October 20th, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure for further details.

I really, really love these chicken enchiladas with their creamy white sauce and I never thought a red sauce enchilada could compete. But these Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce can! 

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce
The secret is most definitely the homemade sauce.  If I knew red enchilada sauce was so easy to make and so much better than the canned stuff, I would have been making it a long time ago. In fact, I like to double the sauce when I make this recipe, just so I can keep half in the freezer for another time. My entire family loved this meal, and that doesn’t happen very often around here. Which means these enchiladas will be making a regular appearance at our dinner table!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

Preparation 30 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 0:50


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Place the chicken breasts into the sauce.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts you are using. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.
  7. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  8. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Transfer the leftover onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside.
  10. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the onion mixture.
  11. Stir 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese and the cilantro into the chicken and onions. Toss to combine.
  12. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla (if necessary, soften the tortillas by heating them in the microwave). Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  13. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese.
  14. Cover dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Never miss a Let’s Dish Recipe:

Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Google+

If you love this recipe, you might also like:

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce


Sweet Potato and Chicken Enchiladas


Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.



  1. Yum, I love mexican food. Enchiladas look delicious.

  2. the white sauce on the enchiladas makes the dish look so scrumptious, great photo… got me salivating 🙂

  3. I need this for dinner!!

  4. I make mine this way but your photos are absolutely amazing.

  5. i like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out tastingspot.com. it’s for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies.

  6. I’m drooling now. It looks delicious and would make a great dinner.

  7. Just made these tonight. Love, love, loved them!! I added a can of black beans to my onion mix. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  8. So delicious! My son said, “Worth the wait, Mom!”

  9. When you freeze them how long to you cook them for?

  10. Marianne, I thaw them first then cook them for the same amount of time.

  11. Yum, I love enchiladas – these look so delicious! 🙂

  12. Making these tonight… so far, so good!!

  13. I’ve been looking for a good red enchilada…can’t wait to try these!

  14. These look amazing too!
    Is there a way to follow your blog via email?

  15. Just made these tonight and they were amazing!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. How do you cook them when you freeze them? Put in the oven frozen? Same temperature? How long? Thanks so much. I am having a big party next weekend and would love to make these in advance


  1. […] recipe is adapted from Danelle over at Let’s Dish. Chicken Enchiladas   Print Makes 1 9×13 casserole dish and about 2 cups of sauce. […]


Speak Your Mind