White chicken enchiladas with a sour cream sauce and green chiles. Just 6 ingredients for creamy chicken enchiladas. This recipe makes a small batch of 4 enchiladas in an 8x8 pan, however you can easily double this recipe for more servings!
You will love these Chicken Enchiladas with White Sauce
These white chicken enchiladas are my go-to dish when we have people over for a casual dinner. I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard, so I make these simple 6-ingredient enchiladas with a sour cream sauce. Also, if we're having a large crowd of people over, I make a big batch and leave them in the fridge until I'm ready to bake.
Creamy enchiladas are approachable, delicious, and everyone loves them. The 2-ingredient sauce is made from sour cream and jarred salsa verde--it is so tangy, bright and simple. The enchilada chicken filling is literally just chicken, shredded cheese, and those small cans of roasted green chiles. If you get the mild green chiles, these enchiladas are totally kid-friendly, too!
White Chicken Enchiladas ingredients
- Chicken Breasts. We need 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to make the filling for these white chicken enchiladas. You can also skip a step and use 3 cups of already cooked and shredded chicken. As mentioned, you could substitute a 15-ounce can of white beans or pinto beans for a vegetarian version of this dish.
- Canned Roasted Green Chiles. You need 2 of those small cans of fire-roasted green chiles. Grab the mild ones if you're cooking for people who don't like spice, or grab the hot ones for people who love heat.
- Monterey Jack Cheese. Eight ounces of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, but you can use Pepper Jack for extra spice, if you like.
- Flour Tortillas. Regular 10-inch flour tortillas. You need 4 because this is a small batch recipe, but scale up accordingly.
- Salsa Verde. Jarred green salsa (or salsa verde) is made with tomatillos, and has a bright, verdant fresh flavor. I like the Herdez brand of salsa verde.
- Sour Cream. Full-fat regular sour cream. Do not use fat-free plain yogurt or low-fat sour cream--it can curdle in the oven.
- Pico de Gallo. This is just optional, for serving. It makes the enchiladas look so pretty, though!
White Chicken Enchilada Recipe substitutions
I usually make a pan with caned white or pinto beans instead of chicken for any vegetarians in the crowd.
If I haven't convinced you yet, know that I hail from the land of Tex-Mex food and consider myself an enchilada queen. A pan of enchiladas is my specialty in my circle of friends. In my second cookbook, Comfort and Joy: Cooking for Two, I revealed my legendary beef enchilada recipe. It's packed with chunky steak bites, too much cheese, and boasts a homemade enchilada sauce. When you get really serious about enchiladas, you toss aside the canned sauce. That's why I love this white chicken version so much--no jarred enchilada sauce here!
I know that some people might be saying 'real enchiladas are made with corn tortillas only.' And while that is technically true, I dare you to taste these and not love how the flour tortillas become meltingly soft in the oven. Plus, any part of the tortilla that does not have white sauce on it will toast in the oven and become crispy. Enchiladas made with flour tortillas is worth trying, trust me!
How to make Chicken Enchiladas with White Sauce
- Gather the ingredients: chicken, roasted green chiles, shredded cheese, tortillas, salsa verde, and sour cream. Have the pico de gallo in the fridge for serving, if you're using it. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit and have an 8" square baking dish ready.
- Cook the chicken breasts: place them in a shallow pan and add enough water to almost cover them. Add a big pinch of salt and pepper to the water, bring it to a simmer, and turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Check to ensure the internal temperature registers 165-degrees F. Remove from the water and let rest until cool enough to handle. Shred using two forks to make about 3 cups of shredded chicken.
- Next, place the shredded chicken in a bowl with the green chiles, and half of the cheese. You're saving the remaining half for the top.
- Roughly divide the chicken mixture in the bowl into 4 even portions. You will use each portion in a tortilla. Place one tortilla on a work space, and scoop in one-quarter of the chicken mixture. Roll up the tortilla as tightly as you can, and place seam-side down in the baking dish.
- Repeat with all tortillas. Once all of the enchiladas are in the pan, mix together the salsa verde and sour cream until smooth. Use a whisk to get out all of the lumps. Pour the mixture over the tortillas, and then top with the remaining half of the cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling around the edges. Serve with pico de gallo at the table.
Making Chicken Enchiladas ahead of time
I don't make these more than 12 hours in advance. You can assemble the enchiladas, and cover and refrigerate, however keep the sauce separate until they're going in the oven. Do not pour the sauce over the enchiladas until you are ready to bake them, or else the tortillas will disintegrate. Often, I like to roll up the enchiladas and place them in the pan in the fridge. Then, before my party, I'll whisk together the sauce, and bake off the enchiladas.
How to store Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
If you have leftovers, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge. They will keep for 4 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until hot to serve again.
You can freeze these enchiladas before or after baking. However, to freeze them before baking, leave off the sour cream and tomatillo sauce! Tightly wrap the pan, place in the freezer and store for up to 3 months. To cook, thaw overnight in the fridge and then slide into a 350 degree oven until warm. Pour the sour cream and tomatillo sauce mixture on top (followed by a sprinkle of cheese) and return to the oven until bubbling.
Can you freeze this White Chicken Enchilada Recipe?
I don't recommend freezing things that contain sour cream. The defrosting process isn't great.
What to serve with Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
White Chicken Enchiladas FAQs
Is it better to cook enchiladas covered or uncovered?
It’s better to cook enchiladas covered with foil for the first half of baking to warm them through. Once the filling is thoroughly cooked, remove the foil and let the top brown and bubble. The best part of oven enchiladas is the way some of the tortillas crisp up in the oven!
Should enchiladas be made with corn or flour tortillas?
Technically, authentic enchiladas are made with corn tortillas only! I don’t make the rules, but I did break them for this recipe. Flour tortillas become soft and fluffy in the oven. Be sure to let the edges of the tortillas stick out (don’t cover the entire surface with soft) so that you can have the best of both worlds: soft tortillas soaked with sauce and crispy edges.
Why are my chicken enchiladas soggy?
You probably added too much liquid or included a filling ingredient that releases water in the oven, like corn or a frozen vegetable. To prevent this with flour enchiladas, cook them uncovered until the edges of the tortillas are starting to turn brown. To prevent soggy corn enchiladas, it’s important to fry them in oil before filling them and rolling them up.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 1 can of pinto beans for vegetarians!)
- 2 4-ounce cans of fire-roasted green chiles
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 4 flour tortillas
- 1 10-ounce jar Salsa Verde
- 1 cup sour cream
- pico de gallo, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350, and gather all ingredients except for the pico.
- Cook the chicken breasts: place them in a shallow pan and cover them almost all the way with water. Add a big pinch of salt and pepper. Bring it to a simmer, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Check to ensure the internal temperature registers 165-degrees F. Remove from the water and let rest until cool enough to handle.
- Shred the chicken into a bowl. Stir in the green chiles and half of the shredded cheese. Divide the chicken mixture into 4 equal portions.
- Place one tortilla on a work surface, and pile in ¼ of the chicken mixture. Roll up and place in a 8x8 baking pan. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Once all the enchiladas are in the pan, stir the salsa verde and sour cream together and pour on top. Top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Top with pico de gallo and serve.
Chicken Breasts: We need 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to make the filling for these white chicken enchiladas. You can also skip a step and use 3 cups of already cooked and shredded chicken. As mentioned, you could substitute a 15-ounce can of white beans or pinto beans for a vegetarian version of this dish.
Canned Roasted Green Chiles: You need 2 of those small cans of fire-roasted green chiles. Grab the mild ones if you're cooking for people who don't like spice, or grab the hot ones for people who love heat.
Monterey Jack Cheese: Eight ounces of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, but you can use Pepper Jack for extra spice, if you like.
Flour Tortillas: Regular 10-inch flour tortillas. You need 4 because this is a small batch recipe, but scale up accordingly.
Salsa Verde: Jarred green salsa (or salsa verde) is made with tomatillos, and has a bright, verdant fresh flavor. I like the Herdez brand of salsa verde.
Sour Cream: Full-fat regular sour cream. Do not use fat-free plain yogurt or low-fat sour cream--it can curdle in the oven.
Pico de Gallo: This is just optional, for serving. It makes the enchiladas look so pretty, though!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 630Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 1260mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 40g