Mom’s Chicken Enchiladas

Ninety-five percent of the time when we have enchiladas, it is my mom’s (amazingly good, incredibly awesome) cheese enchiladas. Once in a while however, she’ll make chicken enchiladas. With chicken enchiladas she often uses a red chili sauce which is spicier than the green chiles of the cheese enchiladas. Sometimes she uses canned enchiladas sauce, sometimes she makes it from scratch. Sometimes she coats the tortillas in sauce before cooking them, sometimes she doesn’t. Every time she cooks it is an improvisation, so it can be difficult to pin her down on any one method or another. I’ve presented here her basic methods, with the variations.

Mom’s Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, chopped (about a cup)
  • Vegetable oil - grapeseed or olive
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5-ounce can tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted if you can get it
  • 2 Tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup to a cup of water
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Grapeseed oil, peanut oil or canola oil - a high smoke point vegetable oil
  • 2-3 cups of cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 cups grated cheese (about 1/3 lb)

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 Prepare the sauce. Coat a large skillet with oil and sauté the onions on medium heat until translucent, a few minutes. Add the garlic for a minute more. While the onions are cooking, purée the canned tomatoes in a blender. Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic. Bring to a low simmer. Start adding the chili powder, one teaspoon at a time, tasting after each addition, until you get to the desired level of heat and chili flavor. For us that's around 2 Tablespoons. But it depends on your taste and how strong the chili powder is that you are using. Note that the tortillas and chicken will absorb some of the heat, so allow for that and let it be a little bit spicier than what you want in the finished dish. Add a teaspoon of sugar if necessary to cut down on the acid from the tomatoes. You want more of the taste of the chili and less of the tomatoes for this sauce. As the sauce simmers, dilute it with water to keep it from getting too thick as it simmers. Remove from heat.

Alternatively, use a prepared canned enchilada sauce, which can be perfectly fine.

3 Mix in 1/4 cup of the sauce with the cooked chicken, and a 1/4 cup of the cheese. Sprinkle with a little salt. Set aside.

4 Prepare the tortillas. There are 2 basic ways to prepare the tortillas - the traditional way of dipping them in the sauce and heating them individually, and my mom's way when she is trying to cut down on the fat.


First the traditional way. Heat a small light skillet on med-high heat. Add a teaspoon of oil (high smoke point oil as indicated above, we use grapeseed oil) to coat the pan. Dip a tortilla in the sauce to coat the tortilla with sauce on both sides. Place the tortilla in the skillet and heat for a few seconds, until the tortilla begin to show some air bubbles. Use a metal spatula to flip to the other side for a few more seconds. Set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Proceed to the step 5.


For my mom's low-fat method of heating up the tortillas, she places a small amount of oil in the skillet to coat the pan. Add a tortilla, flip it to its other side. Then add another tortilla on top of the first to soak up some of the excess oil. Flip them both together and add yet another tortilla. Keep adding them wherever there seems to be some excess oil. The idea is to heat the tortillas and soften them with the minimum amount of oil. As the tortillas become soft and heated, remove them to a paper towel to soak up even more excess oil. If you find you need more oil in the pan, add it. With this method, you do NOT get the chili flavor infused in the tortillas. It is a matter of preference. I prefer the first method, excess oil or not, because it has a much richer and spicier flavor. But as my mom says, "Anything goes. This is just a guideline; do what you want."

Note that because we made this batch the low-fat way, the following photos show tortillas not coated in chili sauce, but the method is the same for if you did.


5 Assemble the enchiladas. Use an 8x12 inch pyrex baking dish. Place a couple spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the center of a tortilla and roll it up. Place in the baking dish and repeat until all dozen of your tortillas are neatly placed in rows in the casserole dish. Cover the tortillas rolls with the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Note that I recall often eating these chicken enchiladas with very little cheese on them. Instead we had probably 2/3 cup of chopped fresh onion that had been soaked in vinegar sprinkled over the top. (My mom, bless her soul, has no recollection of the chicken enchiladas without the sprinkled cheese. But she's in her 70s and sometimes doesn't remember these things. Or she remembers later and doesn't remember that she ever forgot them in the first place. But heck, I'm in my 40s and my memory isn't what it used to be either.)

6 Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

Use a metal spatula to serve.

Serve with thinly sliced iceberg lettuce that has been seasoned with vinegar and salt (no oil), guacamole or avocado slices, and sour cream. Garnish with cilantro.

Serves 4.

Links:

Mom's cheese enchiladas

94 Comments

  1. Jeff

    I’ve made something similar, but swapped out chicken with black beans and also a little salsa verde on the side (just because I love salsa verde! lol)

  2. jen maiser

    Cool pictures Elise. Believe it or not, I have never made enchiladas – which is pretty funny coming from a Mexican family. My grandmother’s are very good, but she hasn’t made them in about 15 years I’d guess … she thinks they are too much trouble and opts for chilequiles instead.

  3. ChezMegane

    Enchiladas are some of my favorite things to make. I usual fry the tortillas like your mom…it tastes SO good. My recipe is almost just like yours but I usual add some chopped red onion and cilantro in with the chicken filling instead of on top, but we basically have the same idea! Such a simple recipe but truly the best! I am excited to try your sauce recipe. Thanks!

  4. Michelle

    Another variation on preparing the tortillas, I do it “assembly line” style, by placing the tortillas on a hot griddle, spraying them with cooking spray on both sides. Then they go from the griddle into the sauce, then get filled and rolled. If I’m in a hurry, I don’t roll, I make layers of tortilla and filling, like lasagne, and top with cheese, scallions and sliced black olives.

  5. Lisa

    When using the no/low fat method you can dip the tortillas in the enchilada sauce after softening and prior to rolling them. This will give you a little more flavor.

  6. Dianne

    This recipe is delicious. I have served this dish two weekends in a row. Lots of fun to make and so authentic. Beautiful presentation. The seasoned lettuce and cilantro on top is awesome touch. Thank you, I love Mexican food!

  7. Tom

    I made this today for the first time for my roommates (5 large guys) and it was great! I bought Old El Paso Enchilada sauce instead of making the sauce however. Served with black beans and spanish rice, my roommates agree that this was their favorite meal of the summer!

  8. Leilani

    My family loved these Enchiladas! I didn’t have time to make the sauce, but the suggestion of canned worked perfectly. My sister, who is very picky about her diet, even enjoyed these-she just pulled the cheese off the top and gave it to my husband. haha

  9. Christine

    I am going to try this tonight with leftover Thanksgiving turkey !! What a great way to use leftovers. Thanks for the recipe

  10. grace

    Hi!

    I am so glad to have stumbled upon this delicious and easy recipe. Before I thought that enchiladas were beyond my reach but I can now enter the enchilada discourse with some experience under my belt ( I have made them twice!) And, I added to the filling black olives and red onion and it came out good!

    I will definitely check out your other recipes!

    thanks

  11. Adri

    Thanks for sharing your family recipe. I love to cook and wanted to try my hand at some yummy enchiladas. They turned out great!! My husband and I loved them. We are looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  12. Ron

    I’m the kid that didn’t watch his mom cooking and now that she’s gone, feels like he hasn’t had a good mexican meal in forever.

    I tried this recipe and I know I made mistakes but I have just one question.

    I dipped the tortilla in the sauce prior to frying and the tortilla fell apart, I couldn’t flip it in the pan. I tried using tongs at first, then a spatula and no go.

    Should I let the sauce cool before dipping the tortillas so that I can use my fingers? Might the quality of the tortilla effect this process?

    I grew up in Los Angeles but now live in New Jersey and find good ingredients difficult to come by. Even though I messed up a bit the flavor was terrific, even my Norwegian mother in law loved them.

    Thanks!!

    Ron

  13. Elise

    Hi Ron,
    First let me say I’m so sorry for your loss. Our mothers are treasures, I would be lost without mine.
    Regarding the tortillas, it is quite hard to find good quality tortillas on the East Coast. The last time I was in Boston I bought some from Trader Joe’s and even the TJ clerk told them they weren’t as good as the one TJ’s carries in California. If you really miss your Mexican food I would suggest buying a tortilla press and some masa. They are really quite easy to make (see How to Make Corn Tortillas). With the more fragile East Coast tortillas I would gently cook them and only use a metal spatula to flip them, not tongs. Tongs would most likely tear them. Good luck!

  14. Joyce Barg

    I just made your Mom’s Chicken Enchiladas. They were very easy to make and they smell wonderful. Can’t wait to have them for dinner tomorrow.

  15. Christian Smith

    I just had the best enchiladas I have EVER had, and I’ve eaten at some pretty good mexican/tex-mex restaurants.

    I mostly followed this recipes but made a couple of changes. Had a pork roast left over from dinner a few nights ago, so we chopped that up and then shredded it. Tossed it in a frying pan with a can of Old El Paso green chilies and a little butter. Cooked it until it was a nice mash, adding water when it got to dry.

    After that we pretty much followed your recipe and garnished with my own guacamole. Wow, thanks for the guiding hand.

    Even my wife liked them, and she “doesn’t like enchiladas”…

  16. Carissa

    This is a wonderful recipe! Thank you for the great step by step instructions, first time making enchiladas =) This is going to be one I use very often!

  17. Marilyn Roosevelt

    Thank you for a wonderful site. My mother would have loved this chicken recipe, bless her soul. I added a few things to experiment, and it turned out delish. In addition to oregano and cumin, I added Tequila to the suace in lieu of water as it simmered and it gave it a scrummy flavour.
    Thanks again,
    Marilyn
    p.s. I live in Cape Town, South Africa, so Mexican food is uncommon and something I miss desperately coming from Southern California!

  18. Marilyn Roosevelt

    Hello again. It’s Marilyn in South Africa. I forgot to mention that I had the same problem as Ron with the tortilla ripping, even when I used a spatula. Part of the problem was that I could only find flour tortillas, which seem to be flimsier than sturdy old corn ones. So, instead of “dipping” the tortilla into the sauce, I basted the tortilla with a basting brush on a plate. Seem to work just fine for me if this helps.
    Thanks again for such a friendly, helpful site.
    Marilyn

  19. Merica

    Yummy! I made the homemade sauce and it was simple–may never buy sauce again! :) I make a lot of Mexcian dishes and this is my husband’s favorite (with a few sliced black olives on the top). Thanks for the awesome recipe, Elise!

  20. Zerrin

    I made this recipe.I loved it .I highly recommend it for anyone.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.The only thing i did not pay attention cooking the tortilla little bit.I missed that part but still comes out delicious.

  21. Espahan

    Great looking recipe. I’m from New Mexico so I make the stacked enchiladas, the fillings added to each layer, usually about three to four layers in a wide soup bowl ending with a couple of spoonfuls of chile and topped with cheese and a fried egg. I also like to add chopped sweet onions to the layers. When I am feeling festive I add a dollop of pinto beans to one side, and some chopped lettuce, and tomatoes, and a few slices of avocado.

    You illustrated cooking the tortillas in a stack. This is a really fast way to do lots of tortillas. I accomplish this by using two forks. I lay one tortilla into a small iron pan. I flip it over, then add another tortilla. I use the two forks to turn them. It works pretty good even when you have up to ten tortillas to flip. A little practice is all it takes. Thanks for the really authentic and creative recipes you feature. How wonderful to have parents that passed on so many good recipes to you.

  22. Julie

    I’ve never heard of dipping the tortillas in the sauce before heating them; I’ve always used oil. I will have to try it that way.

    My mother always added chopped black olives and onions to the meat/cheese/sauce filling. I love it that way. Also we always use the green enchilada sauce. I like the flavor so much more than red sauce. It can be a little hard to find sometimes on the East coast though.

  23. Amie

    This was a really good recipe. I thought it was a little time consuming, although I have never made enchiladas before, so I am not sure if this is the “easy version” or not. I cooked each tortilla in the sauce before assembling the enchiladas, and I made my own sauce. I don’t think I had enough sauce, and the enchiladas turned out a little dry for my preference. Otherwise, they were really good.

  24. steph

    Holy cow! I made these last night, and they were so good…and easy!! I’ve recently moved from New York City to Sydney, and have been really sad about the state of Mexican food and the difficulty in finding Mexican/Latin ingredients here in australia. I could easily find everything needed for this, though, and it was great to have some truly fabulous enchiladas again. I also love the trick of seasoning lettuce and onion garnish in salt and vinegar (like quick escabeche). Thank you and your mum–the cheese one are next on my list!

  25. carole smith

    Hello, i stumbled upon your chicken enchilada recipe and it looked the nicest especially as it is without using ready made stuff, I made them last week and they are delicious, I used the frying/dipping method and my only alterations to your mums were to add some fresh coriander and smoked paprika to the sauce, thank you for sharing the recipe it was a definite hit with my lot, Carole (England)

  26. Elise

    Hi Kelly – you can make enchiladas with flour tortillas instead of corn. We don’t make them here, so I’m not sure what of the procedure would be different. The flour tortilla enchiladas I’ve had in restaurants don’t usually seem to be dipped first in the sauce, but have the sauce applied later.

  27. Theresa

    Thank you (and your mom)so much for this recipe! It has become a family favourite – my two year old can’t get enough. I sometimes add refried beans with green chiles to the chicken which turns out really well.

  28. Yvette

    Thanks so much for the recipe. Hubby said it was better than his moms. Told him he dare not to tell her that. ;) Only problem I had, I didn’t have hardly any sauce left over to put on top of the enchilada, before baking. Still turned out great.

  29. Stephen Kimbrell

    I went the alternative route to making these enchiladas and substituted for Hatch Enchilada Sauce due to the time restraints however; this recipe made me hungry for enchiladas just reading the ingredients. I will add this to my recipe box so when I have more time. Now all I need is a recipe for Hatch Green Chile Relleno’s like the ones Tomasito’s in Santa Fe make along with their Sopapilla’s! Gracia’s!!

  30. Pam

    I was craving enchiladas. I’ve always loved your site. I found this recipe, had the ingredients, tried it out and it was a hit. Thank you Elise. Keep up the good work! Seasons Cheers!

  31. Keisha

    Absolutely delicious, made three times already in a month’s time… rave reviews from friends. I’m American, but alot of my friends are Mexican, and they practically enhaled them. I’ve made a few modifications… (Although the recipe is perfect the way it is) But if you are feeling creative… Roast a couple garlic cloves and a half an onion… Also toast 2 Pasilla chiles, 3 Guajillo chiles, soak in warm water 20 minutes… Remove membranes, and seeds. Blend roasted garlic, onions, and chilies with your tomatoes in the blender, proceed as directed.

  32. Jess in Aventura

    I am mexican and I followed this recipe and it came out great! I ran out of shredded cheese halfway thru and ended up putting slices of Kraft cheddar cheese on top along with the sauce. Surprisingly it came out excellent. I also put some cheese in with the chicken. My mother suggests laying the enchiladas flat (tostada style) and filling the pan up and then adding a layer of flat corn tortillas on top. She also says that if you are using vegetable oil the oil must be really hot so that the tortillas don’t tear, however, if you are using manteca (lard) then it doesn’t have to be really hot.

  33. Kristin

    Elise, thanks for sharing your family recipes. We grew up eating stacked cheese enchiladas (I guess Grandma figured it was easier to make enough to feed a crowd). This recipe method is similar to my Mom’s & Grandma’s except that we fry the tortillas in the oil first and then dip them into the sauce. I’ve yet to try it the other way (sauce first, then oil fry), but plan to soon. One of my favorite ways to use up the rest of the Thanksgiving turkey is to shred it and marinate it overnight in a Ziploc bag with a can of Las Palmas Enchilada sauce (homemade would be even better). The next day I assemble the enchiladas, usually stacked, sometimes rolled, mixing in cheese, chopped onion, and black olives with the turkey. My family dislikes dark meat, but they never know that they are eating it with these enchiladas.

  34. Margarit

    Does anyone know if I make this the night before and then bake it the next night, will the tortillas become hard?

    As long as you prepare the tortillas as described, softening them first, then if you let the casserole sit in the fridge uncooked overnight, you should have no problem cooking it the next day. By the way, these enchiladas make for great leftovers. We often have them reheated for breakfast the day after an enchiladas dinner. ~Elise

  35. heather

    YUM! thank you. This is my second time coming to this page, and making this recipe. First we did it for guests, and tonight I made it for just me and my fella. This time, I used about 1 1/4c chicken (this was all we had leftover from a small roast chicken). So I combined it with veg. I cooked chopped veg: 1/2 and onion, 1/3 of a green pepper, 5 mushrooms and 1/3 c eggplant. I cooked till soft, then added the chicken to warm it up and followed all the rest of your instructions.

    It was different, but really yummy!

  36. walter

    I am working for a large hotel and I am going to use this recipe to feed 100 people, I am going to use your mom original recipe, and tell her thank you so much for this information and thank you for the easy explanation step by step and the pictures are so helpful.

    Again Thanks.

    WS

  37. Ali

    Thanks for this recipe. Made it for my family last night, and we all enjoyed it very much! Now, if only tortillas were cheaper in Australia… ;-)

  38. DreamingOn

    I made this dish just a few weeks ago, and my family loved it! I’m so happy, they’re very picky eaters.
    This was a great recipe, easy to make. Thanks a bunch!

  39. Sonia

    I made this recipe for my brother’s recipe and we loved it. It was really very good and identical to my favorite taqueira enchiladas. Thanks very much!

  40. Anita

    I made this last weekend with fresh homemade corn tortillas – it was absolutely delicious and the recipe was very easy to follow. Elise – once again, thanks for a great recipe!!

  41. JSB

    Ever since I retired, I have cooked three nights a week to give my wife a break. I tend to favor simple meals, since I’m no chef. My wife has never made Mexican food at home, so I thought I would try this recipe. These enchiladas were so good I could have eaten the whole lot myself.

    After some really bad experiences, my wife actually REALLY enjoyed the enchiladas rather than just being polite.

    Thanks.

  42. Karen

    These were really delicious! My husband said they were the best enchiladas he has had. We love authentic Mexican and have had a hard time finding an enchilada recipe that was our taste. Simple ingredients and simple preparation yielded such awesome results! I did make one change. Since I live on the East coast and read some of the comments about the tortillas falling apart when softening in the sauce, I put a stack of 10 tortillas between 2 damp towels and microwaved them for 1 1/2 minutes. I then filled them and followed your recipe. Turned out great! Thanks!

  43. Almita

    I guess my Mother was “old school” she not only dipped the tortillas in oil then the sauce, she made her sauce from scratch using dried out chili peppers. This caused the tortillas to become very soft, and she would discard the torn ones.
    I don’t remember any tomato in her sauce, and certainly no milk. Some of the recipes I have seen online are pretty gross. I have even read recipes with a can of mushroom soup! It was alot of hard work, but she made the best enchiladas in the world, and left us begging for more.

  44. Joe

    This is a very good recipe. The only thing I’d add is more detail about the sauce. I ended up with very chunky and dry sauce the first couple times, until I discovered to chop the onions in a food processor. While this did help, the sauce wasn’t very saucy; I had to occasionally add water as I dipped the tortillas. I’d also add that the sauce that you pour over the top tastes even better if you add a generous amount of taco sauce (not salsa) to it. As a bonus, I also dusted the chicken breasts with taco powder and then grilled them. This made them very tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

  45. Lindsey

    Hmmm, this recipe didn’t do it for us. The sauce had kind of a peculiar aftertaste and it had a little too much texture despite adding the water. Maybe the brand of chili powder left something to be desired. I also used colby/jack cheese because it’s what I had on hand, is there a cheese that you would recommend? I used diced tomatoes and ran them through the food processor until liquid … how long do you simmer the sauce after all the ingredients have been added? I only simmered for a few minutes and it was a little chunky and grainy. Next time I might just used canned sauce.

  46. Kris

    My daughter asked me to make chicken/cheese enchiladas, so I made these on Saturday. They are absolutely delicious! My daughter really loved them!! I will definitely make them again and will pass this wonderful recipe on to others. I opted for the home-made enchilada sauce, rather than canned sauce and am so glad I did! Great recipe!! I will try your mom’s cheese enchilada recipe next time! Thanks!

  47. kris

    Hi…this is Kris again and I wanted to add that I had the same problem with the tortilla falling apart, as Ron and Marilyn. I did use tongs instead of a metal spatula. Next time, I’ll be sure to use the spatula! After poor results with the first two tortillas, I began frying each one without first dipping it in the sauce. This worked out just fine and the enchiladas turned out great!

  48. Christer

    Hi. I used your recipe this evening. Despite exchanging the onions for leek and using wheat tortillas from Old El Paso with no preparations except warming them in the micro, it was highly appreciated by my family. Thanks! I’ll do this again.

  49. Stacey

    I grew up in a home where no one really knew how to cook – we were definately a frozen food family. After moving out last year, and after wasting WAY too much money eating out, I decided to try to learn to make a few simple meals. I stuck to very basic recipes, mostly ones that came from the side of a soup can (eg: Cook chicken, pour soup on chicken). It was pretty frustrating; even though I wasn’t exactly putting in a lot of effort the results were still… lacking.

    I came across this recipe awhile ago, and thought I’d give it a go. I was a little hesitant about trying it because it seemed a little too tricky for me (and maybe it was!) but the step-by-step directions and photos were a huge help. I had a lot of fun making it, and I was very pleased and impressed with how it turned out. It has really encouraged me to challenge myself a little more in the kitchen and to keep trying new things. I not be throwing a dinner party anytime soon, but at least I can make a meal and enjoy eating it. And for me, that’s pretty awesome!

    Thanks for sharing this, and all your other lovely recipes.

    Hi Stacey, learning how to cook when one doesn’t have someone standing there teaching you can be a challenge! I applaud you. ~Elise

  50. Amanda

    I was a little skeptical when tasting everything before putting it in the oven but it was AMAZING! Definitely take the time to make the homemade sauce, it isn’t even that time consuming. I also heated the tortillas up in the microwave and it worked perfectly. My bloated belly thanks you for the delicious recipe!

  51. Fiona Angil

    I made this for my family for Sunday dinner. It was so delicious and way cheaper than the pre-made stuff. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  52. Ben

    Hey, this was my first attempt to make chicken enchiladas. It was for Cinco de Mayo, 2009. My mom is a great cook, but she was so impressed with my effort and it was a fun recipe to make. I did some frijoles and Spanish rice. Thanks for the recipe, it was wonderful and tasty. I chose to dip the tortillas in the sauce and fry, I really liked the consistency.

    Muchas Gracias.

  53. Sharon

    Awesome recipe! Probably will use a bit more chicken next time. And maybe a little more sauce. But really really good. My fiance loved them and thought they were very authentic. Thanks for another good one!

  54. Kate

    I’ve been looking for a enchilada recipe which makes the sauce instead of using pre-made stuff for ages now. I made this a few weeks ago, and then again last night and it’s brilliant. I just zapped the tortilla’s in the microwave instead of doing what you did because I’m not confident that I could do that without burning myself (I did burn my hand when I took them out of the oven, so my burn avoidance plan didn’t work out too well). I loved the sauce and I’ll be making these again. thanks.

  55. mjd

    This recipe is simple and easy to follow; so delicious! In fact, my enchiladas using this recipe are preferable to a long established taqueria (Chavos)in SOMA San Francisco; I followed the traditional way of dipping then frying the tortillas; I used leftover roasted chicken (perfect way to polish off a Costco roast chicken), canned red enchilada sauce, canned diced tomatoes; a homerun for me on my first try making enchiladas; flavors deepen and improve served as leftovers. Love it!

  56. Linda Triffo

    The recipe sounded easy enough. I frankly found that they just needed something else! I followed the recipe making my own sauce. A good starter, but needed some additional spices and cheese.

  57. will

    Very tasty and easy to make. One thing I like with my enchiladas is for them to be a bit crispy on top. To accomplish this I spread the sauce and cheese unevenly so when baking the tortillas would crisp up in spots. YUM!

  58. Lori

    Hello! I am a big fan of your website and have made many amazing recipes already!

    We enjoyed this, my 6 year old loved it. My only issue was that I really didn’t have much sauce left over, I almost felt as if it could have been doubled. But I just put cheese on top alone and it still tasted great!

    Thanks so much for this beautiful website!

  59. barbara

    I, too, had never made enchiladas. These are awesome! I had part of a roasted chicken left over and a few slices of roasted carrot. I made the sauce with Mexican tomato sauce and jalapenas, chopped the carrots up, added a bit of the jelly that roasting with white wine produces, dipped the tortillas and baked the end result.

    The frying of the dipped tortillas was quite loud. I love it when dramatic sounds and smells waft from the kitchen. Very good recipe.

  60. B Young

    WONDERFUL recipe! Thank you for sharing! Even my sometimes-picky kiddos cleaned their plates– I’ve been looking for the “perfect” chicken enchilada recipe, and I’ve found it. :)

  61. thedelishdish

    I made these for a party yesterday and they were a huge hit! Probably some of the best enchiladas I’ve ever tasted, and I can’t wait to make my own sauce next time. Thanks for sharing this great recipe that I will surely be coming back to!

    So glad you liked them, love your version! ~Elise

  62. Lara

    I’ve made these twice now making my own sauce using half a can of chipotle chilies in sauce added to a can of mild enchilada sauce in the blender making a hot smoky sauce. I really don’t like doing the sauce/oil method but I know that it produces the best tortillas. The first time I made these I diced up 1/4? cup of cilantro and forgot to add the cheese to the chicken mixture and they were raved over at work. On the second batch I didn’t have the cilantro but instead added 1/4? cup diced Vadalia onion and added dried cilantro to the cheese toping. Thank you for making me a pro at enchiladas!

  63. Sarah

    Hi Elise,
    These have become a regular part of our family meal plan. Roast chicken into chicken enchiladas into chicken stock into your chicken pot pie recipe (also incredible).
    Muchas Gracias!

  64. Ophelia

    I love this recipe – it’s so easy. I use the Muir Glenn fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles, which is great. I’ve done chicken following this recipe exactly, but just this weekend I diced some grilled zucchini and mixed it with black beans for a vegetarian option. I paired it with Spanish Rice recipe from this site, which was delicious.

    My husband loves enchilada night, and because there are just the two of us, I can make a big dish on Sunday and have enough for dinner on Monday, plus maybe even lunch on Tuesday. Love!

  65. Katie

    I never bothered with enchiladas before because I thought they would be too much work, but I tried them last week and it was soooo worth it. I’m making them again tonight!

    I swear the reheated leftovers were even better for having sat in the fridge for a night.

  66. Tracey

    Hi Elise,

    I’ve been a “lurker” for a while, but I have made a couple of your recipes and they were delicious. I just finished eating the enchiladas and they were so good I decided it was finally time to speak up. I love to cook and I love Latin food, but this was my first time making enchiladas. I used your Simple Cooked Salsa recipe for the sauce and my, oh my, it was awesome! I ended up making another batch of salsa, letting it simmer while I was eating my first nice hot enchilada. I put some of that extra sauce on my next helping! Can’t wait to take some of these for lunch tomorrow. Thanks!

    So glad you liked the enchiladas and salsa! ~Elise

  67. John De Santiago

    This is an interesting recepie. Being from Texas, El Paso to be precise, I have never heard of enchiladas being made with tomatoes. The name of the dish itself implies chile as the main ingredient. This sounds more like another Mexican dish called entomadas, or rolled up and stuffed tortillas topped with tomato sauce.

  68. nancy

    I am planning a graduation party for 80 people and would love to make and freeze the enchiladas- what do you think? I will need mexican recipes that can be made ahead and will still taste great!

    Yes, these are great as leftovers, so I imagine they would be easily frozen and reheated too. ~Elise

  69. MaryLou Saucedo

    I fry the tortillas in oil first and then soak in the sauce pull out with tongs or spatula fill with cheddar cheese, meat or chicken raw onions. roll, more sauce and bake. I use can red enchilada sauce and add red chili powder to taste it also helps the sauce along just in case you start to run out because if does reduce…..my kids ask for this every time they are in town! I make sure I have a whole chicken cooked and shredded….with red rice (saute rice light brown add onions can of tomato sauce, 2part water to boil lower to simmer cover no peaking 20min and refried-fried beans dash of milk and monterey jack cheese…and they are in heaven!

  70. Nadia

    I’m not a very experienced cook but this recipe looks so good and gonna try it this weekend. I just would like to know if I can just puree fresh tomatoes instead using canned tomatoes? If yes, how many tomatoes should I use?

    Yes, but you’ll have to cook them. I don’t know exactly how many, it depends on the size of the tomatoes. As many as would fill a 15 ounce can. ~Elise

  71. Sherihan

    I had a bad experience with enchiladas when I first tried them at a Mexican place, it was beef enchiladas and it was just awful!
    I decided to try this recipe because I just love this website and not a single recipe from here ever faild me :D
    I made it for dinner today and it was very good, my husband and I really enjoyed them, thx for sharing and bless your mom :))

  72. Elise

    These enchiladas were probably the best I’ve ever had – I had leftover pulled pork (PW’s recipe, actually) that I used instead of chicken. I had just enough pork to make a double batch and I’m so glad I did. They are SO delicious and there are plenty left over! The only thing I disliked was the tedium of frying two dozen tortillas – next time maybe I’ll try it a different way to see I can cut down on time without reducing the good flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

  73. Gayane

    Hi Elise,

    Rather than using a canned fire roasted tomatoes, can I roast them myself on the grill and use that to make the sauce for this recipe?

    Yes, but I would make sure I was using in-season tomatoes. Better flavor. ~Elise

  74. Gayane

    I used this recipe last night. I actually used fresh tomatoes and roasted them on the grill outside to make my own sauce rather than buy canned tomatoes or canned enchilada sauce. I also added a little cumin to the sauce because I didn’t know if I had the right chilli powder. I had some kind of red pepper powder with no label on it so I used it and added cumin to give it the enchilada sauce taste. It turned out so, very delicious. I’ll definitely make them again.

  75. Liz

    How long do I simmer the sauce? Five minutes? Thirty minutes?

    Just bring the sauce to a simmer for a few minutes. It will continue to simmer while you add the spices and adjust the seasonings to taste. Remove from heat before you dip the tortillas in it. ~Elise

  76. Ken

    First time trying cooking enchiladas; added a few things I had, and left out a few I didn’t. One thing I tried worked out great, grated about 1.5 oz. of unsweetened super-dark chocolate (85% cacao) into the sauce near the end – just enough to taste, but adds to the richness of the flavor a lot. Anyway, came out really excellent. Didn’t have Chile powder as such, but toasted some Anaheim and New Mexico peppers and ground them, that worked well, too. Thanks for the recipe!

  77. ksenia

    I have made many recipes from this site, I really like them all, but this one is a favorite. Whenever I make them for company, they are a huge hit. I add spanish rice (from this site) and home cooked black beans as side dishes. For these enchiladas I prefer the original, high fat method of tortilla frying.

  78. whitney

    Oh my heck never made enchiladas in my life and it’s been years since my mom has made them. This recipe is sooooo good! To who ever is reading this recipe… you have to try it. Thank you!!!

  79. Lisa

    I was reading your comment regarding not being able to find good quality corn tortillas on the East Coast, and couldn’t agree more, until recently. Having come from Southern CA I’m very picky about my Mexican food. I now live in VA and have recently found a company called LA Tortilla Factory (hails from CA, of course) has emerged at the local Giant, and Safeway grocery stores out here. If you see tortillas from this company, you should def pick them up, as they are the closest thing to homemade corn tortillas I have ever had! :)

    BTW, I’ve been cooking recipes from your website for the last month now, and EVERYTHING I have made has been nothing short of amazing! Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful recipes with us!

    Thank you for the tip, and the kudos, Lisa! ~Elise

  80. amanda

    this recipe was just what i was looking for! i have chicken and corn tortillas and wanted to make enchiladas without having to go to the grocery store for enchilada sauce. even the food.com version had “canned enchilada sauce.” i’m hoping it’s a hit for the whole family! thanks for helping us make the recipe with ‘whole foods’

  81. Debiek

    OMG! LOVE IT. I will make this over and over again, but had no idea how to even go about making enchiladas without your well laid out plan. And of course, keeping it fresh. Thanks again. Always Deb.

  82. Anya

    I made these last night. They were soooo good! Instead of using chili powder, I blended up a couple chipotle peppers (from a can) with the tomatoes. Oh and I did the dunking tortillas in sauce method, but instead of frying, I stacked them all on a plate after dunking and microwaved them for 30 seconds. It worked really well.
    Just wanted to say thank you. I love your site, the recipes always work out great :)

  83. Kyle

    Since stumbling on your site and making these, it’s now a weekly staple. I recently served them to guests and someone proclaimed that they tasted JUST like enchiladas from their favorite Mexican restaurant (that no longer exists). So I’ve passed on the recipe. I use whole wheat tortillas instead of corn (that are just rolled with no prep required which makes it a super quick recipe) but would imagine an even more authentic flavor with the corn. Very fresh, healthy, delicious dish and your pictures also very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  84. Jodi & Kolchak

    You made that look SO EASY! LOL, and it looked so clean and tidy as you did it. Right now my kitchen looks like a tomato monster exploded and I ripped my tortillas all to shreds and I’m pretty sure I ended up making some sort of enchilada casserole, but my, is it tasty! Thanks for the recipe :0)

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.