Chicken Enchilada Recipe (Enchiladas Verdes)

A couple months back, I received an email that gently pointed out to me that there was not a chicken enchilada recipe to be found anywhere on my site. Sacrilege! I was utterly mortified and sought to remedy this egregious oversight post haste! (“Post haste” in this instance evidently means more like what “post haste” meant back in the days of the Pony Express, ie a couple months.)

Enchiladas verdes was the recipe in particular that was desired — that Tex-Mex favorite, with a fresh tomatillo sauce and shredded chicken filling, topped with melted white cheese and sometimes sour cream.

She who desired it was actually a classmate of mine from high school English with whom I had failed to keep in touch lo these many (15!) years. I remembered her though, particularly because of her extraordinary writing. Once she wrote a poem for class that I really liked and I asked for a copy of it and then took it home and read it to my BFATT (boyfriend-at-the-time) and by virtue of not telling him that someone else wrote it, I implied that I myself had written it and I imagined that he thought I was a genius poetess, except that the poem mentioned both Devo and Cuisinart and I knew not the correct pronunciation of either and therefore was busted.

So, to make up for trying to claim authorship of her poem in a misguided attempt to impress my D-bag-BFATT, I dedicate this chicken enchilada recipe to Christine.

Chicken Enchilada (Enchiladas Verdes) Video

Chicken Enchilada Recipe

First, make the sauce:


Green Enchilada Sauce

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x


  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 12 serrano peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Place the tomatillos, serranos, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Turn the tomatillos and broil another 2-3 minutes until blistered and blackened all over.
  2. Let cool slightly then stem the serranos and peel the garlic. Transfer the broiled vegetables to a blender. Stab the tomatillos with a fork to release their juice and make blending easier.
  3. Add the onion and cilantro and salt and blend until smooth.


If you don’t have a broiler, you can boil the tomatillos and peppers for about 5 minutes, then drain and proceed with recipe. If you can’t find fresh tomatillos, use a one pound can and skip directly to the blending step (after draining them of course) and since reader Lynda pointed out that most canned tomatillos are packed in brine, you probably won’t need to add any salt to the salsa if you use canned tomatillos.

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Chicken Enchilada Recipe (Enchiladas Verdes)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cups green tomatillo enchilada sauce (from above recipe)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheese


  1. Instructions
  2. First poach the chicken: Put it in a pot with just enough water to cover it. Add some salt and pepper, about a teaspoon of each. Cover and turn heat to medium-high. Bring to low boil, then turn off heat and let chicken sit in hot water for another 10 minutes. This method of poaching prevents the chicken from getting tough. (If using bone-in breast, allow the chicken to stay in the hot water for 15-20 minutes.)
  3. Remove the chicken from the water and let cool slightly then shred using 2 forks. Sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Sprinkle a few drops of water on each tortilla then heat them in the microwave 30 seconds. Flip the stack and heat again 30 more seconds or until they are soft and pliable.
  5. Pour about half the sauce into the bottom of a 9×13″ pan.
  6. Dip each tortilla into the sauce, then fill with a couple tablespoons of chicken, a little diced onion, and roll up.
  7. Once all the enchiladas are rolled, pour the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes to melt the cheese (or microwave).


For Sour Cream Enchiladas: Once the enchiladas are rolled and placed in the pan, add 1/2 cup sour cream to the remaining green sauce and pour it over the enchiladas. Top with more cheese if desired and bake as directed.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Great Stone Face on January 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Would you seed the Serrano?

    • Hilah on January 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      I wouldn’t, but someone else might! If you did, it would probably be easier to seed it before roasting.

  2. CurtCole on February 2, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Just made these and was almost crying into the 9×13 pan they were so good–and I made them–ME!–with your sage guidance. Can’t wait to make this for my mother and sister on Christmas Eve! Moving on to your tamale recipe next. Thanks again for unshackling me from a bleak future of only eating out of those paper troughs at the Whole Foods’s salad & dinner bar!

    • Hilah on February 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      YAY!! You are awesome! I’m so proud of you! 😀

  3. Lynda on May 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Hilah. I made this last night and it was fantastic. Your recipes are the best!
    I used a can of tomatillos because the fresh ones at HEB looked rotten. I didn’t add any salt because the tomatillos were already salty. You might want to put a note on the recipe to omit the salt if using canned tomatillos. Can you do a recipe for sour cream enchiladas that don’t use cans of soup? They are my favorite type of enchilada but I could never cook it right. I would very much appreciate a good recipe. Thanks.

    • Hilah on May 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it! Good tip about the saltiness of the canned tomatillos, too.
      I’ve made this same recipe adding sour cream to the sauce and it turned out yummy. I just added a note to the bottom of the recipe about how I did it.

  4. Karen on June 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Wow I tried this and it blows your socks off for taste. I am glad
    I found you on the web, I was searching for a few good recipes.
    I am going to cook this for a huge crowd of Harley Bikers for
    lunch. I am going to have to make a ton. But I know it will
    blow them away. Thanks for the time you took to write
    this all up.

    • Hilah on June 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      That’s great, Karen! SO glad you like it and I’m really flattered you’re going to make it for your crowd. 🙂 Hope they all like it. Thanks for writing!

      • Karen on July 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        well the enchiladas went over like crazy for the bikers! they all wanted
        the recipe and wanted to know when I was going to make more lol.
        I have even made it again for my family and this weekend they are
        asking if I would make it again! It is an outstanding recipe and the
        green enchilada sauce I think its what makes it stand out. thank
        you again. Karen

        • Hilah on July 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

          Bad ass! That’s wonderful to hear, Karen! 😀

  5. Maya on August 12, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Hello again Hilah,

    I made your salsa verde recipe and filled the tortillas with grilled zucchini and onion instead of the chicken (I’m vegan). IT WAS INCREDIBLE ! It’s the first time I make my own salsa and it’s so easy !

    Next time I think I’ll make a cashew cream to top the enchiladas… Yum.

    Thanks for another great recipe. I might serve these along with your quinoa salad and maybe guacamole and chips next time I’m having friends over 🙂


    • Hilah on August 12, 2013 at 11:19 am

      That sounds delicious, Maya! I’m so glad you liked the salsa. I’m sure your friends will love it, too. 🙂

  6. Luis on April 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Hiya Hilah: A local market makes the best chicken enchilada caserole.They add cream of chicken, cream of mushroom,chicken broth to name a few but will not give the full recipe. Any ideas ?

    • Hilah on April 14, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Hi Luis! It sounds similar to King Ranch Chicken Casserole which has those things, plus Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilies, a bunch of cheese, and cut up tortillas. You should be able to find a recipe for it online or in most home-cooking style cookbooks. It’s been around for ages and it’s really good and easy.

  7. Coco Nunes on June 23, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Hilah~
    I finally made these. My chicken came out over cooked and too tough. I put them in the water, brought to a boil, turned off, kept chicken in there for 10 minutes more. I put 2 pieces in that (1.15lb) What do you recommend for next time? Thank you : )

    • Hilah on June 24, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Hi Coco!
      I have never had that happen to me. So sorry. Next time, set your timer for 8 minutes and see how they look.

  8. Allard Kragt on September 1, 2014 at 8:36 am

    They don’t sell tomatillos in my country, I’ve looked everywhere. I did find that I can order salsa verde made from tomatillos online, it would be this one:
    Would that work?

    • Hilah on September 1, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Hi Allard!
      Yes, that would be a fine and easy substitute. I think one jar would be enough for one recipe of enchiladas. I am familiar with that salsa and it should work well! Good thinking.

  9. georgine on February 4, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I just read and downloaded your recipes for enchiladas and greens. I loved, loved, loved the brisket recipe and am anticipating making these for a friend on Friday. My question is – will you marry me??

  10. paige on July 26, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Do you think these would freeze well?

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