Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce are the best enchiladas in a homemade red chili sauce with pickled jalapenos and plenty of cheese.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce with limes in a dish

Last month we had my parents over for a Sunday dinner, and I decided to make a Chicken Enchilada recipe I had my eyes on for a long time. I was pretty sure it would be great since it’s from my America’s Test Kitchen Complete TV Show Cookbook. At one point as I was making them, I worried that the amount of chicken (12 ounces) would not be enough to feed all 4 of us – especially with 2 men! I thought for sure the amount of filling would not stretch to fill all 10 corn tortillas. I soon realized that cheese is a major component of these enchiladas (bonus!!) I actually ended up having a little extra filling at the end that I baked in a separate dish!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

These were really phenomenal! The sauce was the perfect blend of spices, and there was a distinct sweetness to these enchiladas. Bob and my mom actually thought I may have added some our dessert (Sweet Corn Cake) to the dish. The pickled jalapenos gave them a nice, slightly spicy kick. Everyone agreed that these were a success and should be added to the dinner rotation.

a casserole dish of Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

Gluten Free Chicken Enchiladas

These enchiladas are naturally gluten free, but please check the packaging on your corn tortillas to ensure they are gluten free. Most brands are, but some do contain wheat flour.

Looking for More Mexican Recipes?

Check out my favorite Mexican and Tex/Mex recipes:
Cilantro Lime Crema Costco Copycat
Chicken Street Tacos Costco Copycat
Mexican Rice
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Layered Taco Dip
Jalapeno Popper Dip
Skillet Chicken Fajitas
Turkey Tacos
Pico de Gallo Chicken Quesadillas
Grilled Chicken Fajitas
Chicken Mexican Pizzas
Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas
Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

Chicken enchiladas in a homemade red chili sauce with pickled jalapenos and plenty of cheese.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4


For the Sauce and Filling:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast meat or thighs (trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips)
  • 16 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 ounces pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)

For the Tortillas and Toppings:

  • 10 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 3 ounces grated Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (regular or light)
  • 1 avocado, diced medium (optional)
  • 5 leaves romaine lettuce (washed, dried, and shredded)
  • 2 limes (quartered)


Make the Sauce and Filling:

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds.
  • Add tomato sauce and 3/4 cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes.
  • Pour mixture through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside.
  • Transfer chicken mixture to a large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.

Assemble and Bake Enchiladas:

  • Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray and bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes. Then increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, spread 3/4 cup enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish.
  • To fill tortillas, add 1/3 cup filling to each and roll tightly. Place into baking dish side by side, seam-side down.
  • Pour remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and use a spoon to spread the sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese down center of dish. Cover baking dish with foil.
  • Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado, lettuce, and lime wedges separately.


Source: Adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Complete TV Show Cookbook
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword chicken, gluten free, main dish, mexican

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