Today, I’m bringing you one of my favorite recipes from when I was a child. Let’s make these creamy white chicken enchiladas, shall we?
When I was little, our elementary school put together a cookbook. From this cookbook came a lot of my favorite recipes that I remember the most growing up. One of the most popular recipes in the book was white chicken enchiladas. Basically, it’s a mix of chicken, canned cream of chicken soup, sour cream, perhaps a small amount of chilis, tortillas, and cheese. Total comfort food! And I know the reason why so many people made it. It’s an easy, super fast dinner. Most kids love it, too.
Why white chicken enchiladas?
Personally, I’m not a fan of red chicken enchiladas. Call me crazy, but I love to save the red chili sauce for beef and pork. To me, this version tastes best and has just enough spice to keep things interesting.
My version uses a sauce that is made from scratch instead of a sauce with a cream of chicken base. It’s not that I’m totally anti-cream of whatever soup, it’s just not an ingredient that I readily have on hand and it’s just much easier to use a base of chicken stock and sour cream. You’ll start your sauce by making a roux (a mixture of melted butter and flour) and add chicken stock. Then, in goes the sour cream, cheese and chilis. That’s it, people! And the sauce is just, so, amazing. It totally makes the enchiladas.
What chicken is best?
When it comes to the chicken, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken, or precook some chicken breasts then shred them. The Instant Pot is usually my go-to to cook the chicken. I place 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts on the rack in the Instant Pot, add about one cup of water, then cook on high pressure for about 10 minutes or so until the chicken is completely cooked. I reserve the liquid from the Instant Pot, add any water if necessary to make 2 cups of liquid, then mix in chicken Better Than Bouillon (one of my favs!).
Pssst! I’m going to tell you a little secret. I never measure the cheese in my white chicken enchiladas. I mean, why even bother? We all know that cheese does not need to be measured. I add a good sprinkle to each enchilada before I roll it up, and then I add some on top before I bake. If the cheese on top is just too much for you, just reduce the amount of cheese you need by a cup or two. We’re not picky here.
These enchiladas are best served with some chopped cilantro, hot sauce of your choice, and salsa. Yum!
I hope you try these white chicken enchiladas and love them. And I hope that they become a family favorite, too!
White Chicken Enchiladas
Creamy and comforting with a tiny bit of heat, this is a family-favorite recipe!
- 10 flour tortillas
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 2 cups chicken broth (divided)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (canola, light olive, or avocado)
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 4-ounce cans diced chilis, mild or hot
- 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced (optional)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese mix, divided (or any Mexican style shredded cheese)
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped cilantro (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a skillet, heat the oil for a minute or two, then add diced onion, and jalapeño (if using). Add chicken and one can of chilis. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and cream then stir to combine. Let mixture begin to bubble and get hot, then remove from heat and set aside.
In a saucepan, add butter over medium heat and allow to melt. Whisk in flour and keep whisking to remove any clumps. Allow to cook for a minute or two, then slowly whisk in remaining chicken broth. Whisk and cook for another minute or two, then add remaining can of chilis. Reduce heat to low, then add sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir to let it melt and incorporate well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. To assemble, grab a tortilla, spoon chicken mixture on top, then add a sprinkling of cheese. Roll up, then place into the pan. Continue process with remaining tortillas. Top with remaining sauce mixture, then remaining cheese, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes. Topped with chopped cilantro, if desired.
Use less cheese if you're not topping your enchiladas with cheese before baking.
Serve enchiladas with shredded lettuce, hot sauce, and salsa.