Easy Chicken Enchiladas (Just 35 Minutes!)

easy chicken enchiladas in a white baking dish with toppings
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If you're searching for an easy and flavorful recipe to add to your dinner rotation, look no further than these red chicken enchiladas. This chicken enchilada recipe has layers of flavors with the filling rolled tightly in a tortilla, smothered in enchilada sauce and topped with shredded cheese. An all-time family favorite dinner recipe no matter the time of year! Bonus: a chicken enchilada recipe that's on the table in about 35 minutes!


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 ounces full-fat block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (4 ounce) diced green chilis
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (monterey jack, cheddar, Mexican-style), divided in half
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken breast, shredded or diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10-12 large tortillas
  • optional garnish: jalapeños, sour cream, cilantro, avocado and chopped tomatoes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. 
  2. In a sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil, onion, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and oregano. It will look like too much seasoning, but don't worry! Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent. Remove from the heat and set aside to slightly cool for a minute.
  3. Add the cream cheese, green chilis, 1 cup shredded cheese, chicken, and sautéd onion to a medium bowl. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, working the mixture together until well combined. I find it works best to use the back of the spoon to press the cream cheese into the sides of the bowl, repeating until it's well mashed.
  4. Assemble: To easily assemble the enchiladas, make an assembly line with the tortillas, enchilada sauce, chicken mixture, cheese and the prepared 9x13-inch baking dish. See notes below if using different type of tortillas. Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Lay out a tortilla and spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in a line towards one side of the tortilla. Fold tortilla over the filling and tightly roll up placing tortilla into the baking dish seam side down. Repeat until all remaining tortillas are filled. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup shredded cheese.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, until the enchiladas are warm through, the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. If desired, place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately. If desired, garnish with optional toppings. Leftovers stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Leftovers stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days covered tightly. You can make the enchiladas (unbaked) up to 2 days in advance, prepare through step 4. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. Bake covered with aluminum foil at 350°F for 15 minutes, remove the cover and bake for 10 minutes until warmed through.
  2. Freezing Instructions: These enchiladas freeze wonderfully, baked or unbaked! Prepare through step 4, cover tightly and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bake covered with aluminum foil at 350°F for 15 minutes, remove the cover and bake for 10 minutes until warmed through. You can also bake frozen covered with aluminum foil at 350°F for 30 minutes, , remove the cover and bake for 10 minutes until warmed through.
  3. Enchilada Sauce: You can make your own enchilada sauce or use store-bought for a shortcut. When making my own, I love to use this recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
  4. Tortillas: This recipe works well with any type and size of tortillas. Depending on the size, you may need to arrange them slightly differently in the pan– it's okay if they aren't in one line! If you're using non-flour tortillas (like corn, chickpea, etc.), warm slightly in the microwave right before step 4 to prevent them from breaking when you roll them. 
  5. Chicken: Any type of chicken can be used– use what you have sitting in the refrigerator, rotisserie chicken or cook a few pieces.
  6. Cheese: You want a total of 2 cups of shredded cheese. Grab the pre-shredded or shred yourself– either works! I love to use 1 cup monterey jack, 1/2 cup sharp cheddar and 1/2 cup pepper jack. If my kids are eating it, I use 1 cup monterey jack and 1 cup cheddar.