Enchiladas Verdes are better than your favorite restaurant and easy to make at home!
This Enchiladas Verdes recipe is irresistibly delicious, boldly seasoned, wonderfully cheesy and about to become a new family favorite! Enchiladas Verdes are made with corn tortillas stuffed with tender shredded chicken, green enchilada sauce, sour cream, and cheese then topped with more enchilada sauce and cheese. I’ve kept this recipe super quick and easy by pumping up store bought enchilada sauce and using rotisserie chicken. I’ve also included a FOOLPROOF way to use corn tortillas without them falling apart. These green enchiladas are also make-ahead and freezer friendly – all instructions included!
If you’ve been following me for long at all, you know I am a huge enchilada fan. From my crazy popular Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas to my Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas to my Barbacoa Beef Enchiladas to my Creamy Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas to my Breakfast Ham and Cheese Enchiladas – you might be wondering if there is room for one more enchilada recipe?
The answer is yes, yes and yes when they are as irresistible as these Enchiladas Verdes!
These Enchiladas Verdes are my only enchilada recipe that uses green enchilada sauce and corn tortillas – and it’s about time. They are cheesy, savory, tangy, smoky, flavorful and everything enchiladas should be. I had to pull myself away from eating an unreasonable portion of these chicken enchiladas – but then I went back for more.
EASY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
Making chicken enchiladas at home is very easy and I’ve simplified the process even further in this Enchiladas Verdes recipe – and made them more delicious at the same time – winning!
In most chicken enchilada recipes, the tortillas are just stuffed with chicken and something creamy, but in this Enchiladas Verdes recipe, the chicken is first seasoned with a bevy of smoky fiesta seasonings. This elevates these Enchiladas Verdes to a whole new level – restaurant level – or beyond.
The seasoned chicken is combined with enchilada sauce, sour cream, and Monterrey Jack cheese for a one-stop filing instead of tediously layering them separately.
All that goodness gets rolled in chewy corn tortillas then smothered in bright, tangy, green enchilada sauce and of course – more cheese.
This Enchiladas Verdes recipe is always a crowd-pleaser, can be prepped in the morning and baked at night, made in mass quantities, and/or frozen for later. They also make terrific leftovers – even with eggs for breakfast!
This chicken enchilada recipe only calls for a few ingredients, so keep them stocked and you can make them any time.
Enchiladas Verdes Ingredients:
- corn tortillas
- shredded chicken
- green enchilada sauce
- sour cream
Is Salsa Verde the same as green enchilada sauce?
Salsa verde and green enchilada sauce are easy to confuse but they are different. In fact, they are exactly what their names imply: salsa verde is a salsa made of roasted or raw vegetables and green enchilada sauce is enchilada sauce made of simmered ingredients. The main difference comes in the texture.
Salsa verde is generally made of roasted tomatillos, serrano or jalapeno peppers, onion, garlic, lime juice and cilantro. The ingredients are blended together to create a smooth salsa.
Green enchilada sauce contains all of the same ingredients with the addition of flour and chicken broth. The flour and broth make a roux to thicken the enchilada sauce and then the sauce simmers until thickened.
For this Enchiladas Verdes recipe, we want green enchilada sauce because it is smoother and slightly creamier than salsa verde and generally less spicy. I have not tried these green enchiladas with salsa verde, but I imagine it would work fine if that’s what you have on hand.
Flour or Corn Tortillas?
I love all my chicken enchilada recipes that use flour tortillas, but I HIIGHY prefer and recommend corn tortillas in this Enchiladas Verdes recipe. Corn tortillas boast a robust flavor of toasted corn that is made for the tangy, bright green enchilada sauce. They make each other better. If you use flour tortillas which are neutral in flavor, you will be missing a dynamic flavor element of these chicken enchiladas.
Another bonus of corn tortillas is they reheat and freeze better than flour tortillas. While flour tortillas are delicious right away, they tend to get soggy when frozen, whereas corn tortillas hold their shape.
If you have been wary about using corn tortillas in enchiladas because they fall apart just by rolling, never fear! I have a foolproof method of preparing the corn tortillas so they don’t tear, crumble or fall apart. See below.
How to Prevent Corn Tortillas from Tearing?
Corn tortillas will tear or completely fall apart if you use them straight from the package. Even if you dip them in enchilada sauce like some recipes suggest, they will still break; but if you flash fry them and dip them in enchilada sauce, they emerge completely pliable. Frying the tortillas also enhances the corn flavor – yum!
If you don’t want to fry your tortillas, you can soften them in the microwave instead but I don’t find this method 100% fool proof – your call. No one will really know if they have a couple cracks once they are smothered in enchilada sauce and cheese.
While the steps of frying or microwaving and dipping might seem like a hassle, they only take a total of 30 seconds per tortilla (less if microwaving) and are SO worth the effort so you can use corn tortillas – because then you get to taste corn tortillas.
Can I use Rotisserie Chicken?
Absolutely! Rotisserie chicken comes cooked and lightly seasoned so it is perfect for these Enchiladas Verdes. You will need 3 ½ cups shredded chicken for this recipe which will be most of one rotisserie chicken. If your chicken doesn’t have quite that much chicken, then it is fine to use a little less.
How to make your Own Shredded Chicken
If you don’t want to run out to the store to purchase rotisserie chicken or spend the $$, it is super easy to make your own shredded chicken!
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add one-pound chicken breasts pounded thin (2-3 breasts) and cook 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown on one side.
- Flip chicken and add 2 cups chicken broth. Cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes, then flip chicken over and continue to cook 5-10 minutes or until chicken is tender enough to shred. You may need to add more chicken broth if it is already absorbed when you flip your chicken over. You may substitute the chicken broth with water, but chicken broth will infuse your chicken with more flavor.
- Remove chicken from skillet and let rest 5 minutes before shredding.
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas
Filling: The star of any enchilada is the filling and this Enchiladas Verde filling is spectacular – and SO easy! I use an easy shortcut method by stirring all the filling ingredients together in one bowl. This eliminates all the steps of layering each individual tortilla with chicken, cheese and sauce.
Instead, we simply add ½ cup enchilada sauce, 1 cup sour cream and all filling seasonings to a large bowl and stir together.
Stir in shredded chicken until combined followed by cheese until evenly combined.
How quick and easy was that?!
Flash Fry Tortillas: Heat enough canola or vegetable oil in a cast iron/medium skillet so it covers the bottom. Once hot, add a tortilla and flash fry for about 10 seconds on each side. The word “fry” might be misleading – you just want to heat the tortilla until soft with a few bubbles but not brown or crispy at all. They basically will look the same color when you are done but they will be softened and no longer crumbly.
OR Microwave Tortillas: You can microwave the tortillas instead of frying but it does not work as well as foolproof frying. To microwave corn tortillas, work in 2 batches. Place 6 tortillas on a microwave safe plate, cover with a moist paper towel and microwave 40 to 50 seconds so they are warm and pliable. Proceed to dip these tortillas in enchilada sauce and fill before microwaving the second batch. Keep the tortillas you aren’t using covered with a dish cloth to stay warm.
Dip Tortillas: Dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce then place on a cutting board to fill. The enchilada sauce makes the tortilla even more pliable to prevent tearing and infuses it with verde goodness through and through.
Fill Tortillas: Add a generous amount of filling (about 1/3 cup) to the center of each tortilla.
Roll Tortillas: Roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in prepared baking dish. If your tortillas seem like a tight fit, that’s fine – just squeeze them in!
Get Saucy: Pour all remaining enchilada sauce left in the can and from the pie dish you used to dip the tortillas all over the enchiladas. Try and spread the enchilada sauce evenly over the top so none of the tortillas are dry.
Get Cheesy: Sprinkle with 1 ½ cups cheese. You can use less cheese if you like, but more cheese means more delicious.
How Long to bake Enchiladas?
Bake Enchiladas Verdes at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until bubbly. Broil until cheese is golden in spots. You don’t want to broil too long though or the cheese won’t be as gooey.
Helpful Tips to make Enchiladas Verdes
- Use canned green enchilada sauce as opposed to jarred salsa verde. They are similar but not the same.
- Use MILD green enchilada sauce. If you use hot enchilada sauce, your Enchiladas Verdes might be WAY too spicy. Instead, add hot sauce to taste if you like it spicier.
- To make these green enchiladas come together super quickly, use rotisserie or prepare your own shredded chicken in advance. I’ve included instructions on how to make your own shredded section in the post.
- You can customize your chicken enchiladas with any vegetables you like. I’ve included some ideas below. If you add veggies, you will want to use less chicken or there will be too much filling.
- I prefer corn tortillas but you may use flour tortillas. If you use flour tortillas you do not need to fry them or dip them in the green enchilada sauce.
How to Customize your Chicken Enchiladas
I love these Enchiladas Verdes simple with chicken and cheese, but you can customize them in SO many different ways:
- add black beans, white beans or refried beans
- add rice or sweet potatoes
- add olives or fire roasted tomatoes
- add spinach or other veggies such as corn or zucchini
- use more or less cheese
- use flour or corn tortillas
- substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream
- top with all or some of your favs such as sour cream (highly recommend), cilantro, jalapenos, avocados, tomatoes, black olives
- add hot sauce to your enchiladas once their baked. I suggest this after-cooking addition so everyone can customize the heat of their own enchiladas
WHAT TOPPINGS FOR ENCHILADAS VERDES?
These Enchiladas Verdes are stand alone addicting, but as is the case with all Mexican food, whether it’s tacos, burritos, fajitas, tortilla soup, they are even better with toppings! Here are some of our favs:
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt: the bright tangy creaminess cuts through and compliments the earthy flavor profile.
- Tomatoes: quartered cherry tomatoes or seeded, chopped Roma tomatoes or skip the plain tomatoes and use pico de gallo.
- Pico de gallo: is fresh tomato salsa that adds a vibrant, punchy freshness. You can use my homemade pico de de gallo recipe or store bought. You can make the pico de gallo ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Cilantro: if you skip the pico de gallo, you can load on fresh cilantro and tomatoes instead for a fresh, zesty flair.
- Avocado Crema: if you’ve been following me for long, you know I top practically everything with avocado crema – AKA my addiction. Avocado crema is a marriage of avocados, sour cream and lime juice. It is wonderfully silky, tangy and just takes minutes to make in your blender. The luscious, refreshing tanginess cuts through and compliments the robust, chili flavors of the enchiladas.
- Guacamole: use my homemade guacamole recipe (amazing!) I use in my Street Tacos, your favorite recipe or even use store bought.
- Avocados: chopped or sliced avocados are the easiest avocado option and add a wonderful creaminess. You might want to add a splash of lime juice if you use plain avocados.
- Hot Sauce: pass around the hot sauce so individuals can customize the heat.
- Jalapenos: you can also amp up the heat with chopped or sliced jalapenos or pickled jalapenos.
What to serve with Enchiladas?
These Enchiladas Verdes are so flavorful, I love serving them with just plain rice and a big green salad. If you’re looking to get a little more creative, they are also delicious with:
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice
- Restaurant Homemade Salsa
- Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Lime Butter
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash
- Roasted Broccoli
- Southwest Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing
- Perfect Fruit Salad with Honey Citrus Dressing
- Pina Colada Fruit Salad
CAN CHICKEN ENCHILADAS BE MADE AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes! These Enchiladas Verdes make a fabulous make ahead dinner you can assemble ahead of time then just pop in the oven! To make ahead, prepare the green enchiladas according to directions, cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
You can bake the enchiladas straight from the refrigerator and increase the baking time by approximately 10 minutes or until they are hot and bubbly and completely heated through.
HOW TO REHEAT ENCHILADAS?
You can reheat individual servings of Enchiladas Verdes in the microwave until heated through or you can reheat the entire pan in the oven. To reheat in the oven, cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees F until heated through, approximately 30-35 minutes.
How Long are Enchiladas Good For?
Chicken Enchiladas should be covered tightly in plastic wrap or foil and stored in the refrigerator. When stored correctly, these Enchiladas Verdes are good for about 5 days.
HOW TO FREEZE ENCHILADAS?
While some enchiladas don’t freeze as well due to a cream-based sauce these Enchiladas Verdes freeze great! You can even double the recipe so you can enjoy one casserole now and one later.
I like to freeze my chicken enchiladas in a disposable pan for easy cleanup, but any 9×13 pan will also work. To freeze enchiladas:
- Assemble enchiladas up to the point of adding the cheese on top. You can add the cheese, but the cheese will have a better texture if you add it just when you’re ready to bake.
- Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap a couple times then then cover with foil. Label and freeze for up to three months.
- When ready to eat, let enchiladas thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Add cheese, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or completely heated through.
- Alternatively, you can bake enchiladas from frozen at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes or until heated through.
Looking for more Mexican dinner favorites?
- Cheesy Taco Pasta
- Tacos Al Pastor
- Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad
- Cheesy Taco Soup
- California Burrito
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