A closeup shot of a colorful enchilada, from the blog post, easy chicken enchilada recipe.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Hello friends! Today, I’m sharing my family’s all-time favorite, fast and easy chicken enchilada recipe. I have made this delicious recipe countless times for our friends & family. It’s always well received and quickly devoured.

It’s especially perfect for a weeknight dinner when you are short on time. Really it’s that simple. But when you do have more time, it is totally customizable.

You can improve the nutritional value by adding your favorite fillings or making the enchilada sauce from scratch. I know that your family will love this recipe too!

Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas

Who doesn’t love an easy recipe? To make this recipe faster and one step easier, I use a rotisserie chicken. Simply remove the meat, cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, and toss it in the mix.

To speed things up even further, I buy a pack of pre-shredded rotisserie chicken. Many grocery stores, as well as Costco, sell this in the deli area.

They do cost more, but if you are busy, maybe working full-time and wrangling kids, it can be a lifesaver. Or if you are lazy, like I am sometimes, I can rationalize it’s healthier than fast-food!

FAQ

Below are answers to our most common enchilada questions.

What is an enchilada?

Originating in Mexico, enchiladas are a flour or corn tortilla rolled filled and covered with a savory sauce.

They are commonly filled with a mixture of ingredients, which may include meats, vegetables, beans, potatoes, and cheeses.

What is the difference between an enchilada and a burrito?

The main difference between enchiladas and burritos is that enchiladas are typically made with corn tortillas, and burritos are made with flour.

Another distinction between the two is that you eat enchiladas with a fork. Enchiladas are covered in sauce and a bit messy. Burritos can be held in your hand like a taco.

How do you make chicken enchiladas that aren’t soggy?

To avoid soggy enchiladas, do not cover them in an excessive amount of enchilada sauce before putting them in the oven. This allows the heat to crisp them up during cooking. Also, allow them to cook uncovered for all or part of the baking time.

If you prefer super crisp enchiladas, you can fry tortillas briefly in oil before filling them. In a skillet over medium-high heat, using a little oil, fry for approximately 10 seconds per side until they start to get golden brown and crisp.

If you follow this recipe, your enchiladas will not be soggy.

A baked pan of enchiladas, from the blog post, easy chicken enchilada recipe.

Can enchiladas be made ahead of time?

To make enchiladas ahead of time, fill and wrap them, but do not top with sauce or cheese. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap, top with sauce, cheese, and dot with sour cream. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, bubbly, and cooked through.

Can enchiladas be reheated?

You can reheat enchiladas in the microwave, in a toaster, or regular oven. There will be slightly different results with each.

If you prefer a tender tortilla texture with quicker results, use the microwave.

To achieve a slightly crisp or chewy texture, use an oven. Put the enchiladas in an oven-safe baking dish and bake for 10-20 minutes. To retain more softness, you can also cover for the first 10 minutes with aluminum foil, then uncover for 5-10 minutes.

Can enchiladas be frozen?

To freeze enchiladas, simply cover them tightly with a layer of plastic wrap, then again with aluminum foil.

Freeze up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake, remove the foil and plastic wrap. Cover again with the aluminum foil and bake them for 30 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for an extra 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.

Enchilada Substitutions

It is easy to make this recipe healthier by changing up a few of your ingredients. Increase the nutritional value, try these alternatives.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

You can use homemade enchiladas sauce versus using a canned sauce.

Try this enchilada sauce recipe. It makes about the same amount as a 19 oz. can and it gets high ratings.

Add Vegetables

Try adding your favorite fresh vegetables to the mix; fresh onions, sliced red, green, poblano peppers, or spinach would be delicious additions.

Switch up your protein

Cook your own fresh diced chicken breast to replace the prepared rotisserie chicken.

I typically make these enchiladas with chicken, but they are delicious with ground beef too. You might also try shredded beef, carnitas, or turkey.

Gluten-free Enchiladas

To make this a gluten-friendly meal, you can use gluten-free tortillas, corn, or flour. Also, make your own sauce, but use gluten-free flour in the recipe.

Adding More Flavor to Enchiladas

To boost the flavor varieties or heat, try these yummy additions.

Mexican Spice

Add more heat to this dish with your favorite seasonings.

You can also spice these babies up as much as your little heart desires. Try adding a bit of red cayenne pepper, chipotle sauce, adobo sauce, adobo spices, or a Mexican hot sauce.

Enchilada Add-ins

Add more fresh vegetables as I mentioned above. This will add lots of authentic Mexican flavor.

Enchilada Toppings

I love to top the enchiladas with all of my favorites; these include, jalapeño, cilantro, diced fresh tomatoes, sour cream, and more cheese.

Enchiladas Toppings

Here’s my favorite part, topping my enchiladas! I love making them tasty and pretty too. Below are my go-to toppings.

Cilantro
Diced Avocado
Sliced radishes
Guacamole
Sliced Jalapeños
Pickled Jalapeños
Sliced Green Onions
Chopped Red Onion
Diced Tomatoes
Pico de Gallo
More Mexican-blend Cheese
Crumbled Cotija Cheese
Mexican Crema
Lime wedges

Lettuce
Salsa

What to serve with Enchiladas

You can serve enchiladas with so much goodness!

Below, are common American ideas, but I am certain the list is much longer if you are from Mexico!

Refried beans
Black beans
Chips and Salsa
Mexican Rice
Mexican Corn

How to Make Enchiladas

Without further ado, here is the easy-peasey recipe. You will likely memorize it. It’s that easy! Enjoy.

Print
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A closeup shot of an enchilada, from the blog post, easy chicken enchilada recipe.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe


  • Author: Cindy Munson
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

This is a delicious, easy, and quick family weeknight dinner. Kids love it! You can use a canned enchilada sauce or make one from scratch. Add as many toppings as you like.


Ingredients

Scale

2 cups Mexican-blend cheese, shredded, divided

1 can (19 oz.) red enchilada sauce

1 can (4 oz. each) chopped green chiles

1 cup sour cream, divided

1 tsp ground cumin

4 cups cooked chicken, one rotisserie chicken, shredded

128 inch flour tortillas

Oil (I use avocado oil)

Toppings, optional (tomatoes, guacamole, cilantro, green onions, avocado, etc.)


Instructions

Preheat oven to 400° F.

In a large bowl, add 1 cup cheese, 1/2 of the can (10 oz) of enchilada sauce, all of the chiles, 1/2 cup of sour cream, all sugar, and cumin. Stir to combine. Next, toss in the cooked chicken and stir.  

Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of filling. Roll, and place seam-side down in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Repeat the process until all ingredients have been used. 

Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the enchiladas, dot with the remaining sour cream, followed by the rest of the cheese.

Bake uncovered in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until enchiladas are cooked through, golden, the tortillas are slightly crispy,  and sauce is bubbling.

Remove from the oven and serve while warm. Top with your favorite toppings.

Notes

We prefer a higher filling to tortilla ratio. So I am very generous when I add my filling. If I make this for 2-4 people, I use approximately 3/4 cups for each tortilla until the filling runs out.

If you are feeding more than 4 people, measure 1/3 cup; you will get more enchiladas out of the recipe.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days, or freeze up to 3 months. If freezing them, let the enchiladas thaw in your refrigerator for 24 hours, then bake as directed.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: easy chicken enchilada recipe, chicken enchilada recipe, chicken enchiladas, easy chicken enchiladas, enchiladas

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6 comments on “Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe

  1. This is an excellent recipe! Fast & easy. We gobbled it up. I’ll be putting this in regular rotation. Thanks

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