This Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe is loaded with shredded chicken, black beans, enchilada sauce, and shredded Mexican cheese! Ready in less than an hour, this easy Mexican dish is healthy and family-friendly too. Perfect for meal prep and freezing!
The Best Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
This is my go-to easy chicken enchilada recipe. They are ready in under 45 minutes and they turn out great every single time. I use a store-bought enchilada sauce to save time but you could always make your own enchilada sauce at home – it’s really easy!
The enchiladas get stuffed with shredded chicken thighs, Mexican cheese, onions, garlic, enchilada sauce, and black beans. I like to add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and toss them together before portioning them out in the tortillas because it’s easier to assemble this way versus adding each ingredient to the tortilla.
This Easy Chicken Enchilada recipe is so healthy! It’s loaded with tons of protein from the chicken and the black beans, onion, chiles, and a little cheese of course! I like to load up the top with fresh veggies as well. My favorites to add are fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, diced red onion, and black olives.
Ingredients for Easy Chicken Enchiladas
- Enchilada Sauce: Standard store-bought enchilada sauce is perfect for this recipe or you can make your own! I used mild enchilada sauce however use medium or hot if you want an extra kick!
- Chicken: Use either leftover rotisserie chicken or I prefer to make shredded chicken in an instant pot (it’s really easy!). For even more flavor, make a batch of my Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas and use that instead of plain shredded chicken.
- Onion: Just one small onion gives tons of flavor!
- Chili: I threw in a can of diced green chiles for some heat and spice.
- Black beans: To keep it simple I added a can of black beans, however, if you prefer cooking dried beans from scratch, they will be delicious in this easy chicken enchilada recipe too! You could also substitute pinto beans for the black beans.
- Tortillas: Large flour tortillas hold up really well in enchilada casseroles. I personally prefer using flour tortillas however corn tortillas are traditionally used in Mexican style enchiladas!
- Cheese: Shredded Mexican cheese goes both into the tortillas and gets sprinkled on top of the enchilada casserole. You can substitute your favorite hard cheese instead. Cheddar or Monterey Jack would both be delicious as well.
- Garnish: I garnished the chicken enchiladas with fresh cilantro, diced red onions, tomatoes, and black olives. This is optional but the fresh taste is SO good! I highly recommend not skipping these!
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas
- Preheat the oven: To 350 degrees. Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan, and set aside.
- Saute onion and garlic: In a small skillet heat olive oil. Add onion and sauté until golden brown and slightly tender, 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Mix together filling: Transfer onion/garlic mixture to a large bowl along with the shredded chicken, green chilies, black beans, 1 cup of enchilada sauce, and 2 cups of Mexican cheese. Stir to combine.
- Roll up enchiladas: Layout the 8 flour tortillas. Divide the filling between the tortillas. Roll them up and place them in the prepared baking dish.
Pour the remaining 3/4 of enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake: For 20 minutes uncovered or until warm and the cheese is melted.
- Serve: Immediately with fresh cilantro, red onions, and tomatoes for serving, if desired.
What to serve with Chicken Enchiladas
I love to serve this easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe with sour cream, salsa, cilantro, and quick pickled red onions on top. I also like to serve them with extra enchilada sauce on the side.
Can I freeze chicken enchiladas?
Yes! Once assembled don’t bake the chicken enchilada casserole but wrap it up tightly and cover it in aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat defrost the enchiladas overnight in the refrigerator. Bake as directed and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- Optionally, you can fry the tortillas in a large pan with a little oil before assembling the easy chicken enchilada casserole recipe. This will help the tortillas to absorb less liquid so that they don’t get soggy.
- You could also microwave the tortillas for 30 seconds or so before rolling. It makes them so much easier to roll and they don’t rip apart as easily.
- Making your own enchilada sauce is easy and tastes so much better than store-bought! Check out my sauce recipe in my enchilada rice post.
- Use a different kind of meat! If you have leftover carnitas or barbacoa, this is a great way to use them up!
- Make these vegetarian enchiladas by omitting the meat and adding more beans, corn or veggies!
Mix it up and make these with green enchiladas sauce instead! Here is a great homemade recipe for making green enchilada sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Should I cover enchiladas when baking? No, I don’t think it’s necessary. I like the tortillas to become a little crispy on the edges as well. Delicious!
- What is enchilada sauce made of? My homemade enchilada sauce from my enchilada rice recipe consists of oil, flour, chicken broth and spices. It’s super easy to make and lasts for a while in the fridge!
- Are enchiladas healthy? Yes, I’d say so! They have lots of protein from the black beans and chicken, plus a source of fat (cheese) and carbs (tortillas). I like to top them with fresh cilantro, diced tomato, and diced onion for a little more nutrition.
Feeling lazy? Instead of rolling up the enchiladas make my vegetarian enchilada casserole. You can always add chicken to this!
More Easy Chicken Recipes to try!
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Chicken Shawarma
- Lemon Chicken
- Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
- The BEST Grilled Chicken
Easy Chicken Enchiladas
- 2 10 ounce cans enchilada sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound shredded chicken about 2 cups, I used chicken thighs but breasts will also work
- 1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 large flour tortillas
- 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese divided
- fresh cilantro diced red onions, tomatoes for serving, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan, set aside.
- In a small skillet heat olive oil. Add onion and sauté until golden brown and slightly tender, 3-4 minutes.Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Transfer onion / garlic mixture to a large bowl along with the shredded chicken, green chilies, black beans, 1 cup of enchilada sauce and 2 cups of Mexican cheese. Stir to combine.
- Lay out the 8 flour tortillas. Divide the filling between the tortillas. Roll them up and place in the prepared baking dish.
- Pour the remaining 3/4 of enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes uncovered or until warm.
- Serve immediately with fresh cilantro, red onions and tomatoes for serving, if desired.