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White baking dish filled with chicken enchiladas and topped with sliced avocado, sour cream and fresh cilantro.
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5 from 1 vote

Classic Chicken Enchiladas

Classic Chicken Enchiladas. Soft white corn tortillas filled with tender, shredded chicken and melty cheese. All covered in a bold enchilada sauce. This recipe is easy to make and gives an authentic Tex Mex meal sure to please!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex Mex
Servings: 6
Calories: 663kcal
Author: Serene


  • 3 qt baking dish


Shredded Chicken

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts (or thighs) or 2 cups shredded chicken
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth low or no sodium
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 quarter white onion
  • 1 bayleaf


  • cup canola oil
  • 12-15 white corn tortillas
  • 3 cups Monterey Jack Cheese shredded (divided)
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce homemade sauce recipe here

Optional Toppings

  • sour cream
  • avocado
  • shredded lettuce
  • tomato
  • cilantro


  • Prepare Chicken: Remove any excess fat from the chicken and sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper. 
  • Heat Skillet: Drizzle the olive oil and heat in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook Chicken: Add the chicken and let it cook for 3 minutes on each side, just enough for a sear. Pour in the chicken broth, add the smashed garlic cloves, quartered onion, and bayleaf. Cover and let the chicken cook in the broth for about 15-20 minutes, until the chicken registers 165 degrees internally and is cooked through.
  • Prepare Enchilada Sauce: While the chicken cooks prepare the enchilada sauce. (If using canned sauce warm the sauce in a medium size skillet..this makes it easier to dip the tortillas). 
  • Shred Chicken: Remove the chicken from the skillet, shred using a fork, then return to the skillet. Stir to coat the chicken in the remaining sauce in the skillet. Let sit and keep warm on low heat for about 3-5 minutes, to get good flavor throughout the chicken.
  • Preheat: Preheat oven to 350℉. Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce into the baking dish and spread around to coat the bottom of the dish.
  • Heat Oil: Pour oil for enchiladas into a small skillet and heat over medium heat (oil should sizzle when tortilla is dipped into it).
  • Fry Tortillas: Briefly fry a corn tortilla in the hot oil, just enough to warm and soften the tortilla, about 5-7 seconds on each side, not enough to make the tortilla crispy. 
  • Dip the fried tortilla into the enchilada sauce to coat both sides. 
  • Fill Tortillas: Lay the tortilla down on a clean work surface (cutting board-for easy cleanup!) and layer shredded cheese and shredded chicken. 
  • Roll the tortilla and place in the baking dish, seam side down. 
  • Continue until all tortillas are used/or the baking dish is full. 
  • Top the Enchiladas: Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the tortillas. Top with extra remaining shredded cheese. 
  • Bake: Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes until all of the cheese is melted and the top is melted and bubbling. 
  • Serve the enchiladas while warm and garnish with desired toppings. 



  • Tortillas: white corn tortillas are the classic option. Yellow corn can be substituted. 
  • Enchilada Sauce: this homemade Tex Mex Chili Gravy comes together quick and easy and is the perfect sauce for this recipe. You of course can use canned sauce to save time. 
  • Chicken: use 2 cups shredded chicken. Can use rotisserie, or pre-shredded chicken if needed, just skip the steps to cook the chicken. 
  • Frying the tortillas: this step helps to keep the tortillas from breaking when rolling, the oil also helps to prevent them from becoming soggy. Frying them briefly brings out the corn flavor of the tortillas. 
Storage and Make Ahead Information:
  • Make Ahead: Enchiladas can be prepared, covered and stored in the refrigerator for 1 day. To heat, bake in the oven at 350℉ for 20-30 minutes until warmed through and cheese is completely melted.
  • Storage: store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
  • Reheating: place in an oven safe container and bake at 350℉ for 20 minutes until warmed through. The enchiladas will soak up the sauce as they sit over a few days, you may need to add additional sauce when reheating. 
  • Freezing: prepare the enchiladas in a freezer safe container, cover and place in a freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw by placing in the refrigerator overnight. Follow instructions above for reheating. 


Serving: 2enchiladas | Calories: 663kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 1339mg | Potassium: 738mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1015IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 475mg | Iron: 2mg