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Quick Chicken Enchiladas: Easy Weeknight Meal

My quick chicken enchiladas are a great meal if you love to cook. Packed with flavor to satisfy the hungriest families.

Chicken enchiladas

Chicken enchiladas

Easiest Dinner of the Week

These chicken enchiladas are a great solution for those busy weeknights when you want a quick and easy but delicious meal for your family.

Kids can help by pouring the enchilada sauce or sprinkling the cheese. Even adding the dollops of sour cream, or the black olives, can make them feel like a chef! Cooking with the kids can present a good opportunity to talk about your day while everyone is working together.

How Much Time?

This meal should take 45 minutes or less from start to finish—even less if have some ingredients ready to go.

I like to cook up a few pounds of chicken ahead of time and use it in various recipes throughout the week. Having the chicken already cooked saves time after a long day at work.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken cutlets, cut up into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (8-12 oz.) bag shredded cheese (I use Mexican blend or sharp cheddar)
  • 1 (12-oz) can enchilada sauce (I like mild, but you can use hot if you like)
  • 5-10 flour tortillas, any size
  • 1 small container sour cream (optional)
  • 1 small can small pitted black olives, halved (optional)

Basic Instructions

Here are the basic instructions. Scroll down for more details about each step, along with photos.

  1. Sauté the chicken in oil.
  2. Heat flour tortillas.
  3. Cover the bottom of a baking pan with some of the enchilada sauce.
  4. Add some sauce and cheese to the chicken in the pan.
  5. Wrap the tortillas and place them in the baking pan.
  6. Cover the enchiladas with the rest of the sauce and shredded cheese.
  7. Bake at 375 for roughly 20 minutes.
  8. Optional: Add dollops of sour cream and halved olives on top.

Cooking Tips

  • Cut up the chicken cutlets into small pieces. I find it easier to cut after it is cooked.
  • I warm the tortillas before wrapping them. It keeps them from breaking.
  • I like to coat the bottom of the pan with enchilada sauce. It helps with sticking and adds flavor.
  • Add the enchilada sauce to the chicken early so it absorbs the flavor. Add the cheese before it is cooked to melt and mix it in well.
  • Put a generous amount on the tortilla and wrap it completely. Place it in the pan so it does not unwrap.
  • Evenly cover the top with sauce and cheese. Do not leave any dry spots. Place pan in oven.
  • Let sit 5-10 minutes after removing from oven before serving.
Chicken frying in pan

Chicken frying in pan

Sautee your chicken in a little oil, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.

While your chicken is cooking, you can pre-heat the over to 375 degrees.

Tortillas

Tortillas

Flour tortillas work better than corn because the corn tortillas break when you fold them. You can use either the large ones or smaller ones. It all depends on your own preference.

If I am making a larger batch, I like to use the smaller tortillas because they fit in the freezer bags better. You can wrap the leftover enchiladas individually in wax paper.

If you only want one or two, you can just pop them in the microwave for a quick lunch or midnight snack.

Pan with enchilada sauce

Pan with enchilada sauce

Pour a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of glass pan. I like to do this so the enchiladas don't stick to the bottom. It also gives the enchilada a little more flavor at the bottom.

I like to use a combination of mild and hot sauces. The enchilada sauce comes in three flavors: mild, medium, and hot.

Depending on your family's preference, you can make your own combination for your family to enjoy. One member of my family likes it when the hot enchilada sauce is on the bottom and the mild is on the top.

She says it gives a "kick" in the mouth without being too spicy.

Chicken, cheese, and enchilada sauce in pan

Chicken, cheese, and enchilada sauce in pan

Add a little enchilada sauce and a handful of the shredded cheese to the sautéed chicken. When the cheese has melted.

It should have a nice consistency and the chicken won't fall out when you wrap them for baking.

You can also add one or two teaspoons of sour cream to the mixture for a more creamy texture.

I suggest this step if you are using the "hot" enchilada sauce to mellow out the spiciness.

Enchiladas in pan

Enchiladas in pan

Using a spoon, put about two or three tablespoons of chicken mixture down the middle of the tortilla. Fold each side in toward the middle so they are overlapping.

Then place seam down in the glass pan. Keep filling and folding until all enchiladas are in the pan. I usually make 12 so there will be leftovers.

You can make a larger or smaller batch and adjust the ingredients. I generally use two good-sized glass pans since we like leftovers to take to work for lunch or a snack during the week.

Enchiladas in pan with sauce

Enchiladas in pan with sauce

With all of the enchiladas are in the pan, pour the enchilada sauce across the top of them. If your family likes them with more sauce use all of it.

You may want to buy the larger can of enchilada sauce in case anyone wants more on their enchilada after its been cooked.

Enchiladas in pan with sauce and cheese

Enchiladas in pan with sauce and cheese

Sprinkle the top of the enchiladas with the shredded cheese. You can use a little or a lot, depending on what your family likes.

We like them cheesy so I just use the remainder of the bag of shredded cheese. You can use a combination of cheeses.

I think the flavor of the Mexican cheese gives the enchilada a more authentic taste.

I also like the flavor of sharp cheddar, and on occasion I will mix the two different types of cheese together.

In a pinch, you can layer pepper jack cheese slices across the top of the enchiladas for an extra spicy kick.

Finished enchiladas in pan

Finished enchiladas in pan

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes and the cheese is melted and bubbly. I usually make Spanish or Mexican rice and corn as side dishes.

You can make your own depending on what you or your family like. By the time the side dishes are cooked, the enchiladas are usually ready to be plated.

After the enchiladas are plated I will add a dollop of sour cream on top with a few halved black olives.

There you have it, a nice, tasty dinner in about 45 minutes.

Dessert Ideas

  • Best Brownie Pie
    Yummy, A Brownie Pie dessert the whole family will love. It goes over well at social events also. Adding the fruit makes it partially healthy for those who are trying to forego desserts. Enjoy!

© 2015 Vince Alvino