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Thank goodness for amazing shortcuts! This Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe is quick, flavorful and satisfying, and I bet you’re going to love it as much as we do.
Honestly, I probably spent more time preparing the toppings than I did making the entire casserole. Start to finish it takes about 20 minutes to put it together and cooks up in an amazing 15 minutes. That makes this layered casserole a pretty terrific, flavorful weeknight meal. This time of year it seems I always have too much to do. Lately I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen baking up goodies for gifts, gatherings, family extravaganzas and office parties. After all that I don’t want to spend hours on dinner too. Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe to the rescue!
There is so much to love about this Tex-Mex casserole, so let me give you the quick rundown!
- Tender, juicy chicken – for a quick and easy solution, use shredded rotisserie chicken breasts for this recipe. Or, if you have the time, poach two chicken breasts in seasoned chicken broth for amazingly tender shredded chicken. You’ll need 2 cups of diced or shredded chicken breasts for this recipe.
- Jarred or canned red enchilada sauce – of course you can make your own homemade sauce if you want, or pick up a jar of the best enchilada sauce you can find, preferably one made with all natural ingredients. You’ll need at least 16 ounces for this recipe.
- Spinach or kale – I think it’s just brilliant to hide healthy greens in a casserole. Purchase pre-washed baby spinach leaves or tender kale that doesn’t need much fussing and you’re way ahead of the game. I like to use a clam-shell container of mixed spinach, kale and Swiss chard suitable for salads when I can find it. Any fresh leafy green will work for this recipe. You’ll need at least 5 or 6 ounces – but feel free to add more if you like.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – once again, purchase the best brand you can find and mince 2 or 3 peppers for this recipe. Flash freeze leftover peppers (individually with any sauce) to use next time you make this casserole or our Chicken Tinga Tacos. If you love the heat, like we do, use 3 peppers, but if you’re afraid your family won’t like that much character, use 1 pepper instead. It’s all good!
- Corn tortillas – pick up a package of good corn tortillas, you’ll need 12 for this recipe. Maria and Ricardo’s Handmade Style Soft Corn Tortillas won the top spot in a taste test by Cook’s Illustrated. Check Maria’s store locator to see if they’re available in your area.
- The tortillas, chicken, cheese and sauce are layered like lasagna instead of rolling into individual enchiladas. Easy peasy!
- Use pre-shredded Mexican blend cheese for another terrific shortcut.
It would be pretty hard to have too many toppings on these cheesy Chicken Enchiladas.
Beef up your enchiladas with plenty of fresh shredded lettuce, a big dollop of sour cream, chopped fresh onions, more cheese, sliced avocado and … maybe just a little more cheese. This chicken enchiladas recipe is filling and satisfying and loaded with smoky adobo flavor. Vary your casserole by adding a few black beans or corn to the layers with the chicken mixture. Absolutely delicious 🙂
These enchiladas won’t last long, but if you happen to have leftovers, store in an airtight container and reheat gently in the microwave. Soooooo goooood!
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Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
For the enchiladas:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 or 6 ounces baby spinach leaves or chopped kale
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 (16-ounce) jar red enchilada sauce
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 - 3 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced (more or less to taste)
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 2 cups 8 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese
Ideas for optional toppings:
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced jalapeños
- Diced red onion
- Lime wedges
- Sliced or cubed avocado
- Cilantro leaves
- Sour Cream
- More cheese!
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Add the olive oil to a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the spinach and 2 tablespoons water. Cook stirring frequently until the spinach is wilted. Add the chicken, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir gently until combined and heated through. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the enchilada sauce, sour cream and the minced chipotle peppers. Spoon about 3/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the now empty skillet. Layer 4 tortillas over the sauce, overlapping the edges to cover the bottom of the skillet.
- Top the tortillas with half the chicken and spinach mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the onions and 1/3 of the cheese.
- Spoon half the remaining sauce over the casserole, then repeat with 4 more tortillas, the remaining chicken mixture, half the remaining onion and half the remaining cheese.
- Top with the last 4 tortillas, all the remaining sauce, then the onions and cheese.
- Bake the casserole until hot and bubbling, about 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with red onion, jalapeños and other desired toppings before serving.
Here are a few more of our favorite recipes you might also enjoy: Smoky Chicken Tinga Tacos is a flavorful Mexican dish made with fire roasted tomatoes, chipotle chilis in adobo sauce and tender, shredded chicken. Served as a topping for tostadas with a layer of refried beans, or as a filling for tacos, this delicious smoky chicken won’t get lost under layers and layers of toppings! Click HERE to get the recipe for Smoky Chicken Tinga Tacos. Another delicious dinner idea you’ll want to try is our favorite easy Skillet Chicken Fajitas. They’re incredibly easy to make, loaded with bold flavor, sweet sautéed vegetables and tender, juicy chicken. Click HERE to get the recipe for Skillet Chicken Fajitas.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia