Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are better than your favorite restaurant and easy to make at home!

These Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are irresistibly cheesy, stuffed with juicy chicken, both Monterrey Jack cheese and sharp cheddar cheese then doused in the most irresistible creamy jalapeno lime  sour cream sauce – and of course topped with more cheese.  You can customize the Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas by adding vegetables, more or less cheese, and as much or as little heat to the sauce.  These sour cream chicken enchiladas are also perfect to make-ahead and refrigerate so you just pop them in the oven at dinner time!

cheesy chicken enchiladas with sour cream in a white casserole dish

Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Chicken Enchilada recipes are hands down my favorite comfort food.  Saucy, cheesy, creamy and packed with flavor.  I am in love with my Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, Barbacoa Beef Enchiladas, Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas, Enchiladas Verdes,  Breakfast Ham and Cheese Enchiladas and now these Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas!

These Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are wonderfully cheesy –  but they are as much about the creamy sour cream sauce as they are about the cheese.  Seriously.  Just try and resist this sauce.

And these Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas also happen to be packed with texture: chicken, cheese, fresh corn right of the cob, Mexican zucchini  (may sub regular), and red bell peppers – its a party in every bite.

the BEST Sour Cream Sauce

Or every bite will make you want to party, especially because each bite of Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas is blanketed in rich, multidimensional, creamy, jalapeno lime sauce that dances with spices and sings with just the right amount of heat and kick of refreshing citrus.

Now don’t be scared off by the ingredient list of the sour cream sauce because most of them are spices and take 2 seconds to throw into the sauce and believe me, an extra couple seconds of spice makes all the difference to concoct this praiseworthy, drool worthy, restaurant worthy, company worthy jalapeno lime sour cream sauce.

What Cheese is Best for Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas?

With cheese literally in the name of these Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas – it is important to use the correct cheese for the best results.  Please use FRESHLY GRATED Monterrey Jack and sharp cheddar cheese as opposed to pre-packed shredded cheeses or shredded Mexican cheese blend. Freshly grated cheeses taste far superior and melt exponentially better than pre-shredded cheeses.  Packaged, shredded cheeses are coated in anti-clumping chemicals that prevent them from melting together in the package, but also hinder melting on the stove or oven as well.

top view of cheesy chicken enchiladas

CORN OR FLOUR TORTILLAS FOR CHEESY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS?

You can use flour or corn tortillas for this Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas recipe.   If using flour tortillas, I like to toast them first in the skillet.  This helps them to retain their structure when smothered in sauce.  They will still get soft but not mushy.  This, however, is completely optional and I often skip it if I’m short on time – or patience. Flash frying corn tortillas, however, is not optional if you want to use them instead of flour tortillas.  Corn tortillas will tear and fall apart when wrapped up if not flash fried and dipped in sauce.  Alternatively, you can make an enchilada casserole by layering the corn tortillas instead if you don’t want to fry them. 

How to Flash Fry Tortillas:  Heat enough canola or vegetable oil in medium skillet so it covers the bottom and heat over medium high heat.  Once hot, add a corn tortilla and flash fry for about 10 seconds on each side.  We are just looking to immerse and heat the tortilla so it becomes soft and pliable without crumbling- we do NOT want it to become crispy at all.  Next, dip them in some of the sour cream sauce before filling.  Now you have fool proof corn tortillas! 

OR Microwave Tortillas: Instead of flash frying corn tortillas, you can microwave them as well, but this method is not 100%  fool proof.   To microwave corn tortillas, 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.  Dip each warmed tortilla in the sour cream sauce before filling, then repeat with remaining tortillas.  Proceed to dip these tortillas in enchilada sauce and fill before microwaving the second batch.

RECIPE NOTES FOR CHEESY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS 

  • Rotisserie Chicken: you can use a store bought rotisserie chicken in this cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe OR make your shredded own.  Rotisserie chickens are a great shortcut, but I promise, making your own shredded chicken is SO easy as well.  I’ve included how to make your own shredded chicken in the recipe.
  • Cheese: these are CHEESY Chicken Enchiladas, so this recipe uses 5 cups of cheese total.  You are welcome to reduce the cheese to 3 cups if you prefer and use 2 cups in the filling and 1 cup as the topping.
  • Vegetables: I’ve included corn, zucchini and red bell peppers in this Cheesy Chicken Enchilada recipe.  They deliver phenomenal texture and cut through the cheesiness. That being said, I understand some  people just want CHEESE, so feel free o eliminate the veggies or substitute them with your favorite veggies such as spinach or beans.  If you omit the veggies completely, you will need to make up for the lost volume by increasing the chicken to 2 pounds.
  • Tortillas: as previously discussed, you can use either corn or flour tortillas for this recipe, totally personal preference.  Just take care you flash fry or microwave your corn tortillas and dip in the sauce before stuffing.  For fun, you can even make these Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas with half corn and half flour tortillas and see what you like best!
  • Seasoning:   I season the sour cream sauce with ground cumin, garlic powder, salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, pepper and cayenne pepper.    It is a dynamic blend that is flavorful but not overwhelming.  We need robust seasoning to cut through the creaminess and the richness. 
  • Lime Juice:  you can use 1-2 tablespoons lime juice or leave it out completely if you prefer.  I love the hint of lime to to awaken all of the other flavors.  If you aren’t sure how much to add, start with ½ tablespoon and add more to taste.  Fresh or bottled lime juice is fine.
  • Sour Cream:  the sour cream is the creaminess in the jalapeno lime sour cream sauce.  If you want to live on the wild side, – you can use up to 1 cup sour cream as opposed to the ½ cup listed in the recipe.
  • Jalapenos:  only use one jalapeno if you don’t love spicy food, then season the sour cream sauce with additional cayenne pepper to reach the desired spice level.
front view of cheesy sour cream chicken enchiladas in white casserole dish with tomatoes and cilantro on top

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHEESY SOUR CREAM CHICKEN ENCHILADAS?

Serve your Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas with Mexican Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice,  a big pile of chips and either Pico de Gallo , Homemade Salsa,or Salsa Verde and you have a restaurant quality meal in the comfort of your own home!   And of course throw in some homemade churros and your family and friends will thank you if they don’t go into a deliciousness coma first. It could happen.  More Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas for you.

CAN CHEESY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS BE MADE AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes!  These Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas can be assembled, covered tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.  Just note that the longer the enchiladas are refrigerated, the softer the tortillas. When ready to eat, bake the enchiladas straight from the refrigerator and increase the baking time to 40 minutes or until completely heated through.

HOW LONG ARE SOUR CREAM ENCHILADAS GOOD FOR?

Cheesy Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas should be covered tightly in plastic wrap or foil and stored in the refrigerator.  When stored correctly, these enchiladas are good for about 5 days.

CAN I FREEZE CHEESY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS?

I do not recommend freezing these Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas due to the cheese and sour cream if you are picky about texture.  The tortillas soften further and the texture of the sauce changes due to the dairy and will separate and become grainy.  If you aren’t too picky though, then go for it!

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up close of cheesy chicken enchiladas

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top view of cheesy chicken enchiladas

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas with Jalapeno Lime Sour Cream Sauce

These Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are irresistibly cheesy, stuffed with juicy chicken, both Monterrey Jack cheese and sharp cheddar cheese then doused in the most irresistible creamy jalapeno lime  sour cream sauce – and of course topped with more cheese.  You can customize the Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas by adding vegetables, more or less cheese, and as much or as little heat to the sauce.  These sour cream chicken enchiladas are also perfect to make-ahead and refrigerate so you just pop them in the oven at dinner time!
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts pounded thin (2-3 breasts)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 Mexican squash (may sub. reglar) sliced and quartered (optional)*
  • Corn kernels from 1 ear of corn, about 1 cup (optional)*
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)*
  • 3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, divided more or less to taste
  • 2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided more or less to taste
  • 8-10 flour tortillas

Jalapeno Lime Sour Cream Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 jalapenos, deveined, seeded, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 14 oz. can low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp EACH ground cumin, garlic pwdr
  • 1/2 tsp EACH salt, chili pwdr, smoked paprika, onion pwdr
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspooon cayenne pepper (optional for more heat)
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Garnishes (Optional)

  • sour cream
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • cilantro
  • chips
  • freshly squeezed lime
  • hot sauce

Instructions

  • Easily cook and shred chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Flip chicken and add 1 cup 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 cooked though and tender enough to shred. Remove chicken from skillet and let rest 5 minutes before shredding (or dicing if preferred). Discard any extra broth from skillet (if there is any).
  • Jalapeno Lime Sauce: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter in olive oil over medium heat. Add jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook for 3 minutes (it will be thick).. Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in can of chicken broth until smooth followed by spices. Bring to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and sour cream.
  • Filling: To the same skillet you cooked your chicken, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add squash, corn and red bell pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in shredded chicken, 3 tablespoons Jalapeno Lime Sauce and 2 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese and 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Assemble: Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spread ¼ cup Jalapeno Lime Sauce on the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish (layer will be very thin). Add the enchilada filling to the center of each tortilla and roll them tightly, then line them in the dish. Top enchiladas with remaining Jalapeno Lime Sauce and remaining Monterey Jack and sharp cheese.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes then broil until cheese is golden. Top with desired garnishes.

Notes

  • Rotisserie Chicken: you can use a store bought rotisserie chicken in this cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe OR make your shredded own.  Rotisserie chickens are a great shortcut, but I promise, making your own shredded chicken is SO easy as well.
  • Cheese: these are CHEESY Chicken Enchiladas, so this recipe uses 5 cups of cheese total.  You are welcome to reduce the cheese to 3 cups if you prefer and use 2 cups in the filling and 1 cup as the topping.
  • Vegetables: I’ve included corn, zucchini and red bell peppers in this Cheesy Chicken Enchilada recipe.  They deliver phenomenal texture and cut through the cheesiness. That being said, I understand some  people just want CHEESE, so feel free o eliminate the veggies or substitute them with your favorite veggies such as spinach or beans.  If you omit the veggies completely, you will need to make up for the lost volume by increasing the chicken to 2 pounds.
  • Tortillas: as detailed in the recipe post, you can use either corn or flour tortillas for this recipe, totally personal preference.  Just take care you flash fry or microwave your corn tortillas and dip in the sauce before stuffing.  For fun, you can even make these Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas with half corn and half flour tortillas and see what you like best!
  • Lime Juice:  you can use 1-2 tablespoons lime juice or leave it out completely if you prefer.  I love the hint of lime to to awaken all of the other flavors.  If you aren’t sure how much to add, start with ½ tablespoon and add more to taste.  Fresh or bottled lime juice is fine.
  • Sour Cream:  the sour cream is the creaminess in the jalapeno lime sour cream sauce.  If you want to live on the wild side, – you can use up to 1 cup sour cream as opposed to the ½ cup listed in the recipe.
  • Jalapenos:  only use one jalapeno if you don’t love spicy food, then season the sour cream sauce with additional cayenne pepper to reach the desired spice level.

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8 Comments

  1. Melissa says

    These look so delicious, and I love your quick method to cook the chicken! I have never seen that before! I don’t boil my chicken because I don’t know how pasty white it looks, but browning it first is a great idea! Totally adding these to the menu!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Melissa! I LOVE this method for shredding chicken – I use it all the time – I think it will become a new favorite of yours 🙂 I hope you love the enchiladas too!

  2. Gladys says

    I will try to make these today. I don’t know how to cook ,so I’m hoping they come out fine. They look delicious.

    • Jen says

      Best of luck! Hope they turn out for you!

  3. Charlene Soukup says

    I just accidentally made this into a delicious dip! I had prepared everything to find out I was out of tortilla’s…so I mixed all the ingredients together (minus tortilla’s) and baked in my warmed up oven until bubbly. It was delicious!!

    • Jen says

      I am drooling over the sound of this! I seriously am making this and will give credit for the idea! Thank you Charlene!

  4. Tracy says

    We made this for dinner last night – amazing! Easy to make and we love that we made our own enchilada sauce from scratch. I am not sure how I came across your website but I will be make more of your recipes. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Tracy! I’m thrilled these chicken enchiladas were a hit! I hope you have fun exploring my site and find many new favorites!

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