White Chicken Enchiladas


Everyday Culinary Delights 👩‍🍳


White Chicken Enchiladas are a staple in Mexican cuisine, offering a delicious blend of tender shredded chicken, creamy sauce, and melted cheese, all wrapped up in soft flour tortillas. This dish has won the hearts of many, not just for its irresistible taste but also for its simplicity and versatility in preparation. Originating from Mexico, enchiladas have been adapted in numerous ways, but the white chicken variety stands out for its creamy, comforting flavor profile that appeals to a wide audience.

The basic ingredients for White Chicken Enchiladas include soft taco-size flour tortillas, cooked shredded chicken, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, butter, all-purpose flour, chicken broth, sour cream, and diced green chilies. Each component plays a crucial role in building the layers of flavor and texture that make this dish so beloved. The creamy sauce, enriched with sour cream and green chilies, perfectly complements the savory chicken, all encased in a soft tortilla and topped with gooey cheese. Learn more about the origin of enchiladas and their place in Mexican cuisine.

Preparing White Chicken Enchiladas is a straightforward process, ideal for both weeknight dinners and special occasions. The key to a successful dish lies in the quality of the ingredients and the care taken in each step of the preparation. From mixing the chicken and cheese for the filling to creating the smooth, flavorful sauce that blankets the rolled tortillas, every element contributes to the final, delightful result. For those interested in exploring the full range of enchilada recipes, including variations on the classic white chicken enchilada, Pinterest offers a wealth of ideas to inspire your next meal.

Ingredients Overview

Crafting the perfect White Chicken Enchiladas starts with gathering the right ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need for this savory dish:

  • 8 flour tortillas (soft taco size): The base of the enchiladas, these should be pliable and soft.
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken: You can boil, roast, or use leftover chicken. The key is to shred it finely for easy rolling.
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese: Known for its mild flavor and excellent melting properties, this cheese adds a creamy texture.
  • 3 Tbsp butter: Used to create the roux for the sauce, lending richness.
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour: Helps thicken the sauce, ensuring it’s velvety and coats the enchiladas evenly.
  • 2 cups chicken broth: Adds depth to the sauce and keeps it moist.
  • 1 cup sour cream: Brings a tangy creaminess to the sauce, balancing the flavors.
  • 1 (4-oz) can diced green chilies: Introduces a mild heat and complexity to the dish.

Each ingredient contributes to the overall harmony of the dish, from the soft tortillas that envelop the filling to the creamy, tangy sauce that drapes over the top. For those looking to customize their enchiladas, there are plenty of options. Substitute the Monterey Jack with a different cheese for a new flavor profile, or add in some diced jalapeños for extra heat. The beauty of White Chicken Enchiladas lies in their adaptability to suit any palate.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Preparation of Chicken

  1. Cook the Chicken: If not using leftovers, cook your chicken by boiling or baking. For boiling, place chicken breasts in a pot, cover with water, and simmer until fully cooked. For baking, season the chicken breasts and bake at 375ºF until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
  2. Shred the Chicken: Once cooked and slightly cooled, use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. This allows the chicken to fully absorb the sauce and meld with the other ingredients.

Sauce Preparation

  1. Melt Butter: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it bubbles slightly.
  2. Whisk in Flour: Add the all-purpose flour to the melted butter, whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Cook for about a minute until the mixture turns golden.
  3. Add Chicken Broth: Slowly incorporate the chicken broth, whisking constantly to ensure a smooth sauce.
  4. Thicken Sauce: Continue cooking the sauce on medium heat until it thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add Sour Cream and Chilies: Remove the sauce from heat. Stir in the sour cream and diced green chilies until well combined.

Assembly and Baking Tips

  1. Fill Tortillas: Mix the shredded chicken with half of the shredded cheese. Divide this mixture among the tortillas, placing it in a line down the center of each tortilla.
  2. Roll and Arrange: Roll up the tortillas tightly and place seam side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Pour Sauce and Top with Cheese: Pour the prepared sauce over the rolled tortillas, ensuring they are fully covered. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
  4. Bake: Place the dish in a preheated oven at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden.
  5. Broil for Color: For an extra touch of color and texture, broil the enchiladas for a few minutes until the cheese browns beautifully.

Variations of the Recipe

White Chicken Enchiladas are wonderfully versatile, easily adapted to suit various tastes and dietary needs. Here are some creative variations to consider:

  • Vegetarian Options: Swap the chicken for a mixture of beans, corn, and zucchini for a hearty vegetarian alternative. Using a protein-rich substitute like quinoa or tofu can also offer a satisfying texture and flavor.
  • Spicy and Mild Versions: For those who love heat, adding diced jalapeños or using a spicier variety of green chilies can kick up the spice level. Conversely, for a milder version, focus on bell peppers and mild green chilies, or even omit the chilies altogether.
  • Ingredient Swaps for Different Flavors:
    • Cheese: Experiment with different cheeses for new flavors. A mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack can offer a sharper taste, while a sprinkle of cotija cheese on top adds a salty finish.
    • Sour Cream Alternatives: Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream, offering a similar tanginess with a slightly thicker texture.
    • Green Enchilada Sauce: For a twist, try using green enchilada sauce instead of the sour cream-based sauce for a more traditional take.

These variations allow you to tailor the dish to your liking, whether you’re in the mood for something spicy, vegetarian, or just a bit different from the classic recipe.

Cooking Tips for Perfect Enchiladas

Achieving enchilada perfection involves more than just following a recipe; it’s about mastering a few key techniques that elevate the dish. Here are essential tips for making your White Chicken Enchiladas truly outstanding:

  • Prevent Soggy Tortillas: Lightly fry the tortillas in a bit of oil before assembling the enchiladas. This creates a slight barrier that helps prevent them from becoming too soggy when baked with the sauce.
  • Evenly Spread Filling: Ensure the chicken and cheese filling is evenly distributed among the tortillas. This guarantees every bite is as delicious as the last.
  • Don’t Overfill: While it’s tempting to stuff the tortillas with as much filling as possible, overfilling can lead to breakage and a messier presentation. A balanced ratio of filling to tortilla ensures the enchiladas hold their shape and bake evenly.
  • Generously Sauce: The sauce is key to moist, flavorful enchiladas. Cover them generously before baking to prevent dryness. Reserve a little sauce to pour on top after baking for added moisture and flavor.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh, quality ingredients make a significant difference in taste. Freshly shredded cheese melts better than pre-shredded, and homemade chicken broth adds depth to the sauce.

Following these tips can transform your enchiladas from good to great, ensuring they come out perfectly every time.

Serving Suggestions

White Chicken Enchiladas are a crowd-pleaser on their own, but pairing them with the right sides can elevate the entire meal. Here are some serving suggestions to complete your enchilada experience:

  • Cilantro Lime Rice: The freshness of cilantro and the zestiness of lime provide a light, flavorful counterbalance to the creamy enchiladas.
  • Black Beans: A side of seasoned black beans adds protein and fiber, making the meal more filling and nutritious.
  • Guacamole and Chips: Serve a bowl of homemade guacamole with tortilla chips for a crunchy, creamy starter or side.
  • Mexican Street Corn (Elote): This grilled corn on the cob, coated in a creamy sauce and sprinkled with cheese, is a delicious and visually appealing side dish.
  • Garden Salad: A simple salad with a lime vinaigrette can add a refreshing element to the meal, cutting through the richness of the enchiladas.

Combining these sides with your enchiladas creates a balanced and visually appealing meal that’s sure to impress.

Storage and Reheating Guidelines

Proper storage and reheating techniques can make your White Chicken Enchiladas just as delicious the next day. Here’s how to keep them tasting fresh:

  • Cool Before Storing: Allow the enchiladas to cool to room temperature before storing them to prevent condensation and sogginess.
  • Refrigerate: Place the enchiladas in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Covering them with aluminum foil or plastic wrap also works if they’re in a baking dish.
  • Freeze for Longer Storage: For longer storage, freeze the enchiladas in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat in the Oven: To reheat, cover the enchiladas with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F until heated through, about 20 minutes if refrigerated, or longer if frozen. Remove the foil in the last few minutes to allow the cheese to get bubbly and slightly crisp.
  • Microwave for Quick Reheating: For a quicker option, microwave individual servings on a microwave-safe plate, covered with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel, for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

Following these guidelines ensures your enchiladas remain as enticing as when they were first baked, making leftovers something to look forward to.

Nutritional Breakdown

Understanding the nutritional content of White Chicken Enchiladas can help you integrate this delicious dish into a balanced diet. Here’s a basic breakdown for one serving:

  • Calories: Approximately 400-600 calories, depending on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes.
  • Protein: Each serving typically contains about 25-35 grams of protein, primarily from the chicken and cheese.
  • Fat: The cheese, sour cream, and butter contribute to the fat content, which can range from 20-30 grams per serving.
  • Carbohydrates: Primarily from the flour tortillas, the carb count can be around 30-50 grams per serving.
  • Fiber: Depending on the filling and any vegetable additions, each serving may have 2-4 grams of dietary fiber.
  • Sodium: The cheese, canned chilies, and chicken broth contribute to the sodium level, which can be high. Opting for low-sodium broth and fresh chilies can reduce this.

While enchiladas can be part of a nutritious meal, considering portion sizes and accompaniments is essential. Pairing them with a side of vegetables or a salad can add vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making the meal more balanced.

Adapting for Healthier Versions

For those looking to enjoy White Chicken Enchiladas with a healthier twist, there are several adjustments you can make without sacrificing flavor:

  • Use Whole Wheat Tortillas: Opt for whole wheat or low-carb tortillas to increase fiber content and decrease net carbs.
  • Lean Chicken: Use breast meat and remove all skin to lower the fat content. Boiling or baking without added fats is also a healthier cooking method.
  • Low-Fat Dairy Products: Substitute full-fat cheese and sour cream with their low-fat or non-fat counterparts. This can significantly reduce the calorie and fat content without compromising too much on taste.
  • Add Vegetables: Incorporate spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers into the filling to boost the nutritional value and add fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Homemade Chicken Broth: Use homemade chicken broth to control the sodium content, making it a healthier choice compared to store-bought versions.
  • Greek Yogurt Sauce: Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt in the sauce for a similar texture but with more protein and less fat.

By making these simple changes, you can create a version of White Chicken Enchiladas that fits into a health-conscious lifestyle, allowing you to indulge in this comforting dish more frequently.


Can I make White Chicken Enchiladas ahead of time? Yes, you can assemble the enchiladas and store them in the refrigerator up to a day ahead. Just cover the dish tightly with foil. It’s best to add the sauce just before baking to prevent the tortillas from becoming too soggy.

Are there gluten-free options for White Chicken Enchiladas? Absolutely! To make gluten-free enchiladas, use corn tortillas instead of flour ones and ensure your chicken broth and other ingredients are certified gluten-free. Corn tortillas bring a traditional flavor and are naturally gluten-free.

How can I make the enchiladas spicier? You can increase the heat by adding more diced green chilies or incorporating spicy elements like chopped jalapeños or a dash of cayenne pepper into the sauce. Adjust according to your heat tolerance.

What can I do if my sauce is too thick? If your sauce thickens more than desired, slowly whisk in additional chicken broth until you reach the preferred consistency. It’s important to add the broth gradually to maintain the balance of flavors.

Can I freeze White Chicken Enchiladas? Yes, these enchiladas freeze well. Assemble them in a freezer-safe dish without baking, cover tightly with foil, and freeze. When ready to enjoy, bake from frozen, adding about 10-15 minutes to the baking time.

How do I keep the enchiladas from sticking to the pan? Grease the bottom of your baking dish with a light layer of cooking oil or non-stick cooking spray before arranging the enchiladas. This helps prevent sticking and ensures easy serving.

What are some dairy-free alternatives for the sauce? For a dairy-free version, you can use almond milk or coconut milk as a base for the sauce and opt for vegan cheese substitutes. There are also many dairy-free sour cream alternatives available that work well in the sauce.

By addressing these common queries, we hope to make your cooking experience with White Chicken Enchiladas even more enjoyable and tailored to your preferences.

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White Chicken Enchiladas

  • Author: Naomi
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Indulge in the comfort of White Chicken Enchiladas, a creamy and savory delight that promises to be a hit at any table. This dish masterfully combines tender shredded chicken and melty Monterey Jack cheese rolled in soft flour tortillas, all smothered in a rich, tangy sauce made from sour cream and green chilies.


8 flour tortillas, soft taco size
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4-oz) can diced green chilies


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan seam side down.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Allow sauce to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and chilies.
Pour sauce over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese.


  • Ingredient Substitutions: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese, such as cheddar or pepper jack, for varying flavors and spice levels. For a gluten-free version, corn tortillas can be used in place of flour tortillas.
  • Make-Ahead Tips: Assemble the enchiladas a day in advance and refrigerate. Add the sauce just before baking to keep the tortillas from becoming soggy.
  • Freezing Instructions: These enchiladas freeze beautifully. Assemble in a freezer-safe dish, omit the final baking step, cover tightly, and freeze. Bake straight from the freezer, adding extra time as needed.
  • Dietary Adjustments: For a lighter version, opt for low-fat dairy products and lean chicken breast. Vegetarians can substitute chicken with a mixture of beans and vegetables.
  • Serving Suggestions: Pair with sides such as cilantro lime rice, black beans, or a fresh salad to complete the meal.
  • Spice Level: Easily adjust the heat by choosing mild or hot green chilies, or by adding extra jalapeños to the sauce.
  • Reheating Leftovers: Reheat in the oven covered with foil or in the microwave for best results, maintaining moisture and preventing the enchiladas from drying out.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

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