Homemade Chicken Enchiladas on a plate with sour creamHomemade Chicken Enchiladas on a plate with sour cream

I hate to admit it, but sometimes I don’t make what I want to for dinner because I know my kids will complain about it.  Have you been there?  

The last thing I need is whining about what I’ve put on the dinner table after I’ve slaved in the kitchen.  That just takes the wind out of my sails.  The charge out of my battery.  The cork out of my wine.  

Oh…that last one was a good thing. 🙂 

I love making enchiladas, but my kids don’t like things to be red and saucy unless it’s pizza.  Go figure.  I solved that problem tonight with these Homemade Chicken Enchiladas.  

They received more praise than I could’ve hoped for in my wildest dreams. I got two thumbs up and requests for seconds.   

It’s a keeper, to say the least.

I’ll tell you what’s so different about these chicken enchiladas.  The sauce isn’t red, as I said.  It’s chicken broth based, with the addition of flour to thicken it, and spices like cumin, chili pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  It’s like enchilada gravy.   It’s so different and so delicious, it’s a must try.  

I adapted this from a recipe titled Lighter Chicken Enchiladas on Martha Stewart’s website.  Please don’t balk at the instructions, as it’s really easy stuff.  You’ll have it prepped and in the oven in 20 minutes or so.

The chicken for this dish is actually poached in salted water.  If you’re not familiar with this technique, never fear!  It’s so simple.  Poaching (steaming) the chicken keeps it nice and moist for our enchiladas.

Poached chicken

It’s not much to look at, but I wanted to give you an idea of what it looks like so you don’t panic and wonder if something went wrong.  When it’s done, simply shred the chicken with two forks, and you’re all set.

While the chicken is doing it’s thing, you prepare the enchilada sauce (gravy!).  It’s prepared exactly the way gravy is, so it should just be called gravy.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce in bowl

You’ll mix a cup of this sauce with your shredded chicken, which is the filling for your enchiladas.  I used a blend of white corn and wheat tortillas, and they were perfect!  

There were 6 grande sized tortillas, or you can use the standard (8) corn tortillas.  Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of your 8×8″ baking dish, fill up your tortillas, and place them in the dish.  Pour the remaining sauce all over the top of the enchiladas, and cover with plenty of cheese!

Homemade Chicken Enchiladas Unbaked

Bake the enchiladas in a 400 degree oven for only 15 minutes until they’re nice and bubbly.

Homemade Chicken Enchiladas in baking dish

Now, grab a fork and eat!  You can save some for everyone else if you want.  Serve them with a dollop of sour cream, and fresh cilantro or scallions.

Chicken enchilada on a white plate

The super moist chicken is wrapped in that soft white corn/wheat tortilla, smothered in enchilada sauce, and covered with cheese.  What’s better than that?  Eating it is!

Chicken enchilada with bite taken out

Yield: 4 servings

Homemade Chicken Enchiladas

chicken enchilada on a plate with sour cream

Homemade Chicken Enchiladas are moist chicken wrapped in a tortilla, smothered in an enchilada gravy-like sauce, topped with plenty of cheese. Garnish with sour cream, fresh cilantro, or scallions.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 14 ounces low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • (6) grande white corn/wheat blend tortillas or (8) 6" corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup finely shredded cheese (I used Mexican 4 cheese blend)
  • sour cream, fresh cilantro, or scallions for garnish


  1. Fill a large skillet with water up to 1", and add one tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly, add the chicken, and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 12-15 more minutes. The chicken will continue to cook in the salted water. When it is opaque throughout, remove from the skillet and shred with two forks, then place in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the flour, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne, and cook about 1 minute, whisking constantly. Add the chicken broth and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly, and cook 5-8 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce has lumps, run it through a fine sieve. Add one cup of sauce to the shredded chicken.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of an 8x8" baking dish. Wrap all the tortillas in (4) damp paper towels and microwave 1 minute. Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture, and roll tightly, placing in the baking dish seam side down. Cover with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake 15 minutes until nice and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, or scallions.


Adapted from Martha Stewart's Light Chicken Enchiladas

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 587Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 392mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 9gSugar: 4gProtein: 38g

Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

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