Thursday, January 28, 2016

30 Minute Chicken Enchiladas

30 Minute Chicken Enchiladas - get the recipe with step-by-step video at
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This simple recipe for Chicken Enchiladas is cheesy, spicy, and well-loved by my family. I've been making 30-Minute "casserole style" Enchiladas for so long, I can't recall the last time I rolled or stacked a batch of enchiladas in a more traditional recipe. You can have these enchiladas on the table in less time than it would take to pick up take-out, and I promise they'll taste better than anything you can buy.

I alternate making enchiladas with red or green chile enchilada sauce, depending on my mood as I'm cooking most of the time. However, I can't deny that I choose green chile at least 90% of the time. One of my boys prefers red chile though, so every so often a batch of red enchiladas will make it's way to our table. You can also make them "Christmas-style" - and use a combination of both sauces for the layers, similar to the way the flavors are combined in this Mexican Lasagna.

We are rarely patient enough to wait for a pan of enchiladas to cool enough to slice pretty, so we typically eat our enchiladas with a pile of crunchy tortilla chips as a hot and cheesy "dip." If your preference is sliceable enchiladas, let them cool 15-20 minutes prior to serving. If you haven't eaten a plate of gooey enchiladas alongside a pile of crunchy chips, then you are missing out. Try it once and I'm willing to bet you'll never choose "sliceable" enchiladas again.

My favorite tips for 30-Minute Enchiladas are illustrated in this quick video. I slice the tortillas into wedges before layering them into the dish. This makes each serving easier to eat, with a great balance of flavors and textures in each bite, and it prevents any giant chunks of tortilla form making their way to your fork.

COOK'S NOTE: These enchiladas can be made in almost any 1 1/2 quart oven safe dish. The smaller and taller the dish, the longer the enchiladas will take to bake. A larger (9x13 style) dish will work as well, just watch the time more closely and don't overcook the shallower enchiladas.

Monterrey Jack, Pepper Jack, Cheddar, or Mexican blend shredded cheeses all work well in enchiladas. I tend to use whichever varieties I have on hand. A blend of Pepper Jack and Cheddar is my favorite combination.

30 Minute Chicken Enchiladas
Yield: 6 servings

(printable recipe)

2 cups red or green chile sauce, homemade or store-bought, divided
1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped bite-size
1 14-ounce can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 4-ounce can chopped green chile or 1/2 cup roasted and chopped green chile, frozen is fine
5 white corn tortillas, cut into 6 pie-shaped wedges
5-6 cups shredded cheese (see cook's note), divided

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional, for topping)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, 1/2 cup of chile sauce, cumin, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add the chicken, beans, and green chile. Stir to combine.

Pour about 1/4 cup of the green chile sauce into the bottom of a 9-inch baking dish. Place a layer of tortillas wedges across the green chile sauce and then scoop about 1/2 of the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Layer with tortillas, top with the remaining chicken mixture and sprinkle with another 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Layer once more with tortillas and pour the remaining 1 1/4 cup of chile sauce over the tortillas. Sprinkle generously with the remaining 2-3 cups of cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven and scoop piping hot onto plates or let cool for 15-20 minutes for a prettier slice of enchiladas. Serve with tortillas chips. Enjoy!

30 Minute Chicken Enchiladas - get the recipe with step-by-step video at

Here are some more enchilada recipes to try:
Steak Fajita Enchiladas by Aggie's Kitchen
Vegetarian Enchiladas by Iowa Girl Eats
Enchiladas Suizas by A Zesty Bite
Shrimp and Crab Pesto Enchiladas by Foodness Gracious

30 Minute Chicken Enchiladas - get the recipe with step-by-step video at


  1. Great comforting dish.Looks so tasty

  2. This looks really good, cheesy and strong flavors. I love it. I think it will be very nice to serve with pasta or toasted bread. :)

  3. Stopping by to say hi - love your snapchat stories always, and this chicken enchilada recipe looks SO good, definitely adding it to my meal plan list!!

  4. What is the different in the red vs. green chile.. is one more hot? I like mild,.. any suggestions?

    1. The heat can vary for each chile. Sometimes the red is more mild and other times the green. When you're in a restaurant, you can usually ask the server which chile is hotter that day. If you purchase a canned or frozen chile, the heat level will be marked. As long as you purchase a "mild" variety, you shouldn't have any trouble with it.