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This is my “go to” enchilada recipe. (much like many of the recipes on your site!) It’s super simple and so delicious! I make this with your Mom’s spanish rice. So good! Thank you!!
Can you stack them on top of each other if you want to make bigger batch? Can you use a aluminum pan?
Hi Nelson, yes you can stack them, though you may need to keep them in the oven longer. I haven’t tried using an aluminum pan for these. Generally I don’t use aluminum pans when you are dealing with a sauce that has an acidic element, like tomato, because the aluminum in the pan can leach into the sauce and affect the taste. That said, lots of people use aluminum pans for lasagna without an issue, so sure, why not?
Just made this for dinner tonight and it is really delicious! Will be using that marinade recipe again and again! Great flavor and just so delicious! Thanks for sharing!
Hi, I’m new to the site. Everything looks wonderful. Regarding the enchilada sauce, I have to make it from scratch as I’m in Switzerland and the ready made sauces are really terrible. I looked at your recipe but it says 5 spoonfuls of chili powder. We must be using different types because 5 teaspoons will be way too hot (and we like pretty spicy foods). Can you help guide me? I was swooning over the pictures and the comments about your mom’s chicken enchiladas….HELP!!! (and thanks)
Hi Byron, we have a product here in the states that is called Chili Powder, that is essentially ground up Mexican pasilla chiles. And maybe some other varieties of Mexican chiles. It’s pretty mild, especially compared to something like cayenne, which is also a powdered chili, but very hot. To make a Mexican chili sauce for enchiladas, you really need the Mexican chiles (chili powder) or else you won’t have the right flavor. That said, if you have a chili powder you like and you want to try to make the sauce with it anyway, just start with a small amount, and add more to the point that you like it.
Thanks! There are a lot of spices here called chili powder, but, in most cases, 5 Tbsp would be hotter than Tabasco sauce. I did try what you mentioned, just a bit at a time…but it still didn’t taste right. I’ll keep trying and, once again, thanks for your input.
Elise, I have watched your blog for years and really enjoyed your food. I’ve made several of the dishes to rave reviews. I used to pull up this recipe for enchiladas and make them often. A few years ago, I noticed the recipe changed. I tried it, but we didn’t like it nearly as much as the original – canned fire-roasted tomatoes, sugar, water, etc. I have tried to make the old version, but my memory of it has gotten fuzzy. Do you still have the old recipe somewhere on here?
Hi Crystie, you can find an earlier version of the recipe (or any recipe) at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Here’s what I think you are looking for: https://web.archive.org/web/20140401205718/http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/moms_chicken_enchiladas/
Very nice job presenting and explaining your family’s process for making chicken enchiladas.
These enchiladas were easy to make and exceptionally delicious. Hubby and I are definitely going to make these again. Thank you for the easy to follow directions.
Thanks MJ, I’m so glad you liked them!
Thank you so very much dear. I searched and searched for a real chicken enchilada recipe with corn tortillas! You did a fabulous job of giving us pics of the process and everything! Kudos my friend. You made my family have a great enchilada experience! And God Bless your mother for passing on her sacred tex mex recipe. I pray u pass it on and keep the Chicano culture alive and thriving! The world needs to know that Chicano culture is real. Thanks again
You are very welcome Vanessa, I’m so glad you like it!!
Thank you for this! I was married to a Mexican, but never took the time to watch her make these. Been looking for an easier way to soften them, this worked great!
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)
FIRST BITE IT WAS AMAZING!I LOVE IT!!!! SO GOOOOD! THANK YOU
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!
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 :)
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.
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’
Fantastic recipe- utterly delicious. Thanks!
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!!!
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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 :DI made it for dinner today and it was very good, my husband and I really enjoyed them, thx for sharing and bless your mom :))
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!
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
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
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.
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!
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!
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
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. :)
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!
LOVE IT!!..i have been looking for this recipe forever!…thank you!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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!
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!
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… ;-)
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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.
Can you use wheat tortillas instead of corn tortillas?
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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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 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!
This was fantastic … so easy (although it did take a lot of dishes!), and my fiance loved it.
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!
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
This recipe is deliciousand easy to make.thanks alot.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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)