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This recipe for enchiladas verdes is easy to make and loaded with everything you love about Tex Mex cuisine. Tortillas filled with a mix of savory chicken, tender pintos, plump corn kernels, and two types of cheese are topped with salsa verde and baked to perfection. Green chicken enchiladas at their finest!
Enchiladas verdes de pollo, also known as green chicken enchiladas, are simple to create and perfect for feeding a big crowd. They are hearty and satisfying, bringing a bold dose of flavor to the table.
What sets these enchiladas apart is the roasted salsa verde — a green, tomatillo-based sauce with loads of bright, zesty flavor. It turns a normal casserole into a Tex-Mex masterpiece!
This enchiladas verdes recipe requires only a handful of simple ingredients and 20 minutes of prep time. You can make it and bake it or freeze some for a quick dinner down the road. I like to divide it into two 8×8 pans, then cook one and freeze the other right away.
Table of Contents
- Chicken – You need 4 cups total of shredded chicken. I like to use a rotisserie bird for convenience, but you can also roast your own chicken to shred.
- Salsa Verde – This bright and zesty sauce is made from roasted tomatillos and green chile peppers. Try my easy DIY version or grab a jar off the shelf at the supermarket.
- Pinto Beans – You can use canned or fresh beans as long as they are fully cooked. Black beans make a great substitute.
- Corn – Use fresh off the cob or thaw a bag of frozen. You can even use canned, just drain it well first.
- Green Chiles – For this recipe, use California chiles which might also be labeled as New Mexico, Anaheim, hatch, or green chiles.
- Cheese – We’re using Monterey Jack for optimum melt factor, plus Pepper Jack for a spicy kick.
- Tortillas – Corn tortillas are the traditional choice for enchiladas, but you can use flour if preferred.
- Cilantro – Adds a dash of freshness and a bright, crisp flavor.
- Prepare the Oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 13×9 inch pan or two 8×8 inch pans with cooking spray and set aside.
- Make the Filling. Shred the chicken into a large mixing bowl, then add in 1 cup of salsa verde, the pinto beans, corn kernels, green chiles, and 2 cups of Pepper Jack cheese. Mix thoroughly to blend.
- Fill the Tortillas. Evenly distribute the filling between 8 tortillas, positioning it lengthwise and then rolling each tortilla up.
- Transfer to the Baking Pan. Add one cup of salsa verde to the bottom of the prepared baking pan/pans. Shake to evenly distribute the salsa, then place the filled and rolled tortillas on top.
- Top & Bake. Pour the rest of the salsa verde over the top of the enchiladas, followed by one cup each of Pepper Jack and Monterey Jack cheeses. Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool & Serve. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Then, dive in and enjoy!
Easy shred method for chicken
To speed up the shredding of the chicken, I like to use my trusty mixer. I simply use the paddle attachment, drop the cooked chicken pieces in the mixer bowl and turn it on Low. In 30 seconds the chicken is completely shredded (see below image).
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Enchiladas verdes have a bit of spiciness to them, but it is not overwhelming. The spicy heat in the recipe comes from salsa verde, which is made from roasted tomatillos and green chile peppers. Like most salsas, you can find store bought versions ranging anywhere from mild to very hot.
My Homemade Salsa Verde uses Anaheim chiles and serrano peppers and usually comes out medium on the spicy scale. If you want a milder version, you can replace the serrano peppers with milder jalapeno peppers. Thoroughly deseeding your peppers will also cut down on any fiery flavor, too.
If you prefer a spicier dish, go ahead and crank up the heat! You can make an extra spicy salsa or toss a few chopped chiles right into the filling.
Enjoy these green enchiladas as is or serve them with any of your favorite Tex-Mex or Mexican side dishes. Here are a few of my top picks to get you started:
– Enjoy with a side of Refried Beans or Charro Beans.
– Have alongside Mexican Red Rice, Yellow Rice, or the rice of your choice.
– Serve with sour cream, Fire Roasted Salsa, and Guacamole for topping.
– Add some freshness with some Spicy Cilantro Slaw or a Mexican Salad.
Yes! You can assemble the entire casserole a day ahead of time, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Once cooked, your leftovers will stay good for 4-5 days when kept in an airtight container.
But wait — there’s more! These green chicken enchiladas are perfect for freezing. Once assembled, you can cover the pan with aluminum foil and pop it right into the freezer for 3-4 months. You can do this with an uncooked casserole or with one that has been cooked and fully cooled. Either way, just be sure you tightly wrap the dish to avoid freezer burn.
Once you are ready to enjoy your enchiladas, transfer them to the fridge to thaw overnight. Then, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes.
This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Aug. 15, 2016, was last updated with new content on November 30, 2023.
Enchiladas Verdes de Pollo
- 4 cups cooked chicken breast shredded (See Note 1)
- 4 cups salsa verde separated (See Note 3)
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans
- 1 cup corn kernels fresh or thawed from frozen
- 4 oz chopped green chiles (See Note 2)
- 3 cups Pepper Jack cheese shredded, divided
- 8 corn tortillas or flour tortillas, medium size
- 1 cup Monterey Jack shredded
- Fresh cilantro chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Shred the chicken and place in a bowl. Add 1 cup of green salsa, beans, corn, green chiles and 2 cups Pepper Jack cheese. Mix thoroughly.
- Place the chicken filling on the tortilla lengthwise and roll up, this filling should make about 8 (distributed evenly).
- In the bottom of one 13″x9″ or two 8×8″ baking pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray, add 1 cup of the salsa verde, shake pan to distribute on bottom and then place the rolled enchiladas.
- Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with remaining 1 cup each Pepper Jack and Monterey jack cheeses. At this point you can cover with aluminum foil and freeze for later use if you like or bake for 30 minutes (See Note 4).
- Remove and let cool slightly before serving.
- You should be able to get 4 cups of white meat from a large rotisserie chicken, or you can roast a whole chicken. If you prefer, use dark meat, or a combination of white and dark.
- Green Chiles can be: California Chiles also known as New Mexico chiles, Anaheim Chiles, Green Chiles or Hatch.
- I use homemade roasted salsa verde, but feel free to buy it if you’d like.
- If you make this and freeze it for later use, allow it to defrost completely in the refrigerator, and then bake as directed.
- Nutrition shown is based on a serving of one green chicken enchilada.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.