Delicious chicken enchiladas smothered in a flavorful red enchilada sauce, topped with melted cheese, and baked to perfection. A fiesta of flavors! Naturally gluten-free.
First the enchilada sauce, now the enchiladas. I could eat these for days. Unfortunately they never last that long when you share a house with other enchilada lovers.
🌟 Why you’ll love this recipe
Picture this: tender rotisserie chicken, seasoned to perfection, tucked inside warm corn tortillas with black beans, a creamy, cheesy mixture of sour cream, cream cheese, and shredded Mexican cheese, and then smothered in a rich and zesty red enchilada sauce.
Hold on, we’re not done yet.
Sprinkle a generous helping of additional cheese on top (#teamcheese) and let it bake to golden, gooey perfection. Finish it off with your favorite enchilada toppings: avocado, fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, a splash of hot sauce, you know what to do.
Are you seeing this picture coming together? Every bite is an enchilada harmony of flavor and texture and yummms…
Let’s bring this tasty recipe to your dinner table.
🛒 Ingredients & suggestions
- Shredded rotisserie chicken: These enchiladas are made more quickly and easily if you have fully cooked and shredded chicken already on hand. My go-to chicken is the hand pulled rotisserie chicken from Costco. If you’ve got the time and energy to cook a couple of chicken breasts though, go for it.
- Mexican cheese: Many stores carry pre-shredded Mexican cheese which is typically a blend of Sharp Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Asadero, and Queso Blanco cheeses. If you can’t find Mexican cheese create you own blend with a simple 50/50 mix of shredded Sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack.
- Enchilada sauce: Not to brag but I love my homemade red enchilada sauce recipe. It’s quick and easy to make with basic pantry ingredients. However, there’s nothing wrong with reaching for a can of store-bought red enchilada sauce, just be sure to read the ingredients label to verify that it’s gluten-free. These enchiladas are also super tasty using green enchilada sauce.
- Chili powder: Not to be confused with chile powder. Chili powder is a spice blend that typically contains ground chili peppers (such as ancho, cayenne, or chipotle), along with other spices like cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and paprika. Chile powder specifically refers to ground chili peppers, often made from a single variety such as ancho, guajillo, pasilla, or New Mexico chiles. Both powders are used to enhance flavor and add heat to various dishes, but their specific compositions and flavor profiles differ.
- Corn tortillas: White or yellow corn tortillas are both great. I recommend using 8-inch tortillas versus the smaller tortillas that range from 4 to 6 inches. If you can’t find the larger 8-inch tortillas, the smaller 6-inch taco tortillas will work but I would avoid using the super small 4-inch street tacos tortillas.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card at the end of this post.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
Step 1: In a medium skillet cook some chopped onion in a little bit of olive oil or butter until tender. If you’re on a time crunch you can skip this ingredient but it does add some texture and flavor that I think makes it worth the extra few minutes.
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese.
Step 3: Season the cheesy mixture with cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
Step 4: Add a can of diced green chiles and give it all a stir to combine.
Step 5: Add black beans and cooked, shredded chicken to the cheesy seasoned mixture. Give it all a stir again. The magic is beginning to come together.
Step 6: Spread a thin layer of red enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
Step 7: Let’s warm up those tortillas! Place a damp paper towel between every two tortillas (this method allows each tortilla to be uniformly steamed) and microwave for 1 minute. Let it rest in the microwave for an additional minute.
Step 8: Begin assembling! Spoon the cheesy chicken mixture into each tortilla, being careful not to overstuff, and roll it up into a cozy tortilla hug. Then place the stuffed tortilla seam side down in the baking dish.
Step 9: Pour the remaining red enchilada sauce evenly over the tortillas in the baking dish.
Step 10: Cover with foil and bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for about 35 minutes or until heated through.
Step 11: After the enchiladas have baked for about 35 minutes, remove the foil, sprinkle the enchiladas with more Mexican cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Step 12: Top with your favorite enchilada toppings and swoon. Dinner is served!
👩🍳 Recipe tips!
- Store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted chicken is a great way to reduce prep time, but if you don’t have any on hand, use 1 ½ lb. (750g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been poached and then shredded.
- Warm the tortillas prior to stuffing. There is quite a bit of internet discussion and opinion regarding whether tortillas should be fried prior to stuffing, dipped in hot enchilada sauce first, or warmed in a microwave. One thing everyone is essentially agreeing on is that the tortillas should definitely be warmed prior to stuffing. I like to warm my tortillas in the microwave for about 1 minute with a damp paper towel inserted between every two tortillas. I then allow them to rest in the microwave for another minute. The corn tortillas come out warm and perfectly pliable for stuffing and rolling without any tearing or ripping.
- Be careful not to overstuff the tortillas with enchilada filling. If using 8-inch corn tortillas fill with about ½ cup of the enchilada filling. You should be able to easily roll the tortilla up allowing the two sides of the tortilla to overlap.
💭 Frequently asked questions
If you happen to end up with leftover enchilada filling you could make possibly another smaller batch of enchiladas or it would be perfect for making a quesadilla!
It’s really up to you but I prefer to cover my enchiladas with aluminum foil while they bake to help prevent the tortillas from drying out and becoming hard and to also allow the sauce to become hot and bubbly. After they’ve baked for about 35 minutes, I then remove the foil, top the enchiladas with cheese, and bake for about 5 more minutes uncovered. Those final 5 minutes of baking uncovered perfectly melts the cheese and allows the top of the enchiladas to crisp up a bit.
Corn tortillas are considered more traditional for authentic Mexican enchiladas. However, this recipe is not claiming to be authentic Mexican enchiladas so it really depends on what you prefer in taste and texture. For enchiladas, I personally prefer corn over gluten-free flour tortillas for both the flavor and because corn tortillas typically hold up better than gluten-free flour tortillas while baking.
My taste buds are dancing with delight. ♡
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