Are you a fan of mouthwatering, cheesy and savory bites? Well, boy oh boy, have I got the perfect recipe for you! Get ready to kick your taste buds into overdrive with my all-time favorite chicken enchiladas recipe. These delicious enchiladas are packed with seasoned shredded chicken and smothered in a garlic-y, spicy enchilada sauce that will leave you begging for seconds (or thirds!). Not only is this recipe easy to make, but with simple ingredients, it’s perfect for anyone who needs an uncomplicated yet impressive meal.
My love for enchiladas goes back to when I was younger and would indulge in them at our family’s favorite Mexican restaurant. Over the years, I experimented with different recipes and techniques to bring my dream enchiladas to life. With every tweak and turn, the flavor profile got stronger and more refined, until I finally landed on this incredibly delicious variation.
In this recipe, I use corn tortillas filled with juicy shredded chicken cooked with onions and garlic that are then rolled up tightly and topped off with a creamy sour cream cheese sauce made from scratch. The enchilada sauce is also homemade using a blend of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, tomato paste, chicken stock and more – giving it a robust, hearty flavor that pairs perfectly with the tender chicken.
This dish has become a staple in my household and it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser whether you’re hosting a party or just want to spice up your weeknight dinners. Trust me; once you taste these cheesy chicken enchiladas – it’ll be hard not to declare it your new favorite recipe too!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I’ve tried a lot of chicken enchilada recipes in my day, but this one stands out as my all-time favorite. You might be thinking, “Pfft, it’s just another chicken enchilada recipe.” But I promise you, this one is different.
First of all, the flavor is out of this world. The combination of savory chicken, tangy enchilada sauce, and melty cheese all wrapped up in a warm tortilla is pure perfection. It’s so good that even my picky eaters who turn their nose up at anything remotely resembling Tex-Mex cuisine devour it without complaint.
Furthermore, it’s incredibly easy to make with simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. No exotic spices or hard-to-find ingredients here! And if you’re running low on time or energy, you can easily customize the recipe by using store-bought rotisserie chicken and canned enchilada sauce instead of cooking everything from scratch.
Finally, this recipe is endlessly customizable. You can swap out the flour tortillas for corn tortillas, add more heat with some diced jalapeños, or make it even cheesier with extra shredded cheese on top. There are so many ways to make it your own.
In conclusion, whether you’re a seasoned home chef or just starting out in the kitchen, this chicken enchilada recipe is sure to become a fast family favorite. So dust off your baking dish and get ready to wow your loved ones with these mouth-watering enchiladas!
Let’s get down to business and gather the simple ingredients needed to make my favorite Chicken Enchiladas recipe. You will need the following:
- 2 pounds chicken breasts, about 3-4
- 18-20 corn tortillas (6-inch)
- 2 cups shredded cheese, preferably Mexican blend
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 can (15 oz) of tomato sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
Choose your favorite toppings, such as chopped fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, sour cream, or sliced jalapenos.
Note that this recipe is versatile, so if you prefer flour tortillas or have a specific cheese preference, go ahead and use those instead. Just make sure to buy enough tortillas to fill a 9×13 inch baking dish layering two to three enchiladas per row.
The Recipe How-To
Let’s get right into it! This recipe makes chicken enchiladas that you will love. The hearty, comforting dish makes for a perfect dinner to serve to your guests or simply as a treat to yourself.
Below is the list of ingredients and the step by step how-to guide on how to make these favorite chicken enchiladas.
Here are the ingredients you will need for 6 servings:
– 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
– 1/2 large onion, chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
– 1 cup sour cream
– 2 cups shredded cheese (I use a mix of cheddar and monterey jack for best melting)
– 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
– 12 soft corn tortillas
To make this recipe, follow these simple steps:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and shredded chicken, chopped onions, minced garlic, and 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce. Mix well.
- Take a tortilla and spoon in about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto one end of the tortilla. Sprinkle some cheese on top and roll tightly. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining enchilada sauce with the tomato sauce and sour cream.
- Add half of the remaining shredded cheese into the sauce mixture.
- Spread about 1/3 of this sauce on the bottom of a baking dish (9×13 inch works well). Arrange rolled tortillas seam-side down in a single layer over the bottom of the dish.
- Pour remaining sauce over tortillas, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Let it cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
This recipe is very flexible! You can use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas if you prefer that texture. Also, using shredded rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own will save you time.
For extra flavor consider adding sliced black olives or diced green chilies into your filling mixture.
This recipe also pairs well with side dishes like Spanish rice or refried beans.
Hope you enjoy making these delicious chicken enchiladas as much as I do!
Substitutions and Variations
Are you looking for ways to switch things up a bit? Well, I’ve got some ideas for alternate ingredients and variations that will add some pizzazz to your favorite chicken enchiladas recipe.
First up, let’s talk about the tortillas. While traditional corn or flour tortillas are the usual suspects, there are a few twists you can try. If you’re counting carbs, try using lettuce leaves instead of tortillas to make enchilada wraps. It’s a lighter, healthier option that won’t leave you feeling weighed down. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also try using plantain or sweet potato slices as tortilla substitutes.
Now onto the fillings. While shredded chicken breast is the go-to option in this recipe, you could also use ground beef, turkey or pork. Or if you’re cooking for vegetarians or vegans, swap out the meat for black beans or crumbled tofu.
How about the sauce? While homemade enchilada sauce is always best and adds authentic flavor to your dish, there are alternative options too. Tomato sauce works well as a non-spicy substitution while cream sauces like sour cream chicken or cream cheese add a different dimension of richness and flavor to your enchiladas.
Lastly, toppings can make all the difference. If you like it spicy, consider adding sliced jalapenos or hot sauce on top of your cheesed-up enchiladas. For extra freshness and crunchiness, add chopped tomatoes or cilantro leaves.
In conclusion, there really is no wrong way to make chicken enchiladas, and substitutions and variations are just the beginning of the culinary adventure that awaits you in the kitchen!
Serving and Pairing
Once you’ve got this killer chicken enchilada recipe nailed down, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to serve and pair it. This dish packs a lot of flavor, so you’ll want to choose your sides and drinks wisely.
First up, let’s talk about sides. It’s always a good idea to have some sort of vegetable or salad to balance out the richness of the enchiladas. A simple mixed greens salad with a tangy vinaigrette would be perfect, or maybe some roasted vegetables seasoned with garlic and cumin. If you’re feeling more ambitious, you could even whip up some homemade guacamole or pico de gallo to serve alongside the enchiladas.
Now let’s move on to drinks. Since this dish has a bit of spice to it, you’ll want something that can cool your palate between bites. A classic margarita would be great (bonus points if you make it from scratch), or maybe a cold Mexican beer. If you want something non-alcoholic, try a refreshing agua fresca made from fresh fruit and water.
And finally, let’s talk about presentation. You could go for a casual vibe and serve everything family-style on large platters; this is especially great if you’re serving a large group. Or, if you want to elevate the experience a bit, plate each enchilada individually with a drizzle of sour cream and some fresh cilantro on top.
No matter how you decide to serve and pair these chicken enchiladas, one thing is for sure: your guests will be impressed by your mad culinary skills. So get cooking!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
One of the great things about my favorite chicken enchiladas recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated easily. This is perfect for those who love to entertain guests, as you can prepare the enchiladas ahead of time and simply pop them in the oven when your guests arrive.
To make ahead, simply follow the recipe up until the baking step, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator while preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). Then bake for around 20-25 minutes until heated through.
Storing leftovers is easy as well. Once cooled, place leftover enchiladas in an airtight container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat either in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for around 10-15 minutes or until just warmed through. Alternatively, microwave on high for one minute at a time until cooked to your liking.
When reheating any dish, it’s important to ensure that it’s heated through thoroughly: cold centers can be hazardous to your health!
While this recipe is made using corn tortillas, which tend to get soggy when refrigerated or frozen, they will still hold up fine if stored for up to three days. If you want to make these in advance or have more leftovers than you know what to do with, try freezing them! Simply freeze the enchiladas before baking and store them in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. To reheat from frozen: bake them covered at 375°F (190°C) for about 40-45 minutes (or until warm throughout), then remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until browned on top.
Whether you’re planning on making this as an easy dinner idea for yourself or as part of a large buffet table at a party, making ahead these enchiladas recipe a game changer!
Tips for Perfect Results
Cooking is not all about following a recipe word-for-word, it’s also about using techniques and getting creative in the kitchen. As someone who has made this chicken enchilada recipe more times than they can count, I have gathered some tips and tricks along the way to help you achieve the perfect result. So, whether it’s your first time making this recipe or you’re a seasoned pro, here are my top tips for making the best chicken enchiladas.
1. Use the Best Melting Cheese
One of the most important ingredients in these enchiladas is the cheese. You want a cheese that will melt beautifully and complement the flavors of the dish. I highly recommend using a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese for the perfect balance.
2. Don’t Skimp on the Sauce
Enchiladas are all about that saucy goodness! While it can be tempting to go easy on the sauce to avoid soggy tortillas, trust me when I say that you need to use plenty of sauce. The tortillas will soak up much of the sauce during baking, making for a deliciously moist and flavorful dish.
3. Use Homemade Enchilada Sauce
While store-bought enchilada sauce will certainly do in a pinch, there really is no substitute for homemade. It’s incredibly easy to make with simple ingredients like tomato sauce, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Plus, it adds an extra layer of flavor that you just can’t get from a can.
4. Shred the Chicken
To ensure even distribution of chicken throughout each enchilada, be sure to shred it. You can use two forks to pull apart cooked chicken breasts or use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed for quick shredding.
5. Roll Them Tight
No one likes sloppy enchiladas with filling leaking out everywhere. To avoid this mess, roll your tortillas tightly around the filling before placing them seam side down in the baking dish.
By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to achieving mouth-watering chicken enchiladas that your guests will rave about!
Now that you’ve learned how to make my favorite chicken enchiladas, you may have some lingering questions. In this section, we’ll dive into frequently asked questions that home chefs often face when making enchiladas. From ingredient swaps to dietary restrictions, I’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure success in the kitchen. So let’s get started and address any doubts or queries you may have!
What is the secret to good enchiladas?
When it comes to making enchiladas, preventing sogginess is key. A surefire way to accomplish this is by briefly frying your tortillas in hot oil before you start assembling them. This creates a protective layer to keep the tortillas from absorbing too much sauce, which can cause them to break down and become mushy. By taking this simple step, you can ensure that your enchiladas are perfectly crunchy and delicious.
How do restaurants keep enchiladas from getting soggy?
When making tortillas, it’s important to ensure they do not become soggy or tear during cooking. A simple step you can take to avoid this is by lightly frying each corn tortilla in your preferred oil for about 10 seconds on each side. This technique will create a protective layer that prevents the tortilla from absorbing too much sauce while also providing an extra burst of flavor. Give it a try and see the difference it makes in your dish!
What is the best melting cheese for enchiladas?
When it comes to selecting the perfect cheese for your enchiladas, I highly recommend going for a Mexican cheese blend that has been shredded. Not only does it offer excellent melting properties, but it also provides a rich and delightful flavor to the dish. For a more rustic feel, consider opting for a cheese blend that consists of four cheese types, namely Montery Jack, Cheddar, Asadero, and Queso Quesadilla Cheese. This combination is the ideal all-around cheese blend that will make your enchiladas burst with flavor.
What kind of tortilla is best for enchiladas?
If you’re making enchiladas and aren’t sure what type of tortillas to use, both corn and flour tortillas are good choices. However, for the best fit in standard pans, go for 7-8 inch flour tortillas or 6-inch corn tortillas. Depending on the recipe, approximately eight tortillas will work well for a 3-quart rectangular casserole dish. Keep this in mind for your upcoming enchilada party on May 28, 2022.
Now that you know how to make my favorite chicken enchiladas recipe, it’s time to heat up your kitchen and get cooking! These enchiladas are sure to impress anyone and everyone. They are easy to make, taste fantastic, and can be customized to suit your preferences.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to the grocery store, grab the necessary ingredients, and start cooking! Whether you’re making them for a family dinner or hosting a gathering with friends, these chicken enchiladas will not disappoint. Trust me, they’ve never failed to please a crowd.
I hope this recipe becomes your new go-to dish for all your party needs. With its perfect balance of flavors and comforting familiarity, it’s bound to become a family favorite. Don’t forget to experiment with different toppings and spices; after all, cooking is all about adding a personal touch!
Have fun in the kitchen and share the love with those around you!
Ll’s Favorite Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
- 2 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1/2 cup Mexican seasoning ($notetemplate1$ , I used the whole recipe minus the red peppers)
- 1 small onion, chopped finely (optional)
- 24 corn tortillas
- 1 1/2 lbs cheese, grated (I use mexican combination or monterey jack)
- 28 ounces red enchilada sauce (I use mild or use medium if you like things hotter, I use El Pato brand)
- 24 ounces sour cream (I have used regular and low-fat)
- oil for frying tortilla
- This recipe uses 2 13x9 pans. 12 enchiladas per pan.
- Bake at 350F for 35 minutes total.
- Put the rub on the chicken. (or marinate the chicken breasts for 30 minutes.).
- Cook the breasts on broil for 5 minutes on each side.
- Let the breasts cool for 15 minutes.
- Chop the chicken breasts finely. Set aside.
- If using onions add them to chicken .
- Combine enchilada sauce and sour cream in large saucepan. Heat on low.
- Soften tortillas on both sides in oil, or steam. I drain torillas on paper towels until used.
- Put 4 serving spoons of sauce in the bottom of pan.
- Dip tortilla into sauce mixture on both sides of tortilla.
- Put tortilla in pan, add 1 heaping serving spoon chicken and then cheese into tortilla.
- Wrap up and proceed with the next 11 tortillas.
- Set this pan aside and proceed with the rest of enchiladas in other pan.
- Divide the leftover sauce over the the enchiladas in both pans.
- Spread the last 8 oz. of grated cheese between the 2 pans. I use approximately 8 oz cheese per pan.
- Cover with foil. At this point I refrigerate one pan for later in the week.
- Bake pan for 20 minutes , then remove foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let set 10 minutes.
- Serve with guacamole.
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!