These quick and easy chicken enchiladas are a family favorite and after trying them I’m sure they’ll become one of yours as well!
With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I feel it’s appropriate to share another Mexican-inspired dish. Plus I need an actual meal to serve with all of the salsa I’ve been making lately! Did you catch my restaurant-style salsa on Tuesday? It’s mucho delicioso and would be a great addition along with some tortilla chips for these chicken enchiladas!
Chicken enchiladas were one of the first meals Kevin ever made for me, so they hold a special place in my heart. Even though he used the Old Elpaso® enchilada kit, I was super impressed! I was clearly head over heels for him, right? Watching him take the time to cook and shred the chicken and then roll up each little enchilada, place in the baking pan, pour over those little sauce packets and then pile on lots of shredded cheddar cheese, was just too cute. They were always delicious and while we don’t often use the boxed version today, I still smile when we walk past them at the grocery store 🙂
These box-free enchiladas are super quick (and tasty!), not to mention I always feel a little better about feeding my family “real foods” where I can quickly list and pronounce all of the ingredients, don’t you? Sure we keep pre-made foods in the pantry and freezer for when I need something in a pinch, but if I can swing homemade, I try to do so! One of the great things about this recipe, which helps me keep a lot of the components homemade is that they be made ahead of time and either refrigerated or frozen. I try to take advantage of the time when Emily naps or goes to bed at night and prep for recipes like this.
For the chicken, I like to use my crockpot shredded chicken, although you could use a rotisserie chicken or another type of cooked meat. Sometimes I use my classic taco meat, which is good too! Since I usually have this stocked in the freezer, I just transfer it to the refrigerator the night before to defrost. How nice is that? For the sauce, you can always buy your favorite brand at the store, but I recently came across this recipe, which has forever changed my enchilada game! I had no idea it would be so easy to make and be so good! I made a large batch the other week ago and froze it in single recipe portions, so I only had to take it out of the freezer the night before, like the chicken. It’s actually so good that I sometimes put some on my rice and black beans! The last item on my “make from scratch” list is the taco seasoning. I have a homemade version, but in a pinch you could always use a packet from the store. The great thing about this recipe is that you can make the different items from scratch if you have time, but if you don’t there are great alternatives you can find at your local grocery store – no judging here 🙂
Once you have your chicken, sauce and taco seasoning made, pulling together this meal is a cinch! Simply flavor the chicken by adding a little water and taco seasoning to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the chicken and cook until almost no water remains. Then lay out the first tortilla and spoon a heaping 1/3 cup of your meat mixture onto it. I put the filling just left of center down the tortilla. Roll it up and place seam side down in a greased 9×13 dish. Continue this process with the remaining tortillas. Once finished, spoon your sauce over them and top with cheese. I only use a 1/2 cup to stay on the healthier side, but you can definitely use more if you want. Cover the pan with foil, bake for about 20-25 minutes and that’s all there is to it! Your homemade Mexican fiesta is ready to enjoy 🙂
If you don’t already have your Cinco de Mayo meal planned out, consider giving these family favorite enchiladas a try!
- 2½ cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 3¼ tsp. taco seasoning (or 1 packet from the store)
- ⅓ cup water
- 6-7 6-inch flour tortillas
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Optional toppings, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, avocado, green onion, sour cream
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and then set aside. You can also line the pan with foil before using cooking spray for easier clean up.
- In a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat, add the water and taco seasoning, stir to combine. Then stir in the chicken. Cook until most of the water has evaporated, just a few minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Taking the first tortilla and lay it on a flat surface - I use a cutting board. Spoon on about ⅓ cup of the meat down the tortilla, just left of center. Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in your prepared dish. Continue this process with the remaining five tortillas.
- Pour the sauce over your enchiladas and top with the shredded cheese.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Top with lettuce, tomato, etc. if desired and enjoy!
Side Dishes to serve with these enchiladas: