Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe


  • 2 large chicken breasts (1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 medium onion 
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • large carrot
  • 1 celery stalk 
  • enchilada sauce (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • sour cream and cilantro for serving
  • tbsp canola oil (if using corn tortillas)
  • 8 corn or flour tortillas

Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 4 oz tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock 
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • pinch sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x12 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. Place chicken in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, carrot, and celery. Season with a few teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 12-15. minutes. To make sure it's cooked through, you an instant read thermometer, when it reaches 165 degrees, the chicken is done. Remove chicken from the cooking liquid and cool until it's easy enough to handle. Shred chicken, discard leftover liquid and veggies in the pot.

  3. While the chicken cooks, make the enchilada sauce. Heat a medium saucepan to a medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil and garlic. Saute until slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock. Add chili powder, chipotle powder, oregano, coriander, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened. 

  4. Transfer chicken to a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and cumin, toss until coated. Season the chicken to taste with salt and pepper. 

  5. Spoon enough enchilada sauce into the casserole dish to lightly coat the bottom. 

  6. Mix cheeses together in a small bowl.

  7. If using corn tortillas, add canola oil to a medium skillet. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Use tongs to pull the corn tortillas through the oil until pliable. Place chicken filling in the tortilla and then sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up and place in the casserole dish, seam-side down. Continue with remaining tortillas. If using flour tortillas, simply roll, fill with chicken and cheese, and skip the oil. 

  8. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are hot and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.