This cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe has been a family favorite at our house for over 20 years. We think this recipe is kinda perfect. Lots and lots of oooey-gooey cheese, savory chicken, flour tortillas, just the right seasoning all smothered in zesty enchilada sauce! What more could you want? Your family just might request this recipe every week!
Enchiladas are a great go-to for busy families. Add my white chicken enchiladas to your dinner list too! They’ve been a fan favorite for over a decade on the blog. My shredded beef enchiladas and shrimp enchiladas are also very popular with readers. Just check out the comments!
Let’s make some enchiladas!!
What I Love About This Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
So, the ingredients in this recipe are healthy and wholesome!! I feel like when I make these for the fam, they’re getting a healthy, satisfying, hearty meal. I mean and it’s Mexican food! It’s all yummy on yummy!!!
Starting with a rotisserie chicken makes the prep of these enchies quick and easy. Those ding-dang chickens are flavored through from the skin to the bone so there’s no compromise on flavor. And hello, can you say easy-peasy Short cut!!!
The filling is so creamy and delicious, I can’t even tell you how yummy it is! So cottage cheese may sound wonky, but I have to tell you, it melts down with the sour cream and cheese and truly becomes an amazing creamy filling you will dream of!!!
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe Notes
If you’re craving cheesy, saucy goodness, our cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe is the perfect dinner. Stuffed, rolled, and baked in under an hour, everyone is sure to clean their plates when you serve these enchiladas! What is your favorite chicken enchilada casserole?
- Chicken: I like to make these with rotisserie chicken. The chicken is moist, tender, and fabulously seasoned. Not only does it taste great, but it makes fixing these a snap!
- If you grab one from Costco, you know you can’t begin to beat the price! An uncooked whole chicken is generally more expensive than a rotisserie chicken from Costco! Gotta love it!
- Enchilada sauce: You can use a 28-ounce can of enchilada sauce, but I strongly encourage you to try making your own. Homemade enchilada sauce is a snap to make.
- It literally takes less than 10 minutes to make and, let me tell you, it’s so, so, SO much better than anything you’ll get in a can. You can customize the spice level to make it either mild or super spicy.
- Diced chilies: I use Mild canned chilies in this recipe. I think they add a lot of great flavor. I find even the mild variety has a little heat so if you’re super sensitive to heat, feel free to omit them.
- Onion: Mild white or yellow onions work well in this recipe.
- Cheese: Don’t skip the sour cream! If you’d like to lighten up the calories in this recipe you can use nonfat sour cream.
- This recipe uses cottage cheese, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar. I use plain Monterey Jack some of the time and then sometimes I use Pepper Jack. To be honest, it just depends on my mood.
- When I first saw this recipe I was unsure of the cottage cheese. Frankly, I’m not a huge cottage cheese fan. I think it’s the texture.
- In this cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe, I think the cottage cheese is amazing. When it’s mixed with the other cheeses and sour cream and then baked inside these enchiladas the mixture is ooey-gooey, creamy, and rich. It doesn’t really have anything in common with the taste of the cold plain version of cottage cheese.
- If you want to make a lower-calorie version of this cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe, you can use low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese, nonfat sour cream, and just a small amount of shredded cheese.
- Whenever I make the lower-calorie version for my family, I leave out the cheddar and Monterey Jack in the cheese filling altogether and just use about 1/3 cup of just cheddar on the top.
- Feel free to substitute cheeses based on what your family loves and what your grocer carries. Colby jack, pepper jack, and a Mexican blend are all good choices.
- Tortillas: Authentic chicken enchiladas are typically made with corn tortillas. For some reason, I really LOVE my enchiladas made with flour tortillas. Well, no surprise, I make these enchiladas with flour tortillas.
- An advantage of using flour tortillas is that they don’t need to be fried to make them pliable before you stuff them. If you make the recipe with corn tortillas and skip the step of frying them to make them pliable, the tortillas will likely crack when they’re stuffed and baked. Not necessarily a big deal, just one of those things that’s good to know, especially if you’re serving these up to the company.
- If you like corn tortillas better, feel free to use them. Since the corn tortillas are smaller you’ll need more of them than I used of the flour.
- Cilantro: I know some people don’t care for cilantro. If you’re one of those people, you can substitute the cilantro with either fresh chopped parsley or sliced green onions.
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? Once cooked, most casserole-style dishes, like this easy chicken enchiladas, remain fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days. However, the tortillas will change in texture.
- Can You Freeze This Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe? You can freeze the cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe, but you may find that the cottage cheese and sour cream have separated when you thaw them. You may need to drain off a bit of excess liquid, so we recommend freezing the enchiladas without the sauce.
- Freezing enchiladas without the sauce also cut down on ice crystals forming on them in the freezer. Consider freezing the enchiladas in a container that can go in the oven, such as a lidded glass baking dish.
- Thaw the frozen enchiladas in the fridge overnight. Be sure the baking dish is at room temperature before placing it in the oven, to avoid cracking.
- Make-Ahead Tips: If you want to make this recipe ahead of time and freeze them, I find it’s best to roll them and freeze them without any sauce or cheese topping.
- Food Safety: If you’d like more info on food safety check out this link.
How To Make Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas With Red Sauce
- Mix cottage cheese, cheddar, Monterey Jack, and sour cream until combined.
- Spoon the cheese mixture at the center of the tortilla. Top with an equal amount of chicken mixture.
- Place tortillas in the baking dish. Cover the rolled enchiladas with enchilada sauce.
- Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
See the full instructions below
Serve this cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe with a light green salad on the side. My kids’ favorite is my Southwest salad, KFC coleslaw, or my crunchy, sweet, tangy strawberry spinach salad!
We also like Mexican rice, jalapeno cornbread, or charro beans with these.
More Mexican-Inspired Favorites
- Carne Picada
- Best Taco Meat Recipe
- Mexican Chicken Casserole
- Dorito Chicken Casserole
- Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Mexican Casserole
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
- 3 cups chicken cooked and shredded
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 (4-ounce) can green chilies diced
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 1/2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- 1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese shredded, divided
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 12 (8-inch) flour tortillas
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 28 ounces red enchilada sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add oil (2 tablespoons) to a large skillet and saute onion (1 cup) until it's translucent and soft. Add diced green chilies (1 can), taco seasoning (1 envelope), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and water (1/4 cup), and stir to combine. Add shredded chicken (3 cups) and toss to evenly coat with onion and seasoning mixture. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together cottage cheese (1 cup), 3/4 cup cheddar, 3/4 cup Monterey Jack, and sour cream (1/2 cup) until evenly combined.
- Coat the bottom of an 11 x 14-inch baking dish with 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce. On a clean, flat work surface, spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of the cheese mixture down the center of a tortilla to the top with an equal amount of the chicken mixture.
- Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
- Cover the rolled enchiladas with enchilada sauce and sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the enchiladas are heated through, the sauce (1/4 cup) is bubbly and the cheese is melted about 20-25 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve.
what can we substitute for the cottage cheese?
Hi, Debby. I think ricotta cheese will work just fine.
Looks great! Before I make it I was wondering if I could swap out ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese. Thoughts?
I’m sure it would work just fine!
Brad Smiley says
Where is the recipe for the red sauce. It used to be there??
Hi Brad I think you are looking for my enchilada sauce recipe
Jane Kraft says
Your enchilada recipes look great and I’m going to try them all. The one thing I don’t understand though is why you would use flour tortillas for enchiladas. They aren’t really made to be used like that. They don’t have the structural integrity that corn tortillas have and it seems to me that they would fall apart and turn into a gooey mess. Just my thoughts.
Kathleen Smith says
Hi Jane. Well, you’re right that they have less structure and can get gooey. I don’t have any problems with them falling apart. I find that leftovers tend to be gooey. I know it sounds weird, but I like that gooey part, so I always make sure to make enough for leftovers. It’s a guilty pleasure, LOL! It’s definitely not an authentic way to make them. It’s become more popular in the last decade at some Tex-Mex restaurants. Anyway, they’re absolutely delicious made with corn tortillas! Hope you enjoy <3
Just made these chicken enchiladas yesterday, and they were absolutely delicious and quick to make. I initially thought it would be time consuming, but it took no time at all. The enchiladas ended up being perfectly cheesy and the sauce was so easy to make, which is a plus in my book! Totally going to make this recipe again!
Kathleen Smith says
So glad to hear you liked the Chicken Enchilada! I love that you thought they were perfectly cheesy! I love how ooey gooey they are! Thank you for telling us about your experience <3 Happy Cooking!
Cant wait to try this, looks delicious
Thanks Mimi. Hope you try it and enjoy!
I made these last weekend, made the enchilada sauce and they were the BEST enchiladas I have ever made! They were wonderful! Very easy to make. I also don’t care for corn tortillas and used flour ones, which I think made them even better. Thank you so much for this recipe. I am going to try the zucchini bread and the Greek Chicken recipes this weekend. Please sign me up for your newsletter also. I tried entering my information in the area on your site to sign up but nothing happened.
Thanks again for the recipes – I am looking forward to trying many more of them.
Hi Ester. Thanks so much for your comment it absolutely made my day:) Sorry about the confusion with my newsletter. I’m happy to get your name on the list. Also will have my techies look into whats going on with it!
Karla Waggoner says
How can I get on your email list? Your recipes look winderful. I am definitely trying the peach pound cake this weekend.
Hi Karla. Will do! 🙂
Kate @ Framed Cooks says
I can absolutely see why these are one of your family’s favorites – who could resist all the cheese deliciousness? Pinning. 🙂
Thank so much, Kate!
Melody Tice says
Your chicken enchilada recipe looks amazing but where is the recipe, the list and amounts of all the ingredients? You generally say how to make it but I need specifics.
Hi Melody. Coding problem. Thanks for letting me know. It’s fixed now 🙂