These chicken enchiladas are made with a surprising red sauce, corn, tomato sauce, and other fresh ingredients. They all combine to make an exquisite dinner everyone loves.
Another fantastic chicken enchlada recipe is my white sauce chicken enchiladas! If you want something saucy and comforting, give it a try!
This recipe was originally posted May 3, 2016, we’ve tweaked it a bit since then. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
How To Make Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
When craving Mexican food, enchiladas are the number one dish I turn to. What better way to enjoy Cinco De Mayo food than with these cheesy red sauce enchiladas? I have another chicken enchilada recipe on the blog (cheesy chicken enchiladas) which are made with a white sauce, also just as delicious as the red sauce. It’s really a personal preference. Both recipes are fairly quick to make and you can find all the ingredients at your local Fred Meyer store or any grocery store near you.
How Long to Cook Enchiladas
I baked my enchiladas for 45 minutes at 370 degrees F. This gives all the flavors time to really meld together and it makes the cheese melt perfectly.
Since all the ingredients are already fully cooked, you can bake it for a shorter amount of time. Just make sure the cheese is all melted and the enchiladas are warmed completely.
Chicken Enchilada Ingredients:
- olive oil
- tomato sauce
- red enchilada sauce
- shredded chicken
- mild green chilis
- chili powder
- red pepper flakes
- shredded pepper jack cheese
- shredded Monterey Jack
- corn tortillas
These are incredibly easy to make. Scroll on down to the recipe card for the full details. Here is an overview of how to make chicken enchiladas with red sauce.
1.) Sauté garlic and chopped onion in a frying pan.
2.) Add tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, and some cumin into the skillet. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
3.) In a bowl combine shredded chicken, more cumin, some sautéed onion, corn, green chilies, chili powder, and red pepper flakes.
4.) Add some of the red sauce to the chicken mixture. Then mix in shredded pepper jack cheese and Monterey Jack cheese.
5.) Spread a little bit of the red sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 inch deep baking dish (just enough to cover the bottom).
6.) Warm the corn tortillas in the microwave. This will make it easier to roll the enchiladas. Scoop 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into the middle of each warmed corn tortilla and roll it up tightly.
7.) Place the rolled up enchiladas into the baking dish and cover with the remaining red sauce. The sprinkle with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
8.) Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit.
Side Dishes for Enchiladas with Red Sauce
Since this is a Mexican dish, serve something Mexican or Tex-Mex with it. This isn’t a very spicy dish, so if you want you can add some spice to the side dishes.
Here are some of my favorite side dishes to serve with enchiladas:
Different Topping for Enchiladas
What you put on top of your enchiladas is completely up to you. You can go simple and just leave the red sauce and cheese as the topping as I did. If you want some ideas, here are some things other people put on their enchiladas:
- Green onions
- Black olives
- Chopped tomatoes
- Jalapeno peppers
- Sour cream
- Pico de Gallo
Can you freeze enchiladas with sauce?
Yes, you can make this meal ahead of time and freeze it, even with the sauce. I recommend using a disposable aluminum tray for the enchiladas. That way you can keep your casserole dishes free for other meals during the week.
Here’s how you do it:
- Follow my recipe right up until the step where you bake them. Don’t bake them.
- Cover the tray tightly with plastic wrap.
- Put aluminum foil over the tray.
- Label it with the name of the recipe and the date.
Keep the enchiladas in your freezer for up to 3 months.
To serve frozen enchiladas just remove the plastic wrap and foil and bake for 45 minutes at 370 degrees F.
How long can you freeze enchiladas?
You can freeze enchiladas for up to 3 months. They might last a bit longer, but if you leave them in the freezer too long, you risk freezer burn.
Full Recipe Instructions
Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 cups enchilada sauce
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 1 cup corn
- 4 oz diced mild green chilies
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin divided
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 8 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
- 24 oz shredded monterey Jack
- 16 corn tortillas
- Salt to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic and chopped onion until it becomes translucent. Reserve 1/3 cup of the sautéed onion and garlic.
- Add tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, and 1 tsp cumin into the skillet. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
- In a bowl combine shredded chicken, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/3 cup sautéed onion, corn, green chilies, chili powder, and red pepper flakes.
- Add 1/2 cup of the red sauce to the chicken mixture. Then mix in 8 oz shredded pepper jack cheese and 16 oz Monterey Jack cheese.
- Warm the corn tortillas in the microwave (2 at a time for 10 seconds). This will make it easier to roll the enchiladas. Scoop 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into the middle of each warmed corn tortilla and roll it up tightly.
- Spread a little bit of the red sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch deep baking dish (just enough to cover the bottom). Then place the rolled-up enchiladas into the baking dish.
- Cover with the remaining red sauce. Then sprinkle with about 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit.
More Chicken Recipes
Here are some more of my favorite chicken recipes. I love them just as much as my chicken enchiladas.
- Smoked Salmon Salad - May 31, 2023
- Garlic Aioli - May 30, 2023
- Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad - May 27, 2023
These enchiladas are amazing! I always double the recipe to freeze for later! Thank you!
Thank you! So happy to hear that you love this enchilada recipe! Love the idea of doubling it and freezing for later 🙂 Thank you for your kind feedback 🙂
Kim Gillenwater says
I didn’t even see the AMOUNTS of the ingredients until afterwards, as they were like a P.S. at the very end of this, but DID see the LIST of ingredients. My printer was misbehaving, so it didn’t print. Instead of TWO pounds of cheese (!!) I only used one….half a pound of each kind. That was plenty. I used flour tortillas, and that was fine, too. I used more chili powder, and it was just absolutely DELICIOUS! I had more filling than I needed, so served that on tostada shells the next day. I will be making this as a “regular recipe,” in my life, as it was a definite HIT.
Thank you for the positive feedback Kim. I’m glad this enchilada recipe has become a staple in your home 🙂
This is our family favorite “Mexican food” recipe! If my husband asks for enchiladas, he means THESE enchiladas! I’ve made them for guests too and the compliments were endless. Thanks Dina!
Thank you for the kind feedback Olya! I’m so happy your family loves this recipe 🙂