These Shredded Chicken Enchiladas are a quick weeknight recipe that happen to be loaded with flavor. Corn tortillas are filled with shredded rotisserie chicken and cheese, covered in a homemade red enchilada sauce, and then baked in the oven until bubbling over with deliciousness. Once you see how easy this meal is, it will be making a regular appearance for dinner in your home!
Ooey, gooey cheese…
Tender shredded rotisserie chicken…
Soft corn tortillas…
And a homemade red enchilada sauce that will make you want to lick your plate?
This authentic chicken and cheese enchilada recipe is one that you don’t want to pass up!!
And the best part? It’s so incredibly simple to make!
The most time-consuming part of this recipe is making the enchilada sauce. You can whip up a batch of this sauce beforehand, or use a jarred version if you’re in a rush.
But trust me when I say, it is well worth the wait!
Because a homemade red enchilada sauce literally MAKES the tortilla-wrapped-chicken-and-cheese oh so delicious. Weeknight meals just got a lot tastier!
The simple ingredients for chicken enchiladas include:
- Tortillas. Corn tortillas, not flour, are by far the best type of tortilla to use for enchiladas. White or yellow work equally well. They soften up nicely, soak in the sauce, and do not get gummy or gooey after baking. Be sure to get at least the 6-inch but no bigger than the 8-inch tortillas. Guerrero’s and El Milagro corn tortillas are my favorite brands to use.
- Chicken. Buying a cooked rotisserie chicken is the quickest and easiest way to make this recipe. If you don’t have access to one, you can also always make this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken instead.
- Cheese. There are multiple varieties of shredded cheese that would taste delicious in these enchiladas. Sharp cheddar cheese, Monterrey Jack, or a Mexican blend are recommended. You can also always opt for a dairy-free variety, but just know that it won’t melt quite like cow’s milk cheese does.
- Salsa. This is a quick and relatively effortless way to give a lot of flavor to the enchilada filling. Opt for a mild salsa for less heat or a medium salsa for more of a kick. Or, use any leftover Fresh Homemade Salsa or Roasted Salsa you may have on hand.
- Coconut Oil. Hmm. That’s a weird ingredient? But trust me when I tell you, it is absolute MAGIC when making enchiladas. Not only does it help to soften up the tortillas so they are pliable when rolling, but it also gives them a unique taste and flavor. You can also use olive or vegetable oil or melted butter if you don’t have coconut oil on hand.
- Red Enchilada Sauce. You can either make this from scratch or buy a pre-made jarred kind from your grocery store.
How to Make Shredded Chicken Enchiladas
The step-by-step instructions for making homemade chicken enchiladas are relatively easy to follow. For more detailed ingredient amounts, see the recipe card below.
After years and years of purchasing rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, there is one BIG tip I want to make sure you know…
Warm chicken is WAY easier to shred. So shred a rotisserie chicken as soon as you get home!
Also, one rotisserie chicken has about 4 cups of shredded chicken. This is almost exactly the amount of meat you will need for this recipe.
To shred the chicken either use two forks or your hands, depending on your preference.
Place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add 3-4 tortillas at a time. Cook each side for 30-60 seconds.
Remove the tortillas to a paper towel-lined plate to let any excess oil drain. Continue this process with the remaining tortillas until all are heated.
Lightly frying the tortillas makes them softer and easier to roll up, it also creates a barrier so too much of the sauce isn’t absorbed by the tortillas thus making them soggy.
Pour ½ cup of enchilada sauce into a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Fill each tortilla with 2-3 tablespoons of shredded chicken, 2 tablespoons of cheese, and ½ tablespoon of salsa. Roll them up to form a tight taco.
Place the enchilada seam-side down into the baking dish. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need two to fit all of the enchiladas.
Our on Sauce
Pour the remaining sauce over the tops of the filled tortillas. Be sure to use a spoon to spread it out so everything is completely covered. If any tortilla is showing, it can easily burn while cooking.
Top the enchiladas with the rest of the shredded cheese. Cover the pan tightly with foil to prevent burning.
Bake in Oven
Bake in a 375℉ oven for 20-25 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, remove the foil so the cheese and edges can crisp up.
Toppings for Enchiladas
These cheesy chicken enchiladas are already bursting with delicious and authentic Mexican flavors. However, you can always take them over the top by topping them with:
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep Ahead: This shredded chicken enchilada recipe is a great one to meal prep for busy weeks. Make the entire enchilada dish and stop just before baking. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking as directed. You can also cook the enchilada sauce up to 3-4 days ahead of time.
- To Store: It’s best if you keep enchiladas in the baking dish you cooked them in so they’re easier to reheat. Cover the pan with a piece of foil and put it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also store enchiladas in an airtight container.
- To Freeze: Wrap enchiladas tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
- To Reheat: To warm enchiladas back up, cover with foil, pop them into a 300℉ oven, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. You can also put them in the microwave or add them to a skillet with a touch of oil over medium-low heat.
Pro Tips and Tricks
- Homemade is best. Making a red enchilada sauce from scratch is the WAY To make the best homemade chicken enchiladas.
- It’s ok to be corny. Corn tortillas are better to use than flour and are the most authentic type used since they do not get gummy while baking.
- Fry first. Lightly frying tortillas in oil before baking makes them more pliable for rolling and helps keep them from getting soggy. The oil creates a barrier so the sauce does not completely soak into the tortillas.
- Secret ingredient? Coconut oil gives enchiladas a TON of flavor.
- Spread it out. Be sure the sauce covers every inch of the enchiladas. If any area is exposed, then the corn tortillas will end up burning and getting too crispy.
Traditionally, enchiladas are filled with a mixture of meat, vegetables, or cheeses. They are usually topped with a sauce and more cheese, then baked in the oven.
Enchiladas become soggy when they soak up too much of the sauce. In order to prevent this, lightly fry the tortillas in a bit of oil before rolling up and baking. The oil creates a slight barrier between the tortilla and the sauce so the tortillas don’t soak up too much of it and become soggy.
Corn tortillas are the most authentic type of tortilla when making enchiladas. Flour tortillas may also be used but tend to get a little gummy after baking.
Absolutely! Chicken enchiladas are a great make-ahead meal. Simply prep the enchiladas until they are covered in enchilada sauce and cheese. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours in advance. When ready to cook, set them at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking. Bake according to the directions below.
Make it a Meal
Serve these Shredded Chicken Enchiladas with any of these delicious sides:
More Mexican Recipes
If you love enchiladas, add one of these meals to your next menu:
- Chicken Mole Enchiladas
- Chicken Verde Enchiladas
- Steak Fajitas
- Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Easy Homemade Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
These Shredded Chicken Enchiladas are a quick weeknight recipe that happen to be loaded with flavor. Corn tortillas are filled with shredded rotisserie chicken and cheese, covered in a homemade red enchilada sauce, and then baked in the oven until bubbling over with deliciousness.
Red Enchilada Sauce:
- 3 Tbsp. oil olive, avocado, or vegetable
- 3 Tbsp. flour regular or gluten-free 1-to-1
- 1 ½ Tbsp. chili powder mild
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- ¼ tsp. oregano dried
- Pinch nutmeg optional
- ½-1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Red Enchilada Sauce:
Whisk together chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Combine oil, flour, and seasoning ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan or pot over medium heat. Whisk ingredients for 2 minutes.
Add tomato paste and ½ cup of chicken broth. Whisk until smooth.
Pour in remaining 1 ½ cups of chicken broth over the course of 5 minutes, whisking until smooth between each addition.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer sauce for 8-10 minutes, whisking every 1-2 minutes to prevent burning.
Pour ½ cup of enchilada sauce into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet. Let melt completely and then add 3-4 tortillas in a single layer. Cook the tortillas for about 1-2 minutes per side, making sure they get slightly crispy but not too firm.
Place tortillas on a paper towel-lined plate to let any excess oil drain off. Repeat with remaining oil and tortillas.
Fill each tortilla with ¼ cup of shredded chicken, 2 tablespoons of cheese, and 1 tablespoon of salsa.
Fold the right side of the tortilla over to cover the filling ingredients and then fold the left side over. Place the filled tortillas seam-side into the baking dish with enchilada sauce.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over all of the filled tortillas. Using a spoon, spread it out so it completely covers all of the edges.
Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
Bake enchiladas for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the foil from the baking dish during the last 5 minutes of cooking so the edges can crisp up.
Let enchiladas sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving with fresh cilantro, green onions, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole. Enjoy!
- You can also use a store-bought red enchilada sauce if you’d prefer.
- Substitute dairy-free cheese if needed.
Pro Tips and Tricks
- Making a red enchilada sauce from scratch is the WAY To make the best homemade chicken enchiladas.
- Corn tortillas are better to use than flour, and are the most authentic type used, since they do not get gummy while baking.
- Lightly frying tortillas in oil before baking makes them more pliable for rolling and helps keep them from getting soggy. The oil creates a barrier so the sauce does not completely soak into the tortillas.
- Coconut oil gives the enchiladas a TON of flavor.
- Spreading out the enchilada sauce to cover every inch of the tortillas is crucial. If any area is exposed the corn tortillas will end up burning and getting too crispy.