These are the best Chicken Enchiladas and my family’s go to recipe for a comforting dinner. Flavorful, juicy chicken breast meat cooked with homemade enchilada sauce and all rolled together into a soft, flour tortilla with extra sauce and cheese. Rolled enchiladas are then nestled in more spicy enchilada sauce, covered with more cheese and baked.
There is something so magic about biting into cheesy, spicy, soft chicken enchilada that just melts your heart. No wonder it’s one the the best comfort food fishes out there and it’s certainly a favorite in my house. The second my husband smells the aroma of enchiladas in the air, he comes running.
I’ve been making enchiladas for many years and have make dozens of variations with just chicken alone. I’m not even counting all the beef and seafood enchiladas, and even the breakfast ones. After all these different enchiladas, classic chicken ones are still number one in our heart.
It’s so simple to make and you can take many shortcuts with preparing sauce and chicken ahead of time. You can even prepare the whole enchilada dish ahead of time, just don’t skip the homemade sauce. This homemade sauce is what makes these enchiladas so good. I use the same sauce for my classic enchilada recipes and just make an adjustment for beef or chicken.
I use beef or chicken stock to make the sauce depending on the type of enchiladas. It’s very easy to adjust the spice level in the sauce too. Use more or less chili powder and add a dash of cayenne pepper for spicier sauce. I don’t recommend adding more chipotles is adobo sauce because that makes the sauce more bitter.
TIPS FOR MAKING CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
From start to finish, this dish takes about an hour and 15 minutes to make. It’s not a long time but for a weeknight meal, I like to stick to 30 minutes or less. To save some time, make the sauce ahead and keep it in the fridge, in an air-tight glass jar.
You can also cook chicken ahead or time, shred it, and keep it in an air-tight food storage container, in the refrigerator.
If you’re in a pinch to make chicken enchiladas quickly but don’t have cooked chicken, you can use rotisserie chicken. Just shred the meat and mix in some enchilada sauce with it.
There is usually quite a debate among my readers about which are the best tortillas to use, flour or corn. Personally, I side with the flour tortillas in most enchilada recipes. But there is no need to debate, it all comes down to personal preference. Even though I recommend flour tortillas because they are sturdier and have a better texture, you can absolutely use corn tortillas if that is what you love.
Make It Ahead:
These chicken enchiladas are great to make ahead of time completely. You can follow the recipe all the way to the baking step but instead of baking, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. When ready to bake, take the dish out of the fridge and discard plastic wrap.
Let the dish sit on the counter while the oven is pre-heating or start preheating the oven with the dish in it. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH ENCHILADAS
MORE ENCHILADA RECIPES
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- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1 tbsp adobo sauce from chipotles
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp white granulated sugar
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt more or less per taste
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large chicken breasts)
- 6 soft flour tortillas
- 10 oz shredded Mexican cheese mix
- Preheat a medium sauce pot over medium heat, add oil, and saute onion until softened. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Sprinkle flour over the onion and stir until onions are evenly coated.
- Slowly pour in stock while stirring. Add can of tomatoes and all remaining ingredients. Stir well and bring the mixture to simmer. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Transfer the content of the pot into a food processor and blend well until smooth. The sauce is ready for making enchiladas!
- Preheat oven to 425° and line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Grease the foil and spread a couple of tablespoons of sauce underneath each chicken breast.
- Season each chicken breast with salt and place on top of the sauce. Spread some more sauce over each chicken breast and bake for about 20 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165°.
- Place cooked chicken into a bowl and shred using 2 forks.
- Set the oven to 375° and spread about a cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of the 9×13 greased casserole dish.
- Spread some chicken in the tortilla, in one line. Add a couple tablespoons of sauce and some shredded cheese over the chicken.
- Roll up the tortilla and place rolled tortilla into the casserole dish, seam down.
- Repeat filling the rest of tortillas and rolling them.
- Evenly spread the remaining sauce over each rolled tortilla and generously top it all off with shredded cheese. Bake enchiladas for 17-20 minutes.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on May 2, 2011. Updated January 3, 2020.