Nothing is better than a bubbling hot pan of creamy white chicken enchiladas for dinner! So quick and easy to make, and something your whole family will love. Make these sour cream chicken enchiladas tonight, or make ahead as a freezer meal for later!
What Makes These The Best Ever White Chicken Enchiladas?
Even though I know they are the best, it’s other people’s reviews that I’ve heard that testify to them being the best, to die for cream cheese chicken enchiladas ever.
True story: I delivered a pan of these one night to one of my close friends as a dinner surprise. When she called me the next day, she said that her whole family agreed that my creamy enchiladas BEAT her white chicken enchiladas recipe (and she is a great cook). I’ve heard this kind of testimonial over and over again – everyone loves them.
Here are some other reasons:
- The Flavor. All of my favorite flavors come together in this dish! Cheesy, creamy chicken enchiladas that are baked to perfection. The salsa verde adds the perfect tang and just a bit of heat to make the perfect white chicken enchilada recipe!
- Oh so Creamy. The creamiest, sauciest sour cream chicken enchiladas recipe out there. I developed this with extra white sauce for that very reason.
- Freezer Friendly. Make this for dinner tonight, or you can quickly put a batch together and follow the freezer instructions for an easy dinner later!
- Simple. This is one of the easiest recipes, even the kids could help make this one.
- Quick. This is a quick sour cream chicken enchiladas recipe, but I’ll give you some insider tips on how to make it even easier below! Follow my recipe and have dinner on the table in about 35-40 minutes!
What Ingredients Do I Need To Make These?
You only need a few simple ingredients that you may even have on hand! No complicated, crazy spice blends here – just ordinary things that come together to make the best enchiladas ever!
Chicken (I use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for this when I’m in a pinch)
Cheese (Colby-Jack is my favorite, but you can also use Monterey jack, Cheddar, Pepper-jack or Mexican cheese blend)
Tortillas (flour or corn)
If you’re worried about the spice from the salsa verde, just make sure to get a mild version to tone down the heat. I tested out several brands of salsa verde (and mild green chilis), and the La Victoria Thick n Chunky mild salsa verde was the mildest of all, yet still great on flavor. I know kids can react to spice levels, so this is one I’d recommend.
Also if you’re wondering what goes with enchiladas for sides, I’ve made green salad, refried beans, a side of Spanish rice or even simply some salsa and tortilla chips.
How Do You Make White Chicken Enchiladas From Scratch?
The best thing about these enchiladas, is that they LOOK difficult to make, when they’re really super simple. Shh…I won’t tell if you don’t! Make this seemingly complicated meal from start to finish in about 40 minutes!
- Mix your cooked chicken, cream cheese, shredded cheese, and spices together in a bowl and set aside for later.
- Then, spoon some of the chicken mixture into the center of the tortillas, and place the enchiladas seam side down into a greased 9×13 baking or foil pan.
- Next you’re going to make up a white sauce using butter, corn starch and chicken broth on the stove top. You’ll then add in sour cream some salsa verde (this just means green sauce – or green salsa), not to be confused with typical red salsa. This combo makes the BEST sour cream white sauce.
- Then you’ll pour it evenly over the top of the chicken enchiladas.
- Finish the pan off by sprinkling the rest of the cheese over the top for the best, ooey-gooey cheesy creamy chicken enchiladas you’ll ever have. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!
- How long to bake enchiladas? Just let them cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and bubbly. If you want to broil them for a couple of minutes after that to get that crispy golden layer on the cheese, you totally can!
Corn Or Flour Tortillas?
I love using flour tortillas (8-inch is perfect size) for this recipe, but I have also used corn tortillas too (is especially great for those with gluten-allergies).
If you decide to use corn tortillas there will be an extra step involved as you need to warm them up before you can add the filling. If you don’t warm them they can crack and won’t roll up well.
Warming up Corn Tortillas
- My favorite method is to spray them on both sides with cooking spray (or brush a little olive oil on both sides) then bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 300°F for 3-4 minutes until they are warm and pliable.
- You can also take a stack of 10 corn tortillas, wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until warm and pliable.
How to Prevent Soggy Enchiladas
Anytime you have a sauce that you pour over flour or corn tortillas, the liquid can be absorbed into the tortillas. The longer the sauce sits on them before baking the greater the chance for soggy enchiladas.
Okay, guys. Truth time. Some people can be are really picky when it comes to their enchiladas.
Some people are just happy to have dinner done, even if the texture isn’t perfect and the enchiladas are a little on the soggy side. But others might prefer a perfectly soft enchilada texture with zero sogginess.
So my best advice is this. When you make this creamy white chicken enchiladas recipe, add the sauce and immediately bake it right away, and you’ll have less problems with soggy tortillas.
But if you are wanting to make ahead and freeze enchiladas, this is where you might run into those soggy enchilada issues if you are not careful.
If you want to have perfect make ahead & freeze enchiladas that will not be soggy, follow these EXTRA steps I’ve listed below by separating the sauce from the filled enchiladas when freezing.
Perfect Make Ahead Freezer Enchiladas: That Won’t Be Soggy
This is the BEST way to avoid soggy tortillas when making ahead and freezing enchiladas. It’s more work but can be worth it if you want them to be perfect.
- After filling tortillas with chicken mixture, place seam side down in a greased 13- by 9-inch baking pan (if freezing, use metal or foil pan, not glass).
- If making it now, first spray the tops of enchiladas with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Bake at 400°F uncovered (without the sauce) for 10-15 minutes or until tops are lightly golden. Pour sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with lightly greased foil, then bake 15-20 minutes longer, until sauce is bubbly and cheese on top is melted. Broil for a few minutes if desired, then serve.
- To make it a freezer meal: wrap the pan of enchiladas without sauce tightly, pressing down to remove air. Pour cooled white sauce into freezer safe gallon sized bag. Place remaining shredded cheese into a quart sized freezer bag. Seal bags, removing as much air as possible, then place on top of plastic wrapped pan. Cover all with foil, label and freeze.
Day before – place meal in fridge to slowly thaw. Separate sauce bag and cheese from enchiladas for better thawing. Then on cooking day, first spray the tops of enchiladas with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Bake at 400°F uncovered (without the sauce) for 12-17 minutes or until tops are lightly golden. Warm up sauce and whisk it smooth if some separation has occured. Pour sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with lightly greased foil, then bake 20-25 minutes longer, until sauce is bubbly and cheese on top is melted. Broil for a few minutes if desired, then serve.
Pre-baking the tortillas for this Creamy Chicken Enchilada recipe helps make them crispy before you add the sauce, getting you get that perfect, cream cheese enchilada every time.
OR Make Ahead & Freeze Enchiladas: The Quick & Easy Way
If you’re not wanting to go through all that trouble of separating the sauce from the enchiladas before freezing, and aren’t super picky about your enchiladas needing to be perfectly non-soggy do it the easy way.
To make it a freezer meal. Allow sauce to cool before pouring over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Don’t bake. Wrap the uncooked enchiladas pan tightly with plastic wrap, pressing down gently to remove air. Cover with foil, label and freeze.
Then to bake from frozen preheat oven to 350°F. Remove foil and plastic wrap, then replace cover again with foil. Place in oven and bake, covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes more until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted on top. If desired, turn broiler on and broil 2-3 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes then serve.
See how much easier this method is for cooking frozen enchiladas?? I make it this way all the time. 🙂
Tips for Making These Creamy White Chicken Enchiladas Perfect!
- Kid-Friendly Tip: If you are worried your kids will see the green pieces in the salsa verde and not want to eat it, I’d suggest adding it to a blender and pureeing it until smooth. Then they won’t notice!
- Less Spicy Enchiladas. I tested out several brands of salsa verde and canned diced green chilis and the mildest one I have found is Victoria Mild Salsa Verde Thick n Chunky. It’s mild in spice but deep in flavor so its the one I recommend.
- Cooking up the Chicken. You can use a rotisserie chicken or cook your own up. My favorite method is to add your a few chicken breasts to a baking pan. Add 1/4 cup water to pan. Sprinkle top of chicken with some salt, cumin, and pepper. Cover and bake at 350°F degrees for 40-45 minutes.
- Shredding the chicken. Allow the chicken to cool slightly, then take two forks and shred chicken. You can also use a stand mixer with paddle attachment, and pulse the chicken a few times to shred quickly.
- For the very best EXPERT STYLE make ahead & freeze white chicken enchiladas cooking plan (non- soggy version, tastes fresher but also has several extra steps) follow the steps where you freeze the sauce separately from the enchiladas.
Want Some More Mexican Recipes Your Family Will Love?
- Burrito Pie – it’s all the flavors of a killer burrito made in casserole form – so good!
- Homemade Chicken Taquitos – You can freeze these or eat these fresh for an awesome snack or appetizer!
- Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce – this is a different variation of chicken enchiladas that are also freezer friendly!
- Tex-Mex Dip – Want something to munch on while you wait? Make this delicious dip!
I can’t wait for you to make these Creamy White Chicken Enchiladas, because you’re going to be the queen of dinner when you do! When you make them, tag me on Instagram with @happymoneysaver. Share this pin on Pinterest to save this recipe to make it again and again!
Creamy White Chicken Enchiladas
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can use rotisserie chicken)
- 3 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese (divided)
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 10 8-inch flour tortillas (can use corn tortillas)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (or all-purpose flour)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1-1/2 cups sour cream
- 1/2 cup salsa verde
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a medium bowl combine chicken, 1 cup shredded cheese, softened cream cheese, onion powder and cumin. Mix until well combined.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup (60mL) chicken mixture into center of each flour tortilla and roll up tightly. If using corn tortillas read about warming them first in notes below. Place seam side down, in a single layer in a greased 13- by 9-inch (33 by 23 cm) baking pan (use metal or foil pan if freezing for later).
- Time to make the white sauce now. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Sprinkle cornstarch overtop and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until foamy and simmering (do not let brown).
- Add chicken broth; cook, whisking constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until sauce thickens and starts to simmer. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly for 5 minutes.
- Add sour cream and salsa verde to white sauce, whisking until well combined. Stop right now and give the sauce a taste. Be the chef! If you want it spicier, add more salsa verde. If you want more flavor add a dash of onion powder or celery salt. When it's jussst right you pour the sauce over your enchiladas. Spread to cover them all.
- Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake uncovered in oven for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese on top is melted.
- Then turn your broiler on high and broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese on top is bubbly and starting to get golden in spots. Be careful not to burn it! Then remove from heat, let cool 5 minutes and serve.
To make this as a freezer meal, allow sauce to cool before pouring over the enchiladas. Don’t bake. Wrap the uncooked enchiladas pan tightly with plastic wrap, pressing down gently to remove air. Cover with foil, label and freeze. Best if used within 4 months.
Then to bake from frozen preheat oven to 350°F. Remove foil and plastic wrap, then replace cover again with foil. Place in oven and bake, covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15-20 minutes more until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted on top. If desired turn broiler on and broil 2-3 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes then serve. –>OR use the EXPERT STYLE make ahead & freeze enchiladas cooking plan (non- soggy version, tastes fresher but also has several extra steps). Just follow the steps in the blog post above where you freeze the sauce separately from the enchiladas. IF USING CORN TORTILLAS INSTEAD OF FLOUR:
- I like to use 8-inch large corn tortillas but if you cannot find them, you can use smaller ones. Just know you’ll use more tortillas since they are small.
- Corn tortillas need to be warmed up before filling or they can crack.
- Here is the method I prefer most to warming them up. Preheat your oven to 300°F. Place your corn tortillas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray both sides of tortillas with cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 3-4 minutes or until soft and workable. Then they are ready to be filled with chicken mixture.
- If you are worried your kids will see the green pieces in the salsa verde and not want to eat it, I’d suggest adding it to a blender and pureeing it until smooth. Then they won’t notice!
- I tested out several brands of salsa verde and canned diced green chilis and the mildest one I have found is Victoria Mild Salsa Verde Thick n Chunky. It’s mild in spice but deep in flavor so its the one I recommend.
- You can use a rotisserie chicken or cook your own up. My favorite method is to add your a few chicken breasts to a baking pan. Add 1/4 cup water to pan. Sprinkle top of chicken with some salt, cumin, and pepper. Cover and bake at 350°F degrees for 40-45 minutes.
- You could also slow cook it for several hours using those spices. Or boil it until cooked through on the stove. The best flavors will be rotiesserie, baking it or slow cooking it.
- Allow the chicken to cool slightly, then take two forks and shred chicken. You can also use a stand mixer with paddle attachment, and pulse the chicken a few times to shred quickly.
Food is my love language. But so is saving money. So I like to combine the two a lot and make thrifty make ahead and freeze meals to save time. Because life is busy, and freezer meals can come to the rescue for all of us. And yes, they actually CAN taste good. Read more...