I want the whole enchilada! YUP, I do. Here’s to an old favorite made entirely from scratch and topped with a creamy white sauce. A real easy chicken enchilada recipe.
Okay, I did not make the cheese or the tortillas, but everything else I made. Easy chicken enchiladas with jalapeno white sauce is a perfect meal for any night of the week.
White sauce vs red sauce
This time around I opted for white sauce chicken enchiladas because I have already made a couple of dishes topped with my homemade enchilada sauce. So, I’m kind of stepping outside the box today. I spiced up the white sauce a bit with chopped up jalapeno peppers, and my herb of choice: cilantro. If you are one of those people who do not like cilantro, no worries, use parsley. Remember, a recipe is just a suggestion. For added flavor I sprinkled in some cumin too.
Easy chicken enchiladas in white sauce is without a doubt a new favorite at our house.
For starters, as the name implies, they are EASY to make, AND secondly, I discovered that you can also freeze them. Lately I’ve working overtime, trying to handle multiple projects at a time. This recipe is without a doubt a HUGE help! By the way, if you love enchiladas like I do, make sure to check out my black beans enchilada recipe. There will be more enchilada recipes with chicken coming down the pipes, so just stay tuned.
And with 5 de Mayo right around the corner these white chicken enchiladas are the absolute perfect dish to take to a party or to make at home to celebrate.
Photo steps to make chicken enchiladas with jalapeño white sauce:
- To start the dish gather all the ingredients and have them measured, chopped and ready to go. The French use the term “mise en place” or everything in its place to start a recipe. I like to use glass prep-bowls to keep everything organized.
- Heat the olive oil on medium in a skillet and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the butterflied chicken breast to the pan. Mix the salt, oregano, cumin and pepper then sprinkle over the chicken on both sides. Brown the chicken slightly on both sides.
- Once browned on both sides add the water to the pan and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep simmering.
- Flip the chicken half way through cooking. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature if 165°F. Remove from the pan and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the jalapeño white sauce by melting butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour and whisk to combine.
- Slowly add the milk while whisking vigorously to break down any lumps.
- Once well combined and smooth add the salt.
- Slowly add the cheese and whisk to combine until melted and smooth.
- Add the minced jalapeño and nutmeg. Continue to whisk and reduce until the sauce has reached nappe consistency.
- Shred the chicken with two forks and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Pour half of the white sauce evenly into the bottom of a baking dish. Add about 2 ounces of the shredded chicken down the middle of a tortilla.
- Roll the tortilla up tightly and place in the baking dish as shown. Roll all the tortillas and add to the baking dish.
- Pour the rest of the jalapeño white sauce over the top of the rolled tortillas.
- The sauce should cover the enchiladas evenly.
- Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Sprinkle the top with paprika, chopped green onion, queso fresco and tomato.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How long can I save the enchiladas? You can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Can I freeze the enchiladas? No, since the enchiladas contains dairy and it is best not to freeze because it will separate and will have a very grainy texture when thawed.
- How can I reheat the enchiladas? Reheat in the oven at 250°F for 10 minutes until warm in the center. I like to put them in my Cosori Air Fryer (on a foil wrapper) for 5 minutes at 250°F.
- Can I make these ahead of time? Is is best to assemble right before baking so they are not soggy. You can cook and cool the shredded chicken and store in the refrigerator for up to three days in advance or freeze in an airtight container for up to 4 months. The cheese sauce is best made fresh.
Do you love Latin food? Here are some of the most popular ethnic dishes, their history and ingredients to make at home.
Mexican Pork Carnitas: Make this in the slow cooker and then broil for crispy goodness.
Latin Style Black Beans: If you have never tried these you are missing out and they are so easy!
Tilapia Ceviche: A citrus cured fish or shrimp appetizer with some kick.
Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Jalapeno White Sauce
- 1/2 cup queso fresco crumbled
- 1/4 tsp paprika sweet
- 1 Green onion chopped into ¼ circles
- 1 Roma tomato cored and diced
Tortillas for rolling enchiladas
Prepare the chicken filling:
- In a small bowl mix together salt, oregano, cumin, and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and sauté the onion and the garlic until translucent. Add the butterflied chicken breast.
Sprinkle with the spice mixture on both sides of the chicken. Brown the chicken slightly on both sides.
Pour in the water, cover and allow it to simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep it simmering while covered. Flip over half way through cooking.
Cook until the chicken is completely done and has and internal temperature of 165°F.
Remove from the skillet and place on a cutting board. Allow to rest and cool for 10 minutes. Shred using two forks.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prepare the jalapeño white sauce:
Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Quickly add the flour and stir quickly using a whisk. Begin adding the milk slowly while stirring and breaking down the lumps using a whisk. Sprinkle in the salt and stir. Slowly blend in the Gruyere cheese.
Toss in the jalapeño and the nutmeg. Whisk and reduce until the mixture is slightly thick or nappe consistency. Taste for salt level and add as needed.
- Remove from heat, and set aside.
Fill the enchiladas and bake:
Pour 1/2 of the sauce evenly on the bottom of a baking dish.
- To assemble the enchiladas, place about 2 ounces of shredded chicken down the center of each tortilla shell. Roll tightly and then place on top of the sauce in the baking dish.
Fill the baking dish with filled rolled tortillas.
- Pour the remaining sauce on top of the enchiladas and bake for 15 minutes. Broil for an additional 3 minutes if a bit of brownness is desired.
- Finally, sprinkle with paprika, queso fresco, green onions, and tomato.