20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas

Have you guys ever purchased canned enchilada sauce? You know, the bright red stuff that contains MSG? I’m going to go ahead and recommend you make this sauce instead.


To the above ingredients (which many people already have in their pantry already, yes?), add a can of unsalted tomato sauce. If you can’t find unsalted (like me – it always sells out quickly at the grocery store!), just omit or adjust the salt in the sauce recipe below.


So, I still haven’t told you why I’m making enchilada sauce.

Well, as you probably guessed, I’m making enchiladas. Or, made enchiladas. Chicken enchiladas, in fact.

And I’m here to show you how to make them in 20 minutes.

Twenty minutes!

That’s right. Cooking Light made a promise in the title of this recipe (“20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas”) and I must say that they delivered. These came together very quickly. (Provided you’ve got some pre-cooked chicken on hand. Hello rotisserie chicken!)


Once you’ve made your red enchilada sauce, set aside 1.5 cups for later use. Please do this BEFORE you add cooked, shredded chicken and black beans!

(I totally forgot to set aside a portion of the sauce before mixing everything together, and then I had to dump everything in a colander over a large bowl and let the sauce drain away until I had 1.5 cups of it. Oy! At least I get points for creativity!?)


Spoon about 1/2 cup of the chicken and bean filling 8” corn tortillas (you’ll need about six). Then place the enchiladas into a 9×13” baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Alternatively, you could make twelve smaller enchiladas using 6” corn tortillas. Too much spooning and rolling for me – I opted for the bigger ones!


NOW – here is where that cup and a half of reserved enchilada sauce is vital! Pour it atop the enchiladas.


Then, add cheese, and place the baking dish under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes. No further baking required! (Mine were adequately warm, but not piping hot. Give ‘em a few seconds in the microwave or few extra minutes in the oven if you like ‘em nice and steamy.)


Garnish with sour cream! Cilantro and jalapeño slices would be nice as well.


Mmm, these warm, savory enchiladas were packed with meat and beans. Soft enough to cut through with a fork! Which was good because that meant I could gobble them up even faster. No knife required.

And that sauce. Oh, that sauce, baby. It’s good stuff. Hope you like some heat.

20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas

Lighted adapted from Cooking Light

      • 1 cup chopped onion
      • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth or stock
      • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
      • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
      • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
      • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted tomato sauce
      • 3 cups shredded skinless, boneless chicken breast
      • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
      • 6 (8-inch) corn tortillas [or 12 {6-inch} corn tortillas]
      • Cooking spray
      • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar

Top with [optional]:

      • chopped tomato
      • fresh cilantro
      • sour cream
  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Combine first 9 ingredients in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Reserve 1 1/2 cups sauce mixture. Add chicken and beans to pan; cook 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.
  3. Stack tortillas; wrap stack in damp paper towels and microwave at HIGH for 25 seconds. Spoon about 1/2 – 2/3 cup chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; roll up. (If you use smaller, 6” tortillas, use less filling). Arrange tortillas, seam sides down, in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with reserved sauce and cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and sauce is bubbly. Top with tomato, cilantro, and sour cream, if desired.

Serves: 3 hearty dinner portions (2 enchiladas each)

My rating: 8.5/10 noms

5 thoughts on “20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas

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