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Easy chicken enchiladas are a perfect weeknight dinner! Stuffed with cheese, pulled chicken, black beans, and corn, smothered in a zesty red sauce, and baked until warm and crisp, the Mexican-inspired dish is delicious alongside tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, and rice.

Overhead shot of easy chicken enchiladas on a table.
Table of Contents
  1. How to Make Chicken Enchiladas | 1-Minute Video
  2. Why You’ll Love this Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. Directions
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. Preparation and Storage Tips
  7. Recipe Variations
  8. Expert Tips
  9. Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

If you love enchiladas, be sure to try these ground beef enchiladas, a pan of easy vegetarian enchiladas, and this 4-ingredient easy beef enchilada casserole, too!

How to Make Chicken Enchiladas | 1-Minute Video

These are absolutely delicious and so easy!

– Cheryl
Horizontal side shot of hands holding a pan of easy chicken enchiladas.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Easy. You just can’t beat the convenience of a flavorful pan of homemade enchiladas! As much as we’d love to enjoy traditional enchiladas from local Mexican restaurants every time we’re craving the cuisine, it’s great to have an easy recipe on hand for a tasty dinner at home. You don’t need any hard-to-find or fancy ingredients, and the assembly process is simple.
  • Make Ahead. Whether you’re prepping ahead for a busy week, stashing meals in the freezer for a postpartum period, or just making dinner during your toddler’s nap time, prep-ahead dinners make life easier. Since these enchiladas can be assembled in advance, I’ve shared them with friends who have welcomed a new baby, and I’ve prepared them as a freezer meal for my parents when my mom was recovering from surgery. Every time, they get rave reviews.
  • Affordable. Canned beans, canned corn, and budget-friendly chicken makes this recipe an affordable way to satisfy a hungry family.
Filling for chicken enchiladas in a cast iron skillet.

What are Enchiladas?

A traditional enchilada is a corn tortilla that’s rolled around a filling of meat, potatoes, beans, vegetables, or cheese and covered with a savory sauce. Enchiladas originated in Mexico and are popular throughout the southwestern United States.

There are many different varieties of enchiladas, stuffed with everything from beans and cheese to vegetables, potatoes, beef, chicken, and seafood. This recipe calls for shredded chicken, black beans, corn, onion, garlic, and spices, along with two different types of cheese and red enchilada sauce.

Process shot showing how to make easy chicken enchiladas.

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for this easy chicken enchilada recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive oil: to sauté the onion and garlic
  • Onion and garlic: for added flavor in the filling.
  • Shredded chicken: I typically use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken for a shortcut. If you prefer, you can boil your own chicken at home to use in this recipe. To do so, you’ll need to start with about 1 ½ lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with two forks. For even more flavor, season the chicken with taco seasoning like I do for my easy chicken burrito recipe.
  • Enchilada sauce: I use this traditional red enchilada sauce, but you can substitute with green enchilada verde sauce if you prefer. If you have some extra time, prepare a batch of easy homemade enchilada sauce for this recipe. You’ll need a total of about 2 ¼ cups.
  • Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese: this combination gives you the sharp flavor of the cheddar and the gooey, melty quality of the Monterey Jack. Sub with pepper jack cheese if you like. For a more traditional Mexican cheese mixture for your enchiladas, try asadero and queso quesadilla cheeses mixed with cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. You could also top the enchiladas with crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco.
  • Black beans: drained and rinsed. Substitute pink beans or pinto beans for the black beans. Alternatively, omit the beans and substitute with about 1 ½ cups of additional chicken or corn. You can also replace the beans with 1 ½ cups of cooked rice.
  • Mexican-style corn: this typically includes red and green peppers for a little bit more flavor and color. You can substitute with regular canned corn or thawed frozen corn.
  • Cumin, chili powder, kosher salt, and pepper: for even more flavor!
  • Tortillas: I prefer flour tortillas because they’re easier to work with, but corn tortillas are also a great option.
  • Optional enchilada toppings: sliced green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped red onion, diced avocado or guacamole, sour cream, lime wedges.
Pan of easy chicken enchiladas before baking.

Directions

Unlike tacos or fajitas, which both require last-minute prep and attention, these easy chicken enchiladas can be assembled in advance for a convenient last-minute dinner when you rush in the door at night. You’ll find detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  1. Cook the filling.
  2. Roll the filling in the tortillas.
  3. Arrange the tortillas seam-side down in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with a little bit of sauce in the bottom.
  4. Pour enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake the enchiladas until heated through and the edges of the tortillas are a bit crispy.
  6. Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve warm.
Horizontal front shot of easy chicken enchiladas in a baking dish.

Made these tonight. Excellent, my family loved them

– Lisa

Serving Suggestions

The easy chicken enchiladas pair well with black bean and corn salad, easy Spanish rice (Mexican rice), refried beans, a simple green salad, easy pico de gallo, Mexican cornbread, and tortilla chips with salsaguacamole, or queso.

Square overhead shot of easy chicken enchiladas on a rustic wooden table.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: This is a great make-ahead dinner. You can assemble the enchiladas up to 24 hours in advance and keep them covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • How to Freeze: You can freeze the chicken enchiladas before baking. Wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, the assembled dish will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, allow the enchiladas to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake according to recipe instructions. Alternatively, if the enchiladas are in a freezer-to-oven-safe dish, you can bake them directly from the freezer. Cover the dish with foil and bake the frozen enchiladas covered in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes, then remove the cover and continue baking for about 20 more minutes (or until heated through).
  • Storage: Leftover enchiladas will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • How to Reheat: If reheating an entire pan of enchiladas, cover the dish loosely with foil and bake in a 350°F oven until warmed through (about 20 minutes). Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Square front shot of easy chicken enchiladas in a baking dish.

Recipe Variations

  • Use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. You’ll need to warm the corn tortillas before rolling them (so that they don’t fall apart). To do so, wrap a stack of tortillas in damp paper towels. Microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute or until the tortillas are soft and flexible.
  • For an extra kick and flavor, add a can of diced green chilies to the chicken mixture.
  • Make the enchiladas spicy with some jalapenos on top or some cayenne in the filling.
  • Get creative with your filling, or try these ground beef enchiladas and these vegetarian enchiladas, too!
Square side shot of a pan of easy chicken enchiladas.

Expert Tips

  • Add the enchilada sauce on top before baking.
  • The flour tortillas will naturally soften in the sauce. If you don’t like this texture, you can briefly pan-fry your tortillas in hot oil before filling and rolling. This is an extra step that we don’t find necessary, but it does create a bit of a barrier so that the tortillas don’t soak up as much of the sauce.
  • You can cook enchiladas covered or uncovered. If you’re baking cold or thawed chicken enchiladas made ahead of time, covering them with aluminum foil can help speed up the baking time. Uncover them for the last 10 minutes of baking so the cheese can brown and crisp up. If baking them uncovered, keep an eye on the top of the enchiladas to ensure the cheese doesn’t burn.
  • Bake the enchiladas just until warmed through (this takes about 20 minutes, but every oven is slightly different). The sauce should be hot and bubbly, and the edges of the tortillas should be crisp. Keep an eye on them because you don’t want them to burn.
  • For truly the best chicken enchilada recipe, set out an enchilada toppings bar in little bowls and let your family members garnish their plates with all of their favorites! There are so many delicious options, including onions, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and lime.

This was really good and so easy using a rotisserie chicken. Everyone liked it and my crew is pretty picky.

– Michelle
Overhead image of a pan of easy chicken enchiladas.

More Chicken Enchilada Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of easy chicken enchiladas on a rustic wooden table.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

5 from 7 votes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 323 kcal
Quick and easy homemade chicken enchiladas baked in a zesty red sauce and topped with shredded cheese, green and red onions, and fresh cilantro!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ of a small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 (19 oz) can red enchilada sauce, divided (about 2 ¼ cups total)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (11 oz) can Mexican-style corn with red and green peppers, drained
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • Optional toppings: sliced green onions; chopped fresh cilantro; chopped red onion; diced avocado or guacamole; sour cream; lime wedges

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread about ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan; set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened – about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Remove from heat. Stir in chicken, ¾ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of the cheddar, ½ cup of the Monterey Jack, beans, corn, cumin, and chili powder. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
    Filling for chicken enchiladas in a cast iron skillet.
  • Place chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish.
    Process shot showing how to make easy chicken enchiladas.
  • Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
    Pan of easy chicken enchiladas before baking.
  • Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes (or until the enchiladas are heated through and the edges of the tortillas are a bit crispy). Garnish with desired toppings and serve warm.
    Horizontal side shot of hands holding a pan of easy chicken enchiladas.

Video

Notes

  • Shredded rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut, and it also adds great flavor to the filling!
  • For an extra kick and flavor, add a can of diced green chilies to the chicken mixture.
  • Make the enchiladas spicy with some jalapenos on top or some cayenne in the filling.
  • Add the enchilada sauce on top before baking.
  • Bake the enchiladas just until warmed through (this takes about 20 minutes, but every oven is slightly different). The sauce should be hot and bubbly, and the edges of the tortillas should be crisp. Keep an eye on them because you don’t want them to burn.
  • For truly the best chicken enchilada recipe, set out an enchilada toppings bar in little bowls and let your family members garnish their plates with all of their favorites! There are so many delicious options, including onions, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and lime.

Nutrition

Serving: 1enchiladaCalories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 29gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 1062mgPotassium: 385mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 733IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 239mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: cheesy chicken enchiladas, easy chicken enchiladas, enchiladas, pulled chicken enchiladas, shredded chicken enchiladas
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in September, 2021. It was updated in May, 2024.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Mrs D says:

    5 stars
    Super easy & taste delicious!!!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad that you enjoyed them! 🙂

  2. Morgan says:

    5 stars
    I’m embarrassed to admit it but I’ve never actually had an enchilada before- don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of Mexican food, but I’ve always gravitated towards tacos because enchiladas have never appealed to me. I decided to make these on a whim because I’ve been looking for recipes that are quick, easy and that I’m able to freeze if I feel like doubling the recipe. Oh. My. Goodness. These were a hit! Even my hard to please husband loved them! I’ll definitely be adding these to our rotation.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Oh, good! I’m so glad to know that your first enchilada experience was a great one, Morgan! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to let me know!

    2. Jennifer says:

      5 stars
      My family enjoyed this! Great recipe!

      1. Blair Lonergan says:

        Thanks, Jennifer!

  3. Michelle says:

    5 stars
    This was really good and so easy using a rotisserie chicken. Everyone liked it and my crew is pretty picky.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Wonderful! Thank you, Michelle!

  4. Cheryl says:

    5 stars
    These are absolutely delicious and so easy!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Cheryl!

  5. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Made these tonight. Excellent, my family loved them

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Lisa!

  6. RTSJ says:

    Any tips on keeping the tortilla shells from getting soggy and kinda slimy on the bottom? I love these but I don’t like the bottom side, especially leftovers. Thanks!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Hi! If you’re willing to put in a few extra minutes of prep work, you can fry the tortillas quickly in hot oil before filling and rolling. This will keep them crispier — it’s just a step that I personally don’t usually want to bother with. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  7. Michelle says:

    5 stars
    I have been making this almost once a week for months. It is SO GOOD! So easy and delicious. I don’t use beans and add more corn. Thank you for this recipe! The whole family loves it and it reheats nicely in the microwave for a quick after school bite or lunch.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      We’re so happy to hear this, Michelle!