Chicken enchiladas with red sauce from scratch are way more delicious than enchiladas with canned red enchilada sauce. Read on to learn how to make homemade chicken enchiladas. This chicken enchiladas recipe with red sauce (enchiladas rojas) is made on the stovetop and then baked in the oven.
Enchiladas are one of my favorite foods. If I go to a Mexican restaurant I almost always order chicken enchiladas. Not because all the other food isn't totally fabulous. But because I'm a bit obsessed. Fortunately, making delicious homemade enchilada sauce and homemade enchiladas is easy. This is the best chicken enchilada recipe.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Flavor: Bold flavors make this thickened sauce perfect for anyone who loves a mildly spicy, yet flavorful red enchilada sauce. Instructions are included for how to make it spicier.
- Time: Roja sauce takes 15 minutes to make. The enchiladas take 10 minutes to assemble and 15 minutes to bake.
- Equipment: A saucepan and a 9x13-inch baking dish are required.
- Diet: Gluten Free option
Full chicken enchiladas ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the recipe card below.
- vegetable, avocado or corn oil
- all-purpose flour: If making gluten free enchiladas, use a gluten free all-purpose flour mixture like King Arthur's Gluten Free Flour.
- chicken broth: I use boxed chicken broth. You can use homemade chicken broth or mix chicken bouillon with water. Be aware that a lot of store bought chicken broth and bouillon contain gluten.
- canned tomato sauce
- canned green chilies
- 8-inch flour tortillas or corn tortillas. For gluten free enchiladas use gluten free corn tortillas or any other type of gluten free tortilla. We prefer almond flour tortillas.
- green onions
- Cooked, shredded chicken. Buy a store-bought rotisserie chicken and shred the meat or cook your own chicken to shred. Instructions for how to cook shredded chicken in the crockpot and Instant Pot are below.
- chili powder
- garlic powder
- shredded Mexican cheese. You can also blend Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar cheese. Freshly shredded cheese melts better than store bought shredded cheese and doesn't contain any additives.
- sour cream: I recommend full fat sour cream.
How To Make Enchiladas Gluten Free
- Flour: Use a gluten free flour mixture, like King Arthur's gluten free flour
- Tortillas: Use gluten free tortillas such as gluten free corn tortillas or almond flour tortillas.
- Chicken Broth: Use gluten free chicken broth.
Full step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card below. You can print or save to Pinterest for later.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray your 9x13-inch casserole baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Measure ingredients, chop green onion and cilantro.
Make Enchilada Sauce:
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Stir in flour and chili powder. Whisk for 1 minute to make a roux.
- Stir in the ground cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and garlic powder. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- While that Is cooking, make the enchilada filling.
Make Enchilada Filling:
- In a medium bowl, mix the shredded chicken, chopped green onions, 1 cup of shredded cheese, sour cream, chiles and cilantro. Stir to combine.
- When enchilada sauce is done cooking, add ½ cup of the sauce to the chicken filling. Stir to combine.
- Spread a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of your baking dish to coat the bottom.
- Divide your chicken mixture into six fairly equal portions. Spread one portion of chicken onto the center of each tortilla. Roll the tortilla up and lay in casserole dish with the seam side down. Repeat with all the tortillas.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, ensuring all the tortillas are covered.
- Cover with the remaining shredded cheese mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.
- NOTE: To use corn tortillas, you'll need to heat them before filling them to make them pliable and prevent them from tearing. Microwave them or heat a skillet and add about ¼ cup of oil. Fry each tortilla for about 10 seconds on each side. Drain on a paper towel then fill as directed.
- Plase baking dish into the center of the oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. If you overcook the cheese it will begin to get hard.
- Remove from the oven. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes then serve while hot.
How To Make Shredded Chicken
Place 4 chicken breasts and a cup of chicken stock into your Crockpot or slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks and place the chicken back into the crockpot to soak up the chicken stock for 5-10 minutes. The best chicken enchiladas have juicy chicken!
Instant Pot Method
Place 4 chicken breasts and ½ cup of chicken stock into your Instant Pot. Close the lid and seal. Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. Carefully release steam when the 12 minutes are completed. Shred the chicken with two forks. Allow the shredded chicken to sit in the juice and soak up the juices for 5-10 minutes for the most moist chicken.
Cover and refrigerate in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.
To freeze enchiladas I recommend freezing before you cook them in the oven. Cover and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Interested in family style meals served in a casserole dish? You'll love this Italian sausage lasagna.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You can double or triple this recipe then freeze a couple pans of enchiladas for later. Assemble as instructed then refrigerate for up to 24 hours or cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and cook as directed. Cooking time may need to be increased.
Traditional enchiladas are made with corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are found more in northern Mexico and the United States This recipe includes instructions for either type of tortilla.
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- 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable oil, corn oil or avocado oil)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (see post for notes about Gluten Free enchiladas)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder (for extra spicy enchiladas use a little chipotle chili powder (try 1 teaspoon of Chipotle Chili Powder plus 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of regular Chili Powder to start))
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 14 ounce chicken broth (stock)
- 8 ounce canned tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups shredded chicken (cooked (see post for how to cook shredded chicken))
- ¼ cup green onions (chopped)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (Mexican cheese mixture or blend of Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar cheese)
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 ounces canned green chiles
- ¼ cup cilantro (chopped, plus extra for garnish)
- 6 8-10" tortillas (flour or corn (see post for information about gluten free enchiladas))
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and chili powder. Cook for 1 minute to make the roux.
- Add the cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and garlic powder. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Stirring as needed.
- Prepare the filling. Mix chicken, green onions, 1 cup of cheese, sour cream, chiles and cilantro in a bowl.
- Add ½ cup of prepared enchilada sauce.
- Spray your 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of your dish. Divide chicken and fill tortillas, rolling and placing seam side down in pan. Pour sauce over enchiladas, ensuring all the tortillas are covered. Cover with remaining cheese.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbling.