Chicken Taco-Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas 1

Friends! It’s been way too long. I’m sorry. I can’t believe I haven’t posted here since early July – I haven’t gone so long without posting in over ten years! – and some of you have been emailing to ask what’s up. I appreciate it so much. Really, it’s just been summer, and work, and catching up, and finally organizing the basement storage room that you’ve only been able to step through gingerly, navigating boxes and paint cans and cobwebs, for approximately the past 12 (!!) years. And is it just me, or is time a runaway train these days?

But! Enchiladas. I’m often lured to buy a package of locally-made corn tortillas, which come wrapped in thick paper in a far larger stack than I ever manage to get through before tucking the rest away in the freezer. And so because we had a string of spatchcocked chickens on the barbecue that provided leftovers to work with, I decided to make enchiladas, which can be rare in these parts. Because Las Tortillas makes slightly thicker corn tortillas, which aren’t quite as pliable as other varieties, I kept them open like tacos, shunting them up against each other in the pan, and poured the enchilada sauce overtop to soften them as they baked. The result was like tacos meets lasagna meets chilaquiles meets enchiladas. It was a delicious mess, and I kept the last of the tortilla stack out of the freezer so I can make another batch tomorrow.

Chicken Enchiladas 2

The key is the enchilada sauce, which you can buy in a can, but I’m not at all familiar with any brands out there – fortunately it’s also spectacularly simple to make at home, with ingredients you most likely already have. Chili powder (the quantity seems high, but chili powder isn’t as spicy as many people imagine), flour, chicken stock and tomato sauce. I always imagined that if/when I made my own enchilada sauce it would require a trip to the market for an assortment of brick red dried chilies to soak and soften or blend in my spice grinder, but even this version made with a couple spoonfuls of chili powder is deep and rich and softens the tortillas just right while mingling with melted cheese. (If you don’t want to make your own, feel free to pick up a can.)

Beef (shredded, chopped, ground) would swap in well for the chicken, or some roasted veg and crumbled queso fresco. And yes, you can totally swap small flour tortillas for the corn.

Chicken Taco-Enchiladas


September 3, 2018



2 Tbsp canola oil

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 crushed garlic clove

1/4 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup tomato sauce

8-12 corn tortillas

2 cups shredded roasted chicken

1 cup cooked or canned black beans

1-2 cups grated mozzarella, Monterey Jack or other meltable cheese

2 green onions, chopped


1Preheat the oven to 350F. To make the sauce, whisk the oil and flour in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Whisk in the chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper.

2Whisk in the chicken stock (I free-poured, feel free to do the same) and tomato sauce and whisk until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Let it simmer for at least a minute, and add a little more stock if you'd like to thin it out - it should have the consistency of thin gravy.

3To assemble the taco-enchiladas, spread a spoonful of the sauce in a line on the bottom of each corn tortilla and top with a spoonful of black beans, spreading it in a line over the sauce, and then the shredded chicken and a sprinkle of cheese. Roll them up (without tucking in the ends like you might with a burrito) or just fold them in half, like a taco, and line them up right beside each other in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce overtop (I held some back - but add as much as you like) and sprinkle the top with green onions and the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Serves 4-6.


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8 comments on “Chicken Taco-Enchiladas

  1. Bernice
    September 4, 2018 at 8:18 am

    These look amazing Julie! I often make something similar with all my Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.
    I found out the hard way that North American chili powder is A LOT different than chili powder in other parts of the world because here it’s a blend. I usually use around 5 tbsp for chili con carne… Which translated into a whole lot of (pain) inedible chili when I made it for the family during our time in Australia. I had to ask my sister to send us some good old Canadian chili powder ?

    • Julie
      September 4, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      oh no! was it cayenne?

  2. Jolene
    September 4, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    I was going to ask about the chili powder as I am so used to cooking curry that what I call chili powder is a little different!

    • Julie
      September 4, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      Add it to your taste! This sauce is deep red, intense but not really spicy at all.

  3. Lori
    September 6, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    I’ve shied away from buying “real” corn tortillas because of the vast quantity you have to buy. I’m glad to know you can freeze them. Is it tricky to thaw only a portion of them?

    • Julie
      September 19, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Not at all – they freeze beautifully!

  4. Lottie
    December 7, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    this is a lovely dish, Julie. I used ground chicken and it worked well.

    • Julie
      December 10, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      So great to hear it!

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