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.
Do you think this recipe would work if I used gluten free lasagna noodles and layered like a lasagna?
It may, but I cannot say for sure without having tested it myself. If you decide to give it a try, let me know how it turns out.
Great recipe Kristine! Thanks for sharing. ? I wish I could upload some photos of the enchiladas.
I made the homemade enchilada sauce also & I added mozzarella inside when rolling. I roasted a chicken the night before with some smoked chipotle paprika & other spices & shredded the whole chicken in the morning. I upped the recipe a little & made 10 larger enchiladas.
They are THE hit of the day! Easy to follow, prep, & cook/bake.
This is a really great recipe! I used 1 cup more of shredded chicken and about a half cup more of sauce. I omitted the beans and served pinto on the side, but added black olives. I love the added flavors of the chili powder, cumin, and oregano mixed with the filling. Thank you for a great recipe that will now be part of my rotation!
I made this today!!! Love it!! I added a lot of garlic and onions the beans and love the flavors! Thank you ! I added mozzarella on top
Your recipe for chicken enchiladas was amazing. Who would buy enchilada sauce when you provided a great tasting AND easy recipe. I poached the chicken and then followed your instructions. No need to upgrade? Or add? This was perfect. Thank you.
This recipe was delicious! The slow cooked chicken and homemade enchilada sauce really made it awesome. My family just gobbled it up! I was wondering though, to freeze this, do I add the enchilada sauce and cheese prior to freezing?
I am glad you enjoyed this recipe. Yes, I add the sauce and cheese before freezing.
This was so good. I used her sauce and my family loved it. Definitely a keeper recipe.
This was soooo good. Have made it several times for friends and family. Everyone asks for the recipe. Thank you!!!
This was a hit at my house. And thanks for the enchilada sauce recipe too! We can’t get it where we are, but I found the ingredients to make it.
Made these excellent shared with two neighbors, they loved them.
Great recipe!!! I made this tonight for supper and my family and sister scarfed it down! It was absolutely delicious!!
It was great. My son absolutely loved it. That fills my heart!
This recipe is fantastic!! I’m making a pan for a friend, but her daughter is vegetarian so I wanted to make a pan of cheese enchiladas too. Anything different I have to do besides add more cheese in place of the chicken? Thank you for any suggestions you might have.
I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! I think these would work great with more cheese in place of the chicken. I wouldn’t do anything else different.
Very tasty and easy to make. I used Whole Foods rotisserie chicken.
I’ve made this a few times and we love it!! The only thing I don’t put in is the black beans, we don’t care for them, and the corn just because. I also used a roasted chicken from Publix. Thanks for the recipe!! ❤️
Oh my gosh!! I just made this for supper ( minus the beans) and it is so scrumptious and delicious!!! Hubby loves it too!! Thank you for the recipe and we will be enjoying it many more times!!
Great recipe. So easy. I have enjoyed all your recipes I have tried. I used two 10oz cans of enchilada sauce. We like them sauces. 🙂
Can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you use normal size tortillas or large burrito size?
I use normal taco size. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
If I make them the night before, should I wait and put the sauce and cheeses on the top right before putting in the oven, worried they will get soggy if I put sauce on top night before?
Hi Marcia, I think either way will be fine. I usually just put the sauce and cheese on right away if I’m making these ahead. I hope you enjoy them!
I made this recipe today.. BEST enchilada recipe yet.. it was delicious.. I just changed one thing different.. after I mixed all ingredients on stove top I simmer them all together for about 5 minutes to let the flavor get more infused in the shredded chicken..
Great recipe. Easy too! I made it with your enchilada sauce and homemade tortillas.
Delish! Did everything except the chili powder. Very yum! I used half corn and half flour tortillas. Both were good. My girls like flour and my hubs and I like corn. We dip the tortillas in enchilada sauce before rolling so they stay moist, so we ended up using a bit more sauce (like 2 cans total). Thanks for the recipe!
This was legit the best enchilada recipe I have found! Thank you so much! I made the chicken in the crockpot, shredded it and then added all the stuff to the crockpot, instead of to the pan, on warm setting so the flavors could mingle. Sauteed the onions and garlic as directed and then added to crockpot with the rest of the stuff. Just spooned the mixture from there to the tortillas and it was so easy! SO good, will definitely be my go-to recipe for enchiladas!!
I never really leave a comment, but this recipe is so good I just had to!
This is a wonderful recipe, together with the enchilada sauce! This is the second time making this dish. I added bell peppers for some extra veggies.
A side note: I do think the chili powder in the Netherlands is a lot spicier (2 tbsp in the enchilada sauce recipe). Luckily my husband and I love spicy!
Made them and they are delicious. Changed nothing. I thought mine looked more like burritos, I used 8 in tortillas and wrapped tightly but I wonder if they are too thick?
Anyway hubby loves them.
I have been making chicken enchiladas since my children were young. They are now 25 and 26. They were coming to dinner one night recently and asked for chicken enchiladas, so I decided to review a few recipes. This one sounded good and had good reviews. Well…. my children said…. These are the best enchiladas you have ever made. I agree. Won’t use any other recipe in the future! Absolutely delicious!
I submitted the previous comment and for got to hit 5 stars. I would give it a 10 plus if that choice was available! Thank you for sharing!
Flavor is absolutely amazing! I made these for a church dinner so I multiplied it by 10! Was given high ratings on these, even had folks say they tasted like they came right out of a Mexican restaurant. Only thing I did differently was added whole kernel sweet corn, same amount as the beans. Served with white rice and refried beans. Lots of happy folks when they were done. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
Love this recipe! The chicken enchiladas were easy to prepare and super tasty. Will add this recipe to our dinner rotation. I am looking forward to trying your other recipes.
These were really good. I used flour tortillas but want to try corn next time. There are only 2 of us, so I made two pans (4 each) & still had 1 leftover. I froze the other pan for another night when I don’t feel like cooking!
Thanks for sharing your recipe!
I made the chicken enchiladas a few days ago and they were delicious! I normally use a different recipe, but thought I’d give this one a try. Amazing and this is the recipe I’ll use from now on. I’m not a big fan of black beans, so I think I might use refried beans next time. Excellent recipe!
How hot is the oven?
You bake the enchiladas at 350 degrees F.
This is a wonderful enchilada recipe. It satisfies everyone in my family, and is easy to prepare!
Thanks for the tips and clues, for making this superb. I made it for St. Patrick’s day and it was delicious, thanks again and I will follow this recipe whenever I make these now. Love the favor ………❤️❤️❤️❤️😇😇😇😇👍👌
FANTASTIC!!! The flavors of all of the ingredients were perfectly tasty. The cooking time was spot on. I’ll definitely make those again & again.
I have a lot of ground chicken in the freezer. Could I use this instead of shredded roast chicken?
Yes, just brown the ground chicken in a skillet until cooked through. Enjoy!
This is by far the very best enchilada sauce I have ever made…my husband agrees 100%. It is simple, without any exotic or expensive ingredients. I’ve been making enchiladas for over 50 years, and these were the best yet! Delicious,
Easy and tasty. I used more cheese and topped with cilantro.
Made these for a group. Used the enchilada sauce recipe and the crockpot shredded chicken recipe that are linked- made both the night before (both were crazy easy to prepare). These were delicious! Well deserving of all the 5 star reviews. I will be saving this recipe and using it over & over again.
can you use refried beans in place of black beans in the filling?
Yes, but you may want to spread them on the tortillas instead of mixing them into the skillet.
My husband an I loved this recipe. The homemade enchilada sauce is easy to make and definitely makes a difference.
Hey I plan on making this recipe for Easter, my mom though has an allergy to beans, any ideas for replacements? If not I’ll just opt it out.
Hi, You can leave out the beans. Enjoy!
Great recipe! I used shredded fresh ham roast instead of chicken. They turned out great. Your enchilada sauce recipe is spot on too. Thanks!
Delicious! This is a family favorite!
These were easy! I don’t know about the final product yet, it’s in the freezer for after new grandbaby is born! But question, do you drain the green chilies? Most recipes call for that, so I did. But maybe I should have added the juice? The filling sure is yummie though!
Hi Susan, I don’t drain the green chiles. I’m sure they will be fine either way, though!
When I make enchiladas I cook the corn tortillas in oil less minutes in the oil then when i make tacos it’s worth the time so they can roll easy
Excellent! These enchiladas are so flavorful and delicious. I add about a 1/2 cup of diced green bell pepper to the mix too. My family goes nuts for these!
I just made these and they are delicious. I didn’t have any black beans but still turned out great.
Made this tonight. Absolute yumminess! Used already cooked chicken. However, my laptop was low on charge so I was running back and forth to check the laptop/recipe. I didn’t see the ‘put enchilada sauce on GREASED pan’. I personally would’ve preferred a step of ‘spray pam or grease the pan you are going to use’. We got most of it out of the pan.
This was so easy and delicious! My family loved it! Next time I would add a little more enchilada sauce as it was a little dry.
The corn tortillas add a different layer of flavor. You get that nice masa taste to them. To keep them from falling apart on you just get a pan with a little oil in it and fry them briefly. Not enough to make them crispy, the hot oil will make them swell a little and makes them pliable. Also, be sure to use Mexican Oregano. There is a difference between it and the Italian variety. Two different plants and for that authentic Mexican flavor you need to use the correct seasoning. Great recipe, easy to throw together and very tasty.
My mother used to make pan enchiladas which is lasagna style. You add the tortillas in layers with the filling between the layers. She also added black olives and no beans. We always had a pot of beans in the house so those went on the side.
Yummy but the recipe amounts are off. I didn’t have enough filling for 8 large tortillas. Also, I made 2 cups of enchilada sauce and still didn’t seem like enough. Will make a note to adjust next time.
Excellent recipe! Made a double batch and put one in freezer for quick meal later. Served Mexican Street Corn as a side.
Subbed out beans for whole kernel corn. Still turned out perfect!
I made these for a casual dinner with friends, we all loved them, definitely will be making these again. I loved the sauce, just the right amount of spice. I cooked the chicken with some broth in the slow cooker and shredded the day before. About 3 hours ahead I then made the sauce and assembled them and held in the fridge. Then just put them in the oven once the guests arrived. So easy and stress free.
Made this twice. It’s my go to enchilada recipe now. My kids love it too. I follow the recipe exactly. I serve it with spanish rice.