This easy chicken enchilada recipe makes getting a healthier dinner on the table for your family a breeze! It’s freezer friendly so double up and freeze another pan to enjoy later!!
Chicken enchiladas are quite possibly my love language. I know they probably aren’t the most authentic Mexican food, but I’m not gonna lie, I’m not really a fan of “real” Mexican. I like Tex-Mex….aka where the cheese and sour cream flow freely and where the tortillas are made of glorious white flour. I’m fine with being unauthentic as long as it’s delicious.
You save a ton of time with these chicken enchiladas by prepping the shredded chicken in the crockpot! I use crockpot salsa chicken all the time for taco night or just to have on hand for salads, wraps, quesadillas, to eat with a fork while standing at the fridge…you get the idea. It’s the perfect recipe base and including my Homemade Taco Seasoning takes the flavor up a notch too!
I definitely think it’s worth it to take the extra step and warm the tortillas on a fry pan or griddle. Yes, it adds a bit of time, but the enchiladas roll up easier than if you just heat in the microwave and it just makes the whole dish taste better, I swear!
Another pro tip is to shred your chicken in your stand mixer with the regular attachment. Just add the chicken and set it to stir for until everything is well shredded. (Is it just me or does the sound of forks scraping together as you shred chicken make you want to curl up and die? I HATE IT so much!!)
My biggest suggestion is if you are going to the trouble of assembling this easy chicken enchilada recipe then go ahead and double the batch and freeze half of it for another day! It’s crazy easy to do this since you are already assembling everything and the bulk of the work is done by the crockpot.
While I don’t shy away from full fat sour cream and delicious Monterey Jack cheese, you won’t find any cream of chicken soup or other highly processed stuff in these chicken enchiladas. I’m leaving it up to you to use your best judgement when picking the green enchilada sauce and tortillas. My favorite enchilada sauce is Frontera brand (it’s in package, not a can). We love Tortilla Land Fresh Uncooked Flour tortillas that have just 5 ingredients and are available in the refrigerated section at Walmart! If you’re totally ready to channel Ma Ingalls you can get after making these homemade whole wheat tortillas — let me know if you do! I’m here to clap for you and eat your homemade tortillas!
Easy + Healthy Chicken Enchiladas
Healthy Chicken Enchiladas
- 1 pound chicken
- 2 T Homemade taco seasoning
- 1/2 jar salsa verde
- 1 small can green chiles
- 8 flour tortillas
- 1 12-16 ounces green enchilada sauce
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
- Place chicken, taco seasoning, salsa verde and green chiles in crockpot on low for 6 hours. Shred using a stand mixer or two forks. Grease 9x13 pan and pour half of the green enchilada sauce into the bottom of the pan. Spray sauce pan or electric griddle with (olive oil) cooking spray and heat tortillas for approximately 30 seconds on each side, till warm and golden. Repeat until all are heated. (If you're a kitchen ninja you can proceed to the next step and fill as you warm tortillas.) Spread about a tablespoon of sour cream down the center of a warmed tortilla, then spread about 1/4 cup shredded chicken, and top with a hefty sprinkle of Monterey Jack cheese. Roll and place in pan. Continue process with the next 7 tortillas. They will be a snug fit in a 9x13 pan! Top with the remaining green enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with a half cup of cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until cheese is melty and gooey, sauce is bubbling, and your mouth is watering!
To prep for the freezer you can make it in a reusable pan (perfect for delivering a meal to a friend too!) and double wrap with aluminum foil. Be sure to let it cool before freezing! I always like to write the instructions and label the top too!
If you don’t have a reusable pan, but you don’t want one of your baking dishes tied up in the freezer indefinitely layer 3 or so sheets of aluminum foil across the bottom of the pan lengthwise. I do one on the side, one on the other side, and one in the center; they are all parallel, but fully covering the pan with extra on each end. Then fill with your enchilada sauce and enchiladas, let cool in refrigerator or at room temperature, then flash freeze in the pan for a couple hours. After it’s frozen, remove your enchiladas from the baking dish using the aluminum foil and wrap tightly, adding more foil if needed. Then put your foil wrapped enchiladas back in the freezer and your pan is freed up! (I learned this tip from this freezer cookbook that I love!)
Making a double batch so I can freeze half of it is one of my favorite life hacks! It’s how I easily got a bunch of freezer meals for after having my babies! You can check out my favorite Freezer Meals for New Moms to learn more about that process!
ALSO for the sake of transparency, I’d like to tell you my kids gobble this up. But “healthy chicken enchiladas” sounds really scary to kids and our “you like chicken, you like cheese, you like tortillas” speech sometimes falls on deaf ears. *insert eye rolls* I CAN tell you they eat it better now than it did when we first offered it!
Our dinnertime rule is that the kids have to eat some bites (usually the same number as their age), and after that I really don’t care if they load up on chips and guacamole! We stay patient and keep offering foods, knowing it can take up to 15 exposures before a kid likes a new food. (This is a great article on the science behind getting kids to eat everything.)
My family loves to top our chicken enchiladas with sour cream and guacamole and serve with sliced bell peppers and tortilla chips. I hope you enjoy this crazy-delicious, easy chicken enchilada recipe too! Grab some chicken, get cooking, you can eat one tonight for dinner and freeze the other one for another busy weeknight!! Or run that pan of enchiladas down the street to a friend!! Or give it to a stranger and MAKE a friend! Shouldn’t all friendships start with a big pan of enchiladas?
I say yes.
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Keep chasing vibrance,