These Red Chicken Enchiladas are quick and easy, super flavorful, perfect for meal prep and a total family favorite. They’re filled with a mixture of tender rotisserie chicken, cream cheese and green chilis, then slathered in your favorite red enchilada sauce and melted cheese.
Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
Red Chicken Enchiladas are a Tex-Mex favorite in our household. Lucky for me, they are also crazy simple and perfect for meal prepping. You can prep and freeze an entire tray inside a foil container for times when you know you’ll need one later. Or, make a double batch to have one now and one later.
This recipe calls for using red enchilada sauce, but you can easily substitute green. Speaking of substitutions, you can swap out different proteins, cheeses and toppings in order to use whatever you have on hand and make this recipe all...the...time.
Ingredients in Red Enchiladas with Chicken
- Enchilada Sauce - this recipe calls for red enchilada sauce, but you could easily substitute green if you prefer. Going the store bought route is easiest, but if you have a favorite homemade enchilada sauce recipe you can use that too.
- Chicken - a great way to make this recipe even more simple is to use rotisserie chicken. This recipe is also perfect for leftovers, or to use with slow cooker shredded chicken. Some chicken recipes that would work great include Easy Chipotle Chicken Recipe, Southwest Grilled Chicken or Crockpot Creamy Salsa Chicken. Our Green Chicken Enchiladas are an all time family favorite too. If you're a big fan of Enchiladas, Be sure to check out our Green Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe too.
- Cream Cheese - you want this to be room temperature so it is easy to mix with the other ingredients.
- Green Chilis - you should be able to find canned green chilis in the Mexican section of your local grocery store.
- Shredded Cheese - we like to use shredded cheddar, but you could also use a Mexican blend, pepper jack, or Monterey jack.
- Tortillas - while corn tortillas are the more traditional tortillas to use, we usually use flour tortillas because they are easier to roll and they make for perfect portion size.
- Toppings - some of our favorite toppings include sour cream, salsa, chopped tomatoes, avocado or guacamole, pico de gallo, and black beans.
How to Make Red Sauce Chicken Enchiladas
- Mix. In a medium-sized bowl, combine chicken, room temperature cream cheese, green chilies, and 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Mix well to combine.
- Roll. Fill each tortilla with about ½ cup of chicken mixture and roll-up.
- Assemble the enchiladas. Spray a 9”x13” baking dish lightly with non-stick cooking spray and spread about 1 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom. Place the filled, rolled tortillas seam side down into the prepared baking dish. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the rolled tortillas, then sprinkle the remaining cheese.
- Bake. Bake uncovered in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is golden brown.
- Serve. Top with your favorite toppings and serve warm. Enjoy!
Red Enchilada Variations
- Different meat. Try substituting ground beef, shredded beef, carne asada or shredded pork for the chicken.
- Make it vegetarian. Skip the chicken and replace with our easy homemade refried black beans.
- Use green enchilada sauce instead. The process is the same, you will just have a slightly different flavor profile.
- Different toppings. Top these Red Chicken Enchiladas with all sorts of different toppings, including guacamole, cilantro, black beans, corn or queso fresco.
- Campbell's Chicken Enchiladas. To make the sauce extra thick and creamy, try adding a can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup.
Yes! Enchiladas are perfect for meal prep. You can make a day ahead, or as much as 3 months ahead if you decide to freeze them.
To prep the day before, make as directed up until the point where you would put them into the oven to bake. Instead, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. The next day, remove the plastic and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
The main difference between red and green enchilada sauce is the types of chilis used to make them. Red enchilada sauce is generally made with red chilis, along with various spices and seasoning. Green enchilada sauce, on the other hand, is made with a base of green chilis, along with tomatillos and other spices.
One is not automatically more spicy than the other - both red and green enchilada sauce come in a range of spiciness from very mild to super spicy.
Yup, just be sure and pre-warm them so that they don’t break on your when you go to roll them up. The quickest way to warm them is to cover loosely with a paper towel and microwave for about 1 minute.
Once your sauce is bubbling and the cheese has browned, your enchiladas are finished. At 375 degrees, this generally takes between 25-30 minutes.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerator: store any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: if you plan to freeze these, we recommend making them in a disposable tin foil baking pan. Prep as directed but instead of baking, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Baking from Frozen: remove from the freezer and let sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for about 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven.
- Reheating: to reheat individual portions, transfer to a microwave-safe dish and heat for 30 seconds at a time until warmed through. Otherwise, cover with foil and reheat in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through.
Red Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
- 18 oz Red Enchilada Sauce or green
- 3 cups Rotisserie Chicken or leftover cooked chicken, cubed
- 8 oz Cream Cheese room temperature
- 4 oz Canned Green Chilis
- 3 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded (plus more for the top if desired)
- 8 large Flour Tortillas
Toppings for Enchiladas (Optional)
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- ½ cup Salsa
- ½ cup Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 whole Avocado sliced
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish lightly with non-stick cooking spray and spread about 1 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine chicken, room temperature cream cheese, green chilies, and 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Mix well to combine.
- Fill each tortilla with about ½ cup of chicken mixture. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with all 8 tortillas.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the rolled tortillas, then sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Bake uncovered in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is golden brown.
- Top with sour cream, salsa, chopped tomatoes and sliced avocados, if desired, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Here are more of our favorite Tex-Mex recipes:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
- Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
- Green Chile Hasselback Chicken
- Green Chili Chicken Taquitos
- Pork Carnitas Nachos
- Cheesy Green Chili Rice Casserole
- More Easy Recipes
- More of the Best Chicken Recipes
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This Chicken Enchilada with Red Sauce recipe is filled with a mixture of tender rotisserie chicken, cream cheese and green chilis, then slathered in red enchilada sauce and melted cheese. They are super simple, perfect for meal prep and totally delicious.
Thanks for the cream cheese tip! I had never tried adding that before and it made all the difference. Thank you.
I always love a great enchilada. These never disappoint! I love the red sauce pairing with the chicken.