Easy Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
These green chicken enchiladas are so simple to make. With salsa verde, chicken, sour cream, cheese, and cilantro, they are a tasty, quick, and easy dinner. Jump to the Chicken Enchiladas Recipe or watch our quick video below to see how we make it.
Watch us make the recipe
How to make the easiest salsa verde enchiladas
I love enchiladas with red sauce, but my favorite way to make chicken enchiladas is with salsa verde. Salsa verde is a green salsa made from tomatillos, garlic, onion, and peppers. It’s absolutely delicious. You can make salsa verde yourself (here’s our easy recipe) or you buy it at the grocery store. I especially love using the Hatch brand when I don’t have homemade on hand. If you’re in the mood for red chicken enchiladas, use our homemade enchilada sauce instead. Here’s our recipe for red chili chicken enchiladas.
What you’ll need:
These simple enchiladas are spicy, creamy, and cheesy. Our recipe below serves 4, but you can easily double or even triple it for a crowd. I do this when attending family potlucks all the time. These are always a hit.
- Salsa verde which is also called tomatillo salsa. As I mentioned above, you can buy this at the store or make your own.
- Cooked and shredded chicken. Store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken works perfectly. I also love making big batches of shredded chicken for dinners throughout the week. Here’s our recipe for tender shredded chicken if you want to do the same.
- Garlic adds extra flavor and spice.
- Sour cream and shredded cheese. The sour cream makes the green sauce for the enchiladas extra creamy and the cheese melts in the oven.
- Fresh cilantro adds an extra pop of color and freshness.
- Corn or flour tortillas. Corn are more traditional, but flour works, too. We used flour tortillas in the video. Here’s our recipe for corn tortillas as well as our recipe for flour tortillas.
Making salsa verde enchilada sauce
This creamy green enchilada sauce could not be simpler. Here’s the simple steps I follow to make it:
Step 1: Warm garlic in a little oil and stir in salsa verde. The salsa already has garlic added, but I love the extra spice from the extra garlic.
Step 2: Stir in sour cream and fresh cilantro to the salsa. It’s the sour cream that makes the sauce so creamy.
Step 3: Stir in shredded chicken and a handful of cheese. By adding the chicken to the warm sauce, it gets a head start on warming up. The chicken absorbs so much flavor. I could just stop here and eat the whole skillet!
Step 4: Fill tortillas with the chicken and sauce and roll up. So the sauce stays inside the tortillas, place the enchiladas seam-side down into a baking dish.
Step 5: Spread the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with cheese. I bake them in the oven until the cheese has melted and the sauce is nice and bubbly.
One note about the tortillas
As I mentioned above, you can use flour or corn tortillas to make these enchiladas. Corn are the more traditional choice, but it depends on what you have on hand and the texture you’d like.
Flour tortillas soften in the oven, while corn tortillas will hold up a bit better. If you use corn tortillas, look for thicker tortillas since they hold up a bit better than thin.
You will need to soften the corn tortillas up a bit before filling and rolling them. Frying them in a little oil softens them and enhances the corn flavor of the tortillas.
More recipes using salsa verde
- Make your own salsa verde by following our Roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe.
- Do you have a pressure cooker? Try our Instant Pot Salsa Verde Shredded Chicken.
- Instead of adding salsa verde chicken to enchiladas, try topping nachos. That’s what we do in our Salsa Verde Chicken Nachos.
- We spoon a little salsa verde over these Easy Breakfast Tacos.
Recipe updated, originally posted February 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
Easy Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
These green chicken enchiladas with salsa verde, chicken, sour cream, cheese and cilantro are simple to make. Salsa verde is a green tomatillo salsa made with garlic, onion and peppers. You can make it yourself (see our homemade salsa verde recipe) or buy it from the store. There are some great options. Look for a salsa with medium heat.
You Will Need
1 teaspoon neutral flavored oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups (16 ounces) salsa verde, store-bought or try our roasted salsa verde recipe
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped, plus more for serving
2 cups shredded cooked chicken, see how we make shredded chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese blend
6 (6-inch) flour or corn tortillas, see notes
- Make Sauce
- Make Chicken Filling
- To Finish
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat then cook garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the salsa verde and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from the heat then stir in the sour cream and cilantro. Taste for seasoning, adjusting with salt, pepper or more sour cream if the sauce it too spicy. Set aside about 1 cup of the sauce for assembling the enchiladas.
Stir the shredded chicken and half of the cheese into the sauce that has not been set aside.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish and spread a little reserved sauce on the bottom. Add about 1/3 cup of the chicken filling to the middle of each tortilla and roll into a cylinder. Repeat, lining up tortillas, seam-side down, tightly in the dish. Spread the reserved sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes longer, until the cheese is melted. Serve with cilantro on top.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Meatless Version: Swap the chicken for vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, onion, and winter squash. Add them to the creamy sauce cooked, but still with some crunch since they will continue to cook in the oven.
- Tortillas: Both flour and corn tortillas can be used. Flour tortillas soften much more than corn so it depends on what you have on hand and the final result you are looking for. If you use corn tortillas, look for thicker tortillas since they hold up a bit better than thin. You will need to soften the corn tortillas up a bit before filling and rolling them. Frying them in a little oil softens them and enhances the corn flavor of the tortillas.
- Make-ahead: As the enchiladas sit, they absorb more and more of the sauce, which can make them softer and a little soggy. I prefer making these the day of and don’t recommend making them ahead of time or freezing them. (That said, I’ve been known to chow down on the leftovers the next day without complaint.)
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.