Chicken and Cheese Enchilada Recipe
Chicken & Cheese Enchilada Recipe
Chicken and cheese enchiladas are a filling dinner entree that are easy to put together. Enchiladas are a versatile dish because you can change the fillings to suit your needs. Not a fan of chicken? Try using beans or ground beef instead! Or, add fajita veggies like peppers and onions to give extra flavor and texture.
For this recipe, I begin with a basic salsa chicken, which is then shredded and mixed with cheese to create the enchilada filling. Each recipe is printable, so you can take a convenient copy to your kitchen!
Featured Image: Enchiladas out of the Oven by Little Blue Hen via Flickr
Reproduced and cropped under Creative Commons 2.0
The centerpiece for chicken and cheese enchiladas is a flavorful, shredded salsa chicken. This is the first step where you can add your own personality to the recipe. Choose a salsa that is as mild or spicy as you like it. Salsas that are more finely pureed and liquid do tend to work better than chunky pico de gallo type salsas.
Prep Time: 5
Total Time: 40
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 large chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
- 3/4 cup of your favorite salsa (either homemade or store-bought is fine)
- Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil.
- Add the chicken breasts and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the chicken is browned.
- Add the salsa and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and mix it into the chicken.
Salsa Chicken Tip
This recipe doubles or triples and makes a good entrÃ©e. Make it for dinner one night, setting aside 2 chicken breasts and some of the salsa to make enchiladas with the next night. You can even prep the enchiladas the night before, and leave the covered baking dish in the fridge until dinnertime!
Prep Time: 20
Total Time: 60
Chicken and Cheese Enchilada Recipe
- Salsa Chicken recipe - shredded and cooled
- 12 tortillas (flour or corn - whichever you prefer)
- 1 Â½ cups + 1 cup cheese (any combination of mozzarella/jack/cheddar/queso fresco)
- 1 28 -oz can red enchilada sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread Â¼ of the enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- Mix the salsa chicken, 1 Â½ cups cheese, and Â¼ of the enchilada sauce together in a large bowl.
- Microwave tortillas on high for approximately 30 seconds, or until the stack is warmed through. Warm tortillas are easier to handle and roll.
- Place Â¼ to 1/3 of a cup of filling mixture in a stripe across the tortilla and roll it up.
- Place the enchilada in the baking dish, seam side down.
- Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- Spread the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle them with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
- Cover the enchiladas with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until warmed through.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top is bubbly and starting to brown.
Enchilada Topping Ideas
Lightweight Baking Dishes
Most of us have plenty of baking dishes in out kitchen, but do you really have any that you love? I have a few dishes and casseroles that I will use, but one is my absolute favorite. It's quickly become my go-to pan for baking.
This is still as sturdy as a traditional Corningware baking dish, but at about half the weight. The dish also has a snap on plastic lid, so you can easily take it with you when you go to a pot luck or party. Or, just use the dish to cover your leftovers (I love leftover enchiladas and always make plenty for lunches the next few days).
One of my favorite parts is how easy it is to clean. The material wipes clean easily with some soap and hot water. I've even had items that I burned (whoops!) come out easily and wash away cleanly. Plus, it's dishwasher safe.
Simple Side Dish: Bacon & Beans
Rice and beans are great side dishes to serve with chicken and cheese enchiladas. I first made these beans using leftover ingredients I had on hand - I had a few strips of uncooked bacon left over from the day before and a little bit of salsa left from cooking the chicken. I tossed them in a pan with some canned beans and even my bean-hating friend was digging into them!
Prep Time: 10
Total Time: 25
- 4 to 5 strips raw pepper bacon
- 1 14 -oz can pinto beans - rinsed and drained
- 1 14 -oz can black beans - rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
- Cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces (little squares about the size of a postage stamp is perfect).
- Put the bacon in a small saucepot over medium-low heat.
- Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is mostly cooked through. It doesn't need to get completely crispy.
- Add one can of pinto beans and one can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Stir everything to combine.
- Add the salsa favorite salsa.
- Cover the pan and let cook over medium-low until the beans are heated through and everything is delicious (about 15 minutes).
- Eat. Or, refrigerate and eat the next day because they get better after the flavors have time to meld together.
Creating Your Own Great Bean Recipe
When you get a basic recipe like this one, one of the great parts is that you can personalize it with your favorite ingredients. Try sauteeing some garlic and onions in the bacon fat. Toss in extra hot sauce or diced peppers to get some spice. Add a little cumin or cayenne pepper. It's up to you!
Great Mexican Cookbooks
Are you looking to incorporate more Mexican spices and flavors into your cooking? Try one of these cookbooks on Mexican cuisine! There is a cookbook for anything, whether you are trying to create authentic Mexican dishes or just add some quick and easy new recipes to your regular rotation.
Do you like making enchiladas for dinner? Did you try this chicken and cheese enchilada recipe? Is there something special you do when making beans? Leave your comments and ideas here!