Enchiladas are one of those dishes that everyone seems to make differently. From the filling to the tortilla to the sauce on top, enchiladas can come in all varieties! But this Texas-born girl will testify, when you find yourself privileged enough to be eating an authentic, homemade enchilada, it’s tough to find anything that can beat it. Such an experience will turn you into a bit of an enchilada snob.
There lay my problem when we moved to central Arkansas. At the time, there were slim pickings for really good enchiladas. So, I had no choice but to figure out how to make really good ones myself.
As my dad, a legit actual son of the Republic of Texas raised in San Antonio, and therefore obviously a Tex-Mex connoisseur always says, “Good Mexican food should be simple and cheap.” So, when I started on my make-my-own enchilada quest, I kept that advice in mind. PERFECT for those of us on budgets with busy schedules, right?
It took a few tries, but finally I found myself with a dish that my hubby and guests dole out lots of compliments over. Words are great (especially since I’m a words-of-affirmation-girl), but the proof is in the cleaned plates and second helpings.
A couple things I really like about this dish…
How EASY it is.
It requires very few ingredients.
It’s relatively healthy.
You can make it in the morning and pop it in the oven right before dinner, which makes it a great dish to take to new mamas, friends who’ve moved, or loved ones who are under the weather.
Alright, enough chit-chat. Let’s talk about how to whip this up!
Easy Layered Chicken Enchiladas (Serves 4)
4 large chicken breasts or 1 rotisserie chicken (pulled apart)
5.3 oz carton plain Greek yogurt
7 oz can diced green chilis
8 oz can enchilada sauce
10 oz bag of Mexican shredded cheese (you will only need about half of it)
1 bag of tortillas (I’ve never needed more than six tortillas, but it depends on how big your tortillas are. I also use flour tortillas, but you can use corn if you prefer.)
Toppings of your preference (i.e. shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, etc.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
If you’re using a rotisserie chicken, pull all the meat off. If you’re using chicken breasts, boil* them in a stockpot of water until they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
(*Large chicken breasts can take at least 20 minutes to cook through when boiling. Be sure to use your trusty meat thermometer. Whenever I’m making a dish that will require baking already cooked chicken in the oven, I always prefer to use boiled chicken, because in my experience, it is less likely to dry out during baking.)
Once your chicken is cooked or pulled off the bone, use two forks to shred it and place the shredded chicken in a large bowl.
Add the entire cup of yogurt to your chicken. Drain the liquid out of your diced green chilis (there won’t be a lot of liquid) and add them to your chicken and yogurt. Grab a handful of your shredded cheese and throw that in too. Mix well with a spoon. Set aside.
Grab an 8×8 or 9×9 glass baking dish and spray it with your favorite non-stick spray. Now, grab your tortillas and make a single layer of tortillas on the bottom of your dish. Depending on whether or not you chose a circle dish or a square dish, you might need to tear your tortillas in half so they will line the entire bottom of the dish.
Next, scoop out half of your chicken mixture and spread it evenly on top of your tortillas.
Top with another even layer of tortillas.
Top that with the remaining half of your chicken mixture, evenly spread out.
Lay a final layer of tortillas on top.
Sprinkle half of the remaining shredded cheese over this layer of tortillas. Finally, slowly pour your enchilada sauce all over the top.
This is my FAVORITE pre-made enchilada sauce. As much as I would love to make my own, most nights, that just isn’t an option. This stuff is so good, you’d think it was homemade.
Pop your dish, uncovered, into the oven for 25-30 minutes until it’s bubbly on top and all of the cheese has melted.
You’ll have to use an inordinate amount of self-control to not dig in immediately, but if you’ll give it at least five minutes to sit before you cut into it, the enchiladas will cut and serve better.
So, after at least five minutes, cut, adorn with your favorite toppings, and serve!
My favorite pairing is Mexican rice. My husband’s preference is chips & queso. My daughter’s choice is refried beans. Pick a side that your whole family will enjoy and shout “Arriba!”
Well done, mamacita. Dinner’s served.
What are your favorite Mexican side dish pairings? I’d personally love a little inspiration for the next night we enjoy Easy Layered Chicken Enchiladas for dinner. Please comment below!