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Chicken and Cheese Enchilada Recipe

Updated on April 27, 2014

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

Creative Commons Image by Ginnerobot via Flickr
Creative Commons Image by Ginnerobot via Flickr

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.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 5

Total Time: 40

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil.
  2. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the chicken is browned.
  3. 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.
  4. Using two forks, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and mix it into the chicken.
Cast your vote for Easy Salsa Chicken Recipe for Enchilada Filling

Salsa Chicken Tip

This recipe doubles or triples and makes a good entrée. 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!

Image courtesy of Little Blue Hen via Flickr & Creative Commons Licensing
Image courtesy of Little Blue Hen via Flickr & Creative Commons Licensing

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20

Total Time: 60

Serves: 6

Chicken and Cheese Enchilada Recipe

  • Salsa Chicken recipe - shredded and cooled
  • 12 tortillas (flour or corn - whichever you prefer)
  • 1 ½ cups + 1 cup cheese (any combination of mozzarella/jack/cheddar/queso fresco)
  • 1 28 -oz can red enchilada sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread ¼ of the enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  3. Mix the salsa chicken, 1 ½ cups cheese, and ¼ of the enchilada sauce together in a large bowl.
  4. Microwave tortillas on high for approximately 30 seconds, or until the stack is warmed through. Warm tortillas are easier to handle and roll.
  5. Place ¼ to 1/3 of a cup of filling mixture in a stripe across the tortilla and roll it up.
  6. Place the enchilada in the baking dish, seam side down.
  7. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
  8. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle them with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  9. Cover the enchiladas with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until warmed through.
  10. 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

Sour cream

Black olives

Chives

Extra salsa

Fresh tomatoes

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.

CorningWare SimplyLite 3-Quart Oblong Baking Dish with Plastic Lid
CorningWare SimplyLite 3-Quart Oblong Baking Dish with Plastic Lid

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.

 
Creative Commons License courtesy of Joelk75 via Flickr
Creative Commons License courtesy of Joelk75 via Flickr

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!

Cook Time

Prep Time: 10

Total Time: 25

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces (little squares about the size of a postage stamp is perfect).
  2. Put the bacon in a small saucepot over medium-low heat.
  3. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is mostly cooked through. It doesn't need to get completely crispy.
  4. Add one can of pinto beans and one can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Stir everything to combine.
  5. Add the salsa favorite salsa.
  6. Cover the pan and let cook over medium-low until the beans are heated through and everything is delicious (about 15 minutes).
  7. 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!

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    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 4 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Delicious - I love your bean recipe. I've been eating beans more often and have found that two strips of bacon makes all the difference.

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 5 years ago

      This looks delicious, I love chicken and cheese enchiladas

    • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

      xriotdotbiz lm 5 years ago

      Thing I like about making enchiladas at home is that I can make them with flour tortillas. Restaurants always use corn, which is fine, but flour is my preference.

    • IQplusone profile image

      IQplusone 5 years ago

      I love your cheese lens - great stuff. Thanks for sharing

    • Bluemoongoddess1 profile image

      Lisa Musser 5 years ago from Kansa, USA

      This looks really yummy. I want to try the enchiladas.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      The bacon and beans sounds simple and good too. :)

    • orangegirl6020 profile image

      orangegirl6020 5 years ago

      Mmmm Mmm! This will be dinner one night this week! Great pictures.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Looks juicy and yummy! :)

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Looks and sounds so good! I love chicken and cheese enchiladas.

    • ramonabeckbritman profile image

      Ramona 5 years ago from Arkansas

      This recipe sounds delicious and easy to make. I think I just might try it. thank you for sharing.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I love Mexican food, so cannot wait to try your enchiladas. Thank you for making it look so easy and appetising. Blessings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a perfect comfort food choice on a chilly and dreary day, the colors pop out and welcome you to come and taste this yummy enchilada delight, nicely done and congratulations on your purple start and being selected as one of the Best New Cheese Recipe Lenses on Squidoo!

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious! We also make enchiladas like this out of turkey when we have leftovers after Thanksgiving.

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      I have made chicken enchies before, but never with salsa - what an awesome idea! Great job on this article and congrats making the cheesiest monsterboard!

    • AustriaChick profile image

      AustriaChick 5 years ago

      My mouth is watering!

    • Mariajomith profile image

      maria 5 years ago

      can not wait to try it

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      I never did this combination, but now I'll try. Thanks

    • JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      Mmmmm I love Mexican dishes, and this one is no exception ;) Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful enchilada recipe :)

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      This looks absolutely delicious - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      This looks absolutely delicious - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Love enchiladas; my husband is the best at making these. :)

    • profile image

      atomicgirl24 5 years ago

      Looks amazing... my mouth is watering already!!!

    • profile image

      lilPinkfairy288 5 years ago

      Hey, great recipe. I might give this a try because my family loves to eat enchilada and they only get to eat them outside.

    • BlueObsidian profile image
      Author

      Kimberly 5 years ago from Oregon

      @AlleyCatLane: Thanks! I love this recipe for company because it can be put together well in advance and refrigerated until meal time. Less time cooking and more time with the company!

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious and easy! I'll be making this the next time I have company.