Smothered Chicken Burritos

Cheesy Smothered Chicken Burritos are an easy one-dish weeknight meal made with gooey cheese, green enchiladas sauce, shredded chicken and fresh toppings.

overhead of chicken burritos with cheese, tomatoes and jalapeno


 

Cheesy Smothered Chicken Burritos are one of my favorite meals. The family loves them, and they are simple to assemble.

Much of the meal can be made ahead of time, and there are so many variations; you can decide just how much effort you want to exert. 

What is a Smothered Burrito?

Also referred to as a wet burrito, a smothered burrito is the Mexican food of your dreams! This type of burrito is usually made with a large flour tortilla.

Inside of the tortilla, there is any combination of the following: meat such as chicken or beef, refried beans, cheese such as cheddar cheese, beans (either refried beans or black beans,) sour cream, lettuce, tomato and rice.

Now for the smothered part. After wrapping up the burrito, they are smothered (hence the name!) with some type of sauce. This can either be a red or green salsa, or even enchilada sauce. And to top it all off, it’s covered in a layer of cheesy goodness.

Why You’ll Love These Smothered Chicken Burritos

A chicken burrito recipe that is smothered in cheese and savory sauce- what’s not to love!

  • Easy dinner – During those busy weeknights when you just don’t know what to make for dinner, burrito recipes like this are perfect.
  • Use up leftover chicken – If you have cooked chicken leftover from another meal, or need to use the rest of a rotisserie chicken, use it for your burritos.
  • Simple ingredients – I love simple recipes, especially when they have easy ingredients. And this recipe is one of them!
A close up of packaged cheese

Ingredients

An easy meal calls for simple ingredients. And while this list looks a little long, all ingredients can easily be found at your local grocery store.

Burritos

  • Vegetable oil – This is what we use to sauté the veggies. You could also use olive oil if you prefer to.
  • White onion – I like the flavor of white onion, but if you like yours sweeter, you can use a yellow onion instead.
  • Bell pepper – You can use any color, or even a combination of colors if you’d like.
  • Chicken – Cook up chicken breasts, or use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to make life a lot easier!
  • Cheddar or pepper jack cheese – I always prefer to shred my own cheese. You could also use monterey jack cheese.
  • Chile powder – This is where we get our flavor! You can also use taco seasoning instead for even more flavor.
  • Green enchilada sauce – Use canned enchilada sauce, or use my homemade enchilada sauce recipe. The choice is yours!
  • Flour tortillas – Homemade tortillas are always nice, but these smothered chicken burritos taste just as good with store bought.

Cheese Sauce

  • Unsalted butter – I always opt to use unsalted butter so that I can control the amount of salt in a recipe.
  • Flour – When mixed with the butter, it creates a roux. This is going to be the thickening agent for our cheese sauce.
  • Whole milk – Whole milk does make a big difference in how rich your sauce is. You might need to use less milk if using a low fat version.
  • Shredded cheese – You can use your favorite cheese here, but I prefer to use cheddar or pepper jack cheese. Shredding your own is much preferable as well.
  • Coarse Kosher salt – This is optional, and taste your sauce before adding any. Leave out altogether if you used unsalted butter.
smothered chicken burritos on a serving plate

Toppings

Of course there are the standard toppings for burritos and tacos alike. I’ll share some of my favorite toppings, but feel free to get creative with your own!

  • Diced fresh jalapeno
  • Chopped tomato
  • Green onions
  • Salsa verde
  • Fresh cilantro 
  • Lime juice
  • Green enchilada sauce
  • Red enchilada sauce

How to Make Smothered Chicken Burritos

You are going to love how easy it is to make these burritos for the whole family to enjoy.

For Cheese Sauce

  1. Heat butter and flour. Heat the butter and flour in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together to form a paste. 
  2. Whisk in milk and cheese. Add the milk, whisking until smooth, still over medium heat. Add the shredded cheese, whisking until smooth.
  3. Allow to thicken. Continue to cook until cheese sauce starts to thicken, then remove from heat. If you like a thicker cheese sauce, this should be good, but if you wanted something a little thinner, add more milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Add salt. Continue to whisk while adding the salt. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to top burritos.

For Burritos

  1. Sauté pepper and onion. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion, sautéing until soft.
  2. Add chicken, cheese, seasoning and sauce. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the shredded chicken, cheese, chile powder and enchilada sauce, tossing to combine.
  3. Add filling to tortillas. Evenly divide the chicken mixture between the flour tortillas, rolling tight and fitting snuggly into the baking dish. If you are making this dish ahead of time, stop here and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  4. Top with cheese sauce. Top the burritos with cheese sauce and/or additional green enchilada sauce (optional).
  5. Bake. Bake, uncovered, until the edges of tortillas start get brown and toasty. Remove and top with your desired toppings

Variations

While we enjoy these smothered chicken burritos exactly as is, there are plenty of ways for you to make them your own!

  • Vegetarian – You could certainly make these black bean burritos by substituting the chicken for black beans if you’d like to.
  • Meat – You could also change up the type of meat you use. Make a beef burrito recipe or even swap the juicy chicken filling for shredded pork.
  • Breakfast burritos – Now we’re getting pretty far from the original recipe, but you could add some scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage and mexican cheese to fresh tortillas for a breakfast version.

What to Serve with Smothered Chicken Burritos

You can serve these homemade burritos with just about anything you’d like! If serving for cinco de mayo or some other Mexican food night, I like to serve with other Mexican recipes like Mexican rice, Spanish rice, refried beans or pinto beans.

It’s also nice to serve with a vegetable of some sort. Some fresh pico de gallo with homemade tortilla chips is always a nice option.

close up of cheesy chicken burritos

Storage and Freezing

Storage: You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can last for up to three days.

Freezing: You can also freeze this smothered chicken burritos recipe. Place burritos in a freezer bag or airtight container. 

smothered chicken burritos for pinterest

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overhead shot of smothered chicken burritos with text overlay for pinterest
close up of cheesy chicken burritos

Smothered Chicken Burritos

4.53 from 73 votes
Cheesy Smothered Chicken Burritos are an easy one-dish weeknight meal made with gooey cheese, green enchiladas sauce, shredded chicken and fresh toppings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Burritos:

Cheese Sauce:

Toppings:

Instructions

For Cheese Sauce:

  • Heat the butter and flour in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together to form a paste. Add the milk, whisking until smooth, still over medium heat.
  • Add the shredded cheese, whisking until smooth.
  • Continue to cook until cheese sauce starts to thicken, then remove from heat. If you like a thicker cheese sauce, this should be good, but if you wanted something a little thinner, add 1-2 tablespoons more milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Continue to whisk while adding the salt. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to top burritos.

For Burritos:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion, sautéing until soft.
  • Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the shredded chicken, cheese, chile powder and enchilada sauce, tossing to combine.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Evenly divide the chicken mixture between the flour tortillas, rolling tight and fitting snuggly into the baking dish. If you are making this dish ahead of time, stop here and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Top the burritos with cheese sauce and/or additional green enchilada sauce (optional).
  • Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of tortillas start get brown and toasty.
  • Remove and top with your desired toppings.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!

Notes

*you can use chopped leftover chicken or buy a precooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and shred it. Alternately, you can use canned chicken. 

Nutrition

Calories: 598 kcal, Carbohydrates: 42 g, Protein: 29 g, Fat: 34 g, Saturated Fat: 18 g, Cholesterol: 100 mg, Sodium: 1365 mg, Potassium: 344 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 11 g, Vitamin A: 1515 IU, Vitamin C: 23.1 mg, Calcium: 454 mg, Iron: 2.9 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 598
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: baked burritos, chicken burritos, smothered burritos
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!

Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I could eat a whole pan of these on my own! They look and sound amazing! My family will be so happy I came across these!

  2. 5 stars
    These burritos look so good! I’d love to have a couple right now!! That cheese sounds delicious. I don’t think we have it here in Italy but we do have cheese with black pepper and cheese with red chili! I will use one of those!