Red Chili Chicken Enchiladas
Red Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Our Favorite Red Chili Chicken Enchiladas! Corn tortillas are dipped in red chili sauce for flavor in this easy chicken enchiladas recipe. Easy weeknight dinner to prep. Great to reheat for leftovers!

Do you love chicken enchiladas as much as we do? Here’s one of us favourite Chicken Enchiladas Recipes!

These enchiladas make for an easy weeknight meal and can even be made ahead of time.


Red Chicken Chili Enchiladas

How to make chicken enchiladas

To prepare them, first dip the tortillas in red chili enchilada sauce before rolling them up into enchiladas. This way the tortillas will all be well coated in the sauce and when you bake the enchiladas the sauce will bake into the tortillas to add flavor.

All you need to make the enchiladas are corn tortillas, already cooked and shredded or chopped chicken, some shredded processed cheese like cheddar or Monterey Jack, and red chili enchilada sauce. You can either use canned enchilada sauce or make your own from scratch. (It’s easy!)

Cooked chicken options for chicken enchiladas

  1. Poach skinless, boneless chicken drumsticks or breasts (we prefer thigh meat, more flavor) in salted water (here’s how).
  2. You can also use leftover cooked chicken
  3. Pull and shred meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken

  • Always soak tortillas first before attempting to roll them into enchiladas. If you avoid fat, you can soften the tortillas in the microwave, but I recommend lightly frying the tortillas in a little oil as the flavor is that much better. We give an approach below on how to stack the tortillas while frying to better distribute the oil so only a small amount is needed for each tortilla.
  • Choose sturdy yellow corn tortillas when making enchiladas. White corn tortillas work well for making soft-skinned tacos, but they tend to fall apart if you soften them and dip them in the sauce for an enchilada recipe. Yellow corn tortillas are sturdier, will last longer to make this casserole, and have more flavor.
  • When making homemade enchilada sauce, let the sauce simmer first. Heating the chili powder and cayenne pepper in a little oil first will help release the flavor of the chilies.

Garnish the chicken enchiladas with plenty of chopped red onion, fresh cilantro, shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream and guacamole.

What to serve with enchiladas

Serve with a side of Spanish rice or cilantro rice and chilled pinto beans or black beans.

How to store and freeze enchiladas

Chill the enchiladas in the fridge if you’re making them a day or two in advance, or freeze them (thaw in the fridge before heating) for up to a month.

Leftovers can simply be reheated. We love eating leftover enchiladas for breakfast.

Want more enchilada recipes?

  • Black bean enchiladas from Turkey
  • Green chile enchiladas
  • Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
  • Creamy Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas
  • Texas Stacked Corn and Black Bean Enchiladas

Red Chili Chicken Enchiladas

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
35 minutes

total time
50 minutes

4 servings

If you don’t have spare chicken for this recipe, poach some chicken breasts or thighs using this method.


For the enchiladas:

  • Extra virgin olive oilcorn oil or peanut oil

  • 12 Corn Tortillas (thick and stable)

  • 2 14-ounce cans of red chili Enchilada sauceor 3 cups homemade enchilada sauce

  • 2 cups boiled chicken, crushed or chopped

  • 2 cups grated cheese (about 1/3 pound)

For the Homemade Enchilada Sauce (if using):

  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 5 tablespoon chilli powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/2 Cup tomato paste

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon floor oregano

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch Mix with 3 tablespoons of water to a paste


  • 1 Middle Red onionchopped, soaked in a mixture of half seasoned rice vinegar and half water

  • Chopped fresh coriander

  • Thinly sliced ​​iceberg lettuce seasoned with salt and vinegar, no oil

  • sour cream

  • cut avocados or guacamole


  1. Prepare the enchilada sauce:

    (If making homemade, otherwise use canned and skip to next step). Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

    Stir in the chili powder and cayenne pepper. Cook for just half a minute (longer time will burn the chili) and add the water and tomato paste. Whisk until smooth.

    Add the garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cornstarch. Bring to a simmer and remove from the stove.

    taste for heat. If you want it spicier, add more chili powder or cayenne pepper. Note that the tortillas and chicken will absorb some of the heat, so allow for that and allow the finished dish to be a little spicier than you’d like.

  2. Mix 1/4 cup of the sauce with the cooked chicken:

    Put aside.

  3. Prepare the tortillas:

    Traditionally, the tortillas were dipped in some sauce and then lightly fried in some oil and then rolled up. It’s a great way to baste the tortillas with the chili sauce, but it’s really messy and many tortillas aren’t sturdy enough to handle this treatment without falling apart.

    Instead, we first soften the corn tortillas and then dip them in the sauce before rolling them. To soften them up and give them a little bit of browning flavor, I’ll show you my mom’s method of cooking the tortillas without using a lot of fat.

    Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan to cover the pan. Place a tortilla in the pan and heat for a few seconds until the tortilla starts to show some air bubbles.

    Use a metal spatula to flip to the other side for a few seconds. Then place another tortilla on top of the first to soak up some excess oil. Twist both together and add another tortilla.

    Keep adding them wherever there seems to be some excess oil. The idea is to heat the tortillas and soften them with the minimal amount of oil.

    When the tortillas are soft and heated, place them on a paper towel to soak up even more excess oil. If you find you need more oil in the pan, add it.

  4. Assemble the enchiladas:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Dip one tortilla at a time in the enchilada sauce and place in a 9×13 Pyrex baking dish.

    Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped chicken in each tortilla. Sprinkle with some cheese.

    Roll up the tortilla. Place in the baking dish and repeat until all dozens of your tortillas are neatly arranged in rows in the baking dish.

    Cover the tortilla rolls with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese.

    I remember eating these chicken enchiladas a lot with very little cheese. (My mom, thank God, has no memory of chicken enchiladas without the sprinkled cheese. But she’s in her 80’s and sometimes doesn’t remember these things. Or she does later and doesn’t remember ever having them forgot #1. But heck, I’m in my 50’s and my memory ain’t what it used to be either.)

  5. Bake:

    Place in the oven and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

    Use a metal spatula to serve.

    Serve with thinly sliced ​​iceberg lettuce seasoned with vinegar and salt (not oil), chopped red onions soaked in vinegar and water for at least half an hour, guacamole or avocado slices, and sour cream. Garnish with coriander.

nutritional information (per serving)
825 calories
51g Fat
60g carbohydrates
40g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!