This Creamy Chicken Enchiladas Verde recipe will be your new favorite enchilada recipe! Chicken-filled enchiladas are smothered with a creamy and tangy homemade tomatillo sauce and loads of cheese for an incredible Mexican-inspired meal at home.
If you’re looking for more enchilada recipes, don’t forget to check out my Chicken Enchilada Casserole or my Zucchini Enchilada Boats!
The Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe
These Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Verde Sauce are going to go down as some of the best enchiladas ever! This is one of the recipes that my friends and family BEG me to make. They’re so good and have a completely different flavor profile than some of my other enchilada recipes (remember these delicious Vegetarian Enchiladas?!).
The enchiladas are stuffed with cumin and paprika seasoned chicken and cheese and then they are smothered with a tangy and creamy sauce that will have you licking your plate. The sauce tastes like a creamy salsa verde with its bright citrus flavor. It’s got a little kick to it, but not too much that you can’t share with the kids.
This chicken enchilada recipe is perfect for a ladies’ night in, potluck, or an easy weeknight dinner. Pair it with some guacamole and margaritas and you’re Mexican-inspired night is well on its way!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This is one of my favorite Mexican-at-home dishes! Here’s why:
- It’s not your basic enchilada recipe. Skip the can of enchilada sauce and make your own creamy tomatillo sauce! It’s a simple extra step that makes a big difference.
- Dinner’s ready in under an hour. Your family and friends will think you’ve been working for hours on this recipe because of the layers of flavor and textures. But, in fact, it only takes about an hour to make!
- Serve it anytime! This is a great weeknight dinner option and it’s also perfect to make when you’re hosting. Everyone is going to love it, no matter when you serve it.
Here’s what you need to make this chicken enchilada recipe.
Creamy Tomatillo Sauce
- Tomatillos: Tomatillos have a very distinct tangy flavor that makes the sauce so delicious! Don’t worry, we’ll mellow out the sour flavor by roasting them and adding a few contrasting ingredients.
- Onion: White or yellow onions will work best for this recipe.
- Garlic: Alway use fresh garlic for this recipe. It becomes a little sweet when it’s roasted which adds a whole other dimension to the sauce!
- Jalapeno: Make sure you remove the seeds so that the sauce isn’t too spicy.
- Olive Oil: For roasting the onion, tomatillos, jalapeno, and garlic and for finishing the sauce.
- Salt and Pepper: For roasting and finishing the sauce.
- Cilantro: This is another key ingredient for this sauce. If you aren’t a cilantro fan, you can use parsley instead.
- Plain Greek Yogurt: You can also use sour cream.
- Lime: Always fresh lime juice when making Mexican cuisine! It’s a staple ingredient that elevates the flavor of every other ingredient in the sauce.
For the Enchiladas
- Shredded Chicken: I love to make my Easy Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken at the beginning of the week so I have lots of shredded chicken for recipes just like this one.
- Cheese: I prefer to use Monterey jack cheese for this recipe.
- Cumin: You could also use chili powder or ground coriander if you’re out of cumin.
- Paprika: It adds a sweet peppery flavor to the chicken mixture.
- Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are traditionally used for enchiladas. However, you can use flour tortillas if that’s what you have (or your kids prefer!).
How to Make Creamy Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
Honestly, this recipe is very simple to put together but it tastes like it’s from your favorite Mexican restaurant! Trust me, you’re going to want to make these tonight! Here’s what you need to do:
First, you’ll need to make the Creamy Tomatillo Sauce. Start by roasting the tomatillos, garlic, onion, and jalapeno. Let them cool for a few minutes once they are done roasting.
Then puree everything in a high-speed blender. Add the vegetables and other sauce ingredients to the blender and puree until everything is smooth. You can use water or chicken broth to thin the sauce out if needed.
Next, start building the enchiladas. First prep the casserole dish by pouring some of the sauce into the bottom of the pan.
Now make the enchilada filling. Mix the chicken, cheese, and seasonings in a bowl.
Build the chicken enchiladas. Add a little bit of this mixture to the tortillas, one by one. Then place them seam-side down in the casserole dish on top of the sauce.
Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Then cover with tin foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the tin foil and add the remaining cheese and pop the dish back in the oven. Bake for another 5 minutes or so or until the cheese is melted.
Serve with your favorite toppings. I love to put chopped cilantro, avocado pieces, and a few squeezes of lime juice on top!
Here are a few tips to follow when making Creamy Chicken Enchiladas Verde:
- Remove the jalapeno if you don’t want the spiciness. The sauce will still be insanely delicious! But I promise the one jalapeno doesn’t add too much heat. Make sure you remove all the seeds and that will also tone down the spiciness.
- Don’t overfill the tortillas. If you put too much filling in the tortillas they will break and won’t seal properly when placed in the casserole dish.
- Use leftover chicken. This is a great recipe to use up any leftover chicken from a roasted chicken dinner or rotisserie chicken.
What to Serve with Chicken Enchiladas
Here are my favorite sides to serve with this recipe:
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
These chicken enchiladas are best when they are served fresh out of the oven! The key to a tasty enchilada is eating it before it sits in the sauce for too long and becomes soft and mushy. While the flavors are still there, I much prefer the texture of the corn tortillas when they are intact.
However, if you do have leftovers, just keep them in the fridge in an airtight container. And then when you reheat them (in the oven or microwave is best) just keep in mind they might be a little soft and fall apart.
Can I Freeze This?
I don’t recommend freezing chicken enchiladas because it has corn tortillas. While they are absolutely perfect for this recipe (it gives the enchiladas that authentic flavor!) they tend to fall apart and get really soft if they sit in the sauce for too long.
These Creamy Chicken Enchiladas Verde are ready in under an hour! Tortillas are stuffed with seasoned chicken and cheese and then smothered with more cheese and a delicious creamy tomatillo sauce.
Creamy Tomatillo Sauce:
- 7 tomatillos, husks removed and halved
- 1 onion, peel removed and quartered
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and halved
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt & pepper to season
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
- juice from 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken breast
- 1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 10 corn tortillas, warmed
Garnish Ideas: fresh cilantro, lime wedges, avocado, tomato, red onion, pickled onions, jalapenos
Make Tomatillo Sauce:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- To a baking sheet add tomatillos, onion, garlic cloves and jalapeno.
- Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and salt & pepper.
- Roast vegetables for 25 minutes. Set aside and let cool for 5- 10 minutes.
- Add vegetables to a blender along with fresh cilantro, greek yogurt, lime juice and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Blend until smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add water or chicken broth to thin out if desired.
- Reduce the temperature of oven to 350ºF.
- To a large bowl add shredded chicken, 1/4 cup of Monterrey jack cheese, cumin and smoked paprika, mix everything together.
- In a 9×13 baking dish, spread 1/4 cup of creamy tomatillo sauce on bottom. (this will keep the enchiladas from sticking to the bottom).
- Wrap corn tortillas in a wet paper towel and place in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. (the tortillas are more pliable when they are warm)
- Add 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture to the end of the warmed corn tortilla. Gently roll the tortilla and place in prepared baking dish seam side down. Repeat process with the remaining tortillas.
- Pour the remaining creamy tomatillo sauce over the top. Cover with tin foil.
- Place enchiladas in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove enchiladas from the oven and top with remaining cheese. Bake another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and gooey.
- Garnish with desired toppings.
Keywords: chicken enchilada recipe, easy chicken enchiladas, green chicken enchiladas, creamy chicken enchiladas
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