This Red Chicken Enchilada recipe makes the BEST DINNER EVER! They’re stuffed with shredded chicken and cheese, topped with red enchilada sauce and baked for 20 minutes.
If I had to pick one Mexican recipe to represent me and the food that I grew up eating, it would have to be enchiladas. Hands down, no question about it, enchiladas are the clear winner. I know it’s quite a bold statement, but it’s true. My parents would make them about once a week, and nobody every complained because they’re just so good!
The enchiladas my family makes are very similar to this recipe. They’re made with corn tortillas, homemade red enchilada sauce, and cheese. However, the tortillas are usually lightly fried in oil and only filled with cheese. They’re absolutely amazing and will forever be my favorite version, but now that I’m cooking for myself and my husband, I’ve decided to tweak the recipe just a little bit to make it healthier.
My version features baked corn tortillas instead of fried, and I’ve added some shredded chicken to the filling for some more protein. Everything else is exactly the same. So without further ado, let me show you exactly how I make them!
Red Chicken Enchiladas
To make this enchilada recipe, here’s what you need.
- Corn tortillas: I typically use 6-inch round yellow or white corn tortillas that I buy at my local grocery store. If you have a local tortilleria near you that sells freshly made corn tortillas, I recommend using those because they’re always the best! You could also make your own corn tortillas by following my tortilla recipe here.
- Enchilada sauce: I highly, highly, highly recommend making your own enchilada sauce if you can. Here’s my favorite enchilada sauce recipe that was given to me straight from my mom. It’s super easy to make and is freezer friendly, which is perfect if you want to make a big batch! If you’re not into making your own, I recommend finding a store-bought sauce that isn’t made with tomato sauce. I like enchilada sauces that are only made with water, red chiles and other spices.
- Shredded chicken: You can use any leftover shredded chicken you have in the fridge. If you don’t have any, here’s an easy recipe for shredded chicken that you can make right at home. I love making my own because I can use it in other recipes throughout the week, but if you don’t have time to make your own from scratch, I recommend buying a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shredding it at home.
- Shredded cheese: I typically use the pre-shredded “Mexican-style” cheese that is easily found in all grocery stores. If you’re looking to go super authentic and use real Mexican cheeses, I recommend a mixture of Queso Fresco and either Oaxaca or Asadero.
How to make chicken enchiladas
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, mix shredded chicken with 1/4 cup red enchilada sauce.
- Cover 8 corn tortillas with a lightly damp paper towel and place on a plate. Microwave tortillas in 15 second increments until they’re warm and pliable.
- Assemble the enchiladas by filling each tortilla evenly with shredded chicken and cheese and rolling them tightly to close. Place in large baking dish seam side down.
- Pour remaining 3/4 cup sauce over enchiladas, cover with more cheese and bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Cover tortillas with remaining 1 cup cheese.
- Top with additional enchilada sauce if desired and serve immediately.
Sides to serve with Chicken Enchiladas
- Mexican Rice
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (a great low carb option!)
- Refried Beans
- Healthy Avocado Salad
I topped these enchiladas with diced white onions, diced avocados and chopped cilantro, but you can also top them with sour cream, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce for a little crunch!
Like this chicken enchilada recipe or have a question? Let me know in the comments below!
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, mix shredded chicken, 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cover 8 corn tortillas with a lightly damp paper towel and place on a plate. Microwave tortillas in 15 second increments until they're warm and pliable.
- Assemble the enchiladas by filling each tortilla evenly with the shredded chicken and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Roll the tortillas tightly to close and place in large baking dish seam side down.
- Pour the remaining 3/4 cup enchilada sauce over the tortillas, top with remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Top with additional enchilada sauce and option toppings, if desired. Serve immediately.
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