Enchiladas are a staple of my family dinner table. The basic Enchilada Recipe is easy, delicious, nourishing, and so versatile that you’ll never get bored of eating them.
Today, I’m going to share some of our tried-and-true Enchilada Recipes and tips for whipping up tasty Mexican-inspired meals that your whole family will love.
An enchilada in its most basic sense is a corn tortilla wrapped around some kind of protein (often meat and cheese) and sometimes vegetables then served covered in a flavorful sauce. With origins in Mexico, the dish is also popular in the United States and especially here in the Southwest.
Some of my Enchilada Recipes draw on the traditional Mexican chile inspired flavors. (The word enchilada in Spanish comes from a phrase meaning “to season with chile”.)
If you’re looking for the easiest (and tastiest!) Chicken Enchilada Recipe to get you started here, my go-to 30 Minute Enchiladas use whatever variety of cooked chicken you have on hand (shredded or diced).
My family likes to eat these gooey, cheesy, heavenly enchiladas scooped with tortilla chips straight from the pan!
Most of our enchilada recipes call for ingredients that are probably already in your pantry and fridge (or at the very least easy to find at any grocery store) making enchiladas a great answer to the perpetual “What should I make for dinner?” question.
I’ve also created plenty of enchilada recipes that are far from traditional. BBQ Chicken Enchiladas are a spin on the traditional enchilada I whipped up when my craving for Barbecue Chicken met my son’s request for Cheesy Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas. The result is a hearty dish packed full of flavor my family requests again and again.
I love enchiladas so much I even figured out how to acceptably serve them for breakfast by creating Scrambled Egg and Sausage Stacked Enchiladas!
Chicken tends to be the meat I use most frequently in enchiladas for a few of reasons. I almost always have it in my fridge, it’s easy to prepare even if I don’t have a ton of extra time to spend in the kitchen, and it goes with just about every flavor combination and vegetable you could think of.
Best of all? I know it’s something everyone in the family will happily eat with no complaints.
Shredded chicken is the basis for most of my chicken enchiladas. I use a simple simmering method for making shredded chicken most of the time.
Some Enchilada recipes call for cooked diced chicken. These are fabulous to whip up when you find yourself with leftover chicken. Since the meat is already cooked, your enchiladas will come together in no time at all!
Chicken Enchilada Recipes
My site has no shortage of chicken enchilada recipes for you to add to your rotation!
Nothing will ever beat Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas as a favorite enchilada recipe for its classic combination of southwest and Mexican flavors.
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Green Chile Enchiladas are similar to my Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas except that they call for cooked diced chicken (instead of shredded) and cooked rice. I love to make these when I have cooked chicken and rice leftover from another recipe!
If you love the classic southwest flavors of beans and corn in your enchiladas, you simply must make 30 Minute Chicken, Corn and Black Bean Enchiladas. I used leftover roast chicken the first time I made this recipe and couldn’t believe how well it turned out and how fast it was to make.
Can’t get enough of that sweet corn and hearty bean flavor? These Chicken, Fresh Corn and Three Bean Enchiladas should be next on your list. You can use nearly any cooked or canned beans you have on hand (I like pinto beans, black beans, and white beans) plus fresh corn straight off the cob.
As much as my family and I LOVE chicken enchiladas, we all need to change things up every now and then. Pork Enchiladas to the rescue! Pulled Pork Enchiladas are packed with tender, juicy pork and pepper jack cheese in every bite.
Like their chicken enchilada counterparts, Pulled Pork Enchiladas are a perfect way to use up leftovers from making Slow Cooked Mexican Pork. I often use store-bought red chile sauce to make it even quicker and easier. Buy the sauce as hot or as mild as you please to customize the enchilada recipe to your family’s tastes.
Beef Enchiladas are a classic enchilada recipe as well and my middle son actually prefers beef to chicken. I often swap beef into our chicken enchilada recipes or pork enchilada recipes without any issues at all.
Beef can be swapped for the chicken or pork in any of the recipes I’ve included here. (I just now realized I don’t have a recipe written specifically for beef on the site!)
However, my family’s long-time favorite recipe for Red Chile Beef Enchiladas is included in The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook. So, if you have my first cookbook, you already have it at your fingertips.
While we’re definitely meat eaters in our family, you don’t always need meat to make a delicious, filling, easy enchilada meal.
My vegetarian Calabacita Enchiladas take that meaning at face value with tortillas stuffed with Mexican squash and smothered in green and red chile sauce.
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas and these Vegetable Enchiladas with Black Bean, Corn and Spinach are hearty, filling and flavorful enough to satisfy both vegetarians and carnivores alike.
You may have noticed by now that I’m a BIG fan of green chile sauce for enchiladas. I make big batches of New Mexico Green Chile Sauce to have on hand whenever the craving for enchiladas, burritos, tacos or another Mexican flavored dish strikes (and that’s pretty often around these parts).
While I reach for the spicy green stuff about 90% of the time when whipping up a big pan of enchiladas, I also have fans of red chile sauce in my family so I make sure to keep them happy too.
Not that it’s much of a sacrifice. Red Chile Sauce is also completely spectacular on a cheesy, spicy, hot pan of enchiladas. I discovered this the first time I tried homemade New Mexico Red Chile Sauce instead of the canned stuff from the grocery store shelf.
Sometimes my family likes to make enchiladas “Christmas style.” That means combining both red and green chile sauces in the same dish!
Of course, you’re welcome to use your favorite canned variety of red or green chile enchilada sauce. Keeping a couple of cans of sauce around makes it easy to have enchiladas with little notice. All that really matters is that you like the flavors and taste of the sauce!
Easy Enchilada Recipes
I find that one of the most difficult parts of making enchiladas in the traditional way is stuffing the meat and cheese filling into corn tortillas without tearing the tortilla or ruining their shape. To address this, I often make my enchiladas casserole style topped with tortilla wedges.
Instead of rolling the filling into each tortilla, you spread all the ingredients into a casserole or baking dish and top with triangular wedges of corn tortillas before baking. You do have to wait a bit to slice the enchiladas before serving if you want to maintain their shape with this method.
Thankfully, my too-impatient-to-wait-for-enchiladas family came up with a way around this. Instead of eating our enchiladas with a knife and fork, we go at them with tortilla chips. This way, you can scoop that ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness straight from the pan without waiting around or worrying about getting it onto a plate without making a mess.
However you choose to eat or serve them enchiladas are the easy, delicious, one-pan meal that you’ll want to make again and again!