Next to tamales, chicken enchiladas are my favorite homemade Tex-Mex dish. I don’t eat it much anymore—all the ingredients are allergens, but it’s worse than a salad, so I get sick afterward—but it’s really easy to make and is practically foolproof (kind of like granola bars).
My mom made these a lot, and I eventually learned how to make them myself and in a way that tasted better—I prefer them with chicken, but feel free to use beef, or another meat, instead.
Circa late 2011, when my cousin Shane and his friends came over to the farm (to go hunting), I had just finished making a dish of approximately twenty enchiladas. It was a big number, because I was hoping to eat on them throughout the week, because I wanted to stop wasting all my money on fast food and meals at work. (Walmart’s deli: mashed potatoes, okra, and barbecue chicken nuggets. SO great, okay.)
(I will learn how to make barbecue nuggets at home one day.)
After, I left for a six-hour front-end cashier shift. I returned to find the dish formerly holding the enchiladas in the sink. There were five boys total—I really don’t understand how five boys could have consumed so much, but then again, I only grew up having two brothers and a sister, with me being the oldest.
Needless to say, I was not happy.
(I’ll give you all a better story later, when I think up one/rework this recipe to work internationally.)
Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Prep time: [preptime pt=15M]15 minutes
Cook time: [cooktime pt=20M]20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Makes [recipey yield=9]
- [ing]2 cups cooked shredded chicken[/ing] (add more or less depending on your meat preference)
- [ing]2-10oz. cans enchilada sauce[/ing] (I use Old El Paso)
- [ing]2 cups of cheese[/ing] (desired type; I try to use Mexican-style)
- [ing]9 home-style tortillas[/ing] (Mission Flour’s package is green, smallest package comes in pack of 10)
- [ing]1 heaping tsp. powdered enchilada sauce[/ing] (taco seasoning works just as well)
- 1 baking container; I’m not sure what sizes I’ve used. If you double the recipe, you’ll need a 9″ container
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 2 plates to fit tortillas on
- 1 large spoon
- 1 teaspoon
- Preheat oven to 325F. Anywhere between 300F and 350F is fine since ovens vary; I’ve always used 325F, as burnt Mexican food never tastes nice.
- You may want to spray the edges of your baking container with some nonstick spray (and maybe even the bottom of the pan). Tortillas stick!
- In a large mixing bowl, put all of your chicken.
- Open 1 sauce can and pour it into your baking container JUST SLIGHTLY, starting in the middle. You only want it to cover the bottom enough so you have a base for your enchiladas. If you don’t do this, the enchiladas will be dry. Picking it up and moving it so the sauce covers the entire bottom of the container helps!
- Pour the rest of the can into the bowl with your chicken. Stir with a large spoon.
- Add the desired amount of cheese into the bowl. This is your filling, so if you even want cheese outside, you should definitely add it now because you won’t have a chance to later.
- Add the enchilada sauce mix/taco seasoning mix into the bowl.
- Place 5 tortillas onto a plate and cover with a microwavable cover or a clean kitchen towel/rag. Place it into the microwave and heat for about 15-30 seconds, depending on your microwave. I usually do about 15 seconds on one side and 15 seconds on the other side, flipping them altogether rather than individually.
- While the first 5 tortillas are busy heating up, start mixing together the filling until it’s how you like it. If you feel like you need more sauce, open the other can and add some to the bowl. Make sure it is well-mixed.
- Take the 5 tortillas out of the microwave and start the next batch of tortillas.
- Using a teaspoon, hold on tortilla in one hand, slightly folded, and add 1 heaping tsp of filling into the tortilla. Roll it up (first adding more filling if you feel it needs this). Once you’re finished with that enchilada, put it into the baking container, starting at the side you wish to build onto.
- Continue filling tortillas until the baking container is full. You can always add more of the filling’s ingredients if you wish/if you have enough room to add onto the container/etc. It mostly depends on what size container you use and how much of each ingredient that you have.
- Now that your container is full, the rest of the filling needs to be added! Pour some of the sauce on top of all of the tortillas, but don’t drown them (seems like a fun idea, but you’ll regret it later when that’s all that you taste). The remaining sauce goes into the filling bowl, where you can add some more cheese and chicken (if desired).
- Mix it up, spoon/pour it on top of all of your enchiladas, and bake until the cheese is melted.”,”If your chicken came from the fridge, after the cheese melts, continue baking it for about 5 to 10 minutes. I always take out mine when the top of the dish is bubbling.
- Name-brand products mentioned are what I’ve used and had better results with; other brands may cause the flavor to vary.
- Tortillas need to be “home style”, or similar, because they hold the most moisture and don’t dry out too much.