I really, really love these chicken enchiladas with their creamy white sauce and I never thought a red sauce enchilada could compete. But these Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce can!
The secret is most definitely the homemade sauce. If I knew red enchilada sauce was so easy to make and so much better than the canned stuff, I would have been making it a long time ago. In fact, I like to double the sauce when I make this recipe, just so I can keep half in the freezer for another time. My entire family loved this meal, and that doesn’t happen very often around here. Which means these enchiladas will be making a regular appearance at our dinner table!
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas
- Cooking spray
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook for an additional minute.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.
- Place the chicken breasts into the sauce.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts you are using. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.
- Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the leftover onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the onion mixture.
- Stir 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese and the cilantro into the chicken and onions. Toss to combine.
- Spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla (if necessary, soften the tortillas by heating them in the microwave). Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese.
- Cover dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly.
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.