Chicken Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce


Enchiladas, much like lasagna, do not photograph well. Or at least they sure don’t for me.

But enchiladas (much like lasagna) taste much better than they look, so that’s okay.

I admit I don’t make enchiladas very often at all, even though I love them (I am usually an enchiladas suizas or enchiladas con poblano mole kinda gal at a Mexican restaurant). I’m too lazy to make separate components and then fill/roll them, so I usually end up doing a layered casserole/Mexican lasagna of sorts instead (or our staple tamale pie with chicken instead of beef). But, I had a few chipotles in adobo sitting in my fridge, and I was thinking they would make a nice smoky-spicy enchilada sauce, so I decided to go about this the old fashioned way.

The chipotles in adobo were a great touch to the sauce, giving it a little more kick and depth than your usual enchilada sauce. I did a really basic filling, and of course you could modify that to your liking.

Chicken Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce
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1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
12-14 corn tortillas
canola oil or cooking spray
2 cups Mexican blend or cheese of your choice, shredded
1 batch enchilada sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a large baking/casserole dish with cooking oil and then pour about 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce into the baking dish, barely covering the bottom.

In a large pan, heat the oil. Then add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, chicken, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a little while over low to combine the flavors.

Heat another pan over medium heat and either spray with cooking spray, or add canola oil to the pan. Add the corn tortillas one at a time, leaving in the pan for about 2 or 3 seconds per side – enough to make them pliable and have a little taste of oil.

Add half the cheese to the chicken filling, or just put about 1 Tbsp of cheese in each tortilla. Fill each tortilla, roll, and place seam side down in the prepared dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas, making an even layer and coating all enchiladas. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5.

Chipotle Enchilada Sauce
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 chipotles in adobo (depending on how hot you want it), minced, plus 2 tsp. adobo sauce
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper

In a medium sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic and chipotle and after about 30 seconds, add the flour. Cook off the raw flour, whisking constantly for about 1-2 minutes until flour is incorporated and a little golden, and then add the broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, bay leaf, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer to combine the flavors as your prepare the rest of the meal. Season to taste if necessary. Puree if you want – I went ahead and pulse processed this to make it nice and smooth. You could also push it through a mesh strainer.

Chicken Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce

2 thoughts on “Chicken Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce

  1. Hey, I’m really enjoying your website! Thanks!

    Sorry to be a dweeb, but could you define “cook off the raw flour?” I’m imagining I’m just mixing in the flour with the ingredients already in the pan for a period of time – just not sure how long…. A guestimate would be great! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Clint – it should only take 1-2 minutes and the flour will sort of get incorporated and turn golden. I will be sure to update the directions with clearer specifications. 🙂

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