Homemade Chicken Enchiladas with my Easy Enchilada Sauce are totally my jam.
There are sauce people and there are non-sauce people. I am definitely a sauce person. In fact, with many dishes, I’d be happy to leave the “main” ingredient out and just eat the sauce—maybe ladled over rice or sopped up with hunks of crusty bread. Ever since I can remember, I’ve based my meal choices on the sauce rather than on what was being sauced.
At a Thai restaurant, do I want fish cakes with sweet chili sauce or beef satay with peanut sauce? If pressed, I’ll always choose peanut sauce (although I do love fish cakes. And sweet chile sauce. Who am I kidding? I order both).
There’s a Peruvian restaurant in my neighborhood that I love, not for any particular dish or even a selection of dishes, but for the spicy-tangy cilantro dipping sauce they bring with whatever you order.
And in a Mexican restaurant, you can be sure I’m going to gravitate to anything that comes covered in any kind of mole or red chile sauce. I’ve shared my favorite Easy Enchilada Sauce recipe on the blog before, pairing it with tamales for the winter holidays. This delicious sauce, though, shows up on my table much more frequently on my homemade chicken enchiladas.
Why Chicken Enchiladas?
As usual, it is really the red chile sauce that gets me excited about enchiladas, but I do love how versatile the recipe is. I’m sharing my recipe for black bean and chicken enchiladas here because it is my family’s favorite incarnation. And also, to be honest, because I love that I can cook a whole chicken in my air fryer. It makes the most tender, succulent shredded chicken filling for my enchiladas.
That said, I love enchiladas filled with all sorts of other things, too. A favorite vegetarian combo is butternut squash (or sweet potato) with black beans, mushrooms, and spinach. I think shredded beef would also be a great match with this rich, spicy sauce.Print
These easy chicken enchiladas are a super simple and very satisfying meal, especially if you already have some Easy Enchilada Sauce in the fridge or freezer. I heat the tortillas in the microwave rather than frying them one at a time in oil. It’s much easier that way, and you easily cut a bunch of calories from the dish. If you’re really pressed for time, you can skip heating the tortillas and just layer the tortillas and filling lasagna-style for an enchilada casserole.
1 ½ pounds shredded cooked chicken (I used Air Fryer Whole Chicken, but you could use a rotisserie chicken or any leftover cooked chicken)
2 cups (about ½ batch) Easy Enchilada Sauce (or use an equal quantity of store-bought sauce), divided
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
10 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
Sliced scallions or chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the chicken, beans, and several large spoonfuls of sauce.
- Spoon ½ cup or so of the sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- Wrap the tortillas in a slightly damp, clean dishtowel and heat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
- Lay one of the warmed tortillas on the sauce in the baking dish, and then flip it over to sauce up the other side. Put some of the chicken-and-bean mixture in a line down the center and then roll the tortilla up around the filling. Place the filled and rolled enchilada in the baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling, using more sauce to coat the tortillas as needed.
- Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas in the baking dish and sprinkle the cheese over the top.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling, the enchiladas are heated through, and the cheese is fully melted.
- Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot, garnished with scallions or cilantro, if using.