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Family Friendly Green Chicken Enchiladas

This Green Chicken Enchilada Recipe is sure to please the whole family! This green sauce stars tomatillos lending to a savory but not spicy green enchilada that is sure to please everyone when mixed with corn tortillas, chicken, fresh corn, and cheese!

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Overhead view of green chicken enchiladas in a white baking dish, topped with melty cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce

These Green Chicken Enchiladas were somewhat developed by accident, I had a ton of corn tortillas left from another recipe as well as a bunch of shredded chicken in the freezer that needed to be used…

So since I already have my Leftover Chicken Enchilada Recipe with my Homemade Enchilada Sauce I wanted to go in a slightly different direction and give green enchiladas a try.

I had two goals with these green chicken enchiladas, I wanted a good but easy homemade sauce and I wanted to make sure this recipe wan’t spicy so that my kids would eat it.

So I developed this green sauce using simple ingredients with the start being canned tomatillos. Using whole canned tomatillos the sauce pretty much makes itself. Adding tender onions and garlic along with salt and cilantro made an instant delicious green sauce perfect for enchiladas.

Quickly putting some filling together with the chicken this green chicken enchilada recipe was born.

A white baking dish filled with baked green chicken enchiladas topped with melty cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

Ingredients

  • Canned Whole Tomatillos – Tomatillos also know as the Mexican Husk Tomato are part of the night shade family. You usually will recognize them as the green looking tomatoes that have the paper lantern looking thing on it. While you can find them fresh in season at some grocery stores we are streamlining this recipe by using a large can of whole tomatillos! Just open the can, drain, and you are ready to use them. Plus finding a can of tomatillos should prove easier to find than the fresh vegetable, or at least depending where you live. (P.S. If you are having trouble finding it check the Hispanic section of the grocery)
  • Onion – To add more flavor and substance to the sauce we will use an onion. In this recipe to make a smoother and less bitter sauce we will sauté the onion with garlic and oil for just a few minutes to soften and sweeten the onion slightly.
  • Garlic Cloves – My advice to make this easy is go grab a couple of garlic cloves and just smash them and trow them in with the onions while cooking, again just to take the bite out. They will be blended up so no need to fully mince them.
  • Oil – I like to use olive oil because of the flavor but the amount in the recipe is pretty small so feel free to use any neutral flavored oil you have on hand.
  • Cilantro – This is a green enchilada recipe after all so of course we have to throw some cilantro into the mix. I don’t use too much because I din’t want the cilantro to be overpowering but feel free to add some fresh cilantro to the top after cooking if you like cilantro!
  • Kosher Salt – If you are using table salt make sure you reduce the amount by half. Feel free to taste the sauce before adding to the enchiladas to see if you need to add more or not.
  • Corn Tortillas – I opted to go with corn tortillas for this recipe for a couple of reasons. First off corn tortillas are the traditional choice for Mexican Enchiladas. Second I also think they taste better in an enchilada than flour tortillas. Third corn tortillas are quite a bit lighter (aka healthier) than their flour counterparts. I think you call that a win, win, win.
  • Shredded Chicken – In this recipe we take advantage of using precooked shredded chicken. You can get this chicken from anywhere you want you may make it yourself specifically for this recipe, you can use leftovers from another dish, you can use rotisserie chicken, you can use chicken you have cooked and froze. Your choice!
  • Corn on the Cob OR Corn Kernels – If it happens to be corn season you should just grab a corn on the cob for some good fresh corn BUT fresh corn can be hard to find when it isn’t in season so I recommend subbing out 3/4 cup of frozen corn kernels that have been thawed!
  • Monterey Jack Cheese – I went with this nice delicious cheese because it melts so amazing. I recommend buying a block of Monterey Jack and shredding it yourself if you can, that way you won’t have any extra anti-caking chemicals and it will melt better!

For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.

Ingredients needed to make green chicken enchiladas laid out on a counter top, including tomatillos and shredded chicken.

Instructions

Start by preheating the oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a 9×13 or similar size baking dish. 

In a small skillet over medium-high heat add the oil, onion, and garlic. Saute 3 to 4 minutes until the onions have softened. Remove from heat. 

In a food processor/blender add the cooked onion mixture, drained tomatillos, cilantro, and salt. Blend until a smooth sauce forms. 

Making the green sauce for green chicken enchiladas showing the ingredients in the bender and then blended up.

Peel the corn on the cob and carefully cut off all the kernels with a sharp knife. Add the corn kernels to a large bowl along with the chicken, ½ cup of the montery jack cheese, and ½ cup of the green sauce. Mix together to combine. 

Collage showing a bowl of the ingredients for the filling of green chicken enchiladas and the filling mixed together.

Next you will want to decide how you are going to warm your tortillas. Corn tortillas will tend to fall apart if they aren’t warmed up before being used. For best results heat tortillas one at a time on an ungreased skillet over medium-high heat for 10-15 seconds on each side (this is what I prefer). You may also microwave the tortillas by placing 4 to 6 tortillas between two damp paper towels. Microwave 30 to 45 seconds or until warm. Whatever way you use keep the tortillas wrapped in a clean towel until it is time to use to keep warm until you are ready to use them.

Add a scoop to a warm tortilla, carefull roll up, and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all the filling as been added to the tortillas and the tortillas have been aranged next to each other in the baking dish.

A collage of greased baking pan and a hand showing a corn tortilla with chicken filling.
Wrapped tortillas in a collage as they fill up a baking dish.

Cover with the remaining sauce, spreading out if needed with a spatula. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. 

Collage showing green sauce being poured onto filled tortillas and then spread around.

Cover the dish with the remaining cheese. Turn the heat in the oven up to 425º F and cook the enchiladas another 8 to 10 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. Serve hot with more cilantro and sour cream to garnish.

Tips, Tricks, and Questions

Need to make some chicken to shred? Try one of these to methods:

Pressure Cooker: Add 2 cups of chicken broth with 3 chicken breasts and a pinch of salt to the pot. Seal lid and steam vent. Cook on pressure cook for 8 minutes. Quick release. Remove the chicken and shred.

Oven: Add 3 chicken breast to a greased baking dish. Add 1 cup of chicken broth and sprinkle chicken with salt. Bake at 350º F for 35 to 40 minutes or until the inside temperature reaches 165º F. Shred chicken to use.

Are Green Chicken Enchiladas healthy?

I guess it mostly depends on who you ask BUT this recipe doesn’t use sugar and is full of protein. And while it is covered in cheese it is going to be a better option than ordering takeout!

Is this spicy? If not can I make it spicy?

This Green Chicken Enchilada Recipe is NOT spicy. Like stated above I wanted this to be one that the whole family including my spice hating 6 year old would love.

If you want to add more spice it is easy, add some green chilies or jalapeños to the sauce. You can grab canned or fresh and just blend it up with the tomatillos!

What is a good side dish for enchiladas?

I love making a side of Mexican Rice or Instant Pot Refried Beans (Or Slow Cooker Refried Beans).

Overhead close up view of baked green chicken enchiladas topped with melted cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

If you like My Green Chicken Enchiladas you might also like:

Overhead view of green chicken enchiladas in a white baking dish, topped with melty cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

Green Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 36 minutes
Total Time: 51 minutes

These Green Chicken Enchiladas start with a green sauce that stars tomatillos lending to a savory but not spicy green enchilada that is sure to please everyone when mixed with corn tortillas, chicken, fresh corn, and cheese!

Ingredients

  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatillos, drained
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 corn tortillas, warm*
  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 corn on the cob (or 3/4 cup corn kernels)
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a 9x13 or similar size baking dish.
  2. In a small skillet over medium-high heat add the oil, onion, and garlic. Saute 3 to 4 minutes until the onions have softened. Remove from heat.
  3. In a food processor/blender add the cooked onion mixture, drained tomatillos, cilantro, and salt. Blend until a smooth sauce forms.
  4. Peel the corn and carefully cut off all the kernels with a sharp knife. Add the corn kernels to a large bowl along with the chicken, ½ cup of the montery jack cheese, and ½ cup of the green sauce. Mix together to combine.
  5. Add a scoop to a warm tortilla, carefull roll up, and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all the filling as been added to the tortillas and the tortillas have been aranged next to each other in the baking dish.
  6. Cover with the remaining sauce, spreading out if needed with a spatula. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Cover the dish with the remaining cheese. Turn the heat in the oven up to 425º F and cook the enchiladas another 8 to 10 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. Serve hot with more cilantro and sour cream to garnish.

Notes

*Corn tortillas will tend to fall apart if they aren't warmed up before being used. For best results heat tortillas one at a time on an ungreased skileet over medium-high heat for 10-15 seconds on each side. You may also microwave the by plaing 4 to 6 tortillas between two damp paper towels. Microwave 30 to 45 seconds or until warm. Whatever way you use keep the tortillas wrapped in a clean towel until it is time to use to keep warm unti you are ready to use them.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 3 enchiladas
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 649Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 673mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 9gSugar: 11gProtein: 47g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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