The Best Chicken Enchiladas
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
The BEST Chicken Enchiladas! These easy chicken enchiladas have a delicious chicken and cheese filling with homemade enchilada sauce. They are full of flavor and perfect for a family dinner or feeding a crowd!
Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe
I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to share my chicken enchilada recipe! Chicken enchiladas are one of our favorite dinners, and we make them all the time. If you love enchiladas too, try my beef enchiladas, vegetarian enchiladas, and avocado enchiladas.
These homemade enchiladas are cheesy and stuffed with a flavorful chicken and black bean filling. They are the absolute best when you make them with my easy homemade enchilada sauce.
Cheesy, saucy enchiladas are easier to make than you might think! This recipe comes together quickly, even if you make homemade enchilada sauce and cook the chicken yourself. Which I highly recommend you do for the most flavorful enchiladas!
If you’re really short on time you can use store bought enchilada sauce and rotisserie chicken. Or try my enchilada casserole, the easiest way to make enchiladas.
Chicken enchiladas are one of my favorite make ahead meals. They taste even better on the second day, and they freeze beautifully. If you’re looking for a meal to bring to a family with a new baby or a friend in need, these enchiladas are perfect!
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas
Here is a quick overview of the simple steps to making enchiladas. Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients and instructions.
- Make the enchilada sauce, or use store-bought sauce.
- Cook and shred the chicken. You can also use rotisserie chicken.
- Make the enchilada filling. Sauté onion and garlic, and then combine with the other filling ingredients.
- Fill and roll the enchiladas.
- Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melty, about 20 minutes. Then enjoy with your favorite toppings!
I highly recommend making my homemade enchilada sauce for this recipe. It’s quick to make with pantry ingredients. To make the sauce, you’ll sauté some garlic in olive oil. Then you add the remaining ingredients to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. You can make it more or less spicy, depending on your tastes.
How to Cook Chicken for Enchiladas
My favorite way to cook chicken for enchiladas is to use my Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe. It’s fast, easy and hands-off. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, this Crockpot Shredded Chicken is also a good option, but you do have to plan ahead because the slow cooker takes more time. You can also chop or shred Baked Chicken to use in the enchiladas.
If you want to cook your chicken on the stove, my favorite method is to poach the chicken. To do this, you put the chicken in a pot and add enough water to cover the chicken. You can add herbs, a bay leaf, garlic cloves, and/or onion slices to the pot for flavor, if desired. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the chicken is cooked through to 165° F on an instant-read thermometer.
If you are short on time and want to skip a step, you can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe. Whichever method you choose, here are my tips for how to shred chicken.
Should I use Corn Tortillas or Flour Tortillas?
Corn tortillas are traditional for enchiladas, but I prefer flour tortillas because they are easier to roll up and they hold their shape well. I find that corn tortillas fall apart easily. This question is really one of personal tastes though, so use what you prefer.
To make tortillas more pliable and easier to roll, you can warm them in the microwave, layered between two damp paper towels. Dipping corn tortillas in enchilada sauce can also make them easier to roll without tearing.
What to Serve with Enchiladas
Here are some suggestions for enchilada toppings:
On the side, we like to serve these with our enchiladas:
Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe Tips
- I like to use a combination of cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese in this recipe. You can use just one type of cheese, or Mexican cheese blend also works well.
- When you put the filling down the middle of the tortillas, put it slightly to the side of the center of the tortilla. This makes it easier to roll the enchiladas tightly.
- Enchiladas are a great make ahead meal. You can assemble the enchiladas up to one day before baking (keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake them). You can also freeze a pan of enchiladas before baking, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then bake as directed in the recipe.
- Leftover baked enchiladas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw if frozen, and reheat until steaming hot. I prefer the microwave for reheating.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken*
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups enchilada sauce, (about 12 ounces) homemade or store-bought
- 12 ounces shredded cheese, (about 3 cups) cheddar, Monterey jack, Mexican cheese blend, or a combination
- 8 large flour tortillas
- Optional, for serving: fresh cilantro, chopped green or red onion, sour cream, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
Make Enchilada Filling:
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
- Add the cooked chicken, black beans, diced green chiles, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, salt and ½ cup of enchilada sauce to the skillet. Stir until well combined.
Assemble the Enchiladas:
- Spread ½ cup of enchilada sauce over the bottom of a greased 13x9-inch baking dish. To assemble each enchilada, take one of the tortillas and put ½ cup of the chicken and bean mixture down the middle of the tortilla, slightly to the side of the center. Top with ⅓ cup of cheese.
- Roll up the tortilla as tightly as you can. Put the enchilada, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, enchilada filling and cheese.
- Spread the remaining sauce over the tops of the enchiladas. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
- Bake enchiladas for 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Let rest for 5 minutes and then serve, with toppings as desired.
- You can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe, or cook the chicken yourself. I recommend my Instant Pot Shredded Chicken and Crockpot Shredded Chicken recipes.
- Leftover baked enchiladas may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw if frozen, and reheat until steaming hot. I prefer the microwave for reheating.
- You can assemble the enchiladas up to one day before baking. Store them in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake them. You can also freeze a pan of enchiladas before baking, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then bake as directed in the recipe.