Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
4 servings (serving size: 2 enchiladas)

This dish offers make-ahead options: You can assemble the enchiladas up to two days ahead, cover, refrigerate, and bake them before serving. And if your family eats in shifts, just make individual servings, as we did in the photo on the left.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 2

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 6 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl; stir in cream cheese, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Step 3

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add onion, and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove 3 tablespoons onion mixture; add to chicken. Add chili powder, red pepper, and cumin to remaining onion mixture in pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken broth, 3/4 cup water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Tear 1 tortilla into small pieces; add to tomato mixture. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour tomato mixture into a blender, and process until smooth.

Step 4

Spread 1/2 cup tomato mixture in the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch glass or ceramic baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray. Warm remaining 8 tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in prepared dish. Pour remaining tomato mixture over filled tortillas. Sprinkle filled tortillas with cheddar cheese. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Sprinkle with green onions.

Step 5

Wine note: These Chicken Enchiladas use thigh meat and spices for big flavor. In this case, using a light-bodied red blend like Goats do Roam Wine Company Red 2008 ($9) fits perfectly with the fiesta. —Jeffery Lindenmuth

Ratings & Reviews

beaniefella's Review

November 17, 2014
This isn't a review of the recipe. It's a "review" of the reviews. Something isn't right here. The reviews seem to be for another recipe and mistakenly were loaded under this chicken enchiladas recipe from Southern Living. One person even references Cooking Light as the source. Wrong-O. If anybody at is monitoring the reviews, please correct the problem here. I rely greatly on the reviews! (I had to pick a star, so I picked just one hoping people would go to a "bad" review to see my message about the other reviews).

ncmwilliams's Review

November 14, 2014
For the life of me, I don't understand some of these reviews. Unless this recipe has changed drastically since it's original publication. I see people complaining about all the time and effort this recipe took, and it took no time, as currently written, to put together and deliver to the table. I buy boneless chicken when is on sale, coat it with Montreal steak seasoning, add a little water, if needed, and toss it in the crock pot and let it slow cook till I can fork shred it. So I had that cooked when I got home from work. Then I can use it in chicken pot pie, anything calling for cooked chicken. .. anyhoo, the rest is opening cans, dumping in a bowl, spreading on tortillas, rolling up, placing in a baking dish. How hard is that? Plus, I see people referring to ingredients that aren't here, like corn tortillas. So I'm guessing the recipe has changed ? That's all I can figure. Because I found this recipe to be insanely easy, and the end result to be yummy!

magnoliasouth's Review

August 20, 2014

sukeedog's Review

April 16, 2014

seashells1205's Review

February 02, 2014
I've made this recipe twice and modified it a bit both times, based on what I had in the fridge. First time I cooked chicken thighs on my grill while I cooked the sauce. The second time I cooked ground turkey while I cooked the sauce. I also didn't put the sauce in the blender. Both times it took approximately two hours to make and it was DELICIOUS! Well worth it for a homemade healthy dish.

PoppaCapp's Review

November 23, 2013
Most of the recipes one finds in Cooking Light are reasonably quick and easy to prepare, in addition to being healthy. This recipe is nothing like that. Do not attempt this recipe unless you have all afternoon to prepare dinner. It is overly complicated and time consuming and frankly not worth the time and effort.

DaphneHS's Review

December 09, 2012
My family really liked them and my kids ate them up despite the spicyness. If I made them again I would be more careful with the chili powder and red pepper. I used flour tortillas instead of corn since that was what I had on hand. Overall, very nice recipe.

ltdufo's Review

December 04, 2012
my family usually prefers a green chili enchilada, but these were so good and definitely will be made again!

Mamatraci's Review

December 02, 2012

sedutta's Review

October 01, 2012