Classic Chicken Enchiladas

4 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Classic Chicken Enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and a creamy sour cream sauce makes the perfect weeknight dinner. It’s all about chicken enchiladas!!

Chicken Enchiladas in baking dish

How do I love Chicken Enchiladas? Let me count the ways.

Classic Chicken Enchiladas are a staple in our house. We love chicken enchiladas for so many reasons, not the least of which is that they are delicious, and I’m never NOT in the mood for good chicken enchiladas.

  1. First, let’s be honest, cheese!
  2. Second, it is the perfect recipe to make when you have leftover chicken and since we make Crispy Slow Cooker Chicken once a week we are always open to leftover chicken recipes.
  3. Third, the base flavor of these Classic Chicken Enchiladas are pumped up thanks to my Homemade Enchilada Sauce that I always keep on hand in the freezer (I make a quadruple recipe anytime I make a batch for easy meals later). With that sauce and cheese and chicken, the only thing missing is a creamy sour cream filling.
  4. Fourth, the filling! Shredded chicken mixed with sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and your favorite chopped vegetables (I aim for chopped onions, and canned green chiles as a general rule) becomes the most amazing melted chicken enchiladas filling when you serve these up with some delicious Spanish Rice or Green Cilantro Rice.Homemade Chicken Enchiladas topped with green onions

Chicken Enchiladas are Always a Win

A close friend of ours recently had a child and as you would expect, a meal train had been set up. I took over two trays of homemade chicken enchiladas as well as trays of both kinds of rice and got the most amazing thank you note about how they decided to eat the chicken enchiladas for four dinners in a row because they were that good.

I’m telling you, folks, it’s all about the chicken enchiladas 😉

How to make chicken enchiladas with leftover chicken

Tools used to MAKE Classic Chicken Enchiladas:

  • AllSpice Spice Rack: I notoriously don’t like to buy jarred spices because they always cost 5-10x more than buying in bulk. The only drawback is you’re left with spices in these little baggies that are a mess to store and not easy to look through. I use this spice rack and buy all my spices from Sprouts, Winco and Penzey’s then fill up the bottles. PS, we’re talking a huge difference, last week I bought nutmeg in bulk (enough to fill the bottle) for under a dollar and the bottled variety in the store was almost seven dollars.
  • Rectangular Baking Pan: I love this baking pan for its sharp clean edges (perfect for baking too!) and it’s ability to distribute heat well. Plus it is a steal and works great going from freezer to oven. I may or may not have 4 of them because I make and freeze meals ahead in them all the time.
  • Food Processor: Because pre-shredded cheeses contain an additive to avoid clumping they also don’t melt as well as you’d hope so I always shred my own, especially for these chicken enchiladas. In addition to costing less to buy I also use a food processor to shred it for me since I like to avoid grating injuries. This one is the older model (the new one is linked right under it too) but I can’t tell you how much I love it. For such a low price it is my second favorite kitchen gadget (nothing beats the cast iron skillet!). I’ve had it for 10 years of heavy use and it has never slowed down.

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Classic Chicken Enchiladas

Classic Chicken Enchiladas made with homemade enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and a creamy sour cream sauce makes the perfect weeknight dinner.
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main
Cuisine Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil (you can use vegetable oil if you prefer)
  • 1 small white onion , peeled and diced
  • 2 cups shredded chicken , I use Crisp and Juicy Slow Cooker Chicken
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese , shredded and divided
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • chopped cilantro , for garnish
  • chopped green onions , for garnish


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • If you’re making the enchilada sauce, make it now (don’t worry it only takes 10 minutes!)
  • In a skillet heat up the oil on medium-high and cook the onions until just softened. Add in the chicken and cook until it is just a bit crispy.
  • In a large bowl mix the onions, chicken, green chiles, 1 ½ cups of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of sour cream together.
  • In a separate bowl, dip the flour tortillas into the enchilada sauce, then lay them flat in your baking dish, 2-3 at a time.
  • Spoon on ½ cup of the filling into each tortilla and roll tightly leaving the seam side down.
  • When all 8 are done, carefully pour on the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
  • Bake the enchiladas covered for 20-25 minutes, then uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Top with cilantro and green onions.



Calories: 871kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 171mg | Sodium: 2079mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 2035IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 753mg | Iron: 4.3mg
Classic Chicken Enchiladas made with homemade enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and a creamy sour cream sauce makes the perfect weeknight dinner.
Classic Chicken Enchiladas made with homemade enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and a creamy sour cream sauce makes the perfect weeknight dinner.
Classic Chicken Enchiladas made with homemade enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and a creamy sour cream sauce makes the perfect weeknight dinner.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. Simply the best enchiladas! Loved the sauce and cheese over top! We’re definitely going to make these again!

  2. My ultimate go-to recipe for enchiladas! I love adding some pickled jalapenos on top for that extra kick! Thanks for posting!

  3. So glad I stumbled upon this recipe, I had been wanting to find a good classic traditional enchilada recipe and this one was perfection – so thank you!

  4. Hi Sabrina!
    Thank you for so many wonderful favorites, not the least of which are these enchiladas and the sauce!
    For the first time, I’ll be making this for my dear friend, and subbing barbacoa for the chicken. It has a very strong chipotle chili flavor, and I am wondering what you think about skipping the chilies in the sour cream mix? I love the flavor they bring to the dish, but do you think the flavors will clash?
    Thank you! I appreciate the value of your years of cooking! ??

  5. These were the best enchiladas I’ve ever made. I think the key was the enchilada sauce recipe.

    And she has it right with the amount of cheese ???

  6. These were amazing! Love your homemade enchilada sauce, I just toned it down a little using 1 tablespoon of chili powder, hubby doesn’t like it so spicy! These are amazing enchiladas and I can’t wait to try your sesame chicken recipe! Thanks!

  7. HI, I want to make this but don’t like sour cream, anything I can substitute for it or just skip it? Also love all you recipe

  8. Hello! Novice cook here ?. Just a few questions: when you dip the tortillas in the sauce prior to filling and rolling them, are we talking like a full coating of sauce over both sides/surfaces of the tortillass? Also, if I precook the shredded chicken (using crockpot), do I skip the step of adding the chicken to the soften onions to make crispy or is this an extra way to accomplish that?

    They look amazing! Thank you!

    1. Yes, like fully dipped, dripping with sauce then into the pan to fill and roll. If precooked chicken, just soften onions, don’t worry about chicken. If you want the chicken seared, cook it first with vegetable oil on high heat then remove chicken then soften the onions.

  9. Another hit! I wanted easy tortilla dinners, but only had a cheese enchilada recipe up my sleeve.

    This was so fast, not intimidating to make, and a hit with the extended family. I added a can of corn and a chopped bell pepper to stretch it further. Much more filling and dinner-y than plain cheese enchiladas. Excited to make again ??. Thank you, Sabrina!

  10. Awesome enchiladas! Made, ate, shared with parents, they made, ate and it’s a keeper for all of us! A+++
    All I would add is a can of Rotel (hot), a small can of Green Chilies (mild), and 2 tablespoons of Chili Powder instead of 3. 🙂

  11. Just made this. Whole family raved and I loved it too. Used the homemade enchilada sauce recipe with no chilli powder cuz too hot but subbed in old bay as another reviewer suggested. Excellent and thanks for the great recipe.

  12. We’ve made these several times and our family LOVES them! The enchilada sauce recipe is CRAZY good and easy, and has been passed along to billions. 😉 Always at least double it.
    Making a double batch today to share! Because we usually need to be hosed down after the building of the enchiladas (which, let’s be honest, the mess can be half the fun), I’m going to try them today as casseroles – one with flour tortillas, the other with corn.
    THANK YOU for this delicious dish!

  13. Hi! I’m in Australia and hoping to have a crack at this recipe – only trouble is that I cannot locate ‘green chiles’. Its just not something stocked here. We have jars of jalapeño peppers though but I believe it is not the same…any advice or alternatives?

    1. I’m so happy you decided to try the recipe. If you aren’t able to find green chiles (usually they are in the canned section), you can substitute with roasted poblano peppers (will produce more heat) or if you’d like to keep it milder you can substitute with a green bell pepper. Hope this helps!

  14. So these were yummy, with the enchilada sauce. I did add black beans that I cooked to this recipe just to make the filling stretch further. I found I also needed to add more spice to the enchiladas, as well as the enchilada sauce for my personal taste. I used Food For Life’s organic sprouted corn tortillas, and these enchiladas were inhaled by my group. I’m looking forward to making them again. Very delicious, thank you for the recipe.

  15. Made this last week and it was fantastic! Will use corn tortillas next time only because that’s what I’m used to (lived in San Antonio for years) but altogether a delicious dish.

      1. Wonderful recipes but please folks….Stop telling people to use CANOLA oil…This is very bad for you and so are all vegetable oils….Use Avocado oil , Extra virgin, or walnut oil –
        or peanut oil if you are deep frying.
        Thank you for all these great ideas…I will try them for sure. June Schiavoni

  16. Making this tonight! It looks delicious and probably is based on several other recipes I’ve cooked from your website.

  17. If you choose to use corn tortillas (I only like enchiladas with corn tortillas) are there any changes to cooking , number of tortillas or major differences in taste?

  18. That’s so nice that you brought your friend meals! I’d sure love to receive these enchiladas.

  19. I am loving *everything* about this recipe, and I know my family would, too. What a great combination of flavors. What a great meal to make for the whole fam!