Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quick Chicken Enchiladas

One of my favorite meals I remember from growing up was chicken enchiladas. My mom would heat oil in her electric skillet and give each corn tortilla a quick fry (like 2 seconds--just in and out) before filling them with a mixture of chicken, sauce, cheese, green chiles, olives, and sour cream. I still prefer them that way (sans the olives and I add black beans), but it takes extra time, and often, extra time is not what I have. So I changed the assembly to layering instead of rolling, and turned the dish into a super-fast dinner--on the table in less than 45 minutes.

Unless I happen to have cooked chicken on hand, I use canned, which is one of the reasons it's so fast (and it also helps rotate my food storage). I've used both canned chicken and beef for these, and both work equally well.

Note: my favorite enchilada sauce (and the same one my mom used) is Las Palmas. I'd love to find a from-scratch recipe, but for now it's Las Palmas for me.

Quick Chicken Enchiladas
printable recipe

1 13-oz can chicken, drained
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 4.5-oz can chopped green chiles, drained
1 10-oz can red enchilada sauce, (I use mild) divided (1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup sour cream (I use light)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
9 corn tortillas
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Heat your oven to 375, and spray an 8x8-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, black beans, green chiles, 1/3 cup enchilada sauce, sour cream, 1/2 cup cheese; mix well.

3. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce onto the bottom of the prepared pan and swirl it around to coat. Lay down two tortillas diagonally, and then tear one in half to fill in the other corners (see the picture below). Spoon and spread 1/2 chicken mixture on top of the tortillas. Drizzle about 1/3 cup sauce on top of the mixture. Repeat with 3 more tortillas, remaining chicken mixture, and another 1/3 cup sauce.

4. Top with remaining 3 tortillas and sauce. Cover tightly with foil and bake 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and hot in the center. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese, and let sit until cheese melts.

You can easily double the recipe and make it in a 9x13-inch pan.


  1. So much easier and just as tasty! Love the addition of the beans!

  2. Geezz i like that!!

    Let me try that recipe ^_^

  3. Never had canned chicken before, but you can see how this comes together in a snap! Looks great.

  4. I made this tonight using 6 taco size flour tortillas instead of corn and it didn't seem to turn out right. I cooked it for 55 minutes and it STILL wasn't hot and bubbly in the middle. And the filling was kind of soupy. I may have added too much sour cream so that would explain that, but I can't figure out why it wouldn't thoroughly heat.

  5. @Anonymous, I'm so bummed they didn't work for you :( More sour cream could have made it more soupy, but the flour tortillas should have worked fine (my sister prefers flour to corn). Was it hot in the middle, even if not bubbly? I love that you tried it, and I hope it tasted OK :)

  6. I have made this recipe several times. In fact I want to make it right now, but was too lazy to go to the store today to get the ingredients. The only change I've made it using fresh chicken, because I try to use organic chicken. This recipe is easy and wonderfully delicious. Try it, you'll love it.


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