the blender if you like your homemade enchilada sauce a little runny.
- Once you’ve achieved the desired consistency, store it in the fridge for up-to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. (You can use this red sauce for a wholesome batch of chicken enchilada soup).
How To Assemble And Cook Your Enchiladas
- Preheat your oven to 350º F before you begin to mix and assemble the chicken mixture and tortillas.
- If you’re using corn tortillas, wrap them and place them in a damp paper towel. Heat your corn tortillas in the microwave for a minute and flip them halfway through.
- If you’re using flour tortillas, place them on a plate and microwave them for a minute, again, flipping halfway through. This will keep your tortillas soft and warm.
- On a clean cutting board or countertop, assemble your enchiladas and fill them with your shredded chicken mixture and add a cup of Mexican cheeses of your choice.
- Then, roll the tortillas firmly and place them on a flat and large baking dish. The seam of the tortillas should face down so they don’t unspool when baking.
- Pour ¼ cup of enchilada sauce over the tortillas and add another cup of cheese.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly with a tinge of gold.
- Garnish with lime juice, chopped cilantro, and sour cream. Serve hot.
Air Fryer Chicken Enchiladas
This recipe is for those who want to make a low-carb version of chicken enchiladas without compromising on the taste. Believe me, folks, this recipe may or may not have outdone the oven-baked version for me. The tools you would need for this recipe are chef's knives, food tongs, and cutting boards. Here’s how to go about making this delicious recipe.
- Cooked white chicken (thighs, breast, or rotisserie chicken)
- Taco seasoning
- Flour tortillas or corn tortillas
- Black beans or pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
- Store-bought red sauce or homemade enchilada sauce
- Mexican cheese (shredded)
- Chopped cilantro
- Sour cream
- Lime juice
- In a bowl, add your cooked chicken and stir in taco seasoning.
- Place your tortilla on a sheet of foil and top it with black beans or pinto beans and the chicken mixture.
- Roll the enchiladas up and place them back on the foil sheet, seam side down.
- Top the enchiladas with red sauce or homemade enchilada sauce.
- Lastly, sprinkle jack cheese or a blend of your favorite shredded Mexican cheeses.
- Pop the tray back into the air fryer and cook it for 5-7 minutes.
- Top it with more cheese, a dash of lime juice, chopped cilantro, and sour cream. Serve hot.
Easy Chicken Enchiladas In An Instant Pot
Instant pot recipes are a classic kitchenware piece in every home. There’s something about a wholesome chicken enchilada cooked in a pot with a blend of cheeses and shredded chicken that makes this recipe perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. The tools you need for this recipe are a chef’s knife, spatula, cutting board, meat thermometer, and a skillet/frying pan if you want to cook the meat beforehand.
- White chicken meat or ground beef/pork
- Chili powder
- Cumin powder
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Homemade enchilada sauce
- Corn tortillas or flour tortillas
- Monterey Jack or cheddar jack cheese
- Chopped cilantro
- Lime juice
- Greek yogurt (optional)
- In a bowl, add your meat and season it with chili powder, cumin powder, salt, and pepper.
- While you work on assembling the enchiladas, set your instant pot to the ‘sauté’ mode and add olive oil.
- Add the seasoned meat to the pot and sear for 2-3 minutes – The meat doesn’t need to be cooked thoroughly.
- Turn the instant pot off and splash some water into the instant pot. With a spatula, scrape off stuck-on food particles.
- Place the meat back into the pot and add ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce or red sauce.
- Turn the temperature of your instant pot to ‘high’ and cook for 8 minutes on high pressure.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. If it registers 165º F, turn off the pot. Allow the meat to rest in the sauce for 10-15 minutes.
- Shred the meat and let it cook for another 5-8 minutes.
- While the meat cooks, place the tortillas of your choice over your oven rack to mold them into perfect enchilada ‘cups’. Brush them with some olive oil and bake for no more than 3-4 minutes.
- This is optional, but you can stir some Greek yogurt into the instant pot as the meat cooks. This gives it great consistency to work with.
- Take half a cup of enchilada sauce and spread a thin layer on your baking dish.
- Fill each of your tortillas with the shredded chicken mixture/filling and roll up your tortillas firmly.
- Bake your enchiladas until the cheese is bubbly and melted. This usually takes 15 minutes. Serve hot with a side of sour cream and corn salad.
3. Dalstrong Tools You Will Need
If you are, as I like to call it, a Dalstrong Pro, then you’re aware that we have an incredibly diverse and versatile range of knives. With over 15+ knife collections, there is something here for everyone. Along with our knives, there are plenty of cookware products such as skillets, frying pans, stock pots, cutting boards, and other kitchen essentials. Let’s talk about those that can help you make the best batch of chicken enchiladas.
There is nothing smarter than a skillet and frying pan hybrid that can lend you a hand to make the scrumptious-most chicken enchiladas. This skillet gives your enchiladas the perfect sizzle when warming them up. Reducing spices and other ingredients for the perfect red sauce? You may want to bag this skillet.
- Made with thick layers of 18/10 stainless steel that is not only non-reactive but durable, too.
- Engineered with the world’s longest-lasting PFOA and APEO-free non-stick coating for a safe and seamless cooking process.
- Broiler and oven-safe up to 500º F for aesthetically-pleasing enchiladas for your guests.
- The size of this skillet could be too big for a small family or if you’re cooking for yourself. I suggest a 9-inch skillet which you can choose from the Dalstrong Skillet collection.
- If you prefer working with skillets where you can season the pan from scratch, there may be better fits than this. You can find the best skillet for yourself in our Skillet Collection.
- Light in weight and flexible to hold.
- The handle is made with military-grade G10 fiberglass resin for a sturdy finish.
- The size of this spatula is perfect for flipping slices of bread or tortillas, and when you’re constantly stirring in ingredients for meat fillings.
- If you’re a cooking tongs person, this spatula may not be of much use to you. However, it can help drain off excess oil when separating foods.
- You may be looking for a smaller or larger spatula depending on your needs.
Designed for scalpel-like sharpness, this chef’s knife from the Shogun series is always a classic. One of Dalstrong’s best-selling chef’s knives, and the only tool you need for uniform and thin slices of meat for not just enchiladas, but tacos and empanadas, too. The tapered bolster on this knife is an unmissable trait, thanks to the comfortable pinch grip it offers.
- Who doesn’t love a rust and corrosion-resistant knife? This knife’s cladding keeps rust and other abrasions away for a durable experience.
- Not only is it low in maintenance, but it is easy to clean as well. So, if you’re a busy bee like I am, this knife will make a great purchase.
- The full tang blade offers resilience and robustness for a safe chopping and slicing experience.
- If you’re looking for a knife with a larger blade from the infamous Shogun series, check out other knives from the Chef knives collection.
- If you prefer a Japanese chef’s knife, read on, as that may be a better fit for you.
- Ravishing to look at, thanks to the infamous lion head logo to signify Dalstrong’s mark on its show-stopping blades.
- The blade is hand-sharpened to a striking 8-12º degree using the traditional Honbazuke method.
- Most home cooks and professional chefs that use Japanese knives often prefer a longer blade, and if you do too, a blade above 8.5 inches would be ideal.
- If like me, you too, prefer a stainless steel handle, this knife may not be the perfect match. Lucky for you, Dalstrong has you covered.
If you’re making chicken enchiladas, chances are, you’re going to be working with rotisserie chicken to easily make some shredded chicken. If you’re using pork or beef too, the meat falls apart when working with boning knives that don’t tear or pierce the meat in an untidy manner. This boning knife from the Shogun series has a blade length of 6 inches and is made with a high-premium Japanese AUS10-V super steel cutting core that is hardened at 62+ Rockwell for all the sturdiness that you need. This knife works tremendously for most shredded chicken dish recipes.
- The blade on this knife is cooled with Nitrogen for an ergonomic cutting motion and resistance to corrosion.
- The blade is also hand-polished for a comfortable, but enhanced pinch grip comfort.
- The handle is triple riveted for durability and style.
- The blade on this knife could be short for a boning knife, especially if you’re wanting to up your culinary skills.
- If you prefer store-bought shredded meat, then a boning knife may seem a tad unnecessary. But, this knife is a versatile piece of cookware, so it’ll help you improve your skills.
A good cutting board is crucial for any kitchen. But, more so when you’re working with enchiladas where you need to cut up chicken and other meats into bite-sized pieces or when you want to make tortillas from scratch. A clean and flat surface that is sturdy will provide you with all the balance you need for evenly rounded tortillas.
- This board is perfect for presenting open tacos or enchiladas.
- This cutting board is designed for long-lasting hygiene. You can now chop and cut the meat without fearing the spread of bacteria to your countertops or food.
- Perfect to transition your oven-friendly skillet to the countertop from the oven.
- Sustainably and tropically sourced.
- Perfect to shred chicken without a fuss and mess.
- If you’re making a large batch of enchiladas and want to serve them on this eloquent cutting board, I suggest up-sizing.
- While this isn’t a downside since Teak cutting boards can last you a lifetime, they do require oiling from time to time.
4. Kitchen Tips To Make The Best Chicken Enchiladas
Nailing a recipe for chicken enchiladas is not tough once you get the hang of it, but here are a few kitchen tips to bring your recipe to life ten folds.
- Use frozen corn to serve corn salads with enchiladas as the zestiness will balance out the Umami goodness of the creamy chicken enchiladas.
- Use ground beef instead of flank or sirloin cuts for a more even burst of flavor.
- Meal prep for an easy dinner with red sauce. The red sauce can help make soups, stews, pastes, dips, and marinades alongside enchilada sauce.
5. Nutritional Facts About Chicken Enchiladas
How healthy are enchiladas?
Enchiladas are made with corn and flour tortillas which makes them rich in calories. But, with a variety of proteins and other healthy food groups present in this dish, it can make a wholesome yet nutritious meal.
When making homemade enchiladas, you can control what it is that you want to substitute or omit from the ingredients. For example, using whole beans instead of refried beans, choosing corn tortillas over flour tortillas, increasing the number of veggies over cheese, and making healthier salsas and sauces instead of using store-bought ones.
Making enchiladas at home can cut out the high sodium and fat content present. You can add more veggies to up the vitamins and minerals in your meal. Opting for brown rice instead of white rice can make this a calorie-friendly meal if you’re big on following a calorie-deficit regime.
Nutritional value of enchiladas
Enchiladas with refried beans usually have 178-323 calories, making an easy dinner or weeknight meal. This meal usually contains 18 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of protein, 0 grams of fiber, 228 milligrams of calcium, and 1319 milligrams of sodium.
Enchiladas are a high source of minerals and vitamins, as well as calcium. So, they make great meals with very minimal prep time. With high amounts of copper (0.5 milligrams), enchiladas are a great addition to diets as they maintain and strengthen bones and nerve function.
6. Frequently Asked Questions
What is the secret to good enchiladas?
The secret to good enchiladas is to marinate the meat for longer than 15 minutes so the flavors can penetrate well. Don’t undercook your enchiladas – Always wait for the golden hue on the tortillas and cheese before taking them out of the oven.
How do you make real good chicken enchiladas?
The key to making really good chicken enchiladas is by using high-quality ingredients and spices, or better yet, making them at home from scratch. Not only will you be able to increase and decrease the spice levels according to your liking, but it’ll be a much healthier meal, too.
Is it better to cook enchiladas covered or uncovered?
This depends on how you like your enchiladas. But, if you want to nail the traditional recipe, covering them is the way to go. This keeps the tortillas from becoming soggy while maintaining moisture at the same time.
How long do you put chicken enchiladas in oven?
When your enchiladas register a temperature of 160º-165º F, they’re ready to be taken out from the oven. This usually takes 25-35 minutes.