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Taco night leftovers make a comeback in this easy, gluten-free Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas recipe! These baked enchiladas made with crockpot salsa chicken are the ultimate Cinco de Mayo dish or busy weeknight dinner. Full of zesty, Mexican-inspired flavors smothered in melty cheese and spicy enchilada sauce!
Easy, Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
There’s something supremely satisfying about repurposing leftovers into a completely new meal. “Cook once, eat three times” are words to live by in this household! I like to use up every last bit of food in my fridge that I possibly can, wherever I can.
Some of my recent fridge dwellers were my Crockpot Mexican Chicken & Black Beans, along with the corn tortillas and guacamole leftover from our taco night. So I picked up some enchilada sauce from the store, and within about a half hour of arriving home, these easy and gluten-free chicken enchiladas were on the table!
It was all I could do to grab a few quick photos before we wiped out the pan of these cheesy chicken enchiladas. Everyone was well-fed and happy. Even after tacos and enchiladas, I still had some Mexican chicken leftover to make sliders!
What You’ll Need
Here’s the whopping four ingredients you’ll need to make these quick and easy homemade chicken and black bean enchiladas! Keep in mind when buying the ingredients, that if you’re making this recipe gluten-free, it’s a good idea to check labels to make sure the corn tortillas and sauce are actually free from gluten.
- Enchilada Sauce: Either from a bottle or homemade.
- Corn Tortillas: These are gluten-free and often used in Mexican-style enchilada recipes. Some people prefer to use flour tortillas, as they’re a bit easier to roll. Feel free to use any type of tortilla you’d like (just make sure to buy gluten-free flour tortillas as needed).
- Chicken: These Tex Mex-style enchiladas are one of the best excuses to use up leftover chicken. I use my Crockpot Mexican Chicken & Black Beans for this recipe, but you can use any leftover pulled chicken, or even shredded rotisserie chicken if you have it on hand. I’d recommend mixing any plain shredded chicken in with some salsa for flavor.
- Cheese: Shredded cheddar cheese, or a pre-mixed Mexican cheese blend.
- Toppings: For serving. I love to serve mine with sour cream and guacamole, but there are tons of possibilities when it comes to toppings! See the section later on for more ideas.
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas
Once you have your ingredients, make these cheesy chicken enchiladas in just three steps:
Prep the Ingredients: Warm the enchilada sauce in a pan. Follow the package directions to warm your corn tortillas so that they’re soft and bendable.
Dip, Fill, and Roll: Dip your first tortilla into the sauce to coat both sides, lay it out, and fill it with the salsa chicken. Carefully roll up the filled tortilla and place it into a greased baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas until your pan is full.
Bake: Pour any leftover sauce over the rolled enchiladas. Sprinkle the cheese over top, and then pop them into a preheated oven until the enchiladas are warmed through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve them with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Results
- To Prevent Soggy Enchiladas: The best way to ensure the freshest enchiladas is to roll them right before you bake them. Don’t let the uncooked enchiladas soak in the sauces too long – this is what results in the tortillas becoming soggy! Also make sure to bake them uncovered to keep the edges crispy.
- Can I Use Flour Tortillas?: As mentioned, this recipe will work with flour tortillas as well – many Tex Mex and American enchilada recipes actually call for flour tortillas! The enchiladas do tend to be softer and slightly more rubbery in texture when made with flour tortillas, however. So keep that in mind when planning your dish!
What Else Can You Put in Enchiladas?
- Different Proteins: Chicken isn’t the only protein that’s delicious in homemade enchiladas! Try making this recipe using leftover Ground Beef or even Pulled Pork.
- Make Vegetarian Enchiladas: Skip the chicken and make these cheesy enchiladas with roasted or grilled veggies, cooked lentils and chickpeas, or a hearty bean medley. You can even try a veggie-friendly Mexican Pineapple Black Bean filling!
We enjoy our cheesy chicken enchiladas with simple sides like Cilantro Lime Rice or Chili Lime Corn, with toppings like guacamole or my Avocado Crema. You can never go too big with toppings! Here are some more of our favorites:
- Sour cream (or Greek yogurt for a lighter alternative!)
- Jalapeno slices
- Fresh cilantro
- Sliced avocado
- Diced onions
- Creamy Southwestern Dressing or Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
These make a great meal on their own, or you can serve enchiladas as a spicy addition to your Cinco de Mayo feast! (With a Grapefruit Margarita in hand, of course). Here are some suggestions for dishes to serve with enchiladas:
- Chili-Lime Baked Sweet Potato Home Fries
- Layered Mexican Cheese Dip
- Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- Steak Tostadas with Blue Cheese
- Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
Storage and Reheating
We didn’t have any leftovers, these chicken enchiladas were just that good! If you do, store the enchiladas airtight in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, and reheat them in the microwave or oven.
Do These Freeze Well?
These enchiladas are great to make and freeze for easy thawing and reheating on weeknights! Once the baked enchiladas are fully cool, place them in a freezer-safe container (or wrap and freeze the whole pan!). They’ll keep frozen for up to 3 months, and you can reheat them right from frozen whenever a convenient dinner calls.
More Mexican-Inspired Dinner Ideas
- Crockpot Mexican Chicken Rice Bowls
- Baked Chicken Tacos
- Easy Chicken Black Bean Tacos
- Chili Lime Steak Bites
- Easy Chicken Taquitos
Easy Chicken Enchiladas
- 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (from a bottle or homemade)
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded chicken (cooked shredded chicken mixed with salsa, or try my easy Crockpot Salsa Chicken & Black Beans!)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream, guacamole, etc., for serving
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and coat a glass baking dish with oil or nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small pan, slightly warm the enchilada sauce. Warm the corn tortillas according the the package diretions to make them pliable.
- One at a time, lightly dip both sides of a corn tortilla in the sauce, lay on a flat surface, place about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down the middle, roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.
- Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken.
- Pour any remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas.
- Top with the cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is slightly browned.
- Serve with sour cream, guacamole or any other fixings, as desired.