Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

Red sauce enchiladas have been scarce on my dinner table for the last eight years. Shocking, I know, especially since they make up a huge portion of Mexican-food-loving fare. But I just haven’t been able to get behind them. I’ve tried dozen of recipes and my husband and I have concurred that we must be true enchilada snobs: far preferring these creamy green chile enchiladas (and these honey lime…and oh, wait, these shrimp enchies) to any red sauce variety.

Until this sweet little recipe entered my life, that is. I decided since it had been years (years!) since I’d attempted a red sauce enchilada, it was time. And this recipe spoke to me. It doesn’t hurt that originally it comes from America’s Test Kitchen, a source nearly always to be trusted, but with the rave reviews of other bloggers, I gave it a go.

And I have to say that my expectations were far exceeded. The beauty of this recipe is that you are able to whip up a from-scratch enchilada sauce in no time (my beef with other recipes, in large part, has been the canned enchilada sauce, I believe) and the chicken basks in the gloriousness of the flavorful, simmered sauce until cooked to tender perfection. Rolled up in tortillas (corn or flour…your choice!) with creamy cheese and fresh cilantro, these smothered enchiladas have renewed the love for red sauce chicken enchiladas in our home.

Long live the enchilada (all varieties, of course)!

Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

What To ServeTortilla chips and Balsamic Black Bean Salsa
Garnishes such as lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, extra cheese, or cherry tomatoes
Summer Corn Salad

One Year Ago: Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze
Two Years Ago: Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: Makes 12 enchiladas

Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas


  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 medium 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 sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas (fajita-size for flour tortillas)
  • cooking spray
  • salt and ground black pepper


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. 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. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. 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. Transfer the leftover onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture in the large bowl. Also stir in 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
  5. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  6. Heat oven to 400 F. Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.
  7. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, if desired.


Make Ahead Instructions: Follow the recipe, letting the sauce, onions and chicken come to room temperature before assembling the enchiladas. Finish following the recipe instructions and instead of baking, cover the pan with a layer of tin foil and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Bake covered for 20 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Alternately, the assembled enchiladas can be covered with a double layer of tin foil and put inside a jumbo-size ziploc bag (if you don’t have a jumbo-sized bag, make sure the edges of the pan are sealed well with tin foil). Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Bake from frozen, baking for 1 1/2 hours covered at 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake an additional hour until hot and bubbly.

Recipe Source: adapted from Pink Parsley, originally from America’s Test Kitchen

149 Responses to Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

  1. Oklahoma says:

    When I read this recipe I thought, red sauce on a chicken enchilada? Has the world gone mad?!? I almost made this with ground beef, but decided against it. So glad I did! The sauce is the best I have ever tasted, and I was raised on Mexican food. My son (who always refuses to eat enchiladas) ate a few bites at dinner, and requested one for breakfast. Score!

  2. Karen says:

    I made these last night and although the sauce was delicious, the chicken came out tough and a little dry – even after cooking in the sauce on low-med heat. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  3. Sarah says:

    I made these on Sunday in the instant pot and they were so good! Plus I added a little cream cheese to the chicken mixture and .

  4. Estee says:

    I’m one who also usually prefers green chile sauces, but this looked so much better than canned sauces and I’m so glad that I decided to try it! My husband and my boys loved it. Luckily I made a second pan to freeze! Thanks for another great recipe to add to the rotation.

  5. Emily says:

    I made these tonight and did everything the same but subbed chicken with leftover pot roast (your root beer enchilada sauce one) and it was probably one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in my life. Thanks again for the recipe.

  6. Nita says:

    These were great and a hit with all the kids! My 3 year old loves taco sauce on almost anything and she really loved this red chile sauce. I’ve actually made a batch to keep in the fridge to use on eggs or whatever she wants to use on. I almost didn’t get to use it in the enchiladas! I gave her a spoon to taste it and she came back a million times for tastes! Lol I served these with your Mexican corn and tomato salad and sliced avocado. It was a great meal.

  7. Bonnie Sanders says:

    These were Awesome! I’m going to make them in a few weeks for my husband’s 60th birthday party.


  8. Kim says:

    * * * * * 5 Stars! These are tasty! Thanks, Mel.

  9. Nicole says:

    Me and my roomy made these tonight but unfortunately are corn tortillas went moldy (we only bought them saturday). So we actually ended up subsuituiting tortilla chips and omitting the step where you pour most of the sauce on top (don’t worry we saved it). So we did a layer of chips the chicken/cheese/sauce mixture and another layer of chips on top and then the remaining chesse. It was awesome! I really wanted enchiladas but no doubt we will make these “nachaladas” again. The sauce mixed with the chicken was fantastic!

  10. Jena H says:

    Hi Mel,
    What do you think if I make these enchiladas with your green enchiladas sauce? Any tips or suggestions?

    Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried it myself but it sounds yummy, Jena – I’d probably just use an equal amount of green enchilada sauce for the red sauce (about 3 cups give or take).

  11. Jennifer says:

    Are these really spicy?

    • Mel says:

      They aren’t too spicy for us – just right. But if you are worried about spice, you can cut down on the heat a bit and they’ll still taste great.

  12. Amanda Z says:

    I just made these for the second time tonight and devoured them just as quickly as the first time! This sauce is so good, I can never go back to using a canned enchilada sauce again! I only wish my enchiladas looks as pretty as yours at the end, my tortillas got a little too soft and got a little mushy, but delicious all the same! Thanks for a great dinner!

  13. Sue Jackson says:

    I love your recipes and would love to get your blog. I’m new to this. How do I do it?

  14. gina says:

    I made these last week-end for a group of guys that my boyfriend and I were guiding on a kayaking trip. I made them entirely at the campsite and put them in a disposable foil pan and finished on the grill with indirect heat. They were awesome. There were six guys sitting around a campfire having a few cold beverages, but when these were served it actually got quiet. Except for chewing noises, of course. I don’t think that there could be higher praise. Thanks Mel.

  15. Lisa says:

    I made this last night for dinner, and my husband asked if I had picked up takeout! Lol! I used a rotisserie chicken and pulled meat from it to put in the sauce. Then, I strained the whole mixture to separate out the enchilada sauce that you pour over the rolled enchiladas. It saved me about 20 minutes, in case you need a time saving strategy. Also, at my grocery store there is a new brand of tortillas called Tortilla Land that makes uncooked tortillas without trans fats and preservatives. They can be warmed in the microwave between paper towels for just 40-60 seconds and work great in this recipe. They have both corn and flour, and I have used them both. The idea of microwaving something in plastic freaks me out, and I’ve never had trouble using paper towels instead…or even a clean kitchen towel.

    Thanks for such a great recipe. I will be making this again!

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  19. Cjackson says:

    Can you use real red chili for this recipe and just substitute it for the tomato sauce?

    • Mel says:

      Cjackson – Definitely worth a try – I haven’t made it like that. Each brand of red enchilada sauce differs so make sure you like the taste of whatever brand used. Good luck.

  20. Valerie says:

    I microwave my corn tortillas in damp paper towels and that seems to help with the pliability factor.

  21. Katie says:

    Hi Mel, I tried this recipe a couple weeks ago, and it was fantastic!! I will definitely make them again. Indeed, the sauce is loads better than canned sauce. My question to you is have you ever made a huge batch of the sauce and then frozen it in portions for later use? I would love to just whip out the red sauce for any other recipe that calls for enchilada sauce instead of using a can.

    • Mel says:

      Katie – I haven’t done that but think it’s a great idea. I’m actually working on a homemade red enchilada sauce (version of this) that can be portioned and frozen/canned.

    • Andrea says:

      I have frozen red chile sauce made from scratch (from. New Mexico chile pods) that I had leftover from my Xmas tamales. I pulled it out of the freezer 5 months later and it’s just as delicious. I stored it in a plastic container.

  22. Maureen Widmer says:

    I found this post & literally danced in my kitchen! I love-love-love enchiladas, and am proud to say that they are resting comfortably before being devoured by my crew. A couple points I’d like to offer:

    1) I used chicken from a bird I boiled yesterday. I just tossed the hot sauce over the shredded meat and allowed it to “hang out” until it cooled enough to add the cheese.
    2) I somehow have it in my head that the tortillas are supposed to also be ‘slathered’ in some of the sauce before adding the cheese / chicken mixture. This helped to soften the corn tortillas a little more, no tearing!
    3) When softening corn tortillas, make sure that the plastic wrap is tightly sealed – it is the steam that softens them! (Although fried in oil sure sounds yummy too!)
    4) I didn’t add the cheese until I removed the foil. I allowed it to melt & turned off the oven. The enchiladas will ‘rest’ in the oven until the Spanish rice (Mahatma brand – best there is!) and beans are almost ready. I’ll pull them just before to allow them to rest at room temp.
    5) If you are going to make ahead and freeze, I would offer that the tin foil MUST be sprayed with oil or the cheese will eat through the foil. I know this from experience! Alternately, omit the cheese until fully cooked and add for just the last few minutes to melt.

    I made a large pan of flour and a smaller pan of corn for me (gluten intolerant…boo-hiss.)

    I so appreciate this post, and am looking forward to many wonderful dinners to come! We are having a Latino guest for supper tonight…let’s see what the verdict is! (But I don’t really care…this recipe is a keeper!)

    Finally, I’m curious whether the canning debate ever got settled? I’d like to make a bunch of this up & pressure can it, but am concerned about acidity levels, even using commercially canned tomato sauce.

    Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have tips or tricks or a recipe you’d like to share!

    Best to you & your family…and thanks so much again!

    P.S. The green enchiladas are next!!! I still have leftover chicken! 😉

    • Mel says:

      Hi Maureen – I hope your family loved the enchiladas! As far as the canning goes, I haven’t tried canning this yet so I can’t give any details but I’ll be sure to report back if/when I do. Thanks!

  23. Celeste says:

    Best enchiladas ever, seriously.

  24. Lizzie says:

    I made these last night, and my husband said they are the best enchiladas he’s ever had! My tortillas stuck to the foil in the oven, so they weren’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever made, but who cares what they look like if they taste that good!

  25. denise says:

    Made these Sunday night, ate for lunch Monday and Tuesday. Thinking about making again this weekend!!!! so delish!!!! wow!!!!

  26. Catherine says:

    These enchiladas were so good! Thank you for the recipe. I served them with cilantro and lime rice, which my husband said went together perfectly. In fact, he commented on it again this morning. You know it was good when they are still talking about the food the next morning.
    It took me a long time to chop, cook, assemble and bake these enchiladas, but they were worth it. I made a double batch and I’ll definitely do that again to make the time:food ratio worth it. I second Mel’s earlier comment: you only need to 1 1/2 times the sauce recipe in order to make a double batch.
    My corn tortillas held together in the pan, until I served them. Then they fell apart, so it was like a casserole on your plate, but it tasted heavenly.

  27. Stephanie says:

    I made this recipe for friends tonight and it was a big hit! I will be making it again for sure:)

  28. Meemz says:

    I made this recipe twice and we love it. Thank you so much 🙂

  29. Misty says:

    I have made this a dozen times and my family LOVES it! It is a favorite in our house now!

  30. Kim says:

    Looks Yummy! Just wondering if this can be made with your crepe recipe instead of using the store bought tortillas??

  31. Deb says:

    Super yum! The only change I made was to slice the chicken before simmering in the sauce so that delicious flavor would permeate every bite. I will never buy jarred enchilada sauce again.

  32. Jennifer says:

    This sauce is absolutely the BEST! Even my picky 6 year old liked it. The only thing I would have done different is use flour tortillas instead of corn. The corn tortillas ended up getting soggy but still tasted just fine. I will be making this again.

  33. Jen says:

    These are the bomb. This is the recipe that brought me to discover Mel. I really did not like making enchiladas because of the processed sauce. The one thing I change in this recipe is that I don’t strain the sauce. I throw it all in my Blendtec and its awesome. It makes it way easier. Bon appetite!

  34. Suzi says:

    Made these tonight–they were delicious! It was kind of time consuming (I’m a slower cook anyways), but worth it! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂 Great to know they can be made ahead of time!

  35. Amir in SD says:

    Excellent recipe! My kids and I loved them. I am excited to try another recipe from your awesome site but I have so much leftover, I can’t wait to eat them again tomorrow.

  36. Lindy says:

    I have made these before and I am a huge fan! I am always trying to cut back on prep time and I know that others have mentioned cooking the chicken in a crockpot first. I know you probably haven’t tried this, but what about 1 1/2ing the enchilada sauce recipe and tossing the pre shredded chicken with some of the sauce? I’m going to try that in the next few weeks and post a comment with a review.

  37. EmilyF says:

    These are perfect. One of my favorite recipes from you thus far, and that is saying something!

  38. […] made chicken enchiladas for dinner last night. So far, this has been the best recipe that I’ve found. I made a few […]

  39. Mallory says:

    Mel, I have some chicken that I cooked in the crockpot with taco seasoning and chicken broth. Do you think that would work with this recipe? If not, do you have any other recipes you think I could use it in? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Mallory – sure, you could try it. I’ve never used chicken prepared that way so you’ll have to experiment to make sure the flavors work out. You might try searching (use the search bar in the right sidebar) for “shredded chicken” and see what recipes pull up that you might sub your prepared chicken in.

  40. […] couple recipes that I made for my family while they were here for the holidays. Both the chili and chicken enchiladas were tasty. These are for you Raina, […]

  41. Sarah says:

    This recipe is INCREDIBLE. The sauce was perfect and the final result was even better than I thought it would be. My only suggestion would be to cook the chicken in the sauce for a full 30 mins to ensure tenderness and wonderful flavor.
    This recipe is a definite keeper! Thanks for sharing!

  42. Greg says:

    If you don’t want to dip your corn tortillas in oil to soften them just spray them lightly with cooking spray and heat until pliable in a frying pan.

  43. blessings says:

    […] caught up on her life a little, felt good about myself and my house is clean, dogs groomed and red chile chicken enchiladas made for dinner. Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  44. Jennifer A says:

    Umm. sorry about that. I meant to make the creamy green chile enchilada for the shredded chicken and wrote down the wrong name on my frozen chicken. I’ll let you know how the enchiladas taste w/o having simmered in the sauce.

  45. Jennifer A says:

    Mel, quick question for you. Earlier this week you showed how you made shredded chicken in advance using ATK method. I did so for this recipe. How do I best incorporate the sauce and simmer when it’s already cooked and I’m to strain the onions? I was confused how to do this. Thoughts?

  46. Mel says:

    Salem – I’ve never tried them with anything but chicken. If you do, let me know how they turn out!

  47. Salem says:

    So would these be okay with hamburger instead of chicken? I have some in the fridge that I need to use…. P.S. Thanks for your reply about the cornmeal rolls….I was glad I didn’t need to start over. They turned out great!!

  48. Kim in MD2 says:

    I made these enchiladas last week. You weren’t kidding about tasty. I have the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, so I used a combination of their recipe (ground coriander added to the spice mix) & yours (fresh jalapeno instead of canned; double the amount of chicken). I doubt I’ll bother getting my red chile sauce chicken enchilada fix at a restaurant anymore. These take some time to make, but it was nice having lunch & dinner done for several days.

  49. Mel says:

    Brooke, I’m not sure about all the enchilada recipes but I’ve frozen these with great success.

  50. […] Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe  […]

  51. Brooke Warren says:

    On any of your enchilada recipes, how well do they freeze?

  52. Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas « Another Bite Please says:

    […] another recipe from one of my favorites – if not thee favorite blog I follow.  Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. She states it will make 12 enchiladas. I must fill mine full cause I’ve only ever made 10 […]

  53. Angela @ AnotherBitePlease says:

    This recipe is SO good. First time made for family dinner and was SO impressed. Second time made for friends and she had to have the recipe too. Third time I am made with leftover pulled pork and AmAzING!!! Love your blog!

  54. Menu Plan Monday - Plate4Eight says:

    […] Monday – Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas […]

  55. Lisa says:

    OMG I just made these for dinner tonight and they were to die for! My boyfriend said they tasted like they came from a restaurant. 🙂 Thank you so much for posting. I WILL be making these again!

  56. Jennifer Perez says:

    Just made these and they came out delicious!!!! The tip to making the corn tortillas soft is to dip them or brush them in a little olive oil and heat them on a skillet. Yummy!

  57. john says:

    great reecipe and a twist to it instead of water (1 cup) added to red sauce use chicken stock. I also make a shredded beef enchilada in this red sauce, awesome…

  58. john says:

    For all who love the corn tortillas, fry them (tortillas) till they start to bubble on each side then dip in red sauce which softens them a bit. This process will allow you to roll them, keep flavor and will hold together!

  59. McKenzi says:

    These look amazing! I noticed someone asked how they make these with corn tortillas without them splitting. My husband is Mexican and the way his family does tacos or enchiladas is with corn tortillas and they never split. Unfortunately, it isn’t very healthy. Put a small amount of oil in the bottom of a fry pan to cover the entire bottom. Fry each tortilla for 3 seconds on each side, set on paper towl to blot, then fill and roll.

  60. March Menu Plan | | Wholesome WomanhoodWholesome Womanhood says:

    […] Strata Tuesday – Chicken Pot Pie Wednesday – Spicy Cheeseburger Soup Thursday – Chicken Enchiladas Friday – Pizza Dinner – Long Boy […]

  61. Melanie says:

    I have never been a fan of red enchilada sauce from the can. I saw you had a homemade one, I gave it a try and I will never have chicken enchiladas any other way again! LOVED it! Thanks for sharing!

  62. I’ve tried other recipes for enchilada sauce before, and have always been disappointed. I came across this recipe and loved the simplicity of it. I followed it to the T, just adding corn and green chiles ’cause that’s how we like them. I’m thrilled to say the enchiladas turned out fantastic! The sauce has just the right flavor without overdoing it, and it thickened up nicely. This is definitely a keeper. I’m so glad to have found a red sauce recipe I’m happy with, I’ll never have to buy it again! Thanks so much for sharing.


  63. DD says:

    Just made these and they were wonderful! I used chipotle chili powder for a more smokey flavor. One jalapeno offers flavor, but little heat, so next time I might use two =)


  64. […] from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe /* Cancel […]

  65. […] Mel’s Kitchen Café, who adapted it from Pink Parsley, originally from America’s Test […]

  66. Mel says:

    Ashely – I think the chicken will be missing a bit of flavor, but I’m all about shortcuts so I definitely think it’s worth a try. Let me know how it goes!

  67. Ashley S says:

    Mel this recipe looks fantastic! I plan to make it on a week night for dinner. Woul it work to cook the chicken ahead of time in the crockpot and shred that way or will it not be as flavorful? Thanks!!

  68. Alicia says:

    I have made this no less than 3 times since I decided to try it. The hubby loves it, by the way. It’s a good thing it’s such a delicious recipe, because it gets lots of requests at my house…but it’s a bit labor intensive. I tried to find ways to cut back in the labor department… I cooked the chicken in a crock pot with a jar of salsa until it was falling apart. I made the sauce as usual, and then (since I was running late) I made it casserole style by layering tortillas, sauce, meat and cheese in a 9X13 pan. They turned out delicious and the whole family loved them (again) including the grumpy pants who doesn’t like anything new. I’m trying to figure out if there is a way to make this a mostly crock pot meal. The chicken is so tender this way. And packed with flavor, too!

  69. Angela says:

    I just made these last night for dinner and my husband said it was the best enchilada sauce he has ever had!!!!! love your blog.

  70. Mel says:

    Beverly – I’ve never made them in advance so I’m not sure if they would get soggy but I’ve made other enchiladas in advance so it may work. I’d suggest maybe only making them 8 hours ahead of time. You could make all the components (like sauce/chicken/grated cheese) ahead of time and then pull it out and assemble quickly before dinner. Good luck!

  71. Beverly says:

    Your recipe looks tasty and sounds straight forward. How much prep can you do ahead of time? as maybe 1 day ahead? or would it be soggy? Thanks so much for what looks yummy and fresh. Could I make it all and throw in the frig. then pull out only to add grated cheese and bake? I need a timesaver for actual day of dinner.

  72. Alli says:

    My whole family loved your recipe! 🙂 Thank you!

  73. Kendra says:

    I know everyone has said it but I had to add in… I LOVE THIS RECIPE!!!! and I’m not an enchilada lover. Made these a few weeks ago and I am making them again tonight. YUMM

  74. :D says:

    What kind of chili powder do you use? Ancho chili powder or just regular chili powder lableled as “chili powder?”

  75. Debora Cadene says:

    This was A-FREAKIN-AMAZING. Is that a word? Thank you for the recipie. Just found you and made this for supper last night. I used chicken thighs instead of the chicken breasts, but everything else was the same for the base and I made a crepe like noodle for the wrap instead of the actual wraps. LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is a keeper.

  76. Mika says:

    I just tried these a few days ago, they came out delicious!

  77. […] Tuesday: Red Chili Sauce Chicken Enchiladas […]

  78. made this tonight and couldn’t get enough! thanks for sharing – so delicious!

  79. Amy says:

    I tried these last week and LOVED them! My husband isn’t a huge fan of red sauce but he loved these as well. This recipe will for sure be a repeat! Thanks for all the work you do and for giving us such yummy recipes! 🙂

  80. Crystal says:

    To keep tortillas from splitting and tearing, I always microwave a stack of them between 2 damp paper towels (one on top and on bottom) and it softens them without drying this out. Hope this helps!

  81. Jenna B says:

    Made these last night and they were a hit! Leftovers were even tastier today. Love that the chicken cooks in the sauce. I omitted the jalepeno since my kids don’t love spicy and used corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are the way to go with this delicious dinner. Thanks for another staple for my family. We have now converted to red because green is normally all we eat and now I can mix it up a bit. Thanks, Mel! Great recipe!

  82. […] Monday: Red Chile Enchiladas, refried beans ~ I am so excited about this. Hope it’s as good as it smells! […]

  83. Melissa says:

    Delicious. I usually cook green chili and sour cream chicken enchiladas. My family loves them, but I have been in the mood for red enchiladas. This recipe was awesome. We ate them. They were different than what we usually have in AZ and I loved it. I didn’t have cumin on hand, but they were great anywas. My new red enchilada favorite.

  84. Shawna says:

    I made this recipe tonight with rave reviews from my family! I made one pan of corn and one pan of flour… my husband and daughter voted for the flour but I loved the authentic!! Thank you for this recipe, I too had stopped making enchiladas because the canned sauce was terrible. I am so excited to be able to add it back to my regular rotation for the fall and winter! I also made your buttermilk banana bread…I will let you know how we like it but it looks and smells fabulous!

  85. Alicia says:

    Made these tonight and they were perfect. Hubby loved them. Even the pickiest eater in the world ate them. (Amazing!!!) And the 6 year old asked for seconds. I did make a few minor changes: I used green pepper instead of jalapeno, and I left the strained onions and peppers out of the chicken mixture. For me, it was perfect. I don’t like a lot of heat. But thank you, thank you for posting this. It was just what I’ve been looking for!

  86. grace says:

    whenever it’s an option, i go for the christmas enchilada plate, as i like both red and green sauces equally. long live the enchilada indeed!

  87. Kristina says:

    I made these for dinner tonight. So. Good. The roommate kept exclaiming it with every bite. I left out the garlic, used tomato puree instead of sauce (no garlic), and soy cheese, and it was fabulous! Thank you so much for the recipe! It’s a keeper!

  88. Tami says:

    Definitely the best enchiladas I’ve ever made. Not too spicy but packed with flavor. Corn tortillas are a must. Delish. Thanks Mel.

  89. Kendell says:

    Made these last night and they were fantastic! I too never make enchiladas with red sauce cause I can’t find one that I like. Definitely a keeper!

  90. Cammee says:

    I have never had a red chicken enchilada, we always do red with beef. I can’t wait to give this a try. The only enchiladas I haven’t been a fan of are the ones people make with hamburger and cream of crap soup…ick!

  91. Good grief these look beyond fabulous! What a brilliant recipe, one of a crazy amount on your site 🙂

  92. mariss says:

    My suggestion for a sub for jalepenos, would be Anaheim green chilies, or pasila (not sure I have the correct spelling on that one) as they are not quite as spicy as the famed jalepeno. The same rule of thumb also goes here to lessen any heat to remove the seeds and the membrane (especially as that is where most the heat is from).

    A thought about corn tortillas that crack, if the microwave method doesnt work, try lightly coating with a pastry brush each tortilla with oil-very lightly- and warm them on a skillet. I stack 2-3 at a time and turn over swapping the center ones to the heat etc. This softens them and gives them a bit of flavor as well, but not overly oily.

  93. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. Many of the ingredients in other enchilada sauce recipes just aren’t readily available and/or are very expensive down here in New Zealand. I prefer to cook from scratch and I can so easily work with your recipe – though I wont be using cilantro as sadly I can’t stand the taste (my sister inherited the “cilantro enjoyment taste gene”, but not me).

    I’ve bookmarked this recipe and just happen to have a packet of decent corn tortilla lurking in the freezer 😀

  94. Jill says:

    I can’t stand canned enchilada sauce so I usually make creamy green chile enchiladas. Made these for dinner tonight. YUMMM…they were great! My 2 year-old helped me wrap the enchiladas and she had a hard time taking a break from scarfing the shredded chicken/cheese mixture to scoop it onto the tortillas for me. And she usually doesn’t like chicken. My sauce was a little too thick because I used extra tough chicken that had to simmer for a loooong time. I should have added a little water to compensate for my extra-long simmer time. Because of that the enchiladas were a little drier than I like them, but still fantastic. Thanks for the tasty recipe!

  95. Melissa says:

    I have been waiting for this recipe my whole life. Maybe not my whole life, but pretty darn near. I made it tonight, and WOW. I was honestly drinking the sauce from the bottom of the pan. My only mild complaint was how long it took to make. Maybe it’s because I used large bone-in breasts, but the chicken took 45 minutes to cook in the sauce. Next time I plan to use smaller breasts, and maybe even cut them in half to speed up the process. But otherwise it was just phenomenal. Thank you again for the continued tastiness!

  96. Cathy says:

    This were so good..i could drink the sauce by itself!! very addictive flavor… Next time will make with corn, though. The flour tortillas were a little too soft.

  97. Jenna says:

    I made these last night and they were fantastic! I substituted green chiles for the jalapeños. It gave them a kick, without being too spicy (because we are wimps). I have been making things from your site for a few months and everything has turned out wonderfully! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  98. Tina B. says:

    These were the best enchiladas I’ve ever made! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! You photo alone was a quick sell – gorgeous shot!

  99. Melisa says:

    Super fabuloso! I doubled the recipe–however, I am sad to report that there is not enough for leftovers for tomorrow. I guess I am going to have to make dinner again tomorrow night. 🙂

  100. These look and sound great! I can’t wait to try them out. Also can’t wait to try the creamy green chile ones. Yum 🙂

  101. Marie says:

    What can I substitute for the jalapeno? (and still have it taste like it’s suppose to but not spicy).

    • Mel says:

      Marie – there really isn’t anything to sub for the jalapeno and have the sauce taste exactly the same. The sauce isn’t overly spicy – the jalapeno offers flavor but not heat, especially if you take out the seeds and membrane, but if you really don’t want to use it, simply leave it out.

  102. Rachel says:

    These are incredibly tasty! Both my husband and I woke up thinking about them! And can’t wait for lunch to enjoy them again. If there is anything we love in our house it’s enchiladas! We made it Mexican night and made this dish with beans, salad and Sangria with limes, delicioso!

  103. Natalie says:

    These look incredible! I’ve been searching for a great enchilada recipe!

  104. Maria says:

    I am always in the mood for enchiladas! They look great!

  105. JoAnn says:

    Keep the delicious recipes coming! I’ve made the Cuban street tacos several times and this recipe is going on my menu for next week. I am SO happy for all these fresh, tasty ideas.

  106. Jenny says:

    These were wonderful! Thanks for sharing your yummy recipe.

  107. Danielle says:

    I made these last night, and my quest for yummy red enchiladas is over! Like you, I had just about given up because of my dislike for canned sauce. Even my pickiest eater loved these, and suggested we have them more often. I loved the sauce which was perfectly delicious and didn’t drown out the other flavors. Thanks once again for a yummy dinner!

  108. Brittany says:

    I was trying to decided from your picture but couldn’t tell for sure-do you use corn or flour tortillas when you make these?

    • Mel says:

      Brittany – I’ve made them both ways but in the picture, they are flour tortillas. My husband isn’t a fan of corn tortillas. I am. So 50% of the time I make enchiladas with corn and 50% with flour. They are delicious either way.

  109. Looks good. I will have to try this. This Texas girl loves a good enchilada!

  110. Sarah says:

    So completely fabulous. We made these for dinner tonight and will be making them again soon. (I’m presently wondering if tomorrow is too soon.) We used Ancho pepper for the chili powder and served it with fresh corn. Also, I had pepper jack cheese instead of the Monterey Jack.

  111. There’s just something about enchiladas that gets me every time. Love these!

  112. Kristina says:

    My roommate and I were literally talking yesterday about making some homemade chicken enchiladas! This recipe is so incredibly timely! I have an allergy to garlic, so making homemade sauces is critical in our house. I’m definitely going to give this one a go! All those yummy flavors should hopefully mask the absence of the garlic. 🙂

  113. Rachel Moody says:

    Now not only do I love you, but my husband will love you now too 🙂

  114. Mariann says:

    I’m such a dork, but this recipe really excited me. I’ve already put the ingredients on my list.

  115. Brenda says:

    Somewhat of an enchilada snob too, but for me it’s about the tortillas…we prefer corn to flour for enchiladas. I can’t find a corn tortilla that becomes pliable enough to be rolled. I warm them in the micro as directed, but they always split and tear on me when I roll them. Any tips??

    • Mel says:

      Brenda – the few times I’ve had success with corn tortillas are the times I’ve bought them from the local Mexican grocery store. They make them fresh every day and they are fantastic. You might check out any potential local Mexican grocery stores to see if they offer the same thing.

    • Diane says:

      I dredge the tortillas (corn or flour) in a bit of the the enchilada sauce (in a pie plate) and briefly cook them on each side tip slightly browned. Stack them tip they are all cooked and fill them after . Perfect every time.

  116. Julia L. says:

    Mmm! I also stumbled across your site while looking for canned ‘cream of whatever’ subsitutes. Thank goodness! I’ve got 4 little ones (2 are twins) and all your yummy posts have renewed my love (and determination) of cooking. 🙂

    Just one question: do you think the jarred jalapenos would work in this? I recall seeing a previous post that used them, and if they work for multiple recipes I would totally go grab a jar, as I don’t keep fresh ones on hand . . . yet. Thanks again for everything Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Julia – yes, I think the jarred jalapenos would work fine in this recipe (take care of the seeds in the jarred ones – they can add more spice than if you seed the fresh jalapeno yourself). Good luck!

  117. Jen G says:

    Hey Mel, these enchiladas look delicious! Last year I found out that I’m allergic to gluten and soy which, as you probably know, excludes me from being able to eat practically anything processed. This website has been such a blessing because I can make tasty meals for my family without using a can of cream of ???? soup or canned enchilada sauce. I just wanted to thank you so much for your recipes and hard work, and wanted to make sure you knew that our family has certainly been blessed through your efforts. Thank you!

  118. Julie says:

    Oh how I’d love to have these on my table tonight! Delivery perhaps?

  119. THIS. IS. PERFECT! I was planning on making enchiladas tonight for dinner! Now I can’t wait!

  120. Sara Q. says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe!! I have a large family..will doubling the recipe work? I’ve doubled some recipes before and they don’t work out as expected. I love everything you share!

    • Mel says:

      Sara Q. – I’ve never doubled this recipe but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work (it makes quite a bit of sauce so you might get away with 1 1/2-ing the sauce and doubling everything else).

  121. Faith says:

    These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them 🙂 I too am a red sauce snob, and I have to share this recipe I got from a beautiful old Mexican lady in our church years ago. It’s simple and we use it all the time:

    1/2 cup flour
    1/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup oil
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 tbsp cumin
    1 tbsp chili powder

    Brown the flour in a plain skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Add butter and oil, stir until absorbed. Pour in chicken broth, stir. Then and cumin and chili powder and stir until thick.

  122. Nikki says:

    You should also try the ATK version BEEF enchiladas. They are so delicious, and reheat great, too. I’m going to try this chicken version, for sure!

  123. Kira says:

    Since finding your honely lime enchiladas we rarely even think about making any other type! We just might have to give these a try.

  124. Deborah says:

    I love red enchiladas, but have never been able to do a from scratch sauce that I’ve liked. I have got to try this!!

  125. Lindsay says:

    I have been looking for a good homemade enchilada sauce recipe! How timely your post is! 🙂 I was just wondering one thing… do you thicken your sauce at all? Adding cornstarch to the 1 c. water before mixing it in? It seems like it would be so runny, otherwise… I appreciate your feedback! We love your site! Your tastes/recipes align with ours, so your website is a go-to for us! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Lindsay – I make the sauce according to the recipe and it is on the thinner side but it didn’t bother us at all. Feel free to thicken if you want a thicker sauce, though.

  126. Hi Mel! We moved back to Texas last month and I’m still waiting for the slow boat to bring the rest of my kitchen tools, but wanted to let you know this was the first recipe of yours I’ve concocted since I was in Taiwan and I’m so excited about it! The sauce is amazing and I’m a huge red sauce enchilada fan. Thanks for the inspiration! It’s 9:30 am here in Texas, and I’ve got lunch already whipped up.

  127. Sara says:

    I was just thinking I need a homemade red enchilada sauce recipe. Thanks! I LOVE all your recipes!

  128. Kim in MD says:

    I am a red enchilada sauce snob, too! If you love this recipe, I know I will love it. It doesn’t hurt that it is an America’s Test Kitchen recipe, either. They are such a trusted source for recipes and techniques! Thanks for sharing, Mel!

  129. Alicia says:

    I am going to be trying these this week. My hubby has been craving enchiladas and these look like they will fit the bill. I haven’t made enchiladas in years either! It’s about time, I think! Thanks for posting this one!

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