10 Chicken Enchilada Recipes That Will Leave Your Mouth Watering

Hey there, chicken lovers! Are you tired of the same old boring chicken recipes? Look no further, because we’ve got 10 mouthwatering chicken enchilada recipes that will spice up your dinner routine. From classic enchiladas to creative twists on the traditional dish, these recipes are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a popular Mexican dish that consists of tortillas filled with various ingredients, then topped with sauce and cheese. They are versatile and can be customized to suit different tastes and dietary restrictions. Whether you like your enchiladas spicy or mild, with lots of veggies or meat, there’s a recipe here for you. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

The Secret to Delicious Chicken Enchilada Recipes

Chicken enchiladas are a classic Mexican dish that continues to be a favorite among food enthusiasts. What makes this dish truly special is the combination of flavors and textures that are packed into each bite. Savory shredded chicken, tangy enchilada sauce, and melty cheese all come together in perfect harmony to create a truly unforgettable meal.

While this dish may seem complex, the good news is that it’s actually quite simple to make. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, you can easily whip up a delicious batch of chicken enchiladas in no time.

What are Chicken Enchiladas?

Chicken enchiladas are a popular dish in Mexican cuisine that are made by rolling up tortillas filled with flavorful ingredients, typically shredded chicken, cheese, and enchilada sauce. These enchiladas are typically baked until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy around the edges.

There are many variations of this classic dish, and each region of Mexico has its own unique take on how enchiladas should be prepared. Some variations feature a spicier sauce or a variety of fillings, while others use a milder sauce and stick to traditional ingredients like chicken and cheese.

Ingredients for Chicken Enchiladas

Though there are countless variations of chicken enchiladas, most recipes feature the following ingredients:

  • Tortillas – either corn or flour tortillas can be used depending on your preference
  • Shredded Chicken – chicken breast or thigh meat that has been cooked and shredded
  • Enchilada Sauce – this can be store-bought or homemade, depending on your preference
  • Cheese – commonly, a Mexican cheese like queso fresco or cotija is used, but you can use any variety of cheese you like
  • Add-ons – optional ingredients like chopped onions, sliced avocados, and sour cream can be added for extra flavor and texture

The History of Chicken Enchiladas

The origins of chicken enchiladas can be traced back to the early Mayan civilization in Mexico. While the exact origin of the dish is unknown, historians and food enthusiasts believe that the Mayans were the first to roll ingredients in tortillas, creating a precursor to the modern-day version of enchiladas.

Over time, the dish evolved, and by the time the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the 16th century, enchiladas had become a popular dish throughout the country. The Spanish introduced a variety of new ingredients, such as garlic, onions, and cheese, which helped to create the delicious and unique flavor of chicken enchiladas that we know and love today.

Today, chicken enchiladas are enjoyed by people all over the world who appreciate the bold and complex flavors of this classic Mexican dish.

Classic Chicken Enchilada Recipe

If you’re looking for a classic and delicious chicken enchilada recipe, look no further than this one! The following step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and will result in a mouth-watering meal for you and your family or friends.


Before starting, gather all of the necessary ingredients: 1 lb shredded cooked chicken, 8-10 soft corn tortillas, 1 cup of enchilada sauce, 1 cup of shredded cheese, 1 diced onion, and 1 minced garlic clove. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

First, heat up the tortillas in a skillet until they are warm and pliable. Set aside. In another skillet, sauté the onion and garlic until they are soft and fragrant. Then add the cooked chicken and half a cup of the enchilada sauce. Cook until the chicken is heated through and coated in the sauce.

Take each tortilla and spoon a generous amount of the chicken mixture into the center. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place it seam-side down in a baking dish. Repeat for all tortillas. Then pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Ingredients Substitutions

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be easily modified to suit your tastes. Here are a few ingredient substitutes you can try:

  • Use flour tortillas instead of corn for a different texture.
  • Swap out the chicken for beef or tofu to accommodate a vegetarian diet.
  • Add black beans, corn, or diced green peppers to the filling for extra flavor and nutrition.

Feel free to experiment with different cheeses, spices, and sauces to make the recipe your own.

Variations and Twists

If you want to switch things up and add some variety to your classic chicken enchiladas, here are a few variations and twists to try:

  • Incorporate some heat by adding jalapeños or hot sauce to the filling.
  • Make a creamy version by adding cream cheese or sour cream to the filling and topping with a white sauce instead of red.
  • Use shredded pork or beef instead of chicken for a different flavor profile.
  • Bake the enchiladas on a bed of refried beans for a heartier meal.

Get creative and try out different twists on this classic recipe!

Healthy Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Chicken enchiladas are a favorite among many, but their calorie and fat content can be a deterrent for those looking to watch their weight or make healthier food choices. Fortunately, there are easy and tasty ways to make a healthy version of this Mexican classic. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to prepare healthier chicken enchiladas, exploring ingredient substitutions, and some variations and twists to make them even more distinctive.


To make healthy chicken enchiladas, begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. Then, you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 medium red onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (4 ounces) of diced green chilies (optional)
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 1 cup of low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, red onion, and red bell pepper, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender, which takes about 6-8 minutes. Then add garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper, stir for about 30 seconds. Add black beans, diced tomatoes, and green chilies if desired. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until the ingredients are heated through and well combined.

Spread a scoop of the filling onto each tortilla and roll them up, placing them seam-side down in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with chopped cilantro, if desired.

Healthy Ingredient Substitutions

Aside from utilizing whole wheat tortillas, there are a few healthy ingredient substitutes that can be used in this recipe. Here are some examples:

  • Swap the chicken breast for lean ground turkey, tofu, or quinoa
  • Use non-fat plain Greek yogurt as a healthier option to sour cream
  • Replace regular canned tomatoes with no-salt-added or low-sodium canned tomatoes
  • Replace the cheese with a vegan cheese alternative or leave it out altogether

By using these substitutions, you can cut down on fat, calories, and sodium while still enjoying enchiladas that taste delicious.

Variations and Twists

Chicken enchiladas are versatile, and there are plenty of variations and twists to make them unique. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add some heat by using jalapeños in place of the green chilies
  • Include some corn for an added sweetness and crunch
  • Add chopped spinach or kale to increase the vegetable content
  • Top with sliced avocado, chopped tomatoes, and a squeeze of lime for added flavor and nutrition
  • Drizzle some enchilada sauce on top before baking for an extra layer of flavor (just be mindful of the added sodium)

By getting creative with the ingredients, you can make healthy chicken enchiladas that are far from boring.

Overall, this healthy chicken enchilada recipe is a wholesome and flavorful choice for those who want to indulge while still watching what they eat. With a few ingredient substitutions and some variations, you can create enchiladas that are unique, tasty, and perfect for any occasion. Give it a try and enjoy all the benefits of a satisfying, healthy meal!

Vegan Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Vegetarians and vegans can also enjoy the deliciousness of chicken enchiladas with this easy-to-follow vegan chicken enchilada recipe. This recipe will make a perfect meal for vegans and non-vegans alike.


Here are the step-by-step instructions to prepare vegan chicken enchiladas:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat, add some oil, and sauté the chopped onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  • Next, add in the shredded vegan chicken, diced green chilies, and spices. Stir everything together and cook for 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
  • Next, take a baking dish and pour some enchilada sauce to cover the bottom.
  • Take a tortilla and add a few spoonfuls of the filling mixture, then roll it up and place it in the baking dish. Repeat this step with the remaining tortillas, sauce, and filling.
  • Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas.
  • Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the enchiladas are heated through.
  • Remove the foil and sprinkle some vegan cheese on top, put back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove it from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and avocado slices.
  • Your vegan chicken enchiladas are ready to serve!

Vegan Ingredient Substitutions

For those interested in making this recipe vegan-friendly, here are some options to substitute ingredients:

  • Vegan Chicken: Use plant-based chicken, such as soy curls or shredded jackfruit instead of real chicken.
  • Cheese: Use a vegan-friendly cheese substitute, such as Daiya or Follow Your Heart.
  • Enchilada sauce: Make sure to read the label before buying enchilada sauce, some brands contain chicken broth. Make sure to pick up a vegetarian or vegan version.

Variations and Twists

Here are some variations and twists to make your vegan chicken enchiladas unique:

  • Add different veggies: Vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, and black beans can be added to the filling to up the nutritional value.
  • Change up the sauce: Instead of the traditional enchilada sauce, try a tomatillo or green sauce for a tangy twist.
  • Make it spicy: Add some heat to the filling with jalapeños or chipotle pepper.
  • Experiment with different cheeses: Try different vegan cheeses, or go with a non-dairy option like nutritional yeast.
  • Try different toppings: Finish off your enchiladas with a dollop of vegan sour cream, fresh salsa or guacamole!

With these different adaptations, vegans can enjoy the classic Mexican dish of chicken enchiladas as well.

5 Ways to Elevate Your Chicken Enchilada Recipes

Are you looking to take your chicken enchiladas to the next level? Here are 5 ways to elevate your chicken enchilada recipes:

1. Use Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Instead of buying store-bought enchilada sauce, try making your own homemade enchilada sauce. Homemade enchilada sauce is quick and easy to make, and it adds more depth of flavor to your chicken enchiladas. You can also customize the flavor to your liking by adding more or less spice.

One simple recipe for homemade enchilada sauce involves blending together diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, chili powder, cumin, and chicken broth. You can also add in other ingredients like chipotle peppers, smoked paprika, or oregano for additional flavor.

2. Add Different Vegetables

While chicken is a staple ingredient in chicken enchiladas, you can also add different types of vegetables to your recipe. Some great options include bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and corn. These vegetables not only add more flavor and texture to your dish, but they also provide additional nutrients.

You can either sauté your vegetables separately or mix them in with the chicken filling. If you’re short on time, consider using frozen vegetables that are already chopped and ready to use.

3. Substitute Corn Tortillas with Flour Tortillas

Traditional chicken enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, but if you want to switch things up, try using flour tortillas instead. Flour tortillas are softer and more pliable than corn tortillas, making them easier to roll up. They also have a milder flavor, which allows the chicken and other ingredients to be the star of the show.

4. Add Different Types of Cheese

Most chicken enchilada recipes call for shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, but you can also experiment with different types of cheese. Some great options include queso fresco, cotija, or feta cheese. These cheeses have a different flavor profile than cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, which can add a unique twist to your chicken enchiladas.

You can either replace the cheddar or Monterey jack cheese with your preferred cheese or mix in different types of cheeses for a flavor explosion.

5. Try Different Toppings

The toppings you add to your chicken enchiladas can make all the difference. Instead of the standard toppings like sour cream and diced tomatoes, why not try something different? Some great options include guacamole, pico de gallo, or avocado salsa. These toppings add more freshness and flavor to your dish.

You can also top your chicken enchiladas with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, a drizzle of lime juice, or a dollop of hot sauce for an extra kick.


Why You Should Try Chicken Enchilada Recipes

Chicken enchilada recipes are a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year. Whether you’re looking for a quick weekday dinner or an impressive party dish, chicken enchiladas are the perfect choice.

By trying out different chicken enchilada recipes, you can explore new flavors and techniques in the kitchen. You can also customize the dish to your liking by adding in your preferred vegetables, cheese, and toppings.

Final Thoughts

Chicken enchiladas are a classic Mexican dish that can be made in many different ways. By using homemade enchilada sauce, adding different types of vegetables and cheese, and experimenting with new toppings, you can take your chicken enchilada recipes to the next level.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and try out new flavor combinations. With these tips in mind, you’ll be making delicious and unforgettable chicken enchiladas in no time.

Ready to Try These Mouth-Watering Chicken Enchilada Recipes?

We hope you enjoyed exploring our top 10 chicken enchilada recipes. These tasty dishes are perfect for any occasion, from family dinners to hosting a crowd. We tried to make the recipes easy to follow so that even beginner cooks can enjoy making them.

Thank you for taking the time to read our article – we hope it has inspired you to get creative in the kitchen! If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love hearing from our readers, and we’re always happy to help.

Don’t forget to bookmark our website so you can come back and check out more delicious recipes in the future. We have plenty of other mouth-watering dishes for you to try out, from traditional favorites to exciting new twists on old classics. Until next time, happy cooking!


1. Can I use a different type of meat in these recipes?

Yes, definitely! You can substitute chicken with beef, pork, or even tofu if you prefer.

2. Do I have to fry the tortillas before making enchiladas?

No, you don’t have to. You can use store-bought corn tortillas or even make your own if you’re feeling adventurous.

3. Are these recipes spicy?

Some of them are, but you can adjust the heat to your liking by using less chili powder or adding more if you prefer.

4. Can I make these recipes ahead of time?

Absolutely! Most of these recipes can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to enjoy them.

5. What can I serve with chicken enchiladas?

Rice, beans, salad, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream are all great side dishes to serve with enchiladas.

6. What type of cheese should I use?

Traditionally, Mexican cheese like queso blanco or queso fresco is used. However, you can use cheddar, mozzarella, or any other cheese you like.

7. Can I use canned enchilada sauce?

Yes, you can. However, making your own enchilada sauce is easy and tastes much better than the canned version.

8. Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas?

Yes, you can. However, corn tortillas are more traditional and hold up better in the oven.

9. How do I prevent my enchiladas from falling apart?

Roll them tightly and place them seam-side down in the baking dish. You can also dip the tortillas in the sauce before filling and rolling them.

10. What type of pan should I use to bake enchiladas?

A 9×13 inch baking dish is the most common size. However, you can use any size and shape of pan as long as it can hold all of the enchiladas.

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About the Author: David Dunlap

Worked in restaurants for years before turning to food writing and has won multiple awards for the work, including more than a dozen awards.

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