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Chicken Enchiladas

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These chicken enchiladas have a great chicken filling that can be made on the stove or in a slow cooker.  Use my recipe for homemade red enchilada sauce, or pick up a can of sauce if you prefer. Either way, the result is going to be flavorful and filling!

Dinner plate with a large chicken enchilada on it next to a pan with more enchiladas topped with red sauce and melted cheese.

Chicken enchiladas are full of flavor and you can prep them ahead of time if you need a quick and easy dinner. This recipe from my sister-in-law is our go to for chicken enchiladas with red sauce.

She shared it with us back in 2015 when I was asking our friend and family for favorite recipes to try. Who would have imagined that little project would have turned into this?

Either way, when she asked her husband what recipe she was famous for, he said these chicken enchiladas. And that is saying something because she is one heck of a baker and cake decorator.

So, needless to say, I was quite excited to try them. You know they have to be good if they are her signature dish.

Ingredients including chicken, tortillas, olive oil, garlic, lime juice, green chilies, red onion, roasted red peppers, tomato sauce, cheese, and seasonings, ready to be made into homemade chicken enchiladas.

My husband and I were amazed.  They smelled so good while they were cooking and they tasted even better.

I am telling you, there is a reason why her husband so heartily recommended these enchiladas. They are fabulous!

Why You’ll Love These Enchiladas

The filling can be made pretty quickly on the stovetop. Or, make the filling in the slow cooker.

The chicken will cook while you go about your day. Just shred it and wrap it in tortillas when you are ready to assemble your enchiladas.

The lime and seasonings that go with the chicken add so much flavor. You could even use it as a chicken taco recipe if you didn’t want to add the time to bake it into enchiladas.

The homemade red enchilada sauce is delicious. It is so much better than what you can find in a can of sauce.

Making your own means you can adjust the flavors to your preferences. We love it as written, but you can dial the spice up or down based on how you like it.

However, in a pinch, you can use a can of sauce instead. It will still be good, especially if there is a brand of sauce you especially like.

Pan of chicken enchiladas with homemade red sauce and cheese on top, ready to go in the oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of tortillas should you use for enchiladas?

Corn tortillas are a more traditional option to use for enchiladas. You fry them slightly and then wrap them around the filling.

You can certainly use them for this recipe. However, my family prefers flour tortillas.

We personally like the softer, smoother texture of flour tortillas better. You are welcome to use whichever you prefer.

Large enchilada with red sauce and melted cheese on top and shredded chicken filling inside, ready to eat.

What kind of cheese should you use on enchiladas?

Jess recommends using either chihuahua cheese or shredded Monterey Jack on these enchiladas. However, a Mexican cheese blend, or queso fresco also work well.

What should you serve with enchiladas?

We like serving our enchiladas with rice and refried beans. I guess because those are the most common sides at Mexican restaurants, it just feels right.

However, you could also just make a quick green salad to serve with these beauties. Or make some black bean and corn salad or even some guacamole and serve with a pile of chips.

Chicken enchilada with homemade red sauce and melted cheese on plate with fork, ready to eat.

If you tried this recipe, or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments. Hungry for more?  Be sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Chicken enchilada with homemade red enchilada sauce and melted cheese on top.

Jess’s Chicken Enchiladas

Servings: 10 Enchiladas
Author: Carlee
These yummy enchiladas have a great chicken filling that can be made on the stove or in a slow cooker. The result is flavorful and filling!
5 from 8 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


Chicken Filling

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 4 ounces diced green chiles or jalapenos
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers chopped (optional)
  • Cholula to taste (optional)

Red Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For Assembly

  • Tortillas
  • Chihuaha or Jack Cheese



  • Pan fry chicken breasts in olive oil until mostly cooked, then remove from pan and shred
    2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Return shredded chicken to pan. Add remaining filling ingredients and cook until chicken is fully cooked and lime juice has simmered down. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    2 cloves garlic, 2 Tablespoons lime juice, salt and pepper, ½ cup chopped red onion, 4 ounces diced green chiles or jalapenos, 1 Tablespoon dried Mexican oregano, ½ cup roasted red peppers, Cholula

Red Enchilada Sauce

  • Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir in flour and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium and cook until lightly browned, stirring constantly.
    2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • Add tomato sauce and water and stir well to combine.
    8 ounces tomato sauce, 1½ cups water
  • Add seasoning to your liking, tasting as your go.
    1 Tablespoon cumin, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons white pepper, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Spread about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a greased casserole dish (I used a 9×9 pan)
  • Roll filling into tortillas and place in pan seam-side down.
  • Continue until all of the filling is used and pan is full.
  • Cover with remaining sauce and shredded cheese.
  • Bake uncovered until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted, around 30 minutes.


For a slow cooker filling, place all of the filling ingredients in your Crockpot and cook on low for about 6 hours. Then shred the chicken and use as the filling for your enchiladas. 
You can use a can of enchilada sauce if you prefer, but homemade is really tasty! 
These freeze well. You can  split the batch into two smaller pans and bake one and freeze the other. Thaw in the fridge overnight and put the cold dish in the oven right when you turn it on. Add a few minutes to the bake time. They are done with the tortillas are lightly toasted and the sauce is bubbly.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 207kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 30gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 256mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 24th of April 2024

These are so good highly recommend.


Monday 20th of March 2017

I have never seen Mexican oregano, something new to look forward to! They sound marvelous.


Tuesday 21st of March 2017

you could use regular in a pinch!

Two Chicks and a Mom

Thursday 9th of February 2017

So tasty, Carlee! I will be trying these. Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday:).


Sunday 12th of February 2017

Thank you, Donna. I hope you love them!


Thursday 9th of February 2017

Thank you!


Monday 6th of February 2017

Man, both of you in one family, plus your brother, husband and the rest of the bunch, must be so cool. Love that everyone can cook, bake, grill. Can you adopt me? LOL Every time you all get together it's a party for the taste buds!

We love mexican food, and like to prepare it at home, making enough for leftovers, of course. Definitely going to try these, they look delish! Thank Jess for me!


Tuesday 7th of February 2017

We'd be happy to have you! We do tend to have a lot of activities that center around food. You just never know what people are going to make next! I hope you love the enchiladas. They are definitely a great big batch meal that give good lunches for a few days after!