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    Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

    Published May 3, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This traditional Chicken Enchilada Recipe involves tortillas coated and fried in a rich enchilada sauce and stuffed with chicken, cheese, and onions. You will be blown away by the flavors in this dish.

    Mexican food is one of our favorite cuisines to make and eat. We love the complex flavors and the portions, which are perfect for sharing with friends and family. If you’re similar, try my Pipian Verde or Huevos Rancheros.

    chicken enchiladas on a plate


     

    Enchiladas

    Enchiladas are a Mexican specialty of softened corn tortillas stuffed with meat, cheese, or vegetables and served with a sauce of chilis or spiced tomatoes. This dish has many variations, including the sauce style, filling, toppings, and tortillas. I made enchiladas Rojas, which use a chili-based red sauce.

    Enchiladas date back to Aztec civilization and are said to be from the 16th century, but the word enchilada didn’t come onto the scene until the late 1800s. This classic dish has evolved while still sticking to ancient Mayan practices of rolling food in tortillas and serving it. Enchiladas should be made using ingredients and flavors that you prefer.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    enchiladas ingredients
    • Chicken – I used my shredded chicken recipe in this dish. You can also use a rotisserie or cooked chicken that is then shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces. 
    • Cheese – The classic cheese to use is queso fresco. However, you can also use cotija, chihuahua, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend.
    • Onion – You can use a red, white, yellow, or sweet onion that is caramelized or raw.
    • Fat Lard is the classic fat to use. However, you can also use a neutral-flavored oil like avocado. 
    • Sauce – You will need enchilada sauce for this dish. It can be red or green.
    • Tortillas – I used corn tortillas, but flour tortillas can also be used.
    • Garnishes — I used Mexican crema, shredded lettuce, sliced radishes, and crumbled queso fresco as optional garnishes.

    How to Make Chicken Enchiladas

    Prepare the shredded chicken and keep it warm.

    shredding chicken

    Make the enchilada sauce and keep it warm.

    enchilada sauce in a pot

    Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large non-stick skillet over low to medium heat, and heat for 30 to 45 seconds.

    adding oil to a pan

    Next, dip a corn tortilla completely submerged in the warm enchilada sauce, add it to the non-stick skillet, and cook it for 20 to 30 seconds per side or until soft and pliable.

    cooking an enchilada sauce dipped tortilla

    Remove the sauced tortilla and place it on a clean surface. Add about a ¼ cup of shredded chicken to the center of the tortilla.

    adding chicken to a fried enchilada

    Next, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of queso fresco and 1 tablespoon of diced caramelized or raw onion.

    cheese, chicken, and onions on an enchilada tortilla

    Carefully roll up the tortilla, taking care not to rip it. Repeat the process until all the tortillas are cooked and stuffed.

    wrapping an enchilada

    When ready to serve, add the enchiladas to your desired dish and pour on the warm enchilada sauce.

    adding sauce onto enchiladas

    Then add optional garnishes of crema, shredded lettuce, radishes, and queso fresco crumbles.

    garnishing an enchilada with radishes

    Serve with additional garnishes on the side.

    chicken enchiladas with crema and lettuce

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: These are meant to be eaten as soon as they’re done cooking. However, you can cover them in foil and keep them warm, without additional toppings, at low temperatures in the oven (<200°) for up to 30 minutes before serving. 

    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. These will freeze covered for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating. It’s best to store the enchiladas without any toppings.

    How to Reheat: Add the desired number of enchiladas to a 13×9 casserole dish. Next, pour on ½ to 1 cup of enchilada sauce, cover in foil, and bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and cooked.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • Feel free to add other classical garnishes like pickled jalapeños, chihuahua cheese, iceberg lettuce, or salsa.
    • As long as your pan is large enough, you can cook 2 sauced tortillas at once.
    • Crema can be substituted with crème fraiche or sour cream.

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    Chicken Enchiladas Recipes

    5 from 2 votes
    This traditional Chicken Enchilada Recipe involves tortillas coated and fried in a rich enchilada sauce and stuffed with chicken and cheese.
    Servings: 16 enchiladas
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Ingredients 

    Instructions

    • Prepare the shredded chicken and keep it warm.
    • Make the enchilada sauce and keep it warm.
    • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large non-stick skillet over low to medium heat, and heat for 30 to 45 seconds.
    • Next, dip a corn tortilla completely submerged in the warm enchilada sauce, add it to the non-stick skillet, and cook it for 20 to 30 seconds per side or just until soft and pliable. Do not cook it for too long, or it will break.
    • Remove the sauced tortilla and place it on a clean surface. Add about a ¼ cup of shredded chicken to the center of the tortilla.
    • Next, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of queso fresco, 1 tablespoon of diced caramelized or raw onion.
    • Carefully roll up the tortilla taking care not to rip it. Repeat the process until all the tortillas are cooked and stuffed. You can keep them warm in a casserole dish or on a plate covered in foil and in the oven at low temperatures (<200°) until all are stuffed and rolled.
    • When you are ready to serve add the enchiladas to your desired serving dish and pour on more of the warm enchilada sauce.
    • Then add optional garnishes of crema, shredded lettuce, radishes, and additional queso fresco crumbles.
    • Serve with additional garnishes on the side.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: These are meant to be eaten as soon as they’re done cooking. However, you can cover them in foil and keep them warm, without additional toppings, at low temperatures in the oven (<200°) for up to 30 minutes before serving. 
    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. These will freeze covered for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating. It’s best to store the enchiladas without any toppings.
    How to Reheat: Add the desired number of enchiladas to a 13×9 casserole dish along with ½ to 1 cup of enchilada sauce, cover in foil, and bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and cooked throughout.
    Feel free to add other classical garnishes like pickled jalapeños, chihuahua cheese, iceberg lettuce, or salsa.
    If your pan is large enough, you can cook 2 sauced tortillas at once.
    Crema can be substituted with crème fraiche or sour cream.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 267kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 25gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 163mgPotassium: 289mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 466IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 2mg
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mexican