If you’re looking for beautiful enchiladas that are a snap to prepare at the end of the day, then this easy leftover chicken enchiladas recipe is for you!! Of all my leftover chicken recipes, this one is my fav!!
The best part about these creamy chicken enchiladas is how quick they come together. Seriously, not only are these the best chicken enchiladas I’ve ever made but this easy recipe is a great way to fool your family into believing you’ve been slaving in the kitchen, lol!!
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after working all day is slave in the kitchen! Honestly, in under 15 minutes you can have these homemade enchiladas all ready to pop into the oven or even the slow cooker and you’ll have a quick weeknight meal that your family will love! Trust me, this will quickly become one of your favorite enchilada recipes too!!
Simple Ingredients in the Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe
The next time you head to the grocery store, pick up some of these simple ingredients to have on hand!!
I love to use rotisserie chickens for a lot of my easy meals. I guess this recipe could be called rotisserie chicken enchiladas, because that’s what I use!!
You could use any roast chicken though, or you could cook one up quickly in your instant pot. Skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs would be a way to cut down on calories if that’s something you’re interested in doing.
But for me, I love the ease of using a rotisserie whole chicken in all of its flavorful glory, lol!!
I prefer green chicken enchiladas, so I use green chile enchilada sauce in this recipe. If you like a zippier enchilada, you could go with red enchilada sauce instead. You can purchase cans of this sauce or even look up a way to make an easy homemade enchilada sauce.
I’ve never made my own enchilada sauce, but with a food processor and a few ingredients I bet it’s simple!!
I love the ease of opening a can, so that’s the way I prepare these easy chicken enchiladas!! You can find this sauce in the Mexican food section of your grocery store.
You’ll also need a small can of green chiles to add to the leftover shredded chicken. And a can of cream of chicken soup is needed!
What would enchiladas be without ooey gooey cheese?? You’ll need about 4 cups of shredded cheese for this easy leftover chicken enchiladas recipe!
I like to purchase shredded mozzarella or Monterey jack cheese ahead of time, then store it in the freezer to have on hand when I’m ready to use it.
Cheddar cheese is also a yummy alternative for this recipe!! You can never go wrong with cheddar, lol!!
You’ll also need a little vegetable oil for the bottom of the baking dish.
While you can store some of these ingredients in your pantry or freezer for future use, you’ll need to purchase a few fresh ingredients when you’re ready to make these yummy enchiladas!
Sour cream makes the sauce extra creamy, so you’ll want to make sure you have about a cup of it on hand to use in this recipe.
I like to serve these enchiladas with fresh salsa or pico de gallo, along with guacamole. Either mix up your own or pick up some fresh from the store. If I don’t have time to mix up guacamole, sometimes I’ll just serve some avocado slices on the side. I might sometimes serve chopped red onion on the side also!
Another optional ingredient is sliced green onions to serve with the enchiladas. Yum!!
Also, fresh cilantro is a must for our family, but it’s optional for this recipe!! The fresh taste of this delightful herb is one of the best tastes I think there is!
Cilantro has been used in Mexican cuisine for a long time. It’s sometimes called Chinese parsley or fresh coriander. Salsa, guacamole, and even rice (with a little lime juice added too!) are all great with a little cilantro in them!!
Why Do Some People Dislike Cilantro?
However, some people experience an aftertaste when they eat cilantro so I know it’s not everyone’s favorite.
Actually, cilantro contains a natural chemical, aldehyde, which causes an unpleasant aftertaste for some people. I’ve heard it described as a soapy or metallic taste, yuck!! I don’t blame them for not liking it!!
If that’s that case for someone in your family I suggest serving it on the side so everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to put it on their finished enchiladas or not!!
It’s All About the Tortilla!
My family is split on which we prefer, corn tortillas or flour tortillas!! Honestly, I think this is an easy problem to solve!! Use a few of both!! Viola, problem solved!!
I usually purchase prepackaged soft tortillas. Living in northern Wisconsin, we don’t have a lot of variety of grocery shopping options. I’d love to try to find a store that makes fresh tortillas to buy but have yet to find one.
I’ve also been wanting to experiment with making my own tortillas but haven’t had the time to give it a whirl yet. One of these days I will and then I’ll update this post to include a link to my freshly baked tortillas! Until then, prepackaged it is!!
I use about eight 10” tortillas, but you could use smaller tortillas if you are wanting the enchiladas to serve more people using the same recipe. Smaller tortillas will increase the number of enchiladas this recipe will make!!
I think if you’re serving smaller children or going for a lighter meal you should use smaller tortillas. But it’s all about your preference, no rules!!
Making the Easy Leftover Chicken Enchilada Recipe
You’ll want to pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Also, you’ll want to have a shelf of the oven toward the top half of the oven to bake the pan of enchiladas on.
Spread a little oil on the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking pan. If you cut the recipe in half, you could use a smaller pan like a casserole dish.
Honestly, for just two to three people you can easily cut this recipe in half and have plenty to serve!!
Remove the chicken meat and shred it all up. You’ll need about 4 cups of shredded chicken, give or take! In a medium bowl mix chicken with the can of green chiles. Stir it all up to combine it together.
Here is a quick video showing how to mix the chicken and chiles together!
Set this chicken filling aside.
In a separate medium bowl combine the green chile enchilada sauce, the soup, and the sour cream. I like to use a whisk to mix these ingredients together until they’re all creamy and dreamy!!
Here is a quick video of mixing the sauce for the Easy Leftover Chicken Enchilada Recipe!
If you like a little more zip and a spicy sauce, you can add a sprinkle of fajita seasoning, taco seasoning, or chili powder to this mixture. I forego, but it’s an option if you’d like to try it!!
Spread about a cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the oiled pan. Set aside the remaining enchilada sauce to pour over the filled tortilla shells.
Filling the Tortilla Shells!
If this is your first time filling tortilla shells, it takes a little practice but you’ll get the hang of it!!
I lay out a tortilla shell on a large cutting board so I don’t make a huge mess on my countertop.
Sprinkle a little shredded cheese over the inside of the tortilla shell. Then place 1-2 scoops of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. I don’t measure it out, but it’s probably about a half of cup of chicken mixture.
Fold up the bottom of the shell over the chicken, then proceed to roll up the tortilla shell so it’s nice and tightly rolled.
Place it with the top edge down on one side of the prepared plan. Continue to roll up the rest of the tortillas with the chicken mixture, placing each one edge down in the pan. You’ll want to place each of these tightly together next to each other as well.
Here is a quick video showing how to roll up the filled tortilla shells into enchiladas!
It’s amazing how lovely these filled tortillas take up the whole pan! Watch this quick video placing each of the filled tortillas into the baking dish!
Finishing the Enchiladas in the Baking Pan
Once you have all of the tortillas filling the pan, pour the remaining sauce over it all! This creamy sauce will be so yummy with the baked enchiladas!
Spread the sauce over all the rolled up tortilla shells using a spatula or the back of a large spoon. Make sure it goes all the way to the edges of the pan so the ends of the enchiladas don’t become dried out.
Place the baking pan of sauced up enchiladas in the preheated oven towards the top half of the oven.
Bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the remaining cheese all over the top of the creamy enchiladas. Return the pan to the oven to continue baking for about 15 more minutes, until the cheese is all melty and starting to even brown a little bit on the edges. Yum!! This browned cheese is my favorite to steal before anyone else has a chance to, lol!!
You can also make these enchiladas in the slow cooker on low for about 4 hours. Place cheese on the top and allow the cheese to melt before serving.
Scoop 1-2 enchiladas onto a plate, depending on your appetite! Then serve them with any optional toppings you’d like.
I like to place a dollop of sour cream on the top, along with any optional sides like the pico de gallo, guacamole, onions, cilantro, etc. that I mentioned above.
Side Dishes to Serve with Chicken Enchiladas
The last time I made this dinner I served the chicken enchiladas with Cilantro Lime Rice and fried tortilla chips. Mexican rice, refried beans, pinto beans with bacon and jalapenos, or even black beans would all make great side dishes to go along with the chicken enchiladas! Homemade churros or fried ice cream would be awesome desserts to finish off this meal.
An easy way to reheat the leftover enchiladas is in the microwave. About a minute and a half and you’ll have a hot and steaming enchiladas just like it was fresh from the oven!!
Easy Leftover Chicken Enchiladas
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- 4 cups shredded chicken meat
- 2 10 ounce cans green enchilada sauce
- 1 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup
- 1 4 ounce can green chiles chopped
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 8 10 inch tortilla shells flour or corn
- pico de gallo
- fresh cilantro
- onions or avocado slices
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place oven rack in center or next slot up from center. Lightly grease bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan.
- Stir together green chiles and shredded chicken in medium bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk together green enchilada sauce, soup, and sour cream to blend well.
- Spread about a cup of creamy sauce on bottom of pan.
- Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on open tortilla shell. Then place about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture in center of tortilla. Roll up and place seam down in pan. Repeat for all 8 tortilla placing them all closely together in pan.
- Pour remaining sauce over rolled up tortillas, and bake in preheated for about 30 minutes. Remove and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Place back in oven and bake another 15 minutes so cheese melts.
- Serve with your favorite garnishes and side dishes.