Red & Green Chicken Enchiladas

When I think of Mexican food, a few things come to mind; tortillas, beans, tamales, and enchiladas.  I love a good enchilada! 

Enchiladas can be made with a number of sauces and fillings.  Today, I am sharing with you, my favorites...Red and Green enchiladas.

My grandmother only prepared enchiladas for certain occasions; my birthday and potlucks.

My grandparents ALWAYS used canned enchilada sauce and their enchiladas always turned out great.  It wasn't until I got married that I began to experiment with different sauces.  My favorite "go to" sauce is made with dried ancho and guajillo chilies, onion and garlic.  I always cook the chilies in hot water to rehydrate them, but depending on my mood, I will either boil or toast the onion and garlic.  (Both methods result in a delicious sauce.)

For both of the recipes featured today, I used shredded chicken, but you can use shredded beef or pork.  To cook the chicken, I cover it with water and add half of a medium onion, a clove of garlic and a sprig of cilantro.  (Don't forget to season with salt and pepper.)

The last and one of the most important ingredients is the cheese.  There are so many cheeses that work well with enchiladas.  I say, have some fun and use your favorite.  I used queso fresco and Oaxaca cheese. 

Red Chicken Enchiladas


  • 3 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 dried guajillo chilies
  • Half of a medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pound shredded chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 dozen corn tortillas
  • Queso fresco
  • Oaxaca cheese

Combine the shredded chicken and 3 tablespoons of chopped onion; season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Place the dried chilies, onion and garlic in a medium saucepan; cover with water.  Cook over medium heat until chilies have been completely rehydrated. (About 15 to 20 minutes.)

After chilies are done, let them cool slightly.  Remove the stems and seeds from chilies.  Puree chilies, onion and garlic with 3 cups of hot water or chicken broth in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Pour into a glass bowl and season sauce with salt; set aside until ready to use.  (I don't recommend that you pour the sauce into a plastic bowl, because the sauce with stain the bowl.)

Heat the corn tortillas on a griddle or comal until warm and soft.  (Traditionally, the tortillas are fried in oil, then dipped in the enchilada sauce.  But I prefer to heat my tortillas on a comal with just a teaspoon of vegetable oil.)

Spoon 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish.  (This prevents the enchiladas from sticking to the pan.)

Before getting started on the assembly, make sure you have all of your ingredients ready and grouped together.

To assemble the enchiladas, dip a corn tortilla in the enchilada sauce.  Transfer tortilla to a plate.

Spoon equal amounts of shredded chicken and queso fresco down center of the tortilla.

Roll up tortilla and place seam-side down in baking dish.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

After the first layer is completed, spoon an additional 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce over enchiladas and top with shredded Oaxaca cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients for the second layer.

Once the second layer is completed, pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Top with shredded Oaxaca cheese.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350ºF for 30 to 35 minutes.   Enjoy!!!

*Yields 18 to 24 enchiladas.

Green Enchiladas

Green enchiladas are my favorite! 

Gramm usually prepared hers with corn tortillas.  But that all changed one day, when she was whipping up a batch of enchiladas to take to a church potluck.  She opened the refrigerator door to find that she only had flour tortillas.  Not wanting to let the folks at church down, she "altered" her recipe.  Of course, they were a big hit and I have made green enchiladas with flour tortillas ever since!

My Green Enchilada Sauce has evolved over the years.  I used to prepare it with Serrano chilies, but sometimes the heat was too hot to handle.  I finally discovered that roasted poblano peppers add just enough heat and tons of flavor to the sauce.  Roasting all of the ingredients is the key to an excellent sauce!

Green Enchiladas are traditionally filled with shredded chicken.  I like to add a little chopped onion and Mexican crema. 

If you´re a fan of Green Enchiladas, I recommend you try them with flour tortillas!

Green Enchiladas

  • 1 pound shredded chicken
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 2 Poblano peppers
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
  • Half of a medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig cilantro
  • 1 dozen flour tortillas
  • Queso Fresco
  • Oaxaca cheese

In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken, 3 tablespoons chopped onion and Mexican crema; season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large skillet, griddle or comal, toast the tomatillos over medium heat, until soft and slightly browned.  Transfer to a blender or food processor.

 Toast the Poblano peppers, onion and garlic.  Toast the peppers until they are nice and charred.  Place peppers in a plastic or paper bag for 5 minutes.  Remove burnt skin, stems and seeds from peppers.  

Place the peppers, onion and garlic in blender or food processor with the tomatillos.  Add the sprig of cilantro and 3 cups of chicken broth: puree until smooth. Transfer to large bowl and season sauce with salt.  (Sauce should be the consistency of pea soup.)

Spoon 1/3 cup of sauce into bottom of 9-inch baking dish or pan. (I used a larger pan because I doubled the recipe.)

Heat the tortillas on a griddle or comal.  (I'm an old pro, so I heat them directly over the flame.)

Arrange all of your ingredients.

Dip tortilla in sauce, making sure to coat both sides.

Transfer to a plate.  Spoon equal amounts of chicken and cheese down center of tortilla.

Roll up tightly and place seam-side down in baking dish.

After first layer is completed, spoon 1/3 cup of sauce over enchiladas.  Top with shredded Oaxaca cheese.  Repeat with remaining ingredients for the second layer.

Spoon 1/2 cup of sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle generously with shredded cheese.  Bake at 350ºF for 30 to 35 minutes.  Enjoy!!!

*Yields 1 dozen enchiladas.

With Love,
Leslie Limon


  1. Both of those look so good. I never make enchiladas but now I am going to have to. These are making me really hungry.

  2. your recipes or so yummy looking. can you one day post a albondigas recipe:) thanks please keep the recipes coming.

  3. I can't wait to try this recipe but I afraid of using the tomatillos. I never cooked with them up until a couple of weeks to make Pozole but it came out horrible. The tomatillos smelled wonderful as they were roasting with the onions but then when I tasted them they had a horrible bitter flavor. Is this normal? How can one tell when they're ripe enought to cook?? Thanks ahead for your help and advice.

  4. Baking the red enchiladas instead of frying them is genius! I made them today and they were really tasty.

  5. I made the red enchiladas, the sauce was so good. I really wish I knew how to make the sauce like they do here in the authentic mexican restraunts. Its creamy and they put cheese on top. Idk how they do it!!