recipe: Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

I found this recipe years ago in a magazine ad for vegetable oil, believe it or not. I didn’t try it until last year sometime and OH MY, even as I was making it, I knew it would be a favorite. It’s a bit more involved than some of my recipes, what with the frying of the tortillas (which I tried skipping once, and I don’t recommend that. It tasted just fine, but I ended up with enchilada mush because the tortillas dried out and crumbled in the oven.) But it’s worth it. Dee-licious.

Lots of ingredients in this one: chicken breasts, canola oil, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, garlic powder, green onions, cheese, sour cream, green chilis, cilantro…

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

First we’re going to boil the chicken with some black pepper:

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

And some chili powder. Just because.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

While the chicken comes to a boil, we’ll start making the sauce. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan, then add 2 tbsp flour. Mix it up well, and then add 2 tbsp chili powder.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Stir this around until you get a thick paste:

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Then add the chicken broth and tomato sauce:

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Whoops, let’s check on the chicken!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Looking good.

Add the salt and garlic powder to the sauce.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Let that simmer for about 10 minutes- it will thicken a bit.

The chicken’s done! Remove it from the water, cut it into big chunks, and throw them (okay, PLACE them) into a food processor.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Pulse a few times until the chicken is nice and shredded.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Next, slice up the green onions:

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Place the green onions and chilis in a large bowl:

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Add the chicken:

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Then about half of your cheeses:

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Add 1/4 cup sour cream.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Next up is the cilantro. mmm, I love cilantro.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Chop it up!!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Add the cilantro and about 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the chicken/onion/chilis bowl.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Give it a good mix.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

The next step is a little boring/messy- frying the corn tortillas. Fry each one in about 1/4 inch of oil in a small frying pan- drain them on paper towels.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Let the tortillas cool a little bit (don’t want to burn your fingers! Ask me how I know this!) and then fill each one with the chicken mixture.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Place each filled tortilla in a 9×13 pan. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the entire batch and top with the remaining cheese.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F- should be nice and bubbly!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

I like mine with some cilantro and sour cream. YUM!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce


Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
  1. 2 tbsp canola oil
  2. 2 tbsp flour
  3. 2 tbsp chili powder
  4. 1 tsp ground cumin
  5. 14 oz can chicken broth
  6. 8 oz can tomato sauce
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  9. 3 cups enchilada sauce (from the above ingredients)
  10. 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  11. 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  12. 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  13. 3/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  14. 1/4 cup sour cream
  15. 4 oz can diced green chiles
  16. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  17. Salt & pepper to taste
  18. 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  1. Make the enchilada sauce: Heat oil in saucepan; stir in flour and chili powder, cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Boil 3-4 chicken breasts in a large pot of water with some salt and pepper (and other seasonings if desired) until cooked through. Cool slightly and shred with a fork and knife (or VERY QUICKLY in a food processor) In a medium bowl, mix chicken, green onions, 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup Monterey jack, sour cream, chiles and cilantro. Stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce; season with salt & pepper.
  3. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large pan. Fry tortillas, one at a time, until soft (10 seconds per side) Drain on paper towels.
  4. Spray 9×13 pan and spread a small amount of sauce in bottom of dish. Fill each tortilla with 2 spoonfuls of chicken mixture and roll up. Place seam side down in dish, side by side. Pour remaining sauce over, top with remaining cheeses and bake at 350 degrees F until bubbling- 15-20 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, green onions, and cilantro.


  1. Laura

    March 25, 2009 11:28 pm

    I am a big cooking loser compared to you. I don’t think our grocery store even carries fresh cilantro (try finding fresh basil there. yuck) and I don’t have a food processor. I cut everything on paper plates because I hate cleaning wood cutting boards. And just for good measure, I have tile countertops with grout (all WHITE) that are a nightmare to clean. If I ever get a food processor, this is one to try though! (I’m not a fan of enchiladas with big chunks of chicken – never thought of shredding it with a food processor. Duh.)

    Lauras last blog post: 3 to 15

  2. Jen

    March 26, 2009 1:47 pm

    @Laura: Get yourself some tools, girl!! I think good tools make cooking more fun. I know I look forward to using things with different recipes… then again, I’m a dork so that could be why. ha!

    As for fresh cilantro, I never knew my store had it either- it’s by the parsley, or they also have little plastic packages of smaller amounts. Have you asked anyone? It might be hiding somewhere.

  3. Woy

    March 26, 2009 4:35 pm

    Yet another recipe I want to try but probably won’t be able to. Looks delicious.

    LOVE enchiladas….

    Woys last blog post: Hey Kid, You Jump Ship?

  4. Stephanie

    March 26, 2009 5:15 pm

    Hope it was worth all that work! I tried making beef & broccoli stir fry from a recipe in a magazine last night and it was a disaster because:

    1) it took me EXTRA time because I lost my motivation half way through and

    2) i broke one of my cutting boards from the meat tenderizer

    3) my wok decided against being non-stick and i had to transfer everything mid-act

    4) the meat, even though it was fresh from the deli, didn’t taste that good because it had to be tossed in corn starch before frying it in oil

    and finally: 5) Club House makes a pouch with a Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry mix – and all you have to do is add boiling water – and believe it or not, it tastes way better than the crap I made last night.

    Thankfully, Dan’s a guy and guys eat anything. He, unlike me, actually liked it though. B.A.H.

    I think I’m off cooking for a little while… heh

    Stephanies last blog post: Relief is in Sight!

  5. Irene

    March 26, 2009 5:35 pm

    mmmmmmmm!!!!! That looks SO good! My mouth is actually watering. Of course, it doesn’t help that I am absolutely starving right now. But I will definitely bookmark this recipe! Thank you!!!!!

    Irenes last blog post: The cat is out of the bag…and more notes from a 7 yo

  6. Jen

    March 27, 2009 9:13 am

    @Stephanie: LOL yeah all of that? Would definitely make me want to take a break. I’ve had that happen a few times- I’ll try a new recipe and it’s a Major Fail. I end up going back to some tried and true favorites for a while to get my confidence back :) Or you know- PIZZA. haha

  7. Jane

    March 27, 2009 12:24 pm

    What if I make this and then like it better than my regular enchilada recipe, but it involves many more steps (and none with a slow cooker?) But they look delicious!!!

    And the Texas BBQ Chicken Quesadillas have made a resurge at our house. Loving that recipe! We double it up and freeze the insides for a later meal. YUMMM and easy!!!

    Janes last blog post: On The Go

  8. Amy

    March 27, 2009 1:42 pm

    I have been looking for a good enchilada sauce, thank you! I’m totally going to try this.

  9. kirida

    March 27, 2009 6:32 pm

    I am going to make this and my husband will be so in love he will marry me all over again. For reals.

    kiridas last blog post: lying liars who lie

  10. samantha jo campen

    March 27, 2009 10:05 pm

    This is WAY more involved than anything I’ve ever made.

    I’m frightened.

    Is this recipe spicy? I wouldn’t add the green chilies, so other than that, on a scale of 1-10 and 10 being four alarm fire, how spicy? I have tum troubles.

    samantha jo campens last blog post: Eye of the beholder

  11. Jen

    March 27, 2009 11:21 pm

    @kirida: Happy to be able to help out with all that :)

  12. Jen

    March 27, 2009 11:24 pm

    @samantha jo campen: hm if you have tummy issues with spicy food, then you could leave out the chilis and with all the other flavors, you wouldn’t even notice. You might even be able to replace them with cooked bell peppers (make sure they’re nice and soft before adding them though) It does have a kick with the chilis.

  13. stacy

    April 9, 2009 4:41 pm

    I am going to try this recipe tonight, I had one I found online yesterday and misplaced that had cream of chicken soup in addition to most of the same ingredients. Sounds like a great recipe, anything that requires some work makes for an excellentd dinner. If someone isnt willing to go the extra mile when they make a meal probably means they just dont enjoy cooking! By the way, frying the shells always makes a great deal of difference, I always fry my own corn tortillas when I make tacos and they rock. Ill let you know how the recipe comes out.
    thanks for it!

  14. stacy

    April 9, 2009 6:40 pm

    just finished the recipe, overall it was pretty good, I didnt think the enchilada sauce had enough spice in it. I doubled most of it and added an additional teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder.
    I would make it again.
    thanks for the recipe!
    Stacy Harris

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