Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

If you haven’t had these green chile chicken enchiladas, you are missing out! The quick and easy from-scratch cheesy, creamy white sauce takes them over the top!

There are those days that call for enchiladas.

And there are those days that scream for enchiladas, if you know what I mean.

And today is a screaming day.

If you haven’t made these creamy green chile chicken enchiladas, you have not lived.

Pinned over 50,000 times, there’s a reason they are so popular.

They don’t just look good on Pinterest…they ARE good.

Crazy good.

I first posted this recipe waaay back when in 2010 and many, many of you have made these enchiladas and loved them (just a quick glance through the comments affirms this).

Growing up, my mom made enchiladas for dinner a lot.

A lot, a lot.

And it wasn’t until college that I realized chicken enchiladas are sometimes, often…ok, usually, made with red sauce.

What?!? Creamy white chicken enchiladas were all I knew.

My existence completely revolved around them.

(P.S.: It wasn’t until this divine red sauce version came into my life that I finally admitted, just slightly, that red sauce enchiladas should even be players in the enchilada field.)

Over the years I’ve tweaked my mom’s fabulous recipe to use a really simple homemade white sauce + added hearty white beans and a touch of creaminess to the chicken and green chile filling.

They are easy and delicious – the perfect combo for a weeknight meal.

AND, they can be made ahead of time. I’ve made them the night before or the morning of, and they bake up great after being refrigerated for a little bit.

I’ve even frozen them (a big hooray for freezer meals!).

The texture of the tortillas and of the sauce tends to change a bit upon freezing and then baking later (the tortillas soften quite a bit), but it doesn’t bother us.

If you’ve made these in the past, be sure to check out the notes of the recipe below.

While I’ve left the recipe the same, I’ve added some variations and substitutions that I use quite often now (that tends to happen when you’ve made the same recipe for almost a decade).

And all that means for you is that the recipe is even easier and more adaptable.

They can be made with flour or corn tortillas, with white beans or without, with canned green chiles or with green enchilada sauce or salsa verde.

After all this time, creamy “white” green chile chicken enchiladas are still one of my favorite meals ever.

Mexican Rice
Fresh, seasonal fruit
Roasted broccoli or asparagus
Garnishes such as lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, extra cheese, or cherry tomatoes

One Year Ago: Almond Joy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two Years Ago: Cinnamon & Sugar Dusted Whole Grain Applesauce Muffins
Three Years Ago: Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers {With a Slow Cooker Variation}
Four Years Ago: Smothered Sweet Pork Burritos
Five Years Ago: Peaches and Cream Sensation

Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

5
5 / 5 (9 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 3 cups cooked, chopped chicken (a rotisserie chicken works great here or this simple method for quick, cooked shredded chicken)
  • 2 cans (4-ounces each) green chiles, lightly drained (see note)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, light or regular, softened and cubed
  • 1 can (15-ounces) white or black beans, rinsed and drained (you can really use any type of bean you prefer here or leave them out)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) green chile enchilada sauce (or salsa verde) – homemade version here
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, light or regular

Assembly:

  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 8 medium (soft taco size) flour or corn tortillas
  • Handful of chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and green chiles. Mix well. Add the chicken, beans, cilantro and lime juice. Mix to combine. Set aside.
  3. For the sauce: in a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. As you whisk and the mixture cooks, the flour will get less lumpy around the onions and the mixture will become smooth. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is bubbling and has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the enchilada sauce and sour cream.
  4. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce in a thin layer on the bottom of the dish. Fill each tortilla with about 1/2 cup of the chicken/cream cheese filling. Top with a small handful of shredded cheese, a couple tablespoonfuls for each enchilada. Save at least 1/2 cup cheese for the top of the enchiladas.
  5. Roll the tortillas up and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling enchiladas until the dish is full (I get about 8 enchiladas for this recipe; the exact number will depend on the size of tortillas).
  6. Pour the white sauce over the top of the enchiladas and spread evenly. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the enchiladas are bubbling, hot and lightly browned. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the top and serve.

Notes:

You can sub out the green chiles completely and use storebought or homemade green enchilada sauce or salsa verde. Use about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of sauce in place of the green chiles in the filling. 

I wouldn’t classify these enchiladas as being overly saucy (because I’m ethically opposed to soggy tortillas); if you like things on the saucier side, consider doubling the sauce. 

Make Ahead Instructions: Follow the recipe instructions, letting the sauce cool to warm room temperature before proceeding with filling the enchiladas. Assemble the enchiladas as directed in the recipe with the cooled sauce. Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-12 hours before baking. Bake according to the recipe, adding an additional 5-10 minutes if needed since the enchiladas were refrigerated. Alternately, after assembling, the baking pan can be covered with a double layer of foil and put in a jumbo-sized resealable bag and frozen for up to two months. Bake from frozen by decreasing the baking temperature to 350 degrees F and baking the enchiladas covered for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour until the dish is hot and bubbly.

All images and text ©.

Follow @melskitchencafe on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #melskitchencafe. I love seeing all the goodness you are whipping up in your kitchens!

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Recipe originally posted May 2010; updated with new pictures, recipe notes and commentary.