This recipe for ground chicken enchiladas is a great prep-ahead meal for entertaining! You can make these enchiladas in advance and then pop the casserole dish in the oven when guests arrive. The ground chicken combined with spices, sour cream, cheese, corn tortillas, and beans creates the most flavorful chicken enchilada recipe!
Key ingredients and substitutions in ground chicken enchiladas:
- Tortillas: I use corn tortillas but flour will also work! It is super important that you heat the corn tortillas up before rolling them, otherwise they are likely to crack and fall apart. I heat them one at a time in a small skillet while I simultaneously roll an enchilada. By the time you have filled and rolled an enchilada, the next tortilla will be warm. You can also microwave them on an oven-safe dish or heat them in the oven wrapped in foil.
- Enchilada sauce: Of course, you can make your own sauce, but I love the ease of store-bought enchilada sauce. I love Trader Joe's jarred enchilada sauce but you can use whatever your favorite is.
- Chicken: While shredded chicken is more traditional, I love using ground chicken for this recipe.
- Cheese: I use pepper jack cheese for a slight kick. You can substitute jack cheese for a milder flavor.
- Canned green chilis: You can pick if you'd like to use mild or hot, depending on if you enjoy spicy food or not.
- Canned black beans: be sure to drain and rinse them.
- Sour cream: you can use regular, low-fat, or even substitute for plain Greek yogurt.
- Spices, including chili powder: This recipe uses American Chili Powder, which is a spice blend.
Ground chicken vs. shredded chicken
You can absolutely use ground chicken for enchiladas! While shredded chicken tends to be more common, ground chicken is so juicy and flavorful and my personal favorite! I find it to be less likely to dry out.
How to prepare chicken enchiladas in advance
- You can make the filling up to 3 days in advance! Store the enchiladas covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- You can prep the ground chicken enchiladas up to 24 hours in advance and wait to bake them until you are ready to enjoy. Cover the baking dish well with foil and store in the refrigerator.
- To reheat leftovers, place them in a microwave-safe dish and cover them loosely with a damp paper towel. Microwave in 30-second increments until warmed all the way through. Alternatively, reheat in an oven-safe dish in a 350-degree oven covered with foil until warmed through.
What should I serve with enchiladas?
- Appetizers: For an appetizer try my Roasted Tomato Salsa or Guacamole with Pomegranate and chips!
- Side dishes: I love serving enchiladas with Mexican rice and refried beans. For the refried beans, I simply add a can of refried beans to a baking dish and top with shredded cheese. I bake it along with the enchiladas until melty and bubbly. You can also serve this with a corn, tomato, and avocado salad (check out this one from Natasha's Kitchen).
- Drinks: These enchiladas would be delicious with a Guava Margarita or a Blackberry Basil Margarita.
- Desserts: My Strawberry Corn Flake Crisp or Brownies with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting would be the perfect end to this meal!
If you make these ground chicken enchiladas, I'd love to know what you think in the comments below!
Ground Chicken Enchiladas
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1.5 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, omit for less spice)
- 1 cup cold water
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 15 ounce can of black beans drained and rinsed
- 4 ounce canned green chilis regular or hot
- 2 cups pepper jack cheese divided
- 10 8" corn tortillas
- 15 ounce can of enchilada sauce
- cilantro for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken and break it up with the back of a spoon. Cook the chicken until it is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, salt, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, and water and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream, black beans, chilis, and half the cheese.
- Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. In a small skillet, heat a tortilla on medium heat until warm, flipping half way. Remove the tortilla from the skillet and add a few small spoonfuls of chicken filling to the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla then add it to the baking dish with the seam side down. Repeat with all the tortillas until the baking dish is full. Cover the rolled up tortillas with the remaining enchilada sauce and top with the rest of the cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the enchilada sauce and cheese are bubbly. Top with fresh cilantro, if desired, and enjoy.