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Easiest Ever Leftover Chicken Enchiladas

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Do you ever need a quick and easy recipe using leftover chicken that everyone will love? This recipe for the Easiest Leftover Chicken Enchiladas is a real favorite in our house ready in just 30 minutes using either homemade or store-bought enchilada sauce and plenty of melted Mexican cheese!

Chicken enchiladas topped with melted cheese in their serving dish.

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Whether it’s a Tuesday Mexican food night, or a fun Friday night meal… or a game day gather-friends-and-family kind of day, or if you just need a fast weeknight dinner recipe… these chicken enchiladas are always a good choice.

Sometimes you just need easy and quick. And sometimes you need a recipe to use up leftover chicken, beef, or pork.

Yes, that is right, you can use any leftover protein that can be shredded in this recipe (perfect for when you’re trying to get through the leftovers from your Thanksgiving turkey, or even from a roast chicken at the weekend!)

This is one of my go-to, use-up-the-leftovers recipes. And the family loves it (well mine do, so I think yours will too!) And I love it… because my fingers don’t even get messy as they seem to… every Taco Tuesday!

Do I need to make my own enchilada sauce?

If you have a favorite store-bought enchilada sauce, use that! But, have you tried my Homemade Enchilada Sauce yet? It is so easy to make, ready in just 10 minutes! You can even make it a day or two ahead to get prepared if you know you’re going to have some chicken leftover from another meal in the coming week.

Can I make these enchiladas ahead?

Of course! If I know I’m going to be busy around dinner time I assemble these when I have time to roll tortillas. Just assemble the dish as usual with the enchilada sauce and the shredded cheese before covering and transferring to the fridge. You should try to bake them within 24 hours.

Can I leave out the corn or the cherry tomatoes?

You can happily leave out the corn if you don’t have any to hand, though canned and drained corn will also work instead of frozen. However, I think the tomatoes are one of the things that really make this recipe so I urge you to include them!

What if I don’t have enough leftover chicken?

If you don’t quite have 2 cups but still want to make this recipe, you can bulk the mixture with canned and drained black beans.

Close up of chicken enchiladas topped with melted cheese in their serving dish.

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Easiest Leftover Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe for the Easiest Leftover Chicken Enchiladas is a real favorite in our house ready in just 30 minutes using either homemade or store-bought enchilada sauce and plenty of melted Mexican cheese!
4.9 from 9 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 cups leftover chicken or beef or pork, shredded
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles (fire roasted for extra flavor)
  • 1 cup corn frozen and thawed
  • 2 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese divided
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 batch enchilada sauce or 1 can store-bought enchilada sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro optional, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.  Prepare your enchilada sauce, if making homemade.
  • In a large bowl, add chicken, green chiles, corn, 1 cup shredded cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, and minced garlic. Stir well. and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
  • To assemble the enchiladas, lay out a tortilla and spread with a spoonful of chicken mixture. Roll up tortilla and place in prepared baking pan. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Spread the enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese.
  • Cover with a sheet of foil and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce begins to bubble. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes to brown the top.
  • Remove from the oven and serve immediately, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

Notes

To make these enchiladas ahead, prepare all steps before baking. Cover with foil and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Best if used within 24-hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 309mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Easiest Chicken Enchiladas Ever, Leftover Chicken Enchiladas

10 Comments

  1. Instead or corn, I used 1/2 can of rinsed canned black beans, and used jalapeño
    Havarti for the cheese. It was excellent

    1. Yes, the enchiladas can be frozen! If cooked, add to an airtight freezer container and freeze for up to 3 months. Or you can freeze individual servings in freezer containers of bags and then reheat gently in the microwave.

  2. Excellent. Very subtle flavours for anyone to enjoy. Will definitely make again…shared recipe with my extended family.

    1. Thank you so much! I love to make this recipe for that reason. The flavor (and spice) is all in the enchilada sauce!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! The halved cherry tomatoes are essential. I used some leftover white sauce in the mix of chicken, and a can of mexican green chilis in vinegar (chopped up), had no corn, but no matter. Made a sauce of roasted sweet tomato puree and tinned red chilis in spicy sauce. Sauce was a little liquid but did not matter in the end. A great and simple recipe, perfection. Boyfriend loved it! Thank you!

    1. Thank you SO much for sharing with us your ingredient swaps and the outcome! Your comment was so inspiring I’m sharing it in our weekly dinner plan posting on Saturday. This is one of my favorite easy dinners simply because it is so versatile!

  4. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe. We used your recipe for enchilada sauce, which has a terrific flavor. We were out of fresh tomatoes, so we squeezed out one cup of canned diced tomatoes. Yum!! Grandma and Papa and my second and third grader all enjoyed it.

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