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can we start “enchilada thursday?”

It might not be as catchy as “Taco Tuesday,” but I think “Enchilada Thursday” should definitely catch on.

I wanted to share this chicken enchiladas recipe today because it’s one of our favorite uses of leftovers and it is SO easy.  You can make it all same day with ground beef or ground turkey taco meat, too, if you prefer.  But I prefer to go the easy route and make the shredded chicken this way (the Mexican chicken version) a day or two beforehand.  I make extra so that I can use the leftovers to make enchiladas – that way, I already have the meat ready and all I have to do is put some sauce in a pan and roll up some enchiladas and bake them.  It looks impressive and tastes delicious, but it’s really really easy.  You could also double or triple the recipe for entertaining – a big ole pan of enchiladas is a great meal for groups of people and it’s something you don’t have to babysit and can make ahead of time and throw in the oven 25 min before you’re ready to eat.

I also cook up some saffron rice on the side because it goes really well with enchiladas (and cools your mouth off if you add exorbitant amounts of a hot sauce to your enchiladas like we do.)

Find the super easy recipe and photos below!

  • Approximately one pound of your choice of taco meat – ground beef, ground turkey or this recipe for shredded Mexican chicken
  • 1 package or can of red enchilada sauce — I prefer Frontera enchilada sauce (pictured below)
  • Mexican style or chihuahua cheese for topping the enchiladas
  • tortillas (I prefer flour, but corn is also great!)
  • cooking spray to coat your pan
  • yellow (saffron) rice on the side – cook to package directions
  • baking pan

I always start by pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees.  I then take an extra step and brown up my tortillas – this is absolutely optional, I just feel like it adds an extra layer of crispiness and flavor.  I brown them on the burner of my gas stove and just flip them when they get a little toasted (like the photo above).

Spray your pan with the cooking spray, then add coat the pan with about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.

After that, start rolling your enchiladas.  All you do is take the tortilla and portion out some of the meat into it.  Roll it up and put it to the edge of the pan.  Roll each tortilla with meat into it until you have a full pan.

I used large tortillas (fajita size) when I made these.  You can see how they’re rolled on the edge in the photo above.  You then use the rest of the enchilada sauce and top the enchiladas so that they are evenly covered.  

Then top those babies with as much cheese as your heart desires and pop them into the oven.  I make the saffron rice during this time because it takes about 20 minutes to cook.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.  If you like the top a little crispy (we do), put your oven on broil for a minute or two.  But be sure to watch these like a hawk because they can go from crispy to burn in just seconds when the oven is on broil.

Serve them up with some rice, maybe a little sour cream if you like it (my hubby always eats enchiladas with sour cream and salsa on top), and some cilantro if you like/have it.

Or just eat them as is, like I do… they are just delicious and the best way to repurpose some leftover taco meat!

xo, tess

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