Chicken Enchiladas are flour tortillas filled with enchilada sauce, marinated chicken, black beans, green chilis, cheese, and then topped and baked with more sauce and cheese! Give my Seafood Enchiladas a try, too!
Enchiladas have been a staple of Mexican cuisine for hundreds of years. In fact, it was considered a national dish when Mexico declared its independence in 1821. This is nothing like the original enchiladas from Mexico, but does carry the same name. If you want to get more authentic; add some hot peppers, corn tortillas (be sure to heat the tortillas in pan with sauce before filling) and cojita cheese.
There are three main parts to this recipe–the marinated chicken, the enchiladas, and the toppings.
Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts were marinated to use in the filling of the enchiladas.
Marinade: The marinade is made with olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and garlic powder.
Enchilada Sauce: I made mine from scratch, but you can certainly just buy a can for this recipe.
Black Beans: Canned black beans need to be drained and rinsed well before eating. When you open the can, you will notice a liquid in there that doesn’t look too appetizing. It’s simply a combination of salt and water and the starch from the beans. Rinsing the beans actually does more than just remove that murky substance, it lessens the sodium of the beans.
Tortillas: Enchiladas are usually made with corn tortillas, but I made these with flour tortillas. In fact, you can even make your own flour tortillas to use.
Toppings: I used two kinds of cheese, Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar, for both the filling and the topping of the enchiladas. And, of course, don’t forget about the enchilada sauce!
Marinating and Cooking the Chicken
The first thing to do in this recipe is to marinate and cook the chicken. You need to marinate the chicken for at least an hour, up to eight hours, so keep that in mind. To marinate the chicken, first, combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Next, place the chicken breasts into a zipped bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure that the chicken breasts are coated.
After you have coated the chicken with the marinade, zip the plastic bag, making sure you get all of the air out first. Place the chicken into the refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of an hour, up to eight hours. When ready, cook the chicken in a skillet until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes before dicing it. Set it aside as you prepare the rest of the recipe.
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas
With the chicken cooked and set aside, it’s time to get the enchiladas made. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onion until it softens. Then, add the cooked, diced chicken, black beans, green chilis, salt, and pepper. Stir the ingredients to combine and remove from the heat. This makes about four cups of the mixture.
To assemble the enchiladas, mix together both kinds of cheese and set aside. Pour a half-cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish, spreading it evenly around the dish. Then, working one tortilla at a time, fill each with the following:
- 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce
- 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture
- 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture
Roll up each tortilla and place it seam-side down into the pan. Top the enchiladas with the rest of the enchilada sauce and remaining cheese. Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve topped with tomatoes, sour cream, and cilantro. You might want to add some easy guacamole to the toppings as well!
Can I Freeze Enchiladas?
Yes! Enchiladas freeze well after being cooked. To freeze any leftovers, first, let the enchiladas cool completely. Next, store them in a freezer-safe container, making sure to get as much air out of the container as possible. Label and date the containers; enchiladas will last up to three months in the freezer.
When ready to enjoy the frozen enchiladas, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, add some additional cheese on top and cook them in an oven-safe dish for about 25 minutes at 350°F. Or, if you are in a hurry, you can warm up the enchiladas in the microwave.
Chicken Enchiladas are flour tortillas filled with enchilada sauce, marinated chicken, black beans, green chilis, cheese, and then topped and baked with more cheese and sauce!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, approximately 1 pound
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small white onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 large flour tortillas
- 2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2½ cups enchilada sauce, divided
- cilantro, for garnish
- diced Roma tomatoes, optional for garnish
- sour cream, optional for garnish
In a small bowl combine oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine.
Place chicken into a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade mixture over the top. Press the air out of the bag and zip it shut. Move the chicken around in the bag, coating all of the chicken.
Place the bag in the refrigerator for 1 hour, up to 8 hours.
When ready, add chicken to a skillet over medium heat. Cook 5-6 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink and has an internal temperature of 165°F.
Remove from pan, transfer to a plate, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Dice chicken and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and heat until sizzling. Add onion and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
Add diced chicken, black beans, green chilis, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together cheeses. Set aside.
Pour ½ cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish and spread evenly. Set aside.
Working one at a time, spread 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce onto a tortilla. Top with ½ cup chicken mixture and ¼ cup of cheese mixture.
Roll up the tortilla and place it seam-side down into the pan. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top, and then top with the remaining cheese.
Bake 30-33 minutes, or until bubbly and slightly crispy on the outside.
Garnish with cilantro, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.