Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on Time
47 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 52 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 2 enchiladas)

Chicken Enchiladas are the ultimate in family-favorite dishes. Chicken breasts are poached in a highly-flavored liquid; then the liquid does double duty as a sauce when mixed with salsa verde and whipping cream and spooned over the chicken-filled tortillas. Use the freshest tortillas you can find for this dish since older ones tend to dry out and crack even though they're moistened in the flavorful sauce. We love La Tortilla Factory brand. Look for their low-fat, lower-sodium tortillas.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine first 9 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon; let stand 10 minutes. Shred the chicken; set aside. Drain cooking liquid through a sieve over a bowl; reserve liquid. Discard solids.

Step 2

Combine the reserved cooking liquid and salsa verde in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 1 1/2 cups (about 30 minutes). Reduce heat to low; stir in whipping cream. Place pan over low heat.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 4

Place chicken in a medium bowl. Add tomato and next 5 ingredients (through cream cheese) to chicken; toss. Dip each tortilla in sauce mixture for 10 seconds. Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 cup chicken mixture; roll up. Arrange filled tortillas, seam sides down, in an 11 x 7–inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon sauce over tortillas; top with cheddar cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Also appeared in: Cooking Light, January, 2012

Ratings & Reviews

Yummy with changes

November 02, 2015
I gev this four stars because I had to edit the recipe.  When reading the recipe it did not make sense to me to do all the work of cutting up carrots, onions and celery to then just discard especially since I try to ge my family to eat as many veggies as possible.  I used a rotesserie chicken breast and added the vegetables finely chopped to it.  I also did not reduce the sauce I just used one cup of stock and one cup of salsa verde.  I heated it up and then added the cream.  I don't like soggy enchildas so I did not submerge the tortilla in the sauce instead I added a layer of sauce before adding the meat mixture.  This mixture made 10 enchildas.  I poured the ramining sauce over the middle of the enchiladas and added the cheese.  This also you to have softness and crispiness to the enchildas which are just perfect.  My family loved them and I will make them again.  Oh I used whole wheat tortillas.

February 20, 2016
The purpose of submerging the tortillas is to make them pliable. All it takes is a few seconds, otherwise they will tear.

February 20, 2016
The first time I made them, I reduced the sauce and didn't have enough left to pour over them. When I made them again, I didn't reduce the sauce and they didn't get dry when I baked them. I had plenty of chicken for 2 dozen enchiladas but I used less than 1/3 in each one. It's a favorite recipe of mine. I've also made a similar recipe using whole wheat tortillas.


August 25, 2015
always love a new enchilada recipe! This one is a bit more involved and time consuming than I like for weeknight meals, but still delicious! Here is my blog post on it:

Fantastic with some tweaks.

May 31, 2015
Okay, firstly the reason people are having trouble with mushy watery consistency is that the instructions on cooking down the sauce for "30 minutes" are way off. To get 1 1/2 cups of liquid I had to cook it down for over an hour. Secondly, the previous posters are correct that you can't fill 12 tortillas with the recommended 1/3 cup filling. So I use about 2 Tbsp each. The flavor is not affected and there is enough for all tortillas.You need to use soft corn tortillas and dip and hold for 10 or more seconds before rolling. I use Dempsters corn tortillas that have some flour in to make them all pliable. Barring these changes, this is my hands down favourite cooking light dish. So tasty and spicy and hard to believe it's light. It's big effort but great reward.

GreekMama02's Review

February 20, 2014
Never again. Measurements were way off, 2 jour process, and I could not get the corn tortillas to roll, instead made a casserole. I wish have read previous reviews.

IoneTaylor's Review

January 19, 2014
Fantastic flavor but time consuming, and I couldn't get the tortilla count to come out right with the filling. I doubled the recipe and used a 1/3 cup measure for the filling, but I ran out of filling with the 18th tortilla instead of being able to fill 24. The doubled recipe fit nicely into a 13x9 casserole dish. The preparation took me the better part of an afternoon, but I thought that the outstanding depth of flavor, especially in the green sauce, made the effort worthwhile. Because of the work involved, I plan to make this dish only when I have company over.

Catwoman's Review

December 08, 2013
Used rotisserie chicken & drained canned tomatoes. Made stock according to directions w/out chicken & only started w/ 2 c water - all else the same & according to directions except reduced red pepper. I was a little nervous about pouring the sauce on at the end as it was so thin, but the tortillas soaked it up & was not runny. Ended up with 9 enchiladas - agree it becomes more like a casserole - which is fine w/ me as a good way to use leftover chicken. Next time may just layer the tortillas instead of roll.

Shirley12's Review

November 18, 2013
We really liked these. Great flavors and perfect for leftover chicken. I accidentally skipped the cream in the sauce and didn't even notice! Will definitely make again. I did reduce the amount of liquid I used in the sauce since it seemed like too much and I didn't see the point in reducing it. I just poured on what seemed appropriate.

8stringfan's Review

November 17, 2013
In all fairness, this is a pretty tasty casserole, but as far as an enchilada dish, it's an outright disaster. The times and amounts in the recipe are so wrong, so many times, that it's not worth even trying to note them all individually. Perhaps the biggest issue is that there is not enough chicken to fill twelve 6-inch corn tortillas using a 1/3 cup per tortilla. As a result, the serving sizes on this dish are all out of whack, so good luck trying to figure out nutritional info per serving. Also, like a LOT of people have pointed out, the tortillas fall apart in prep and are basically mush when you take them out of the oven. In all fairness, the gloppy casserole-like dish you're left with is pretty darn tasty, but if you're expecting this disaster of a recipe to yield something resembling enchiladas, or the stated serving sizes, you better think again.