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Easy Enchiladas

by Lori on March 28th, 2011

Baked enchiladas, take one

Easy is the theme of the day. Think of those Staples commercials with the big red “easy” button or of those Geico insurance ads where it is so easy even a “caveman can do it.” These enchiladas are so easy you won’t even need an easy button or a caveman to help make them.

The Story

When life gets hectic, I look for little ways to make it easier – like easy ways to make dinner. Usually I just bake a frozen pizza, but sometimes I want something different to spice things up. One particularly hectic day, I decided to make these easy enchiladas. After work, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients. I quickly dashed through the store with my shopping basket in hand and enchiladas on my mind. Once I had what I needed, I headed home to start cooking.

Having made these enchiladas many times before, I assembled them quickly without much thought. A short 20 minutes later, Ken and I were sitting at the kitchen table with big plates of enchiladas. Then I took my first bite.
Enchilada with fork, take one

Something was wrong. My mouth started to burn. It was not because the temperature was too hot. It was a spicy hot burn. I like spicy foods, but this was ridiculous. As my eyes started to water and my nose started to run, I rushed to the fridge to grab a glass of milk. Then I noticed the empty enchilada sauce can on the counter. I inspected it more closely. Usually I get the “mild” sauce, but in my rush I had grabbed the “hot” one by mistake. “Hot” was an understatement.

The Moral of the Story

No matter how frenzied life may get, take your time at the grocery store and double check the labels when picking up ingredients. Otherwise you might get “burned.”

A can of enchilada sauce

About the Recipe

This enchilada recipe doesn’t date back to the caveman era, but it does date back to what Ken likes to call “ancient times.” We’ve been married for a while now, so “ancient times” by Ken’s definition is when we first started dating. Ken made these enchiladas for me back then and taught me how to make them.

Ken learned to make them from his mom. We’re not sure where she learned to make them. Ken thinks the recipe came from the back of an enchilada sauce can. It’s amazing what you can learn when you actually read the can labels. 🙂

The Cast of Characters

Chicken, beans and cheese are key characters. However, it is the enchilada sauce that tops it all and makes all the difference in the end result.
Baked enchiladas, take three

The Play-by-Play

In a saucepan on the stovetop, warm the refried beans over low heat.
Stirring the beans in a pot, take two

While the beans warm, cook your chicken in a skillet. Chop it into bite-size pieces once it is cooked through.
Cooking up chicken

Now you are ready to begin building your enchiladas. Start by placing spoonful of refried beans into the center of your tortilla.
Start with beans on tortilla

Add some chopped chicken.
Just add chicken

Roll the tortilla into an enchilada, and place it in a baking dish.
One lonely enchilada

Repeat the filling and rolling until you have a pan full of enchiladas.
On an enchilada roll

Top with your favorite enchilada sauce.
Enchilada sauce

Then top with shredded cheese.
Just add cheese

Bake for 20 minutes.
Enchiladas in the oven

Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Baked enchiladas, take two

Recipe: Easy Enchiladas

Summary: An easy enchilada recipe you can make any night of the week.

Ingredients

6-8 large flour tortillas
1 12 oz can refried beans, warmed
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1 15 oz can enchilada sauce
1 ½ cups shredded Mexican cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan on the stovetop, warm the beans on low heat until they soften.
  3. In a lightly oiled skillet, cook the chicken over medium heat until the internal temperature reaches 170. Chop the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces.
  4. Warm a tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds.
  5. Spread ½ cup of the beans on the tortilla.
  6. Top beans with ½ cup of chopped chicken.
  7. Fold and roll the tortilla into an enchilada.
  8. Place the enchilada in a baking dish.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 until you run out of chicken, beans or tortillas, whichever comes first.
  10. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top.
  11. Top with shredded cheese.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes.

The Footnotes

  • About the tortillas: Warm them one at a time for about 10 seconds in the microwave before stuffing with beans and chicken. This will soften them and help prevent cracking when folding.
  • About the chicken: I usually fry the chicken in a skillet because I am in a hurry, but you could use chicken that is poached or baked as well.
  • About the enchilada sauce: Read the label carefully when picking up your enchilada sauce. If you like spicy, by all means pick the one labeled “hot.” However, if you have more mild taste, make sure to pick the one labeled “mild.”

Baking time (duration): 20 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: dinner

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being hottest, how spicy do you like your food?

2 Comments
  1. This is very similar to how I have made enchiladas in the past. And it is sooo good. My mouth is watering right now.

    • Do you add any other ingredients to your enchilada recipe? I’ve been debating about adding other ingredients inside the enchiladas to change them up a bit in the future, like maybe onion or jalapenos… though not too many jalapenos. Don’t want to get them too hot again. 🙂

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