This America's test kitchen chicken enchiladas recipe is one of the quickest and best tasting enchilada dishes you will ever try! It's super delicious, easy to make, and perfect for a midweek large family meal.
If you like easy casserole meals, check out my collection of best zucchini casserole recipes.
🌟 Why this recipe works
America's test kitchen chicken enchiladas is a recipe created with every home cook in mind. It's completely foolproof and requires no kitchen skills or fancy equipment to prepare these delicious oven-baked chicken enchiladas.
From start to finish, you will have this meal on the table in less than 45 minutes using minimal ingredients, which most of them may already be hiding in your cupboards.
Atk chicken enchiladas are the perfect family meal to enjoy during busy weeknights when time is limited. Plus, it's easy to prepare in advance and great for storing for eating any leftovers the following day.
The atk enchiladas are filled with a delicious chicken mixture that is juicy and full of spices, topped with enchilada tomato sauce and cheddar cheese, then baked in the oven for perfection. To sum up the dish in one word (IRRESISTIBLE)!
This recipe is made for quick assembly to save on prep time, which gives plenty of room for further additions, making it versatile. Check out the variations section to upgrade your test kitchen enchiladas.
🍽 Key Ingredients
Atk enchiladas need no special kitchen equipment - just a skillet and casserole dish to cook and bake the enchiladas. And they are filled and topped using staple pantry ingredients.
Chicken - Buy fresh chicken breasts (free-range if possible) for a better-tasting chicken mixture.
Chilies - Fresh or canned green chilies.
Sauce - You can prepare your own red enchilada sauce or buy a quality canned variety.
Herbs - You'll need some fresh cilantro to give these enchiladas a wonderful herbaceous flavor.
Tortillas - Corn tortillas work best for rolling the chicken enchilada mixture without falling apart. Use the large ones if you can find them.
Cheese - The choice of cheese for melting is cheddar, and for the mixture, were adding in crumbly queso fresco.
To save on prep time, you can use a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat or any leftover chicken you have from last night's dinner. I always make this recipe the day after a chicken roast dinner!
A good substitute for cheddar cheese with similar qualities is Cantal, Colby, or Monterey Jack. And for the queso fresco, you could use feta.
🔪 How to make
America's test kitchen chicken enchiladas are super easy to prepare and bake in 45 minutes. You will love the delicious spicy flavors and cheese pull from the melted cheese - and you can learn how to make it with my easy-to-follow instructions and helpful top tops.
- Chop the canned or fresh chilies and the fresh cilantro.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper.
There is a little bit of effort involved ahead of time prepping this recipe because you have to cook and shred the chicken, but then you can clean up while the enchiladas cook in the oven
Preheat oven to 350. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
Combine the chicken and enchilada sauce in a medium saucepan & simmer for 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat. Then flip the chicken over, cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until chicken reaches 160-165 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.
Remove chicken from pan and shred into bite-sized pieces. Combine shredded chicken, ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, queso fresco, chiles and cilantro in a bowl. Add salt and pepper if desired. Cover to keep warm.
Lightly coat both sides of 6 tortillas with vegetable oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until tortillas are soft & pliable, about 2 to 4 minutes.
Quickly place tortillas on a flat surface and place ⅓ cup of the chicken mixture into each one. Tightly roll each tortilla around the chicken and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the remaining 6 tortillas.
Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Pour 1 more cup of enchilada sauce over the tortillas
Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
Whew, finally you get to enjoy the world's most perfect enchilada recipe.
💭 Cooking tips
Roll each tortilla tightly
Ensure that each tortilla is wrapped and rolled tightly to prevent all the enchiladas from unfolding during baking. The best way to do this is by not overfilling them with too much mixture and keeping it tucked in tightly as you roll the corn tortilla over.
If you don't have a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken, you can check if it's cooked by cutting through the middle to see if the juices are clear and there is no pinkness.
Heating the torts
Don't preheat corn tortillas until you're ready for rolling. Otherwise, they will go cold and lose their softness for easier rolling.
📖 Recipe Variations
Americas test kitchen chicken enchiladas are versatile and can be made to suit different needs from adding more spice to changing the meat while still following the same recipe.
You can even make America's test kitchen beef enchiladas by swapping the chicken for ground beef for a twist in protein. Or mix it up with Italian sausage or ground turkey.
These easy chicken enchiladas taste delicious with caramelized onions added to the mixture or placed on top of the enchilada sauce. Or add some black olives and chopped green onions for color.
If you're like me, you may want to increase the heat by adding a teaspoon of chili powder to the enchilada mixture or use hot chilies with the seeds for a serious kick.
Without corn tortillas
People on a low-carb or keto diet may want to remove the corn tortillas to keep the carb count to a minimum, and it's possible to enjoy the same flavor using this low-carb chicken enchilada recipe.
🥗 What to serve with
America's test kitchen chicken enchiladas are filling on their own or can be served with other delicious side dishes when you have more guests to feed. Try some of these easy, tasty recipes to serve with your enchiladas.
Vegetables are a staple side dish in my house. You can use whatever you have on hand in the pantry to make some healthy steamed vegetables or if you have some asparagus on hand, try these salty, delicious sautéed asparagus.
One of my favorite low-carb side dishes that pack a punch in flavor is this easy cauliflower rice recipe with lime juice and cilantro. It's pairs really well with enchiladas and is so fragrant and delicious.
🙋 Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use flour tortillas for enchiladas?
Yes, you can use flour tortillas. Most enchilada recipes like this one traditionally use corn tortillas, but if you want to use flour tortillas, make sure to use the 7 or 8-inch ones and warm them up before rolling.
What is Enchilada Sauce?
Enchilada sauce is a sweet and spicy tomato-based sauce used to make enchiladas and other Mexican cuisine types. It is easy to make at home by blending onions, garlic, tomatoes, broth, chilies, oregano, salt, and pepper in a food processor - then the sauce is simmered until thick and then cooled.
Check out my delicious homemade enchilada sauce which tastes fantastic with this enchiladas recipe.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ Reheating
These atk enchiladas are perfect for storing any leftovers to enjoy later or preparing in advance.
Fridge - Allow any leftovers to cool and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, or if you don't have room in the fridge, you can transfer the contents to an airtight container. It will keep for up to 2 - 3 days.
Freezer - To freeze uncooked enchiladas, prepare the recipe in a large aluminum tray and freeze it for up to 4 months. For cooked leftovers, place the contents into an airtight freezer container.
Reheating - You can preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake them until piping hot (around 1o minutes for refrigerated and 18 minutes for frozen). Or you can microwave the leftovers at 1-minute intervals until hot.
👪 Serving Size
This Americas test kitchen chicken enchiladas recipe will give you approximately 6 servings. You could easily double or triple the recipe to freeze some or give it away to friends and family.
Atk chicken enchiladas are constantly requested in my house because they are so darn tasty, and the kids love them, which is a bonus.
America's Test Kitchen Enchiladas
- 1 lb. boneless - skinless chicken breasts trimmed & pounded if necessary
- Salt & pepper
- 2 ½ cups of enchilada sauce - store bought or from scratch
- 1 cup finely crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
- 1 4 oz. can of green chiles
- ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
- 12 6-inch soft corn tortillas
- Olive oil spray - or you can use olive oil in a little bowl with a brush
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Lime wedges - optional
- Sour cream - optional
- Preheat oven to 350. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
- Combine the chicken and enchilada sauce in a medium saucepan & simmer for 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat. Then flip the chicken over, cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until chicken reaches 160-165 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove chicken from pan and shred into bite-sized pieces. Combine shredded chicken, ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, queso fresco, chiles and cilantro in a bowl. Add salt and pepper if desired. Cover to keep warm.
- Lightly coat both sides of 6 tortillas with vegetable oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until tortillas are soft & pliable, about 2 to 4 minutes.
- Quickly place tortillas on a flat surface and place ⅓ cup of the chicken mixture into each one. Tightly roll each tortilla around the chicken and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the remaining 6 tortillas.
- Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Pour 1 more cup of enchilada sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Serve with remaining enchilada sauce, optional lime wedges and optional sour cream.