Check out the ultimate shortcut to incredible shredded chicken enchiladas! This mouthwatering recipe features the convenience of store-bought rotisserie chicken, transforming it into a delectable filling bursting with flavor. With tender and juicy shredded chicken, smothered in a white savory sauce and topped with melted cheese, these are a time-saving solution that does not compromise on taste.
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Convenience: Rotisserie chicken is readily available at most grocery stores, saving you time and effort in cooking and preparing the chicken from scratch.
- Flavorful and Tender: Rotisserie chicken is often seasoned and cooked to perfection, resulting in tender, juicy, and flavorful meat.
- Time-Saving: Shredded chicken takes hours to prepare on the stove or in a slow cooker. You can significantly reduce the cooking time here since the chicken is already cooked, you only need to shred it and assemble the enchiladas along with other add-ins.
- Cost-Effective: The chicken is often reasonably priced, making it an affordable option.
What Type of Tortillas to Use
- Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are a traditional choice for enchiladas and can provide a delicious and authentic flavor. They have a slightly earthy taste and a slightly firmer texture compared to flour tortillas. You can use either white or yellow corn tortillas based on your preference.
- Flour Tortillas: Flour tortillas have a softer texture and milder flavor compared to corn tortillas. They are more pliable and less likely to break when rolling the enchiladas. Flour tortillas can work well if you prefer a softer, more tender texture for your enchiladas.
- Whole Wheat Tortillas: If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can choose whole wheat tortillas. They have a nuttier flavor and a slightly denser texture compared to regular flour tortillas.
What Type of Chicken to Use
You can use any type of cooked chicken, including rotisserie chicken itself.
If you prefer to cook the chicken yourself, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Both options work well and can be cooked through various methods such as grilling, searing, or baking. The important thing is to ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly and is tender and juicy.
Whether you use rotisserie chicken or cook the chicken yourself, the key is to shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces before incorporating it into your enchiladas. This allows for even distribution of the chicken throughout the dish, ensuring each bite is flavorful and satisfying.
Juicy Chicken/Avoiding Dry Chicken
There are quite a few reasons your chicken may dry out for enchiladas. My first recommendation is to select the cuts of chicken with more fat, i.e. dark meat. Chicken breasts have very little fat and are more prone to drying out. I love to use chicken breasts for this dish, but keep in mind, breasts are a lot more dry than the other cuts of chicken. If you know this will bother you, don’t use chicken breasts.
When you grab your rotisserie chicken the meat (including the breasts) is likely super juicy. You are going to bake and cook the chicken again, which means it risks drying out. Add salsa and/or cheese to your enchilada filling if this bothers you. You can also use a store-bought enchilada sauce.
I do not like adding these to my filling because it usually results in a soggy tortilla, but you won’t have to worry about dried chicken with this method. Take all of this into account and decide what will work best for you.
Spices and Seasoning
I love to use my Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe because you have direct control of the spices you add, along with the amount of salt. A lot of the pre-packaged store-bought seasoning packs have a lot of sodium. Feel free to use your favorite store-bought package if you wish.
The homemade blend is made with:
- Smoked Paprika: Adds a touch of sweetness and color
- Chili powder: Rich, smoky flavor
- Cumin: Warm, earthy flavor
- Garlic powder: Savory flavor
- Onion powder: Sweet and slightly tangy flavor
- Salt and Pepper: Enhances the overall flavor of the seasoning
What Type of Cheese to Use
- Monterey Jack: A versatile and mild-flavored cheese that melts well. It has a creamy texture and a slightly tangy taste, making it a popular choice for enchiladas.
- Pepper Jack: If you enjoy a bit of heat, you can use Pepper Jack cheese. It is similar to Monterey Jack but infused with spicy peppers, such as jalapeños or serranos, which add a kick of heat.
- Cheddar: Has a sharper and more pronounced flavor compared to Monterey Jack. It melts nicely and can add a rich and robust taste.
Buy Blocks of Cheese and Grate Instead of Bags of Pre-Shredded Cheese
I always buy blocks of cheese and grate them myself. I do not recommend using pre-shredded, bagged cheese. I use the shred blade on my food processor to save time with this process, you can also use a standard cheese grater. Here’s why I don’t use pre-shredded:
- Superior melting: Pre-shredded cheese is coated with anti-caking agents, such as potato starch or cellulose, to prevent clumping and make it last longer in the store. These coatings interfere with the cheese’s ability to melt smoothly and affect the texture of your dishes. When you grate your cheese fresh, it doesn’t have these additives and preservatives, resulting in a more velvety and evenly melted cheese.
- Better flavor: Pre-shredded cheese is exposed to more surface area, which can cause it to dry out faster and lose some of its flavor. By grating your cheese just before using it, you retain the natural moisture and full flavor of the cheese.
How to Make Rotisserie Shredded Chicken Enchiladas
Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add cooked chicken, onions, black beans, and diced tomatoes with green chilies to the skillet and season with spices.
- Take a tortilla and place a spoonful of the chicken filling in the center.
- Roll it up and place it into a 9×13 baking dish. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas and chicken filling.
- Heat the skillet on medium heat. Add butter and allow it to melt.
- Once melted, add flour and whisk.
- Add in sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), salsa verde, and 1 cup of grated cheese. Stir until thick to create a cream sauce.
- Pour the cream sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top.
- Cover and bake.
Why You Use Foil
Covering enchiladas with foil is a common practice during baking to help retain moisture and prevent the cheese or sauce from drying out. I do a mixture of baking them covered and then uncovered.
- Melting and Browning: If you want the cheese on top of the enchiladas to melt and brown nicely, you may want to bake them without foil. This allows the cheese to develop a golden crust.
- Moisture Retention: If you prefer your enchiladas to have a softer texture and want to retain more moisture, covering them with foil can help create a steamy environment, preventing excessive drying during baking.
I cover them for most of the baking time so they aren’t dry. During the final stage of the baking process, I remove the foil so that the enchiladas are bubbly and the cheese is gooey.
Substitutions and Additional Toppings Ideas
- Crab meat
- Bell Peppers
- Fresh Tomatoes
- Green Onions
- Hot sauce or Salsa
How to Store/Can You Make it Ahead
Refrigerate leftovers tightly covered and sealed for 3-4 days. You can assemble the enchiladas ahead of time without the cream sauce and cheese and store it in the fridge.
For the best texture, make the cream sauce and grate the cheese when you are ready to bake the dish.
How to Reheat
You can reheat the dish in the air fryer or oven at 350 degrees until warm. You can also use the microwave if you wish. My favorite methods are the air fryer and oven.
You can freeze them tightly covered and sealed for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight. Reheat following the tips above. I have not tested this recipe by freezing it unbaked. If you try that, let me know!
Pair With These Recipes
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You will probably also enjoy our Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup.
Shredded Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 12-16 oz cooked chicken
- 15.5 oz canned diced tomatoes and green chilies Drained.
- 1/2 cup chopped onions I used red onions.
- 15.5 oz canned beans Drained; I used black beans.
- 6-8 tortillas I used flour tortillas, mine were 6-7inches in width.
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese or pepper jack cheese I use Monterey Jack Cheese
Homemade Taco Seasoning (You can also use store-bought packets if you wish).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the Enchilada Filling
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.1 teaspoon olive oil
- Add the cooked chicken, onions, beans, and diced tomatoes with green chilies to the skillet and season with the spices. Cook until the onions are soft and fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat.12-16 oz cooked chicken, 15.5 oz canned diced tomatoes and green chilies, 1/2 cup chopped onions, 15.5 oz canned beans, 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Take a tortilla and place a spoonful of the chicken filling in the center.6-8 tortillas
- Roll it up and place it seam-side down into a 9×13 baking dish. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas and chicken filling.
- Heat the skillet on medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt.2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Once melted, add the flour and whisk. Add the flour in stages to prevent clumping. This will create a roux. Continue to whisk until the four is fully combined.2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Add in the sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), salsa verde, and 1 cup of grated cheese. Stir until thick to create a cream sauce.1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese or pepper jack cheese, 1/2 cup salsa verde
Assemble the Enchiladas and Bake
- Pour the cream sauce over the enchiladas, making sure to cover them evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of grated Monterey Jack (or pepper jack) cheese over the top.1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese or pepper jack cheese
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Once the enchiladas are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. I like to allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes. They will fall apart if they aren't set and properly cooled.Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.