Learn how to make the best chicken enchiladas with from scratch sauce in this authentic Mexican dinner recipe.
I have been baking this chicken enchiladas recipe from scratch for 25 years now! I used canned enchilada sauce from the store. But it’s easy to make your own, so that’s the recipe I’m sharing with you here.
It is a time consuming process to make this chicken enchiladas recipe, but it’s well worth it to make your own. I always make two pans so we can enjoy them for a few days, or so I can freeze the second pan for later (they freeze well). You can halve my chicken enchiladas recipe if you only want to make one pan.
I like to put my chicken in the slow cooker the night before I’m going to make enchiladas with some chicken stock and let them cook overnight. The chicken is really easy to shred in the morning.
If you’re in a hurry, you can make Instant Pot chicken breasts and shred those. Even faster, use a rotisserie chicken instead of making your own. You can also substitute barbacoa beef or pulled pork for chicken.
Best Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
- Combine the shredded chicken and green onions in a large mixing bowl, then set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan, then whisk in the enchilada sauce spice mixture to make a paste.
- Add 2 cups of chicken stock, then whisk until smooth.
- When the mixture is warm, add the tomato paste and whisk until smooth.
- Add the rest of the chicken stock and continue whisking until smooth.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently with a large wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Heat the oil (about 1/4" deep) in a frying pan. Fry each tortilla for about 10 seconds on each side. You just want to soften them, not fry them until they're crispy.
- As you fry the tortillas, set them on a plate covered in paper towels to help to drain the excess oil.
- Next, dip a tortilla in the enchilada sauce and place in a 9" x 13" baking pan. Add chicken mixture and cheese to the tortilla, then roll.
- Repeat until the pan is full. I can typically fit 8 enchiladas across the pan, and then 4 more lengthwise at the bottom of the pan. This recipe will make enough for 2 pans. You can freeze the second pan or cook them both and enjoy leftovers for days.
- After your pans are full, pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of them, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the enchiladas covered for 20 minutes at 350° F, then for an additional 10-15 minutes uncovered. If you refrigerate the pan of enchiladas before cooking (I often do this with the second pan), it usually takes about an hour to cook them thoroughly.
- We love to serve our enchiladas topped with sour cream and hot sauce, but they're great on their own as well.