Baked Chicken Enchiladas

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!

two chicken enchiladas on a plate with text overlay for facebook


 

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.
chicken enchiladas in a baking dish

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Add rest of filling ingredients. Add the black beans through cumin to wilted spinach. Add the shredded Mexican cheese blend.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Top with cheese and bake. Top the enchiladas with the remaining shredded Mexican cheese blend. Place in oven and bake.
  7. 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

My favorite way to serve this easy recipe is with my easy homemade enchilada sauce and sour cream. To go alongside them, spanish rice and homemade refried beans.

Just like with any Mexican recipe, you could always serve them with some fresh salsa and homemade tortilla chips too.

overhead shot of two chicken enchiladas on a plate

Variations

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.
  • Swap the Sauce– Instead of red enchilada sauce, use a green enchilada sauce, mole sauce, or avocado cream sauce.
two enchiladas on a plate

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.

close up of chicken enchilada

Frequently Asked Questions

Are chicken enchiladas spicy?

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! 

Are chicken enchiladas low carb or keto friendly?

Tortillas, whether they are corn tortillas or flour tortillas, are not low carb or keto friendly.

Can I make them with corn tortillas?

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. 

How do I make chicken enchiladas with white sauce?

Typically the white sauce is just a white queso sauce or a crema mexicana. Omit red enchilada sauce and add one of these two.

Should chicken enchiladas be covered when baking?

Covering with aluminum foil can make your enchiladas slightly soggy from the trapped moisture. Bake uncovered.

collage of chicken enchiladas for pinterest

More Mexican Inspired Dishes

Angled close up of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

4.39 from 21 votes
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is an easy recipe made with shrimp, fresh vegetables, tomato juice and hot sauce for a spicy version of your favorite classic. Top with avocado and serve with tortillas chips or saltine crackers. 
See The Recipe!
Green Chile Chicken Lasagna Recipe- it’s like a green chile enchilada chicken casserole and a lasagna recipe with ricotta smashed together. One of my best Hatch green chile recipes, it will soon be your favorite weeknight meal using pre-cooked chicken and no-bake lasagna noodles, it comes together in a snap! www.savoryexperiments.com

Green Chile Chicken Lasagna

4.28 from 11 votes
Green Chile Chicken Lasagna is make-ahead and freezer friendly meal layering no-bake lasagna noodles with shredded chicken, spices, green chiles and lots of cheese!
See The Recipe!
angled shot of taco dip in glass dish

7 Layer Dip

5 from 39 votes
Easy party appetizers don't get much easier than this 7 layer dip! It takes chips and dip to a whole new level with refried beans, guacamole and sour cream!
See The Recipe!
two enchiladas on a plate with text overlay for pinterest
overhead shot of enchiladas

Baked Chicken Enchiladas

4.56 from 79 votes
These Chicken Enchiladas are rolled in flour tortillas, covered in a delicious homemade sauce and smothered in gooey cheese! Using pre-made rotisserie chicken makes them ready in a snap!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

For shredded chicken there are a couple of choices. Frozen strips, thawed and then shredded work well. A rotisserie chicken does the trick too. Left over chicken, grilled or lightly seasoned is perfect. On this occasion I had none of the above, so I baked two medium chicken breasts in the oven and then shredded them after they cooled.

Nutrition

Calories: 459 kcal, Carbohydrates: 31 g, Protein: 26 g, Fat: 25 g, Saturated Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 88 mg, Sodium: 1417 mg, Potassium: 367 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 6 g, Vitamin A: 1010 IU, Vitamin C: 3.1 mg, Calcium: 459 mg, Iron: 3.2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 459
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken enchiladas
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

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. Instructions missing. Not difficult to figure out but nice to fix. Added a jalapeño and a bit more cumin.

    1. Hi Ruth, we will go back and try to figure out what is missing, but we aren’t seeing anything pop out at us, can you let us know what you thought wasn’t there?

  2. 4 stars
    We enjoyed this meal, lots of good flavours. The reason for only 4 stars is due to the recipe instructiions. The instructions do not flow well and some steps missing. I realized next day that the instructions didn’t include adding the thawed corn. I will definitely make this recipe again, but be prepared to add corn. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! We’ll make sure to review the instructions and make them more easy to follow!

    1. Thanks for stopping by to let us know how they turned out… there is always next time 🙂

  3. The cilantro goes inside with the corn? I didn’t see it on the steps. I just put them in the oven and realized those ingredients weren’t in it.

    1. Hi! Yes, it goes inside, there is a step that says to add black beans through cumin and cilantro is right above that. But have no fear, just sprinkle it on the top when they come out. Enjoy!

  4. I’ve never made enchiladas, but I love them! I love the addition of chicken and that you made your sauce from scratch!