This Easy Chicken Enchiladas recipe is one we’ve used time and time again to make the BEST chicken enchiladas. Made with tender chicken cooked in enchilada sauce with onions and peppers, corn or flour tortillas and plenty of cheese.
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These Chicken Enchiladas are a classic Mexican-inspired dish made with shredded chicken and a homemade (no cook!) red enchilada sauce.
This is one of our favorite go-to recipes for an easy weeknight dinner.
You can customize this recipe by spicing it up, with your own meat and vegetable choices, and using any toppings you like. It’s always a hit!
We love Mexican food, and some of our other favorite recipes are this Slow Cooker Three Bean Beef Chili, my Mexican Shepherd’s Pie, and this Dorito Taco Salad. I’ll never claim to recreate authentic Mexican dishes, but I love being inspired by the spices and ingredients and making these dishes my own.
Check out this list of Easy One Pot Meals You’ll Actually Want To Eat for more weeknight dinner ideas!
- Tomatoes: canned crushed tomatoes are perfect for making enchilada sauce, be sure to use ones with no added salt, so you can control the saltiness of the sauce. You’re looking for smooth crushed tomatoes (no chunks) or a plain tomato sauce.
- Seasoning: use garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, dried oregano, kosher salt, and chipotle powder for a flavorful sauce. You can add a pinch of cinnamon if you prefer.
- Sugar: use brown sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes in the sauce if needed. You can use honey if you prefer.
- Oil: use olive oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil to sauté the vegetables.
- Onion: adds a great savory flavor base for this dish.
- Pepper: a green bell pepper will add some color and a burst of freshness to these enchiladas, but you can use a yellow or red pepper if you prefer.
- Chicken: use boneless chicken breast to make the shredded chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs also work well!
- Tortillas: we normally use flour tortillas because we prefer them, but corn tortillas are a more traditional choice. Make sure they’re about 7″ in diameter, or that they fit well in the pan you are using.
- Cheese: use a block of Monterey Jack cheese that you shred yourself for the best flavor (and stretchy cheese!). You can swap this for Mozzarella in a pinch.
- Garnish: use pico de gallo salsa, sour cream, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, or freshly cut lime wedges for garnish.
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas
This recipe is quick and easy to make! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.
- Sauté: Sauté onion and peppers until softened.
- Add chicken and sauce: Add chicken breasts and enchilada sauce, and cook.
- Shred chicken: Remove chicken from pan and shred it, then stir it back into the skillet.
- Assemble enchiladas: Make up the tortillas with chicken and cheese.
- Add to dish: Roll the enchiladas up and put them into the dish with sauce at the bottom.
- Add sauce and cook: Top with sauce and remaining cheese, cook and serve with your favorite toppings!
Chicken Enchilada Recipe FAQs
Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of things, but there’s usually a combination of meat, sauce, beans, vegetables, and cheese. A tomato sauce is typical for enchiladas, but you can make them with a white sauce like in my Cordon Bleu Chicken Enchiladas or a green enchilada sauce.
We don’t usually have leftover enchiladas, but if you do, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven covered in foil, or in the microwave.
Freeze chicken enchiladas in a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly in the refrigerator and heat through in the microwave or oven until piping hot.
Tips and Notes
- Tortillas. Yellow corn tortillas or flour tortillas will work great, although corn tortillas tend to be a little more finicky to work with.
- Sauce: This recipe makes 4 cups of enchilada sauce. To save time you can also use about 4 cups of prepared enchilada sauce.
Chicken Enchiladas Variations
- Meat. Try using a different meat for enchiladas, like my Instant Pot Pulled Pork.
- Vegetables. Swap the bell peppers and onions with other vegetables you enjoy, or add to them. Simply saute whatever you would like to use in the pan before adding the sauce and chicken. This is a great time to add beans as well!
- Beans. Refried beans and black beans are a great way to add more protein to these enchiladas.
- Chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work great as well. You can also substitute this for prepared Shredded Chicken or Crockpot Shredded Chicken if you have some on hand!
- Cheese. Use cheddar cheese, Colby Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend for different flavors.
- Add heat. Make these enchiladas to your preferred spice level, by adding in some cayenne pepper, green chilis, jalapenos, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce to the chicken when cooking it, or to the wraps as you assemble them.
These Chicken Enchiladas are filling and delicious all on their own but served with some sides they can go a bit further and add some variety.
More Mexican-Inspired Dinner Ideas
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Easy Chicken Enchiladas
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes 798 ml, no salt added
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder you can substitute smoked paprika
- brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 1 lb
- 8 medium flour or corn tortillas about 7" in diameter
- 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Garnish pico de gallo salsa, sour cream, cilantro, lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients for enchilada sauce: tomatoes, water, garlic, cumin, onion powder, oregano, salt, and chipotle powder. Taste and adjust to your preferences add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes if needed.
- Heat a little oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring often, until softened. Add chicken breasts and 1 cup of enchilada sauce.
- Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes (it should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F).
- Remove chicken from pan and shred with two forks. Stir the chicken back into the skillet with the vegetables.
- Assemble the enchiladas: Spread 1 cup of sauce at the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Microwave tortillas for 30 seconds or until warm. This makes them more pliable.
- Divide the chicken mixture and half of the cheese between 8 tortillas and roll up tightly. Place in prepared pan.
- Top with sauce (you may not use it all — use as much as you like!) and remaining cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
- Top with preferred garnishes and serve.
- Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven covered in foil, or in the microwave.
- Freeze: Freeze chicken enchiladas in a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly in the refrigerator and heat through in the microwave or oven until piping hot.
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