Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Enchiladas are often thought of in one way – the typically beef-with-deep-red-sauce concoction that is admittedly delicious. However, we found that, in traveling to South America, often times chicken or pork was just as likely to be available as beef enchiladas!

With that being said, this recipe is our little mix to replicate these awesome chicken enchiladas at home in an easy-to-replicate way!

Chicken Enchiladas

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 4 people


Sauce and Filling

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 2 cans tomato sauce 8 ounces each
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 can pickled jalapeño peppers 4 ounces, drained and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated (2 cups)

Tortillas and Toppings

  • 10 corn tortillas six-inch
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 3 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese 3/4 cup
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 avocado diced medium
  • 5 leaves of romaine lettuce washed dried, and shredded
  • 2 limes quartered



  • FOR THE SAUCE AND FILLING: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces.
  • Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes. Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside.
  • Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.
  • Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  • TO ASSEMBLE: Follow illustrations 1 to 6 of "Step by Step: Assembling Enchiladas" to heat tortillas and fill, roll, and sauce enchiladas. Cover baking dish with foil.
  • Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado, lettuce, and lime wedges separately.

STEP BY STEP: Assembling Enchiladas

  • Smear entire bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with 3/4 cup chili sauce.
  • Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray. Bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes.
  • Place warm tortillas on counter-top. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place 1/3 cup filling down center of each tortilla.
  • Roll each tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, side by side, seam-side down.
  • 5.Pour remaining chili sauce over top of enchiladas. Use back of spoon to spread sauce so it coats top of each tortilla.
  • Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese down center of enchiladas.

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