This easy cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe is the best chicken casserole recipe and perfect for everything from weeknight dinners to entertaining.
Since Cinco de Mayo falls on a weeknight this year, I wanted an easy Mexican food recipe to serve up. Tacos or quesadillas were an obvious choice but something we have all the time. Instead to celebrate, I wanted something a little more authentic and a little more festive. Even though it was just us, I knew exactly what to make…my Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas.
This chicken and cheese enchiladas recipe is such an easy impressive meal. Everyone is always surprised to see how quickly it comes together and how little culinary skills you need to pull this off. I love it because it’s filling, flavorful, festive, and always a crowd pleaser.
If you want to get on your mother-in-law’s good side, make her this and you’ll be in her good graces. Trust me, I made this the first time I met my in-laws and it totally worked!
You can make this recipe even easier if you buy a rotisserie chicken and pop it in the food processor (or in my case, usually the mini food chopper so I don’t have to haul out the big guns for just two chicken breasts). Having the chicken already cooked (and cool enough to shred immediately) will cut your prep time in half. Watch out using the food processor though, if you’re not careful you’ll shred the chicken too finely and completely throw off the texture of the dish.
Another shortcut you could make in preparing this chicken enchilada casserole is to use canned chicken. I’ve done this before when I haven’t had a chance or forgotten to thaw a chicken breast. It’s not ideal and the flavor will be a little off, but if you were in a pinch it does work.
- 12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- (3) 7oz. cans of red enchilada sauce￼
- (1) yellow onion, diced
- (1) 15oz. can of refried beans
- 1 lb. shredded Mexican cheese blend
- (8) burrito sized, flour tortillas￼
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional Toppings
- Sour cream
- Jalapeño Slices￼
- Place chicken in large pot of salted water and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Continue boiling chicken until it is cooked through and no longer pink.
- Remove chicken from water and shred in food processor or you can shred the chicken by hand using a fork. Lightly season chicken to taste with salt and pepper.
- Open all cans of enchilada. Set two cans to the side and pour one can in bottom of prepared baking dish.
- To begin assembling enchiladas, take one flour tortilla and coat both sides with enchilada sauce from bottom of baking dish, add a heaping spoonful of refried beans, ⅛ of total chicken prepared, 2T diced onions (we like a lot of onions but you could use less and still get great results), lightly drizzle contents with enchilada sauce from can (1/8 of can).
- Repeat step 6 until all enchiladas are filled with bean/chicken/onion/sauce mixture.
- Pour remaining can of enchilada sauce over all enchiladas and then top with cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.
- Serve alone or with optional toppings above for even more flavor!
I don’t know about you but I love to load up my enchiladas with lots of toppings! One of my favorite tricks I’ve learned for ensuring all that goodness stays in place is using a pan like this one instead of a typical baking dish. Enchiladas don’t always have the best presentation, but I assure you that if you serve them in this it’ll not only look amazing it might taste just a tiny bit better too.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to know what you think! This is one of the first recipes I learned to cook when I got married and is one of my go to recipes when having people over for dinner. After making this recipe, you’ll never order chicken enchiladas from a restaurant again.
What’s your favorite easy cheesy chicken recipe? If you’re in the mood for even more Mexican food, check out this Chilaquiles Verdes recipe!
Looking for more chicken recipes? Follow my chicken recipes board on Pinterest!