Baked Chicken Enchiladas use store bought rotisserie chicken rolled in tortillas, a delicious homemade enchilada sauce and gooey cheese for the best easy dinner recipe ever!
Traditional enchiladas use corn tortillas to wrap small fish and then smother them with a chili sauce.
However I like a giant enchilada and have trouble finding corn tortillas that large, so I sometimes opt for flour. My husband also prefers flour.
If we are being totally honest, I just love Mexican food. Anything a little spicy and smothered in a chile sauce with cheese, topped with sour cream.
Yes, enchilada purists and those who are making authentic Mexican food, I realize this is more of a wet burrito, but alas, you can use corn tortillas too! Please don’t leave me nasty comments about how I should be ashamed.
I am not ashamed, these darn enchiladas, also known as smothered burritos, are delicious regardless of what type of tortillas you use.
Why You’ll Love These Easy Baked Chicken Enchiladas
This simple recipe is loved for many reasons, but here are just a few:
- Crowd pleaser – The ingredients are simple and ensure that this is a recipe that the whole family will enjoy.
- Totally customizable – You can fill these homemade enchiladas with your favorite fillings- it doesn’t have to be cooked chicken!
- Quick and easy – You can have dinner on the table in less than an hour when making this great recipe.
Baked Chicken Enchiladas Ingredients
You might just have some of these simple ingredients already on hand. Whatever you don’t can be easily found at your local grocery store.
- Enchilada sauce – Of course you can always buy a jar of enchilada sauce at the store, but I prefer to make my easy homemade enchilada sauce for enchilada recipes.
- Spinach – I like to add some leafy greens to my chicken enchilada recipe, and spinach is the perfect way to do that. Use fresh spinach rather than frozen.
- Black Beans – Make sure your black beans are drained and rinsed. If you have someone that doesn’t like beans, you can serve them on the side.
- Corn kernels – The best way to do this is to use thawed frozen corn. You can just as easily use canned corn, or if it’s corn season you can cut it straight from the cob.
- Shredded chicken – Frozen strips, thawed and then shredded work well. A store-bought rotisserie chicken does the trick too. Leftover chicken, grilled or lightly seasoned is perfect.
- Cilantro – You wither love it or hate it, so you can certainly leave it out if you have any cilantro haters in your family.
- Cumin – This is where we get that Mexican flavor from.
- Mexican cheese blend – If you don’t have a Mexican blend, you can use monterey jack cheese or cheddar cheese instead.
- Tortillas – I used whole wheat tortillas for this recipe. Medium sized tortillas seem to work best for enchiladas.
- Sour cream – What’s an enchilada without sour cream! This is used as a topping.
How to Make Baked Chicken Enchiladas
You are going to love how easy it is to make the best chicken enchiladas.
- Wilt spinach. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a medium skillet. Add spinach and continue to toss until it wilts and reduces. Remove and spoon ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- Add rest of filling ingredients. Add the black beans through cumin to wilted spinach. Add the shredded Mexican cheese blend.
- Prepare oven and work area. Preheat the oven and set up a work area to roll your enchiladas. These work best in a baking dish with high sides that they will fit snugly into.
- Add filling to tortillas. Spoon a very small amount of sauce into the bottom of each baking dish to prevent sticking. Just enough to lightly cover the surface. Lay out a medium whole wheat tortilla on your work surface. Measure out approximately 1/2-3/4 cup of the filling. Enough to make it a stuffed enchilada, but little enough that you will be able to roll it with both ends overlapping to secure it.
- Repeat with rest. Continue with the remaining tortillas, fitting them snugly into the baking dish(s) of choice. Evenly pour sauce over the tops. Any exposed tortilla will get brittle and dried out while cooking. Depending on the size you may not need all of the sauce. You want enough to cover, but not to pool at the bottom.
- Top with cheese and bake. Top the enchiladas with the remaining shredded Mexican cheese blend. Place in oven and bake.
- Cool and top. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes before using a large spatula to serve. Top with a dollop of sour cream or crema Mexicana. Enjoy!
What to Serve with Chicken Enchiladas
We love this easy enchilada recipe exactly as written, but there are plenty of ways that you can make this recipe your own.
- Meat – Omit the chicken and double the amount of cheese, veggies and beans for vegetarian enchiladas. You can use shredded or ground beef or turkey, too!
- Toppings and fillings – Try adding other ingredients or your favorite toppings to your cheesy chicken enchiladas. Corn, green chiles, fresh cilantro, pinto beans, shredded lettuce (to the top after cheese is melted,) jalapeno, avocado, green onions, bell peppers or red onion would all be great.
- Spice level – Feel free to take the heat up a notch by adding jalapenos, cayenne pepper, chili powder or even just black pepper.
Storage, Make Ahead and Freezing
Storage: The best way to store this easy chicken enchiladas recipe is in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up 3-5 days and reheat in the oven until warmed through.
Make Ahead: Cover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes so the insides have time to reheat from being chilled. I wouldn’t make them ahead for more than 2 days.
Freezing: Package them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3-4 months. If they are in a deep freezer, they can last 6-7 months. Thaw frozen enchiladas before reheating.
Frequently Asked Questions
They can be! If you make your own enchilada sauce you can make them as spicy or mild as you like. The store bought brands usually have a label to tell you how spicy they are. If you like the heat, add fresh jalapenos or habaneros to mix or top with with crushed red pepper flakes!
Tortillas, whether they are corn tortillas or flour tortillas, are not low carb or keto friendly.
Sure! As stated above, traditional enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, my family just happens to prefer flour. Which, are yes, technically a smothered burrito.
Covering with aluminum foil can make your enchiladas slightly soggy from the trapped moisture. Bake uncovered.
- Chicken Enchilada Pie
- Chile Relleno Casserole
- White Queso Dip with Chorizo
- Smothered Chicken Burritos
Baked Chicken Enchiladas
- Heat Resistant Rubber Spatula
- 3 ounce fresh baby spinach
- 15 ounce can black beans , drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels thawed
- 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken , **see note
- 1/3 cup cilantro , coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 4 cups cheddar, pepper jack and monterey jack cheese , shredded
- 8 medium whole wheat tortillas
- 2 cups enchilada sauce
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablepoon vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and coat a large casserole dish or 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet. Add the spinach, turning to wilt with tongs or a spoon. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
- Toss the spinach with the black beans, corn, chicken, cilantro and cumin. Add 3 cups of the shredded cheese.
- Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a thin layer of enchilada sauce to prevent sticking. Lay out a medium whole wheat tortilla on your work surface. Measure out approximately 1/2-3/4 cups of the filling. Enough to make it a stuffed enchilada, but little enough that you will be able to roll it with both ends overlapping to secure it.
- Continue with remaining tortillas, fitting them snugly into the baking dish(s) of choice. Evenly pour the remaining sauce over the tops. Any exposed tortilla will get brittle and dried out while cooking. Depending on the size you may not need all of the sauce. You want enough to cover, but not to pool at the bottom.
- Top the enchiladas with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes before using a large spatula to serve. Top with a dollop of sour cream.
- If you've tried this recipe, please come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.