This easy recipe for Chicken Enchiladas is made with shredded chicken, green chilies, a cream cheese filling, and a perfectly spiced enchilada sauce, for a fast and flavorful meal.
Short on time? Check out my recipe for Chicken Enchilada Casserole which delivers the same flavors as these chicken enchiladas without the tedious rolling!
These Chicken Enchiladas rank as one of my all-time favorite recipes from my childhood.
I have shared a lot of recipes from my childhood with you over the years. From my Papa's Baked Beans to my Mom's Pizza Meatloaf, I have a lot of cherished memories of food shared at the table. And these chicken enchiladas are another favorite.
My mom would make these enchiladas almost weekly. And with good reason! This simple recipe doesn't require a lot of effort, but the flavor is spectacular. Plus it was one meal all four of her children loved! And parents, you know that can be hard to come by!
Whether you are looking for a recipe for leftover rotisserie chicken, or a simple, yet flavorful family meal, these Chicken Enchiladas won't disappoint.
Notes on Ingredients
- Shredded Chicken: You can use any leftover chicken you have on hand. I love using storebought or homemade Rotisserie Chicken or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast.
- Cream Cheese: Use low-fat or full-fat cream cheese for the filling, but do not use fat-free, as the flavor is not the same. And be sure to let it soften to room temperature so it is much easier to mix into the chicken.
- Green Chiles: A can of diced green chiles adds a mild kick and flavor to the enchilada filling--even the kids can handle the heat!
- Enchilada Sauce: I use my homemade enchilada sauce as it is free from MSG and preservatives and pretty simple to make. However, feel free to use your favorite store-brand red enchilada sauce.
- Tortillas: Use any tortillas you like. Homemade flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or gluten-free tortillas.
- Cheese: Use shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, or a combination of cheeses.
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas
- Mix together the cream cheese, green chiles, and spices together until combined.
- Add the chicken to the cream cheese mixture and mix until evenly mixed.
- Place about ⅓ cup of chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place the seam side down in a casserole pan.
- Top with enchilada sauce and cheese.
- Bake until browned.
These enchiladas are delicious when served plain. However, I love to serve them with sour cream, diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, avocado slices, and/or guacamole on the side.
How to Prevent Soggy Enchiladas
No one likes soggy tortillas that fall apart or mushy foods. With these tips, you can PREVENT your tortillas from breaking down and becoming soggy, yet are still smothered in sauce.
- Do NOT put enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Most recipes call for covering the bottom of the pan with enchilada sauce. However, this will cause the bottom of the enchiladas to steam in the sauce, causing the tortillas to soak up the sauce and get really soggy. Instead, just cover the top of the enchiladas with the sauce. You will have all the flavor--just no mushy tortillas.
- Do NOT cover enchiladas with foil when baking. Again, this will cause your enchiladas to steam in the sauce and can result in soggy enchiladas. There is no need to cover it with foil. Unless you are baking from frozen, then you will need to keep them covered for part of the baking time so that enchiladas will cook through before drying out.
And now be prepared to enjoy enchiladas that are a bit crispy, a bit soft, and absolutely PERFECT!
Preparing in Advance
You can opt to assemble these enchiladas up to 48 hours in advance before baking. Simply roll the enchiladas and place them into a greased pan. Cover with foil and place in the fridge for up to 48 hours. When ready to serve, remove from the fridge while preheating the oven. Remove the foil. Cover with enchilada sauce and cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until warmed through.
To freeze Chicken Enchiladas, prepare them up to baking, using a pan that is both freezer and oven safe. Once the chicken enchiladas are assembled as the recipe states, cover them with foil and freeze them for up to 1 month. When ready to prepare, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered with foil, for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are warmed through.
- No pre-cooked chicken? Parboil chicken on the stove by placing about 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs in a large saucepan and covering it with cold water. Bring to a boil and then turn to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove chicken and shred to use for chicken enchiladas.
- Gluten-Free Chicken Enchiladas: To make gluten-free enchiladas, opt to use gluten-free tortillas, and be sure your enchilada sauce is gluten-free.
- Speed it up! Instead of rolling individual enchiladas, use the same ingredients to make Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
If you learn better through video, be sure to watch me make these Chicken Enchiladas and walk you through the steps over on YouTube.
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese with cumin, salt, and diced green chiles, until well combined. Add in shredded chicken and mix well.
- Place about ⅓ cup of chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place them seam-side down in the prepared pan.
- Pour enchilada sauce evenly over the tortillas and then sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Serve enchiladas with minced cilantro, sour cream, avocados, etc.