Today’s Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe is the only chicken enchilada recipe you’ll need from now until eternity. Tender and flavorful shredded chicken is stuffed into corn tortillas along with a little bit of cheese, smothered in an easy homemade enchilada sauce, and covered in more freshly shredded cheese. They’re popped into a hot oven just until the cheese melts, and served with your favorite Mexican condiments. 

 

Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Ok, I honestly can’t get enough of enchiladas, and it shows. We have so many twists on enchiladas including these Creamy Hatch Peppers and Beef Enchiladas, these INSANE Shredded Beef Enchiladas, and these Breakfast Enchiladas. 

If you’re looking for a healthier options when it comes to enchiladas, this Cheesy Mexican Quinoa is a great option! 

All of the aforementioned are twists on traditional enchiladas – a little more upscale if you will. Today we’re going the opposite directions, because we’re going back to the basics. Delicious and simple, chicken enchiladas.

These easy chicken enchiladas are packed with tender shredded chicken, a little bit of shredded cheese and then rolled into corn tortillas. The enchiladas are smothered in a super easy homemade enchilada sauce made from pretty basic ingredients, covered in cheese, and baked until gooey and bubbly.

The secret to The Best Chicken Enchiladas

Ok, these aren’t really secrets per se, but when you’re making something as simple as chicken enchiladas, each component needs to be delicious. Here’s what I do:

  • Cook your own chicken. Yes, you could use rotisserie chicken, and yes they would still be good. However, poaching your chicken breasts in a flavorful broth not only makes the chicken nice and moist, but infuses it with so much flavor. 
  • Make your own enchilada sauce! I never ever buy canned enchilada sauce. Why? Because homemade tastes SO much better, and it’s so easy to make! 
  • For authentic chicken enchiladas, use corn tortillas. I know they tend to break easily, but if you follow our tips and ticks, you’ll end up with perfect enchiladas every time! 

How to make homemade enchilada sauce

Here’s the ingredients you’ll need: 

  • olive oil or canola oil
  • onion 
  • garlic
  • tomato paste 
  • chicken stock 
  • spices: coriander, chili powder, salt, sugar, chipotle chili powder (optional), oregano
  • apple cider vinegar

Start by sweating the onion and garlic in the oil, then add in tomato paste. Cook for a minute or two, then whisk in chicken stock, spices, and apple cider vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes until it’s thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. It’s that easy! 

Garnishes for Mexican Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

  • sour cream
  • cilantro 
  • black olives
  • tomatoes
  • jalapeños 

Should I use corn tortillas or flour tortillas? 

So we do both. My husband and kids prefer flour tortillas, but traditionally, you use corn tortillas. I like them both equally! Flour tortillas hold together a little bit better, and corn tortillas have a tendency to fall a part somewhat.

Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success

  • If you have leftover chicken, you can use that. Or, if you really don’t want to cook your own chicken, you can use a rotisserie
  • Do not over cook the chicken! The whole point of cooking it yourself, is so it stay tender and moist. Overcooking it will give you dry chicken. 
  • Toss a little bit of the enchilada sauce with the chicken to keep it moist throughout baking. 
  • Dredge corn tortillas in hot oil to keep them from tearing during the rolling and baking process. You don’t want them to fry, you just want the hot oil to soften the tortilla. 
  • If you don’t like corn tortillas, you can easily use flour tortillas. 
  • Use a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack or just co-jack cheese. Either will work! 

What to serve with the Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe

  • This Authentic Mexican Rice looks awesome. Plus, it’s the perfect carb-y side to cheesy enchiladas. 
  • This chorizo fundido would be a great precursor to the meal. I’m always up for a cheesy Mexican app! 
  • A Mexican meal isn’t completely without a big bowl of guacamole, and this goat cheese avocado dip always hits the spot! 

Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Today’s Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe is the only chicken enchilada recipe you’ll need from now until eternity. Tender and flavorful shredded chicken is stuffed into corn tortillas along with a little bit of cheese, smothered in an easy homemade enchilada sauce, and covered in more freshly shredded cheese. They’re popped into a hot oven just until the cheese melts, and served with your favorite Mexican condiments. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Calories 413 kcal
Author Nicole

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts (1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • enchilada sauce (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • sour cream and cilantro for serving
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (if using corn tortillas)
  • 8 corn or flour tortillas

Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 4 oz tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • pinch sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x12 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. Place chicken in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add onon, garlic, bay leaves, carrot, and celery. Season with a few teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 8-10. minutes. Remove chicken from the cooking liquid and cool until it's easy enough to handle. Shred chicken and discard liquid and veggies in the liquid.

  3. While the chicken cooks, make the enchilada sauce. Heat a medium saucepan to a medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil and garlic. Saute until slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock. Add chili powder, chipotle powder, oregano, coriander, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened.

  4. Transfer chicken to a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and toss until coated.

  5. Spoon enough enchilada sauce into the casserole dish to lightly coat the bottom.

  6. Mix cheese together in a small bowl or on a cutting board.

  7. If using corn tortillas, add canola oil to a medium skillet. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Use tongs to pull the corn tortillas through the oil until pliable. Place chicken filling in the tortilla and then sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up and place in the casserole dish, seam-side down. Continue with remaining tortillas. If using flour tortillas, simply roll and skip the oil.

  8. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts
Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 413 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 85mg28%
Sodium 816mg35%
Potassium 714mg20%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 3044IU61%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 330mg33%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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