Easy Chicken Enchiladas

These Easy Chicken Enchiladas may not be the most authentic, but they are seriously delicious and come together really quickly! This is the perfect weeknight meal!
3 enchiladas on a plate with sliced avocado.
Try some other easy Mexican inspired recipes: Mexican Bean Salad, Mexican Lasagna Roll Ups and Grilled Steak Fajitas.

Chicken Enchiladas

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I married a man who is obsessed with Mexican food. Before him, I knew I liked it. But I really fell in love with it when he took me to all his favorite spots in his hometown in Southern California. Now I won’t sit here and pretend that I know how to cook truly authentic Mexican food, although I’m very good at eating it! But it’s such a fantastic cuisine, that I can’t help but want to cook those dishes at home.
That said, these enchiladas are still seriously delicious. They’re quick and easy to throw together and ideal for dinner on a busy weeknight. They’re a great way to use leftover chicken and take comfort food to the max! A total family favorite!
An overhead mage of a pan of enchiladas with a black and white striped towel on the left side and an avocado cut in half on the right side.

Tips for how to make enchiladas

  • As I mentioned above, this is an awesome way to use leftover cooked chicken. Another great hack is using rotisserie chicken.
  • I mix some seasonings in with the premade red enchilada sauce before  mixing it with the other ingredients because I like a bit of added flavor.
  • The filling is a mixture of shredded chicken, shredded cheese and part of the doctored up (enhanced?) enchilada sauce.
  • Spread a little enchilada sauce on the bottom of a baking pan so keep them from sticking to the bottom.
  • I’ve found that corn tortillas tend to crack if you use them cold or even room temperature. I like to heat a medium nonstick frying pan over medium high heat and warm each corn tortilla for about 15-20 seconds per side before adding the chicken mixture and rolling.
  • Some people also dip the tortillas in hot enchilada sauce before rolling, but I prefer to simply heat them.
  • Be sure to roll each enchilada tight before adding seam side down to the baking pan.
  • Spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray before baking to help them crisp up a bit- you’ll add the remaining enchilada sauce sauce and cheese  once they’ve baked for a bit.
  • Remaining enchiladas make great leftovers!

A close up image of a fork with a bite of enchiladas on with with other enchiladas on the side and sliced avocado.

Can you freeze these?

Yes! I’d encourage you to freeze before baking and thaw completely before cooking. They should last around 3 months in the freezer if well wrapped.

What’s the best way to make enchiladas ahead?

I’d say assemble all the way up to just before baking and store in the fridge. Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking to bring to room temperature.

What do you serve with enchiladas?

I like mine with sour cream, avocado and plenty of fresh cilantro, but my family prefers them plain. We usually serve yellow rice and refried beans on the side.

Can you make these without chicken?

Sure, just add and additional 1 1/2 cups cheese.
A straight-on image of an enchilada on a plate that's been cut in half revealing the chicken inside of the enchilada.

Ingredients for making Easy Enchiladas:

  • Red enchilada sauce
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Salt
  • Ground coriander
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cooked chicken
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Corn tortillas

Ingredients to prep ahead:

  • Cook and shred chicken (or buy and shred a rotisserie chicken
  • Shred cheese

Helpful tools:

  1. Measuring spoons
  2. Measuring cups
  3. 11″ x 7″ baking pan
  4. Fry pan

A close up image of 3 chicken enchiladas on a plate with sliced avocado next to them.

5 from 1 vote
These Easy Chicken Enchiladas recipe may not be the most authentic, but they are seriously delicious and come together really quickly! They're cheesy with shredded chicken and an easy red sauce- the perfect weeknight meal!
Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins

These Easy Chicken Enchiladas may not be the most authentic, but they are seriously delicious and come together really quickly! This is the perfect weeknight meal!

Course: dinner, Main, Main Course, Main dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jessy Freimann, The Life Jolie
  • 12 ounces red enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional- taste the sauce first and if you feel it's not spicy enough add this)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 1/2 cups shedded cheddar cheese
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium high heat.

  2. While the pan heats, whisk together enchilada sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, ground coriander, kosher sauce and cayenne pepper (if using) until well combined. Place a thin la.yer of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 11" x 7" baking pan (around 1/4 cup).

  3. Take 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce and combine in a large bowl with chicken and 1 cup shredded cheese. Mix until evenly distributed. Set remaining sauce aside for later.

  4. When the pan is hot, heat each corn tortilla for 15-30 seconds per side to keep them from cracking.

  5. Once heated, remove to a plate and place around 2 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the tortilla.

  6. Roll tightly and place into the prepared baking pan. Repeat this process until the pan is full and you've used all of the chicken mixture.

  7. Spray the tops of the enchilada with cooking spray and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

  8. Remove from oven and top evenly with remaining enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.

  9. Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve immediately with the toppings of your choice.

Recipe Notes

It may take one or two tries to find the right amount of time to warm each tortilla (usually for me the first one or two crack but then I find my stride). Don't skip that step, as raw ones will crack.

A plate of enchiladas with a fork on it with a bite of enchilada and sliced avocado

If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions! And if you make this please tag me on Instagram with @thelifejolie so I can share it <3

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  • Reply
    Lola Osinkolu | Chef Lola's Kitchen
    October 25, 2020 at 5:35 pm These enchiladas look so mouth-watering!
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