This cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe have 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!
Serve these enchiladas with my family’s favorite southwest salad (which I’m kinda famous for in my neighborhood), and my restaurant Mexican rice, and you’ve got a healthy, hearty, super yummy dinner that everyone will enjoy. They’re easy enough to whip up for a weeknight and delicious enough to serve to company.
Let’s make some enchiladas!!
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 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!!!
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 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 the 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 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 the 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 in 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 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.
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 room temperature before placing it in the oven, to avoid cracking.
Make Ahead Tips
If you want to make these Mexican chicken enchiladas recipe ahead of time and freeze them, I find it’s best to roll them and freeze them without any sauce or cheese topping.
Serve this cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe with a light green salad on the side. My kids’ favorite is my Southwest salad, or my crunchy, sweet, tangy strawberry spinach salad! We also like Mexican rice with these.
- Use zucchini instead of tortillas. For a no-tortilla version, use zucchini instead. Check out zucchini enchilada boats on how I did it.
- Substitute chicken with other proteins. If you don’t want chicken, try shredded beef enchiladas or shrimp enchiladas instead.
- Add corn. Paula Deen corn casserole recipe uses canned corn, while the Mexican street corn casserole recipe uses frozen. You can add whichever corn here.
- Mexican Chicken Casserole
- Dorito Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Stuffing Casserole
- Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
- Chicken Broccoli Rice 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 to a large skillet and saute onion until it's translucent and soft. Add diced green chilies, taco seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and water and stir to combine. Add shredded chicken 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, 3/4 cup cheddar, 3/4 cup Monterey Jack and sour cream 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 is bubbly and the cheese is melted about 20-25 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve.