Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Update January 2013: This recipe has been around a long time! I originally posted it in 2008 and we are still making it today. I’ve added a few more details to the recipe and updated the picture, but basically, it’s as delicious today as it was five years ago.

I am particular when it comes to enchiladas. To start, I prefer the sauce creamy with a kick, instead of red and spicy, and I like a lot of flavor to the filling. The meat filling in these enchiladas is unique in that it is marinated after it has been cooked. The shredded chicken or pork soaks up the honey, lime and other seasonings and the flavor blend is beyond delicious.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Honey Lime Chicken {or Pork} Enchiladas

Yield: Serves 6

Honey Lime Chicken {or Pork} Enchiladas

This recipe works great with chicken and pork! Also, a delicious addition is to saute onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil and add it to the meat mixture or sauce.


  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice (1-2 large limes)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds chicken, cooked and shredded (3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 8-10 fajita-size flour tortillas
  • 1 pound Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 16 ounces green enchilada sauce (like the Herdez brand)
  • 1 cup heavy cream, sour cream or half-and-half


  1. Whisk together the first four ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the marinade into a Ziploc bag (or other covered container) and toss with the shredded chicken. Refrigerate and let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour and up to 8 hours. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour about 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken (reserving the leftover marinade) and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream (or sour cream/half-and-half) and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until brown and crispy on top.


*Freezable Meal: Freeze prior to baking. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake enchiladas, covered (without thawing first) for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 30 minutes longer, until brown and crispy on top.

Recipe Source: adapted from The Sister’s Cafe

129 Responses to Honey Lime Chicken {or Pork} Enchiladas

  1. Anonymous says:

    I saw this recipe on the news the other day, and the girl cooking it linked your blog to the recipe. All the cooking-moms owe you big time.

  2. Jan says:

    I’ve been wanting to make this one for awhile, and finally did tonight. It was DELICIOUS! My husband raved about it! It was such a snap to prepare too – I will be making this over and over I’m sure – YUM!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The enchiladas are amazing. We use extra lime and honey. They are so cheesey. YUM!

  4. Annette says:

    Just made the honey lime chicken enchiladas tonight and they were great! The honey made the chicken a little too sweet, so I think I might reduce the honey and maybe add more lime juice like I read in a previous post. The sauce was excellent with the heavy cream and green enchilada sauce my family and I kept wanting to spoon more over our enchiladas. They were Yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Nate says:

    Hey Mel! Hope things are going great with Ty…you will probably be reading this comment at 2am when you are up feeding him. We made these enchilada’s again tonight, and as always, we loved them. We only use light cream, and I’m sure they would be even better with heavy, but Kylie can’t justify the extra calories ;). We always double the marinade – it is great. This time we followed your suggestion and added sauteed onion and garlic. I would add garlic to cheerios if possible, so I definately liked the results. Love you!

  6. Anonymous says:

    These are seriously the best, we love them!

  7. jennie says:

    Hi Melanie,

    I just made this last night and we all loved it! I followed your recipe with just one change … I had a ton of lemons so I marinaded the chicken with that instead of lime – tasted great!

    I loved your idea to mix the enchilada sauce with sour cream (or cream), I love creamy enchiladas, but my husband hates anything with cream of soup so this was the perfect recipe for us – it will be our new go-to recipe for enchiladas. thank you! I’ve tried about 12 or so of your recipes and we’ve loved them all.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This site is my new secret weapon. Made the shrimp enchiladas a few weeks ago and these chicken ones last nite for dinner parties. Insane success – people think I am Enchilada Goddess now — all thanks to you! Not telling anyone where the recipes came from! — Oh and didn’t have time to marinate the chicken so just sauteed chix in the honey, lime, with onion, garlic, little dos equis and lots of cayenne pepper – turned out amazing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    These are a party in the mouth.

  10. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – hey, you definitely need to take the title of Enchilada Goddess (which made me chuckle) and run with it. I’m glad that both enchiladas have showed you off well, especially since it sounds like you did a bit of revamping to suit your needs. That’s great!

  11. Peabody says:

    I am intrigued by the honey lime…sounds wonderful.

  12. Melanie says:

    Hi Adrienne – thanks for letting me know you liked these! I’m making them this week (they appear often in our dinner line-up), too.

  13. Danielle says:

    My boyfriend asks me to make your shrimp enchiladas all the time, so I had to try these. They were amazing! They were both sweet & spicy! I’m only making these 2 versions of enchiladas from now on. Thanks again!

  14. Melanie says:

    Annette – thanks for commenting and letting me know you liked these! I agree on the sauce – so yummy we fight over what’s left.

  15. Melanie says:

    Sally – thanks for checking in and letting me know! I bet they would be delicious with the corn tortillas – and I’ve also increased the lime the last few times I’ve made them and really liked the result.

  16. BKS says:

    I made these twice in the last week and a half for Christmas get togethers and they were a HUGE hit! I increased the lime a little and the second time I made them, I used corn tortillas instead of flour. Everyone definitely preferred the corn and now all the cooks at both parties are fans of your blog, lol! Thanks for posting such great recipes and pictures. :)

  17. Diane says:

    Made these tonight and they were yummy! I din’t even do a trial run and served them to company. Thanks!

  18. CB says:

    Mmmm.. enchiladas! I love enchiladas. Been looking for THEE recipe for while. I definitely starred this to try soon! Thanks!

  19. Melanie says:

    Anonymous (all three!) – thanks for the comments. They made me smile. Glad you liked these enchiladas.

  20. Shanna says:

    Made these tonight and they were sooo yummy! Thanks for yet another favorite!!

  21. Melanie says:

    Ali – oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed these! I think I could eat them every day and still love them. Thanks for letting me know!

  22. KA says:

    I will absolutely try these again with less honey for my picky husband….will let you know how it goes.

  23. Melanie says:

    Brynnly – you are really sweet. Thank you for your kind words. I am so, so glad you liked the enchiladas…what’s funny is I think we made them the exact same day! My husband loves them, too…I bet the cayenne pepper was a delicious addition. Thank you for commenting!

  24. Jenn says:

    I was serious when I said these were next on the docket. I enjoyed them. My husband wasn’t so convinced about the sweetness. I thought is was a great combination–lime, honey, and chili powder. The thing that I like most about these is that I found a great brand of Monterey Jack cheese here that I will be using in more recipes!! Gotta love Wisconsin!Thanks for the recipe!

  25. PheMom says:

    These sound sooo good. I’ll have to make them soon. By the way, I did make the waffles and will be posting back to you soon. They were awesome!

  26. Melanie says:

    Danielle – glad you liked these. They are a favorite at our house, too!

  27. amisparky says:

    The BEST! I made the enchiladas the other night and I think my husband has a new love. The leftovers are wonderful too. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  28. Ali says:

    I made these last Sunday and I LOVED them! They are my new favorite enchilada recipe too! And they are so easy…Thanks!

  29. Melanie says:

    Jennie – I’ve been wondering how this would be with lemon juice. Thanks for being the guinea pig and trying it! And for letting me know. So glad you liked it.

  30. Joe Horn says:

    Your enchiladas look awesome.I just made some lower fat chicken and cheese enchiladas and put them on my blog. Actually I’ve made them quite a bit, they are great. Come take a look if you have a chance and let me know what you think.http://cookingquest.wordpress.com

  31. Cookie baker Lynn says:

    Yummy – I love enchiladas. All the flavors sound like they’d go together terrifically.

  32. Melanie says:

    Jan – so very glad this was a hit with you and your husband. Thanks for letting me know!

  33. Melanie says:

    Melody – great tip on the corn tortillas and the amount it made. I’m glad you liked the recipe and that the corn tortillas worked out for you!

  34. Joy the Baker says:

    Yummy!! At first I wouldn’t tell if this recipe was was sweet or savory. I love the honey lime and chili powder combo!

  35. KA says:

    Ok, I will expect an AI comment next time :) I triple loved the enchiladas. I ate the last of the leftovers today, in fact. The only problem (and I worried about this going in) is that my husband thought they were too sweet. He’s picky about sweet food if it’s not a dessert. Do you think I could just use less honey, or will that mess it all up? Should I add something else? More lime? Just curious about your thoughts.

  36. Adrienne says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the recipe. I’ve had these on my “to try list” for a while and I finally made them. I loved how easy they were and I loved the flavor combo. My hubby really liked them too. We couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers and can’t wait to make them again! Love your blog. Thanks.

  37. KA says:

    I’m making these for dinner tonight. I’m pretty sure my husband will die from joy. I will let you know :)

  38. Melanie says:

    Jen – so glad you tried and liked the enchiladas! Thank you for commenting back and letting me know. They are one of our family favorites, too!

  39. Katherine says:

    I tried these tonight and they were insanely good. Thanks for the recipe. I followed your instructions and thought about trying the garlic and onions, but it was just too tempting to keep it simple the way you made it. So easy and so delicious!

  40. Brynnly and Alan says:

    Wow this recipe was amazing! I made it for my husband today. I just made an 8×8 size bc it was just the 2 of us and he polished it off. He even went as far to say that it is probably his favorite meal now. I’m so glad bc it was easy to make too! He loves spicy food so I added cayenne pepper in with the chili powder. It was perfect! I know anything I make from your blog will be a hit. Thanks again for sharing your recipes. :)

  41. Melanie says:

    Shanna – I’m so glad you liked this recipe! Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your comment. This is one of my family’s favorites and your comment has reminded me I need to make it again soon.

  42. Darren & Jen says:

    My friend introduced me to your website and we decided to try these enchiladas. Oh my YUM, YUM, YUM-O!!! Hands down the best I’ve ever had. I actually ate one and a half which I never do! The resulting stomach ache was worth it!! I will be making these again very soon!

  43. Deborah says:

    I’m not that particular about my enchiladas, and these sound like ones that I would love!!!

  44. Melanie says:

    AmISparky – these do make great leftovers, you are right! Thanks for letting me know they turned out – it means a lot when people take the time to check back in and let me know. Thanks!

  45. Cara says:

    I love enchiladas! I’ll definitely have to try these. The lime, honey, and chili powder sounds great!

  46. Jessy and her dog Winnie says:

    Those look delicious!

  47. Brittany says:

    I’m so glad you like it! Your modifications sound yummy! The original recipe was much drier so i almost doubled the sauce. I like the idea of extra lime juice though – and the cream sounds like it would be fun to try. Thanks for the great ideas!

  48. Kristin says:

    I made these tonight and they were delicious. I can’t wait to make them again because I shared with friends and all I could think was, “Man, I wish I could have seconds.” :)

  49. Melanie says:

    Jenn – I’m glad you liked the recipe but sorry your husband wasn’t sold on the sweetness! I miss Wisconsin (used to live there) and the cheese options…

  50. Sally says:

    Oops, BKS is really Sally. (Forgot to sign out from other id)

  51. Melody says:

    I was wondering if anyone had made these with corn tortillas and I saw that BKS/Sally did. I mistakenly bought corn instead of flour, but they turned out great and my husband loved them. He is alot like the other husbands…he doesn’t necessarily like “sweet” with his meal. I was able to get about 13 enchiladas in the pan with the smaller tortillas.

  52. Wife of Rob says:

    These were DIVINE! I am out of town at my sister in law’s house…she just introduced me to your website. She made these for us Friday night and I am a BELIEVER! The flavors were great. My husband is going to LOVE these when I get home!

  53. Melanie says:

    Wife of Rob – thanks for the comment! I’m so glad that you and your sister like these…they are definitely some of our family’s favorites. Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know!

  54. Melanie says:

    The Three Amigos – that’s HIGH praise from your husband and you completely deserve it. I’m glad it was rave reviews all around for these enchiladas. Thanks for letting me know!

  55. The Three Amigos says:

    I made these last night and this was the first time… after one bite… my husband said, “Wow! These are fantastic!” THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE!! Usually I have to ask him if he likes it and he’ll just say, “yeah.” THANK YOU!! This will save us from going out to eat so much! These were simple and so so delicious. I was worried about all the honey, but it was so delicious. I put some in a small baking dish and froze them for next week! I also used sour cream instead of the heavy cream, and added sauted onion and garlic like you said and it was great! Thank you! It made me feel so great that my husband was so happy with the meal.

  56. Melanie says:

    Kristi – glad these worked out great for you! Thanks for letting me know.

  57. Kristi says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm! I used a rotisserie chicken, I did 1 Tbs less of honey and one more of lime…if I were to do it over again I would have done even more lime. Thanks, this was de-lish!

  58. [...] Year Ago: Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan Two Years Ago: Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas Printable Version Printable Version with [...]

  59. Melissa says:

    YUMMY YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!!! These were SOOOO good!! I think I’ve gained 5-8lbs making all these dinners every night and eating waaayyy too many helpings!

  60. Mel says:

    Melissa – sorry for the five pounds…but I’m sure glad the recipe was worth it! Thanks for letting me know.

  61. amber says:

    Two questions: If I made these ahead of time, would they keep in the fridge well? If so, how long?
    And, you mentioned freezing them. Does this work well even with the heavy cream in the sauce?
    These enchiladas are fabulous–they’ve made me famous in certain circles. Thanks so much for all of your recipes!

  62. Mel says:

    Amber – I’ve successfully made these a day in advance and they’ve been fine. Freezing works, although the texture changes slightly due to the cream – it doesn’t affect the outcome majorly and they will still taste great.

  63. Reyna says:

    Love these! I even forgot the heavy cream and they were fantastic. The honey/lime adds such an interesting flavor that makes you just want to keep eating them! Just like you, I take my enchiladas very seriously and these are a new favorite. I can’t think of the last time I made dinner that I wasn’t using one of your recipes for some component of the meal!

  64. Mel says:

    Reyna – you are my biggest fan. I swear. Your comments swell my ego, so you better be careful. I’m glad you liked these enchies. They are such a family favorite of ours. I don’t remake many meals but these definitely make a monthly appearance at our table.

  65. Courtney says:

    These enchiladas are SO SO SO good. The best I have ever had. I made them 2 weeks ago and am already making them again tonight! Pretty easy too!

  66. Mel says:

    Courtney – we love this one, too! Glad it was a hit!

  67. Kelli says:

    These enchies are by far my family’s favorite recipe! I’m not the biggest enchie lover with red sauce, but this recipe makes an appearance at least once every month, I may even say once every 3 weeks! Thanks for giving me my husband’s favorite meal!

  68. Mel says:

    Thanks, Kelli! I’m not a fan of red sauce enchiladas either which is why we love these, too.

  69. Kimiko says:

    I finally made these (I’ve been on a cooking hiatus..its STILL too hot! 96 degrees yesterday!) about a week ago, and they are G-O-O-D..I had high expectations for these after reading others’ comments and after trying your shrimp enchiladas, and I wasn’t disappointed at all! I made them with whole wheat tortillas, and added sauteed onions and garlic like you mentioned, and they made it perfect. I’m sure once the weather finally cools down, I’ll be trying a lot more of your recipes.

  70. Mel says:

    Kimiko – so glad you liked these, despite the heat you are still experiencing! Thanks for letting me know!

  71. Angela says:

    Love these enchiladas. I’ve shared the recipe with my sisters and they all love them too. Just one question – do you have a tried and true recipe to cook a pork roast in a crockpot to make pulled pork to use in these? That was a wordy question. I tried another recipe, but the pork turned out too sweet and kind of ruined the marinade taste. Just wondering.

    Love your blog!

  72. Mel says:

    Angela – a great way to cook up a pork roast in the slow cooker is to follow the recipe here but at the end don’t add the bbq sauce. Just cook the pork in the slow cooker and then shred it to use as you like! Hope that helps!

  73. Renee says:

    Mel–Just made these for dinner to night and they were SO yummy! I don’t think that I’ve tried a recipe of yours yet that hasn’t been delicious and well received by my family. Because I didn’t have more than about 20 minutes to marinate the chicken in the honey and lime juice, I was concerned that it might not have the time to impart enough flavor. I worried for nothing though, as they came out great with fantastic flavor. Thanks again for yet another great recipe and for taking the time that you do, to share your recipes with us. You rock! ;)

  74. Kristin says:

    These have become an absolute family favorite in our house! I first saw the recipe at The Sisters Cafe but LOVE your addition of cream to the sauce. To make the prep easier with our family of six, I toss chicken breasts in the slow cooker with the marinade and let them cook all day. The chicken is so tender and at dinnertime, I only need to fill the tortillas, top with the sauce and bake. YUM! Thank you!

  75. Carolyn says:

    We made these enchiladas to feed 100 hungry missionaries and got rave reviews! Thanks!!

  76. Tannis says:

    I bookmarked this recipe about a year ago. I am so sad that I haven’t made it until last night. It’s amazing! What a neat and new twist on enchiladas. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch!

  77. L says:

    I feel a bit silly for asking… but what IS enchilada sauce? Is it something I can buy in the store? Are there different kinds?

  78. Barbi says:

    I just discovered your wonderful blog! my oh my, SO many tasty dishes on here I will definitely be trying out! This one I’ll be making tomorrow night for my son’s birthday dinner. :)
    I have one question: do you think rice would be good to put in these, kind of as a “filler”, or not?
    Thank you!

  79. I made these for dinner tonight and we loved them! They are going in my “keeper” book! Thanks for yet another wonderful recipe.

  80. Natalie says:

    This is my new favorite meal. Seriously, these were absolutely delicious. I am super picky when it comes to enchiladas but these surpassed my expectations after the first bite. Wow. Thanks for sharing!!!

  81. Jodie says:

    Just tried this for dinner tonight and it is definitely my new favorite, my husband rated it 10/10 (he rates anything so I can remember which ones to make again), and even my super picky 2 year old ate them and said they were good! It’s a keeper here! Thanks!

  82. Ashley says:

    I made these last night, and while they were yummy, I think I did something wrong. I had way too much sauce and not enough chicken. I did about 1 lb of chicken and was only able to make about 6 enchiladas (and I didn’t even fill them very full). I had lots of extra sauce left over and it was so soupy I thought about serving the enchiladas in a bowl. Any ideas?? Any suggestions would be much appreciated as I would love to try making these again!

  83. Mel says:

    Ashley – I’m not sure what went wrong, to be honest. It sounds like next time you might want to up the chicken to 2 pounds if you had a lot of extra sauce. I’ve been making these so long that I usually just eyeball the chicken and maybe I use more than the 1 pound called for. I’ll have to weigh it exactly next time.

  84. [...] (adapted from mels kitchen cafe) [...]

  85. Susan says:

    Made these last night as a take-in as well as some for my family. I’m not sure how the other people felt about them, but we loved them! I added extra lime juice based on the comments—also an onion and a few gloves of garlic to the enchilada sauce.

    I’ll hold onto this recipe and make it again!

  86. [...] Source: adapted slightly from Mel Kitchen Cafe [...]

  87. Martha says:

    Made these for dinner tonight, the guys loved them. Nothing better then hitting one out of the park for dinner. Thanks for sharing.

  88. Rebecca says:

    Hello! This is my first comment on your website. :) I was just browsing recipes and came across this enchilada recipe. It sounds SO good! I had one question though … do you think red enchilada sauce would be fine to use? My husband and I don’t like the canned red enchilada sauce anymore (we used to get canned all the time). We use the packets that you mix with tomato paste and water. I was just wondering if it would be fine to use red sauce rather than green. I definitely want to make these soon! I’ve already tried three recipes and loved them all! — Baked Oatmeal, Oatmeal Pancakes, and the White Bean and Tuna Salad. All were delicious! I’m planning to make a lot more recipes from your site. :)

  89. Mel says:

    Hi Rebecca – red enchilada sauce will definitely change the flavor of these but if you prefer it, I think it is worth a try. Let me know how it goes if you try it! Glad you loved the other recipes.

  90. Rebecca says:

    I thought I would try these with green sauce first, so I had my husband buy some just for this recipe. It was delicious! We both love it! I still might try them with red sauce sometime, just to see the difference in taste. But I will definitely make these again! I feel like I’m eating out at a fancy Mexican restaurant, but at a cheaper price (making these at home). :)

  91. Nicole says:

    if you want homemade green enchilada sauce to go with this… this is THE recipe:
    I love these enchiladas, from the sisters. I haven’t tried it with cream yet, but it’s hard to imagine it any better than it was! (Can’t think of a time when cream or sour cream made something worse though… :)

  92. Christina says:

    How long can you freeze the enchiladas for?

  93. Mel says:

    Christina – probably about 1-2 months.

  94. Danielle H. says:

    I have been meaning to make these forever. Last night I finally did. What was I waiting for? These will definitely appear on our table often. Even my pickiest eaters ate these up! I’m excited to have the left overs for lunch.

  95. Crystal B says:

    I made these tonight, and WOW!! The best enchiladas I’ve ever made!!! I’ve tried so many enchilada recipes & this has instantly topped the Best list!! I used lemon instead of lime because that’s what I had, and I added a can of diced green chiles to the marinade. Delicious!!! Thank you!!!

  96. Liz says:

    I’ve had this recipe saved in my favorites for over a year, finally made them last night. I am kicking myself for putting this recipe off for so long! SO DELICIOUS! The whole family loved it, including the two dogs :) I added a bit of diced red onion and chopped cilantro to the filling. Making again next week.

  97. Ashley S says:

    Mel I have never cooked with green enchilada sauce and I did not see any at the store today. Is green salsa verde the same thing??

  98. Mel says:

    Hi Ashley – I’ve subbed the green salsa verde (Herdez brand) with great results so if you can’t find the green enchilada sauce you can use that. I think it’s pretty much the same thing.

  99. Angela says:

    Made these for dinner last night and my husband said the BEST yet enchiladas. I’ve made your red sauce and green. All delicious! Shrimp ones are on the menu next!

  100. Mary says:

    Someone brought me dinner a few weeks ago and it was these enchiladas. I loved them so much that I decided to make them. Now I’m hispanic and quite frankly, an enchilada snob. But these were fantastic! I’d dare say they were my favorite enchiladas ever, and that’s a high compliment! These are going to be a weekly staple at our house. I’m counting down the minutes until I can eat the leftovers for lunch that are sitting in my fridge.

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