Mom’s Cilantro and Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

18 Enchiladas
1 hr 5 min

An important component of my childhood was my mom's cooking and flair for altering recipes. No matter the season, there was always something yummy being served! This recipe was always one of my favorites (I often requested these for my birthday). Originally, the recipe was from a cookbook sold at my school during the first grade; however, over the years, my mom altered these delicious enchiladas and this family recipe became a staple at our house!


The smooth, warm, creamy sauce and notes of green chiles and cilantro make this chicken enchilada recipe a family favorite. Enjoy!


  • Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • *You could buy precooked chicken; I boil two boneless, skinless chicken breasts so there is no seasoning (see notes below)
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1 7-ounce can of diced green chiles
  • 1 16-ounce jar of green salsa
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • Canola or soybean oil
  • 3-4 cups grated cheese blend (I’ve used both a Mexican blend and a cheddar/jack blend)
  • 6 ounce block of pepper jack cheese
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch cilantro


  • Tools & Timing
  • Two large prep bowls
  • Baking dish(es)
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Small frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs
  • Timing: 45-50 minutes

If you’re cooking your own chicken

  • Large pot with lid
  • Timing: add an additional 30-35 minutes

Step-by-step

If you’re cooking your own chicken, follow the steps below:

  1. Fill a large pot halfway with water. Drop in chicken breasts, then pour more water until breasts are submerged about 1 inch.
  2. Turn heat to medium high and bring water to a boil (about 10 minutes). Set a timer and watch closely.
  3. As soon as the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium. You want the chicken to simmer (gently bubbles) for another 15-20 minutes (I usually slant the pot lid so there’s a gap for air to escape during this part of the cooking process).
  4. As the chicken cooks, rinse and dry your green onion and cilantro. Chop them into fine pieces. Place in small prep bowl and set aside.
  5. At the end of 15 minutes, check chicken for doneness – remove a breast from the water and slice it through the thickest part. If it’s not cooked, return to the pot and continue to simmer until all chicken is cooked through.
  6. Once cooked, remove chicken breasts from pot and place on cutting board to rest.

Begin your sauce

  1. *If you’re using precooked chicken, rinse and dry your green onion and cilantro. Chop them into fine pieces. Place in small prep bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large prep bowl, combine soup, sour cream, green chiles, and 1 cup of green salsa. Stir well.
  3. Chop your chicken into ¼ inch cubes. Add to second prep bowl; then, add 2 cups of your grated cheese mix, your chopped green onions and cilantro, and the rest of your green salsa. *Wash and dry this cutting board – you’ll need to again.
  4. Prep your pepper jack: cut cheese into 6 slices that are about ¼ inch thick. Then, cut these slices into thirds (see pics). You’ll use one slice per enchilada.

When ready to Roll (literally)

Prep your tortillas: Pour oil into small frying pan to just cover the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to medium.


  1. As oil is heating, place a layer of paper towels onto your cutting board.
  2. Gently place a tortilla into the oil – it should sizzle a bit. As soon as it starts to bubble (you’ll see bubbles expand in the tortilla itself), use your tongs to gently pick up the tortilla. *I always have a wooden spoon handy at this moment – I get the spoon, facing backwards, under my tortilla once I pick it up with the tongs and gently flip the tortilla onto the spoon back…then, I use the spoon to gently place the tortilla back into the oil to cook the second side (see pics).
  3. Once tortilla bubbles on second side (this literally takes a second or two), use the same technique with the tongs-spoon combo to remove the tortilla from the oil and place it onto the paper-towel lined cutting board.
  4. Cook enough tortillas to fill a single layer on your cutting board; then, cover with another layer of paper towels and begin again. Continue this process until all tortillas have been lightly fried.

Once all of your tortillas have been fried, you’re ready to assemble:

  • Preheat over to 325.
  • Spread a thin layer of your sauce in the bottom of your pan(s).
  • Grab a tortilla, and spread a bit of sauce along the middle. Then, place a square of pepper jack cheese on top of the sauce, followed by a layer of your chicken filing (see pics – and make sure to leave room to wrap your enchilada).
  • Fold the enchilada closed, and place it, folded-side down, into the pan.
  • Continue process until pan is full.
  • Cover with another layer of sauce.
  • Sprinkle liberally with your remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes (until the sauce bubbles).
  • Let stand for a few minutes before serving.


Serve and Enjoy

Other Options

So GOOD in quesadillas…recipe coming soon!

Mom’s Cilantro and Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe details

  • 18  Enchiladas
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 35 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 5 min
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Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • *You could buy precooked chicken; I boil two boneless, skinless chicken breasts so there is no seasoning (see notes below)
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1 7-ounce can of diced green chiles
  • 1 16-ounce jar of green salsa
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • Canola or soybean oil
  • 3-4 cups grated cheese blend (I’ve used both a Mexican blend and a cheddar/jack blend)
  • 6 ounce block of pepper jack cheese
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch cilantro

Jessica
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