Loaded with chicken and Monterey Jack cheese, you’ll love these easy and delicious chicken enchiladas verde.
Why you’ll love it: This Mexican favorite is so easy to make; the sauce is simply a jar of salsa verde.
How long it takes: just under an hour
Equipment you’ll need: large baking dish (9×13 inches), small skillet
With tender shredded chicken, lots of melty cheese, soft tortillas, and an easy verde (green) sauce, these enchiladas are a family favorite. Serve them with homemade refried beans and Mexican rice and you’ve got yourself a feast.
You can have this dinner on the table in about an hour. Half of that time is hands off while the enchiladas bake in the oven. I’ve made them super easy with a purchased jar of salsa verde and precooked chicken.
This casserole is perfect for a quick dinner when you’re tired after a long day at work. In fact, if you have a more leisurely morning, you can easily assemble it, put it in the fridge, and bake it when you get home in the afternoon.
You guys are going to love these chicken enchiladas so much. They are easy and delicious. Enjoy!
Look for specific instructions and measurements on the recipe card near the end of the post.
What You’ll Need
- Cooked Shredded Chicken: The recipe calls for three cups of cooked shredded chicken. Deli rotisserie chicken is fine or leftover chicken (or turkey) works great. I like to buy a family pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs and cook them all up in my Instant Pot so I always have shredded chicken on hand in the freezer.
- Jar of Salsa Verde: This green salsa is made with tomatillos instead of tomatoes. Buy a 16 oz. jar or make your own salsa verde.
- Monterey Jack Cheese: Shred your own cheese for the most meltiness (that’s probably not a word but I’m going with it). You can substitute other kinds of cheese if you like.
- Onion: Any type of onion is fine: white, yellow, sweet, red.
- Flour Tortillas: Instead of traditional corn tortillas, I use 8 inch flour tortillas. Either choice makes delicious enchiladas.
- Fresh Cilantro: Save some to garnish the enchiladas.
How To Make This Recipe
To make the filling, sauté the onions in a small skillet until they soften. If you’d like to increase the veggie content, you can also sauté spinach, peppers, or add corn or black beans.
Mix the veggies with the shredded chicken, and some of the sauce and cheese. Roll the filling in the tortillas. Line them up in a baking dish, drizzle with sauce, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the filling is warm and the cheese is melted. So yummy!
I like to serve these with a dab of sour cream and additional cilantro. Chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, pickled red onions, or diced avocado are great, too. Serve the enchiladas with baked tortilla chips and homemade salsa or pico de gallo. A frozen sangria slushie or a cranberry margarita will make it seem like a party!
Enchilada sauce is a smooth tomato-based red sauce flavored with chili powder and other seasonings. Salsa verde is a chunkier sauce made with tomatillos, hot peppers and onions. It can be either fresh or canned and is sometimes called green enchilada sauce.
Generally, red sauce is hotter than green which is usually pretty mild. However, it depends on the brand and type of sauce you choose. Homemade sauces can vary widely as well, depending on what kind of peppers were used. I’ve had green sauces that were smokin’ hot.
This is a matter of personal preference. Traditionally, enchiladas are made with corn tortillas that are fried briefly in oil. The oil prevents the tortilla from disintegrating in the casserole. Flour tortillas hold their shape better.
Make It Your Own
- Vegetarian: Substitute fajita-style vegetables (grilled onions and bell peppers) for the chicken. Add a can of black beans to the filling.
- Instead of chicken, substitute slow cooker pork taco meat or taco meat.
- Use red enchilada sauce instead of salsa verde.
Make chicken enchiladas a day ahead and refrigerate before baking. Bake as directed, adding five to 10 minutes to the baking time.
You could also make a double batch and freeze half of the enchiladas to bake at a later date. See the section below.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Leftover baked enchiladas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. They can be frozen for up to three months. To reheat, microwave individual portions until warmed through. For larger amounts, cover with foil and reheat in the oven.
Frozen enchiladas: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed, adding five to ten minutes to baking time. Alternatively, don’t thaw the enchiladas. Take them out of the freezer while the oven preheats. Leaving the foil on, bake for 25 minutes, remove foil and bake another 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are completely heated.
Interested in a weekly meal plan (it’s free!) that includes this recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #8. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week!
We’ll be adding a new meal plan weekly. If you’re interested, browse all of our meal plans.
Check out all of my Mexican/Southwestern recipes!
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (see note)
- 2 cups (16 oz. jar) salsa verde, divided
- 16 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 flour tortillas, more if needed
- ¼ medium yellow onion, chopped
- Sour cream for topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup salsa verde on bottom of pan.
- In small frying pan, sauté onions with small amount of olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes.
- In large bowl, mix shredded chicken with ⅔ cup salsa verde, 1 ½ cups cheese, scant ¼ cup cilantro, sautéed onions, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Wrap tortillas in two paper towels and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds so that they are soft and easier to work with.
- Spoon about ¼ cup of the chicken mixture into a tortilla. Roll up tightly and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until you are out of filling. Drizzle enchiladas with remaining salsa verde (about ⅓ cup) and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Spray a large sheet of foil with cooking spray and use that to cover the baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, remove foil and bake for five more minutes.
- Sprinkle with remaining cilantro, let stand for a few minutes and serve, topped with sour cream, if desired. One serving is 2 enchiladas.
- Make easy shredded chicken in your Instant Pot.
- Substitute homemade salsa verde if you’d like. A can of red enchilada sauce can be substituted, too.
- Vegetarian: Instead of chicken, fill the enchiladas with fajita-style vegetables (grilled peppers and onions), and a can of black beans, rinsed and drained.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.