These are the best chicken enchiladas! They are made with rotisserie chicken, monterey jack cheese, and a delicious salsa verde. You will never make another homemade chicken enchilada recipe again!
Best Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
Say hello to these delicious and flavorful chicken enchiladas! Forget going to a restaurant for delicious enchiladas because these enchiladas are seriously easy to make!
These are not your average enchiladas. Instead of a red enchilada sauce you make these chicken enchiladas saucy by making a delicious salsa verde. Get ready to add this recipe to your monthly dinner menu.
Let’s see what ingredients you need to make these enchiladas!
Ingredients You Need
- Fresh tomatillos- Fresh tomatillos are the base of the salsa verde that you add to these enchiladas. We recommend using fresh tomatillos but feel free to use canned tomatillos, too. Just be sure that if you do use canned tomatillos to strain the liquid from them.
- Garlic cloves– Oh baby, garlic makes everything better.
- White onion– We recommend using white onion, but if you have a different kind of onion on hand that is ok, too.
- Jalapeños– A little spice is perfect for these enchiladas and jalapeños will do the trick! If you prefer Serrano peppers, they will work just fine!
- Fresh cilantro – You are going to need cilantro for both the salsa verde and fresh cilantro for the top of the enchiladas after they are baked.
- Kosher salt– The kosher salt brings out all of the delicious flavors of the salsa verde.
- 6-inch white or yellow corn tortillas– We use corn tortillas but you can use flour, too. Just be sure they are 6 inchers!
- Vegetable oil– You are going to fry the tortillas in oil and vegetable oil works the best, but if you only have canola oil you can use that, too!
- Rotisserie chicken– The best part of preparing these enchiladas is that you don’t have to prepare chicken. Buy yourself a large rotisserie chicken and use two forks to shred the chicken.. If you prefer to prepare your own chicken you can use skinless chicken breasts and prepare them one of these ways–> Instant Pot shredded chicken, baked shredded chicken, or even pan seared chicken.
- Monterey jack cheese– Monterey jack cheese melts to perfection on top of these chicken enchiladas.
- Refried black beans– We are big fans of refried beans because they add protein and a delicious creaminess to any recipe.
- Queso fresco– Finish off these enchiladas with salty and delicious queso fresco.
- Toppings– You top these enchiladas with tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, and fresh cilantro!
What is Monterey Jack Cheese?
Monterey Jack Cheese is a cows milk cheese that melts really well! Don’t replace the monterey jack cheese in this recipe.
How to Make Homemade Chicken Enchiladas
- Salsa verde: Before anything prepare the salsa verde. Place all of the ingredients for the salsa verde into a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes, be sure to stir the sauce periodically. After the ingredients have simmered for 10 minutes remove 1/2 of the water in the saucepan and then blend with an emulsifier.
- Fry the tortillas: Before preparing the enchiladas you fry the tortillas in oil. We recommend using vegetable oil. You want to fry the tortillas just long enough that they absorb oil. We recommend heating your skillet to medium-high heat. You want them to still be pliable. You can use a non-stick skillet or a cast iron skillet.
- Prep the chicken: Add the shredded chicken, 1 cup salsa verde, and Monterey jack cheese to a bowl and mix.
- Stuff the enchiladas: Spread the black beans and chicken mixture in each tortilla.
- Roll: Roll each enchilada and place them seam side down on top of salsa verde that has been spread out on the bottom of a casserole dish (don’t forget to spray your casserole dish with cooking spray or rub with butter). Repeat until all the enchiladas are rolled and placed.
- Bake: Pour the rest of the salsa verde over the enchiladas and top with the monterey jack cheese and bake at 375ºF for 20-25 minutes.
- Toppings: Remove the enchiladas from the oven and top them with the tomatoes, avocado, queso fresco, and sour cream.
Don’t Have Time to Make Homemade Sauce?
IF you don’t have time to make the homemade salsa verde, you can always substitute it with a homemade enchilada sauce. Red or green will work. Our favorite store-bought brand is Frontera Brand.
This le creuset casserole dish is our all time favorite casserole dish! The white color rocks, it has a cover, and it’s great for so many dishes.
Tips + Tricks
If you aren’t a chicken person, feel free to use any protein that you would like. If you are a beef enchiladas person, go ahead and use ground beef. You can also skip protein all together. Below are some great options.
sautéd peppers and onions
sautéd mushrooms and garlic
Yes, feel free to add more ingredients to these enchiladas. Black beans, green chiles, pinto beans, mushrooms, peppers, or any of your favorite veggies would be delicious.
You can use either corn or flour tortillas for these enchiladas.
Yes, we recommend frying tortillas before you make enchiladas.
Why? Because when you fry tortillas they absorb oil which helps them crisp up in the oven. It also allows them to still soak up sauce without soaking up too much sauce that makes enchiladas mushy.
We suggest you do not use pre shredded, shredded cheese. Freshly shredded cheese always melts better.
If you don’t have monterey cheese feel free to use cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend.
To store these enchiladas, let them cool completely before placing them in an air tight container or cover them with aluminum foil. Store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you want to freeze these enchiladas, we recommend baking them first in a freezer safe casserole dish.
After they are baked, do not top them with the tomato mixture (you will do this after you thaw them and reheat them).
After you bake the enchiladas, let the cool completely before covering them with tin foil or a freezer safe cover for your casserole dish. Freeze them for up to 3 months.
- Remove the enchiladas from the freezer and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Place the enchiladas in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until they are warmed all the way through.
- Top them with the tomato mixture and enjoy.
- 1.5-lbs. fresh tomatillos, rinsed and husks removed (or canned whole tomatillos, poaching liquid discarded)
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- ½ medium white onion, peeled
- 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, stemmed and seeded
- 1 cup fresh cilantro with stems
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 12 6-inch white or yellow corn tortillas
- ½ cup vegetable (or canola oil)
- 1.5-lbs. poached or rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 2.5 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
- 1 cup refried black beans
- 1 cup Queso Fresco, crumbled
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tomato, seeded and diced
- ½ avocado, peeled and diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Lime juice to taste
- First, preheat the oven to 350ºF and set aside a 9 x 13” glass or ceramic baking dish.
- For the salsa verde: Put all of the ingredients except for the cilantro and salt in a sauce pot and add just enough water to cover the vegetables.*
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain away half of the water and transfer everything to a food processor. Add the cilantro and salt.
- Using an emulsifier blend until almost smooth leaving a bit of texture. Taste the salsa to determine if it requires more salt – season to to taste. If the salsa needs a bit of acidity, add a squeeze of lime juice. Set aside.
- For the tortillas: Heat the oil in a small over medium heat.
- Using kitchen tongs, fry each tortilla individually, turning them once, for 5 seconds per side. The tortillas should still be pliable.
- Transfer to a paper towel to remove excess oil and keep warm. Remember that the hotter the oil, the less that the tortillas will absorb. If you skip this step, your tortillas will absorb too much of the salsa verde and become soggy and mushy once baked.
- For the Chicken: In a mixing bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, 1 cup of the monterey jack cheese, and ¾ cup of the salsa verde. Set aside.
- To assemble the enchiladas: Prepare the baking dish by lightly coating the bottom of the dish with salsa verde. Smear 2 tablespoons of the refried black beans down the middle of each tortilla. Top the beans with a small handful of the chicken mixture, dividing evenly between the 12 tortillas.
- Roll the tortillas by folding one side of the tortilla over the filling and roll up the enchilada. Place them seam-side down in the prepared baking dish as you go (they should be nestled close together with a small amount of room in between each enchilada).
- Once all of the enchiladas are in the dish, top with the remaining salsa verde, making sure to coat all of the tortillas.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1.5 cups of monterey jack cheese over the top of the dish, cover the dish tightly with tinfoil, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until completely warmed through and all of the cheese is bubbling and melted.
- Mix together the tomato, avocado, and cilantro, and season with salt and fresh lime juice to taste.
- Top the tortillas with all of the crumbled queso fresco, the tomato and avocado mixture, and dollops of sour cream. Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes
*If using canned tomatillos, drain away the brine and put them directly into the food processor.