Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

There are some dishes that just were not meant to be photographed by me. I’ve attempted to take pictures of these enchiladas 4 separate times, and something always goes wrong. So, the result is a picture of an enchilada with a torn tortilla…enchiladas, you win. The resulting dish just isn’t pretty. In this case, looks are very deceiving, y’all. These enchiladas are even better than the ones at my favorite tex-mex joint! I absolutely love them, and this is now our go-to recipe. :-)

The first time I tried enchiladas was actually in college. See, I don’t like beans, and for some reason, I always thought every enchilada had beans. So, when one of my friends ordered them, insisting the ones at a restaurant were the best ever, I asked her what was in them. When she didn’t say beans, I had to try them. Why was I deprived for so long? Now, I usually order enchiladas when we go out for tex-mex. I prefer enchiladas to fajitas…crazy, eh?

Chicken Enchiladas
Source: mildly adapted from Pink Parsley Blog, originally from America’s Test Kitchen


  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 jalapenos, 1 seeded (the other not, for an extra kick)
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, grated with a microplane or minced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large roma tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (most of the times, we only need 1 large chicken breast…2 is just too many)
  • 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • salt and ground black pepper


  1. Place onion and jalapenos in a food processor until chopped very fine.
  2. Combine the onion, jalapenos, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Cook the sauce on medium-low, until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.
  3. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.
  4. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture, and add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
  6. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Working with the tortillas one at a time, spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture on the left side. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  7. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don’t like the crunch…my husband loves a good bit of crunch to these).
  8. Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through.
  9. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.


  1. These sound wonderful and I think the picture actually looks VERY appetizing – yummy and cheesy/gooey. Yum!

  2. I think it looks delicious! There are some dishes that just don’t photograph “well” in theory but actually look really tasty because you know what it is and can drool over the lovely goopiness of it. :) I’m with you on no beans, which makes me a fan of enchilada’s, as well!

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