Homemade Chicken Enchiladas – juicy, cheesy and full of flavor! There are a few components to homemade enchiladas, but it’s totally worth it with flavor you can never get from packaged spice blends and bottled enchilada sauce.
The base of this recipe is a Dual Purpose Enchilada Spice Blend which flavors the homemade Enchilada sauce and also seasons the chicken filling.
I love my enchiladas plump and generously stuffed, rather lean on the filling
I want the filling to be JUICY and full of flavor, rather than dry and crumbly inside.
And I want the sauce to still be there when it comes out of the oven, not just a layer of dried out crispy red.
If this sounds like your kind of chicken enchiladas, then this recipe is for you!
What You Need for Chicken Enchiladas
Here’s what you need for these homemade chicken enchiladas.
1. Enchilada spice blend
Used in Enchilada sauce as well as to season chicken filling. Nothing fancy here, just a generous dose of everyday spice!
2. Enchilada sauce and garnish
Let’s pretend I didn’t forget to include the tortillas to roll it all up! 😂
Refried beans – It’s the “secret ingredient”. It fills the filling so we can make big plump enchiladas without using tons of chicken, holds it all together and makes it nice and juicy – and I wrote the exact same thing about Chicken Burritos only a few weeks ago!
Tomato pulp – I use tomato pulp as a base for enchilada sauce which is a smooth tomato puree sold in bottles. It’s plain tomato, without flavorings or added salt, and I prefer it to the crushed tomato because it makes a creamy sauce. US: What you call “tomato sauce” (like Hunts) is an ideal substitute.
The passata is sold in the pasta section of supermarkets for about the same price as the crushed tomato.
How to make homemade chicken enchiladas
The 3 components to make homemade chicken enchiladas are:
Roll and Bake
1. How to make enchilada sauce
Enchilada sauce is thickened with flour and flavored with chicken stock/broth and Enchilada spices. A simple 5 minute blending and simmering job. And light years better than store bought – see readers comments on Beef Enchiladas which uses the same sauce!
2. Chicken filling
We coat the chicken in the homemade Enchilada spice blend, then sear it for maximum flavor. The smell when she touches the pan is terribly good!
The base filling starts with sautéed garlic and onion (flavor, flavor, flavor), then we mix in the refried beans, stir in the corn and ground chicken. As it simmers, the generous amount of seasoning on the chicken will seep into the sauce, flavoring it with all those savory enchilada flavors!
↑↑↑Note the thick and juicy texture of the filling that will be generously stuffed inside our enchiladas!
3. Rolling and assembly
It is better to slightly cool the filling so that it thickens a little, which makes it easier to roll up.
Also, I can never resist adding a little (or big 😂) pinch of cheese before rolling! But if you’re watching your calories, feel free to ignore it. 🙂
POINT: Add a little sauce to the pan so the enchiladas don’t slip and slide when you place them.🙌🏻
Pop it in the oven to bake for just 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and everything is bubbly and golden….
What to serve with enchiladas
pico de gallo is also a good side dish to add to more vegetables in the meal. Another big favorite is cucumber salad with herb and garlic vinaigrette – it’s terrifically refreshing, so it’s a great contrast to the cozy flavors of cheesy Enchilada! Otherwise, try this Chipotle Lime Roasted Cauliflower – very thematic with Mexican flavors. –Nagi x
Watch how to do it
Preperation: 20 minutes
To cook: 45 minutes
Tap or hover to scale
Video recipe above. If you like your enchiladas plump, juicy, saucy and full of flavor, this recipe is for you! Homemade from scratch, the base of this recipe is a dual-purpose Enchilada spice blend.
Make roux – Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for 20 seconds.
Add other ingredients – Add 2 tablespoons enchilada seasoning, broth and tomato. Stir to combine.
Simmer to thicken Increase the heat slightly to medium high. Cook for 4 minutes, whisking regularly, until the sauce thickens to the consistency of thick syrup. (see video). Remove from stove.
Coat the chicken – Drizzle 1 tbsp oil over chicken, toss to coat. Sprinkle with seasoning, toss to coat.
Cook the chicken – Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken, cook for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 1.5 minutes. Remove, stand 2 minutes then chop.
Fry the onion – In the same skillet, add the onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add bell pepper, cook 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add everything else – Add refried beans, diced chicken, corn and water. Stir and cook 2 minutes until slightly reduced. Should be thick and juicy, not runny.
Assemble and bake:
Preheat oven at 180°C/350°F.
To roll – Place the tortilla on the work surface. Spread 2/3 cup filling over bottom third, sprinkle with cheese then roll up, ending seam side down (to keep it closed). Repeat to make 8.
Defame a scoop of enchilada sauce on the base of a 22 x 33 cm / 9 x 13 in pan. Place enchiladas in, pour over remaining sauce, sprinkle with cheese.
To cook 20 – 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Serve immediately, sprinkled with cilantro!
If you are using corn or if the flour tortillas are a little stiff, just warm them slightly to make them soft (10 seconds in the microwave is enough).
2. Chicken – I do this to make thin steaks so there’s more surface area to coat in the spice mix!
3. Refried Beans – do not judge ! It’s a bit of a secret ingredient here, making the burrito filling juicy and holding it together, rather than dry and crumbly (which is too many burritos!)
They are basically pureed/mashed beans that are a staple in Mexican/Tex-Mex cuisine. Sold in the Mexican section of grocery stores, sometimes also in the canned vegetable section.
4. Tomato Pasta is often labeled “tomato puree” in the United States and Canada.
Tomato Paste Substitute – instead of using Passata, add 4 tbsp tomato paste PLUS 1 extra cup stock/broth PLUS 1 tsp sugar.
5. Storage: Cooked leftovers will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator.
BEST way to freeze or refrigerate – keep sauce separate, then pour over and sprinkle with cheese just before baking. (Reason: the tortillas absorb the sauce) Thaw the sauce then assemble (don’t forget the cheese!). Can cook from frozen (below).
Assemble entirely in advance – the best way is to completely cool the sauce and the rolled-up enchiladas (place them in the pan). THEN assemble. (The tortillas absorb much less sauce when both are cold). 95% as good as staying apart.
Cook frozen – Enchiladas can be cooked from frozen. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C/350°F.
If thawed, cook according to recipe.
6. Food by enchilada. These are BIG and plump! I find that 1 1/2 fills me!
calories: 471callus (24%)Carbohydrates: 35g (12%)Protein: 32g (64%)Fat: 22g (34%)Saturated fat: 9g (56%)Cholesterol: 81mg (27%)Sodium: 1152mg (50%)Potassium: 716mg (20%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 1192UI (24%)Vitamin C: 29mg (35%)Calcium: 300mg (30%)The iron: 3mg (17%)
I love my Mexican food loaded with BIG flavors!
The life of the bulldozer
Karma in action after teasing Dozer by showing him a strawberry cream pie I made….. (scroll down to see what happened 😭)