Chicken Enchiladas Freezer Meal Recipe

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

As part of my 50 Freezer Meals in a day menu I wanted to share my enchilada freezer meal recipe.  Usually the day before I start cooking all my freezer meals I will add a bunch of chicken breasts to the crockpot so they can roast slowly on low all night. That way when I wake up in the morning all the chicken is ready to be shredded or diced for the various recipes I am making.

This enchilada freezer meal recipe is one of my favorites because it is just so super easy! You can make your enchiladas as mild or spicy as you like, add sides like cilantro lime rice or beans. It is so delicious.  For ease you make them up, add them to your 9×13 pan and freeze. Thaw and bake for a really short time for a quick dinner.

ENCHILADA FREEZER MEAL RECIPE

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Make sure you have some Enchilada Sauce. I have quite a few great Mexican friends who have shared with me this secret: It is possible to make homemade Enchilada sauce, but honestly this stuff tastes exactly like their homemade.   I have never tried to make homemade sauce before, so I am going to stick with these cans. If any of you have a different opinion or a recipe to share that makes better homemade enchilada sauce please share by leaving a comment.

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Take your shredded chicken breast and add it to your shredded cheese.

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Mix it up a bit. 

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Add in some onions if you like that sort of thing. I usually never put onions in because I am pretty much the pickiest person on the planet.

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Then add in your can of Enchilada Sauce. I like the mild because these can get a bit spicy for me – I am a gringo you know..LOL.

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.comChicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Then you just get out your flour tortillas, heat them in the microwave a bit so that they don’t crack/split when you fold them. Have your enchilada making station all ready to go.

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Add a little bit of enchilada mixture to your tortillas and wrap them up. I had way too much chicken mix I think on this one.

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Wrap them up and add them to a nice 9×13 or baking dish.

Chicken Enchiladas

Pour over some enchilada sauce on the top.

Enchilada Freezer Meal

Sprinkle your cheese.

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Cover with foil, label and freeze. Or bake right away at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or till melty and bubbly.

Enjoy with some homemade salsa, sour cream, lettuce, beans and rice!

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

Now if you really want to spice up the flavors a notch you can add in some jalapenos with your mix.

Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com Chicken Enchilada Freezer Meal Recipe - happymoneysaver.com

4.58 from 7 votes
chicken-enchiladas
Print
Chicken Enchiladas
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Servings: 10
Author: Karrie
Ingredients
  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Medium Onion diced
  • 3 Cups Cheddar Cheese Shredded
  • 10 Medium Flour Tortillas
  • 2 Cans Red Enchilada Sauce
  • Optional:
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • Jalapenos
  • White Rice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Place 4 raw chicken breasts into a pot of water.
  3. Boil on high for 20 minutes, or until chicken is shreddable.
  4. Then using a cutting board, shred the chicken.
  5. Mix cheese, onion, chicken and 1 can red enchilada sauce in a bowl. (Optional ingredients can be added at this point.)
  6. With a large scooper, fill each tortilla with mixture. Roll it up and place it in large 9x13 baking dish with seams down. Repeat until all chicken mixture is used.
  7. Pour the second can of enchilada sauce over the top.
  8. Top with cheese.
  9. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until melted and bubbly.
  10. Serve with sour cream, salsa, lettuce beans or rice.

—> See ALL of my Freezer Meals recipes here.

Plus I have a lot more ideas including a {Freezer Meals: TESTED} on my Happy Money Saver Pinterest boards – come on over and follow me. Seriously just do it, you will be happy you did.  🙂

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117 Comments

Chicken Enchiladas Freezer Meal Recipe was last modified: November 2nd, 2016 by Karrie

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Comments

  1. I LOVE your baking dish! Its amazingly fresh and adorable, I need one now! Also, I haven’t (ever) thought of adding jalapenos, what a brilliant idea! My husband is going to be in for a great surprise next time I make enchiladas. Thanks for sharing 😀

  2. ashleigh says:

    This looks so yummy!!!! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Danielle says:

    I make my enchilada’s like this but I add sour cream to the meat mixture. Sooo good. It tames the spicy sauce flavor down for the kids. Make me hungry just thinking about it!

  4. I use this easy recipe at recipegirl.com It’s so good and easy it’s worth the extra bit of time; and you can claim all homemade, and get bragged on! Love your ideas on freezer meals and will be using them this summer!

    Enchilada Sauce

    Yield: About 2 1/2 cups

    Prep Time: 15 min

    Cook Time: 20 min

    Ingredients:

    1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
    2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 Tablespoons chili powder
    1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon onion salt
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Directions:

    1. Heat oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Whisk in flour and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk until lightly browned. Gradually whisk in tomato sauce, chicken broth, cumin, garlic powder, onion salt and salt. Stir until smooth, and continue simmering over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

    2. Serve immediately, or keep in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    • I use this recipe for enchilada sauce as well. Superior to any canned sauce I’ve ever tried. And super easy 🙂

    • Valerie Morris says:

      Hi Karrie,
      I am new to freezer meals so this was my first attempt. They tasted amazing but the appearance was lacking a little when they were done. Maybe you could give me some tips. I made the enchiladas about 4 days ago and froze them. I went from freezer straight to oven without foil. Cooked for about 1 hr 15 min last 15 without foil. The top was beautiful but my corn tortillas were pretty gooey on the bottom. So with or without foil? Should I defrost in the fridge first?any suggestions on how to prevent soggy tortillas?

      • You could try defrosting in the fridge first, but because the sauce is on the tortillas so long you may get a little more sog than if you made them fresh.

        • I always prepare freezer meals for my nephew when he stays at my house to watch my dogs when I am on vacation. He is a very good cook (as long as he is just heating things up in a microwave). Has anyone tried to bake these first (without the cheese on top) then freeze them? I think he can manage to put some cheese on top when they are hot from the microwave. What do you think?

  5. Will corn tortillas work? I am on strict gluten free diet.

    • Absolutely, I have used corn tortillas before and they are just as good.

      • What about whole wheat tortillas – has anyone tried them and if so, do they work as well as the flour and corn?

        • I tried whole wheat and the family hated it. It was too “wheaty” for them… but that’s just my fam.

          • You could try making your own tortillas with this recipe and use half whole wheat. I used to think I hated whole wheat flour until I bought FRESH whole wheat from Wheat Montana. I opened up the bag and could have eaten a handful of flour. By itself. Fresh, good quality wheat makes all the difference. Store bought wheat tortillas suck plain and simple. Get organic good quality whole wheat and you will find yourself dreading using white flour.

      • I found gluten free tortillas in the store, and they worked great!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Hi Karrie,
    You mentioned that you put a lot of chicken breasts in a crock pot so they can roast overnight. Do you just stack them on top of each other put on the lid and you’re set? Do you add any liquid? Is there a limit to the number of breasts you can put in there at one time? I have seven of your recipes to prepare and I’m already at 17 chicken breasts. I have a large slow cooker, so it would be great if I could squeeze most of them in there and get them cooked in advance.
    Thanks!

  7. You say you can freeze this. If I do that, do I have to thaw it before I stick it in the oven, or can it go in frozen and just bake until heated through?

  8. I am going to make this with ground beef too! And freeze!

    Thanks for the ideas!

  9. If I freeze it; do I have to pull it out and thaw it? Then 350 for 25-30?
    Keep it frozen and double the time?

    What are your guidelines for cook timeswhen using a frozen meal vs a fresh one?

    • You can if you have the time, or if you are a last minute person like me you can also just stick it in the oven frozen. Yeah, it does take a little bit longer this way, I just watch it after the initial 30 minutes on this recipe – checking every 10 minutes or so until it’s done. From frozen this usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.

      • I was wondering the same thing with all of the freezer meals. There are no tips for for how you reheat when you are ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  10. Thank you!

  11. Liz. beasley says:

    If you use tin foil pans they can go straight from freezer to oven, put keep a tin foil cover on til last 10 minutes as to not over bake tortilla. If you use glass dishes, definetly let thaw overnight or during day! I also do this with the white sauce enchiladas, until we had to go dairy free

  12. Thank you so much for all the great freezer recipes!! Got the chicken breasts in the crockpot and the ground beef is defrosting. Making Chicken pot pies, lasagna, chicken enchiladas, chicken & Broccoli alfredo and hamburgers tomorrow:)))Next week beef french dip sandwiches:)))

  13. Oh!! and a large batch of chocolate chip cookies will be made Thursday :)))

  14. SUCCESS!! I made 2 chicken pot pies, 2 chicken enchiladas, 2 lasagnas, 9 hamburgers and 1 chicken broccoli alfredo:)))) I messed up and forgot to double the enchilada sauce so I had one can for the mixture and one can to go over both batches but I just put extra cheese over top so hopefully it will be fine. Also, I doubled the lasagna recipe but it really barely made one and a half. next time I will triple the recipe except for the gr. beef to make 2 lasagnas. We ate the smaller lasagna last night. I found classico sauce on sale and got the sweet basil kind, my family LOVED it!!! They said it was the best lasagna I had ever made. Thanks again!!!

  15. vankelly says:

    Great recipe! I tried out, and love it! easy and quick!
    Thank you for sharing!


  16. I mix my mild enchalada sauce with a can of tomato soup and a can of cream of chicken soup. It seems to help with the spicyness and helps it go further. I mix all three cans together and whisk until blended, over low heat.

  17. What do you think about adding a can of Rotel Tomatoes to the chicken?

    I’m just starting out with the freezing dinners as my job has changed to 10-12 hr days and I’m in no mood to cook when I get home. This would be easy for hubby or my daughter to put on. Thank you for posting so many great recipes. I’m going to work my way through them. 😀

  18. Hi, when you make these for freezing, do you add all the ingredients (i.e., the sauce over the top)?

    Thanks!

  19. You list white rice as an optional. Do you add that into the frozen recipe or just make it as a side item? If you add it in do you cook it first? I am excited to give it a try!!

    • Either or… If you like having rice in your enchiladas then feel free. I usually just use the rice as a side item. Hope you like the recipe!

    • I use black beans and rice in my enchiladas all the time i usually cook the rice first and use 1/2 a cup in my enchiladas than leave the rest for an optional side. If you use 5 min rice you can add it in without cooking but it will suck up a bit of sauce.

  20. It’s hard to tell from the picture…how many oz are the cans of enchilada sauce? It’s nearly impossible to find in Canada so I’m going to have to make my own!

    • The user recipe at the top looks tasty, but for freezer cooking multiple meals, I use this for my enchilada sauce.
      1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
      7 cups Chicken Stock
      4 Tbls vegetable oil
      7 Tbls cornstarch
      8 Tbls chili powder
      2 Tbls cumin
      1 Tbls sugar
      Whisk the liquids together in a stockpot and heat over high heat until it is combined and starts to get little bubbles. Spoon a little bit of it into a bowl, and add the cornstarch and whisk until combined. (I probably use 3/4 cup liquid.). Once it makes the little sauce, pour the whole thing back into the stockpot. (It really just keeps the cornstarch from being lumpy.) Add the spices to your pot, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. You can add salt if you like, but I don’t usually add pepper because I’ve found it gets bitter in the freezer. This makes enough for me to make 30 enchiladas. EnJoy!

  21. Hi! Love the ideas!!! May I recommend you to try the Herdez sauces. I am originally from Mexico and my kids and now my friends agree that La Costeña and Herdez sauces tastes SIGNIFICANTLY better, not one of my kids like the other one… A little culture… When you use flour tortilla they are burritos, you need corn tortillas for enchiladas… I would call this dish “Burritos Enchilados” 🙂 blessings.


  22. Is the rice mixed in or just for the side? I couldn’t tell.

    Anyhow, to really make your sauce taste better add a can of cream of mushroom soup. I’ve had many Mexicans tell me it’s the best enchilada sauce they’ve ever had!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      The rice in this recipe is just for the side but that could be a great addition the enchiladas! If you try it let me know!

  23. If I ise corn shells will they turn mushy after I defrost and cook the enchiladas?

  24. Your recipe calls for 3 cups of cheese. Is that 2 cups in the filling and 1 cup on top?

    • Also, do you have any idea how many cups of cooked, shredded chicken that might be? I have 12 cups of shredded chicken to use in various recipes and I’m wondering how much I should use in this one.

      • Happy.MoneySaver says:

        It really depends on how big your chicken breast. I would say on average each chicken breast brings about half a cup of chicken. So about two cups total of chicken would work for this recipe. But feel free to eyeball it and add more chicken in if needed!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      That’s how I made it! Feel free to change ratios if you like more cheese on top though! 🙂

  25. Making your own homemade enchilada sauce is very easy and it actually tastes much better than the canned stuff. Here is my recipe that I’ve used for years: http://myvegrecipes.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/home-made-enchilada-sauce/. It makes a good amount and can easily be frozen (I know how you like freezing ) and thawed when you need it.

  26. jennifer says:

    what do you think is better in quality/texture : 1. if one cooks it then freezes it, then thaws and reheats to serve OR 2. freeze prior to cooking and serving? (I am leary of the sauce added to the dish prior to freezing; I wonder if it would make the tortillas soggy while they are in the process of freezing).

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I usually bake it just once so I freeze it prior to cooking it. I haven’t had a problem with the tortillas being soggy and it tastes great!

  27. This recipe sounds great, but what are the instructions for baking once it’s frozen? The problem I have with most freezer meal recipes is there are no instructions for cooking it once it has been frozen. Do you need to thaw it out for 2 days in the fridge first and then bake it or can it be put in the oven while frozen? Thank you.

  28. mary hoy says:

    These freezer meals are going to be a life saver! I am going in for surgery on Wednesday so these will definitely help my husband out. It is going to be a busy day!

  29. I am going to try this using Salsa Verde instead of the Enchilada sauce.

  30. Michaela says:

    I just put my first two batches of this in the freezer! I saved some of it for lunch today and it was a big hit at my house! I am so excited about not being so rushed when school starts, especially since my husband and I are both teachers and we have two boys who are in school! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Erika Strain says:

    I have a really silly question, but I have never made enchiladas before… Do you bake them with tinfoil sealing the casserole, or without? I don’t want the cheese to burn, but also don’t want them to be too mushy! Thanks so much! BTW, I love your recipes, thanks so much for sharing!!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I usually don’t bake with foil on. But if you have frozen it and it is not all the way thawed I would keep the foil on for half of the baking time and then pull it off so it can get nice and melty! If you want the cheese to have more color broil it for about 2 minutes but don’t walk away! 🙂

  32. I’m looking forward to this for dinner tonight. I made A LOT of your recipes ahead of time as I knew I was going to be out of commission after have knee surgery. Thanks for sharing your recipes with us all.

  33. I have to admit that I’m pretty skeptical trying new recipes—especially when it comes to spicy foods and minimal ingredients in the recipe. However, I was already using chicken for chicken stock and chicken noodle soup AND enchilada sauce happened to be on sale… So I figured, ah what the heck. Man am I glad I did!!! This is so yummy, and I tested it cold to make sure it was good before I assembled! I followed your recipe to a T, except I doubled the recipe (so much chicken on hand already shredded+I love freezer meals) and added an 8oz block of cream cheese to cut the spicy ness since hubby hates really spicy foods. I love this enchilada base so much that I’m going to add in different ingredients to keep these as a staple! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  34. Can you cook these, freeze separately and then heat up in a microwave? I am trying to find good meals that my Fiance can bring with him to work! 🙂

  35. Sonya Bracho says:

    What size are the cans of enchilada sauce? There were 2 sizes at the store– a 15 oz and a 30 oz. I used the 30 oz and they were soggy (but delicious!). Do you use the 15 oz ones?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I actually used the 19 oz ones which depending on your store they may not have. If you liked them juicer than keep it that way or you could try the smaller cans. I would just add a little less sauce to the filling so the outside tortillas were covered in enough sauce!

  36. How long can they stay in the freezer, and how long to thaw before cooking?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      These can stay in the freezer 4-6 months…if they last that long! 🙂 I like to take mine out the night before and leave it in my fridge during the day to thaw and then pop it in the oven that night.

  37. Lee Crawford says:

    Are you able to assemble the meal and put in refrigerator over night to cook next day? I don’t want to freeze, just making one night ahead.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      You could definitely do that. If you like it saucier, I would recommend adding the sauce and cheese right before going into the oven so that the sauce doesn’t absorb into the tortillas.

  38. Once the enchiladas are frozen, do I need to defrost them prior to baking or do I just throw them in the oven right out of the freezer? Also, the same time and temp if they’re frozen?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I like to take them out the night before and stick them in my fridge. Then the cooking time is the same. But if they are frozen when you put them in the oven it will take closer to an hour to cook at the same temperature.


  39. Here’s the worlds easiest homemade enchalada sauce!!! My family loves this one!
    Take one 12-15oz can of Tomato Sauce
    Add the same amount (12-15oz) of your favorite jared taco sauce or salsa (mild, hot, etc)
    then a couple dash’s of cumin and mix.
    that’s it!!!! you gotta try it. it’s sooo yummy!

  40. Just wanted to confirm you bake it first then you freeze it, is that correct? Also when you take it out of the freezer is it possible to just heat it up in the microwave instead of the oven?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      You can do it either way but I think it tastes better when you bake it for the first time AFTER it is frozen rather than bake and then freeze. If it was baked prior to freezing then you could just heat it in the microwave.

  41. Christina says:

    I beg to differ… Canned enchilada sauce does not taste the same as homemade, nor is it as good quality (or good for you). It’s super easy to make too…

    All you need is

    1 pd tomatoes or tomatillos (for a green sauce)
    1 or 2 Jalapeños (or poblano/pasilla pepper or dried Ancho chili soaked in water)
    1/2 medium onion
    1 clove garlic
    1/4 cup liquid (water, chicken stock, milk, etc…)
    salt and pepper to taste
    Optional: handful of shredded cheese

    Place a saucepan on the stove with oil to just cover the bottom (2 tsps) and turn on heat.

    Then place all ingredients in the blender (including cheese if using), blend until smooth. Pour into hot saucepan (quickly to avoid getting burned with hot oil) and bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Then pour over your tortillas.

    Easier than pie.

  42. Can you freeze individual enchiladas? I’d like to wrap a few up for my husband to take to work for lunch. Then he could just pop them in the microwave like you would with a frozen burrito. Have you tried that?

  43. Vanessa says:

    I might rival you for pickiest person on the planet! No onions or peppers for me! I also won’t eat anything with mayonnaise and I don’t like most seafood or fish.

    Love your recipes this is the 4th one I’ve tried. I am making another batch now to freeze. I usually add velveta cheese to the mixure but I’m worried about it separating so I might skip it this go around. Anyone had any experience freezing velveta cheese? I also add Mexican rice to the mixture as well. (I pretend there aren’t onions in it, it’s a Jedi mind trick sometime I use because EVERYTHING has onions in it!)

  44. I have to try this one. It looks soo good

  45. Will this meal be able to be warmed up in the microwave? I’m freezing meals for my son to take back to college…and being able to cook in the microwave after he gets home would be better than having to cook for 45-50 minutes. thanks

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Definitely! I would probably cook them and then package them in small portions for him to warm up. Great idea!

  46. I’ve made enchiladas similar to this before, but the bottom of the enchiladas ended up being very slimy. Do you have a suggestion?

    • Maybe you are adding too much sauce on that bottom layer? Also make sure you are not baking on top rack of oven, make sure its near the middle or closer to the bottom if you hate them being to wet/slimy – but be careful not to burn them either.

  47. Chile Rojo sauce from Grandma. If you don’t like it spicy. You can always leave out or cut in half the ingredient.

    2 ancho chile (produce section of Walmart)
    2 new mexico chile
    1 tomato
    1 small onion
    1 jalapeno
    2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
    cumin
    salt
    pepper
    Take chile pods and bring to boil 30 minutes. Remove steams and seeds and place in the blender.
    Bake in oven at 300 the produce. Ok to broil for roasted flavor. 30 minutes.
    Place in blender the liquefy add spice to taste. I normally just dash a little of everything.
    You can make in large batches and keep on hand for topping sauce or use to slow cook meats in for tacos. Enjoy 🙂

  48. I wanted to make some freezer meals for a friend who doesn’t have an oven, just a microwave. Do you have any recipes that can be fully cooked prior to being frozen? Thanks

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Almost every freezer meal recipe can be cooked prior to being frozen and heated in a microwave including these enchiladas! 🙂

  49. An easier way to shred chicken/beef/pork is to use a electric hand mixer. Leave a small amount of water in the pot you cooked the meet in and turn the mixer on. This works best if the meat comes out of the slow cooker but nonetheless it works wonders and is super easy!

  50. I have started to track my eating habits and need to know the nutritional value and calories of this recipe. I love it and make it a lot! Myfitnesspal app is saying 1 serving is 4030 calories! I sure hope not!

  51. We use mild rotel instead of chopping onions and in place of the red enchilada sauce. Then just before baking, pour canned green enchilada sauce and grated cheese and bake

  52. I accidentally baked this when I intended to freeze it. Will it be okay to freeze?

  53. Emily Howard says:

    Love your site! Thank you so much for all the useful information. I wanted to let you know what I do with enchilada sauce. I also get the cans and don’t do homemade. But I will make a huge quantity of enchilada sauce that I touch up and then freeze the extra. I saute chopped onion and green chilies. Then add multiple cans of enchilada sauce to fill a very large restaurant size pan. I add in tons of red peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, and of course – jalapenos. It’s a very chunky sauce. What I don’t use for my freezer meals – I freeze in individual bags for future use. I usually take on this project when I come across a good sale on the sauce. My best to you and again – thank you!

  54. I found out the “2 Cans Red Enchilada Sauce” means 2 of the 19 oz. cans not the 10 oz. cans. Learn by doing 🙂 I’m new to this so I assumed wrong.

  55. Hi Karrie – love your website! Thank you for so many yummy recipes! You said in this one that you do your chicken breasts in the slow cooker the night before – can you let us know how you do this? Many thanks!

    • I add my chicken breasts into the slow cooker, add about 1 cup of water or so, some seasoning salt on top and set it on low. First thing in the morning I shut it off, and shred. Then allow to cool and use it in my make ahead meals.


  56. This recipe is fantastic! I will be making it again and again! Thank you.

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