These Authentic Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce (Enchiladas de Pollo) are tasty and super simple to make. With just a few ingredients and steps, you will soon be eating authentic Mexican chicken enchiladas with red sauce too!
These Authentic Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce (Enchiladas de Pollo) are very simple to make and quite delicious.
As a matter of fact the hardest part about making these enchiladas is making the ancho chili sauce for the enchiladas! And luckily for us, it just takes three simple steps to make! Not a biggie! Right?!
So first lets talk a little about Ancho chilis…
The famous Ancho Chile Pepper:
- An ancho chili pepper is simply the dried version of the poblano pepper. After roasting a poblano pepper, it becomes an ancho chile.
- They are a deep red in color and have extremely wrinkled skin and a smokey flavor.
- On the Scoville Scale these peppers range from 1,000 to 2,000 SHU, so they are nice and mild. Very mild.
- Ancho Chiles can be reconstituted by placing them in hot water and wallaaaa, they soften up!
- Ancho chilis can be ground up and used as a dry rub for meats, in soups, chili, marinades and salad dressings.
- The Ancho Chile was said to be introduced by Christopher Columbus.
Now although everyone has a slight variation to making an ancho chili sauce, an authentic Mexican red sauce recipe for enchiladas will usually have the basics, ancho chilis, guajillo peppers, garlic, mexican oregano, salt and pepper.
So yes, another pepper used in this ancho chili sauce is another famous and favorite to Mexican cuisine….the guajillo pepper. Guajillo peppers range between 2,500-5,000 SHU and are considered a mild to medium pepper.
Where Can You Buy Ancho Chilis and Guajillo Peppers
Fortunately for all of us, both of these peppers are much easier to find in the states nowadays. You can usually find these in Mexican grocery stores, supermarkets and even your local Walmart. So do not shy away from making these Authentic Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce.
Another alternative is to order them online through places like Amazon.
So if you’re really craving red enchiladas or have never had them and would like to try an authentic recipe, here it is. I hope you enjoy these Authentic Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce as much as I do.
Below I have included some pictures that will help show you how simple it really is to make an ancho chili sauce from home as well as these delicious chicken enchiladas.
Authentic Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce (Enchiladas de Pollo)
After boiling the chicken, shred with 2 forks. Chop 3 garlic cloves.
For Ancho chili sauce…..
Place ancho chilis in sauce pan with water. Cook until soft, about 20 minutes.
Add peppers, 3 garlic cloves, oregano and water to a chopper or blender. Blend until a thick sauce forms.
Strain sauce into a bowl using a strainer so that skin and seeds stay behind and a smooth sauce remains.
Continue with the chicken for the enchiladas.
Saute garlic for a 2 minutes in pot. Add shredded chicken, cumin, chili powder and broth of chicken. Mix together.
Coat tortillas individually on both sides and cook on pan for a few seconds on each side.
Assemble tortillas with chicken monterey cheese and roll tortillas with seam side down on baking dish. Add additional sauce on top.
Add additional monterey cheese on top before baking.
Add crumbled cheese, red onions and cilantro.
For another delicious enchilada recipe and other delicious chicken recipes you will also love these:
Cheesy Beef Enchiladas in Green Sauce
Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Soup)
Chilaquiles Verdes with Chicken
Cheesy Chicken Poblano Panecillos (Cheesy Biscuits filled with Chicken and Poblano Peppers)
For a full list of more delicious chicken recipes, click here→chicken recipes
Authentic Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
- 2 lb chicken breasts shredded
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 2 cups monterey jack cheese shredded
- 1 cup Mexican Queso Fresco crumble cheese with fingers
- 12 corn tortillas
- red onion chopped for topping
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro coarsely chopped
- 1 small red onion chopped
ANCHO CHILE SAUCE
- 4 dried ancho chiles seeds and stems removed
- 3 dried guajillo chiles optional to use these, seeds and stems removed
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook chicken in a large pot over medium heat with water. Cook for about 25 minutes.
- Reserve some of the water the chicken was cooked in, about 2 cups of broth.
- Shred chicken with two forks.
- If using the onion (highly recommend) add 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a skillet over medium high heat and saute for 2 minutes. Stir onions and now add the minced garlic to pan. Cook garlic for about 30 seconds over medium heat.
- Add shredded chicken and broth of chicken.
- Sprinkle cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper over chicken and stir mixture together. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken broth reduces a bit. You want to make sure chicken stays moist. Set aside.
Ancho Chile Sauce
- Remove stems off of peppers. To remove seeds, flip peppers over to allow seeds to fall out.
- Place in a saucepan with water to cover and heat on medium heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until peppers are soft.
- Place peppers in a chopper or blender with the other 3 garlic cloves, oregano and 2 cups of water. Blend until smooth ( sauce will still have texture because of pepper skin).
- Strain sauce into a bowl using a strainer so that the skin (and whatever seeds may still remain) is left behind. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Using a pair of tongs, coat tortillas one at a time lightly with sauce or use a cooking brush and coat tortillas on each side lightly.
- In a non-stick skillet fry tortillas on each side for a few seconds. Add a little cooking spray if pan starts to get too sticky. Do not overcook or tortillas will fall apart.
Assembly of Enchiladas
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add about a 1/3 cup of chicken down the middle of each tortilla, followed by monterey cheese.
- Roll tortillas. Assemble and place each tortilla seam side down in a greased baking dish or casserole.
- Add additional sauce on top of tortillas. Cover with additional monterey cheese
- Cover casserole with aluminum and place in oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove foil and cook for another few minutes if you like to brown the cheese on top. This step is entirely up to you.
- Once done, let the casserole rest for a few minutes and then add crumbled cheese, red onion (if using) and sprinkle chopped cilantro.
- Serve 1 to 2 enchiladas per person. Enjoy!
Let me know how you like these!
Can I prepare the enchiladas the night before roll the..put them in dish and bake next day?
Hello Jojo! Yes you can, however, you have to be cautious that the chicken is not to wet or it will tear through the corn tortillas and you risk having broken torn tortillas and chicken spilling out when cooking. A solution that may be helpful if you would like to make the enchiladas ahead of time is to premake the chicken and enchilada sauce and keep refrigerated. The next day simply heat the chicken through for a minute in the microwave or stovetop (it doesn’t have to be fully heated through since it will heat in the oven fully, this is just so you can easily spread the chicken on the tortillas) and assemble at the last minute when you are ready to bake. Also heat the sauce for about the same amount of time so it is easier to use since it will thicken slightly in the refrigerator overnight. Preparing it this way, will guarantee you will have moist chicken since you will be able to keep the natural juices and keep the tortillas whole. I hope this helps….please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions…Also, if you like you can use boneless dark meat instead of chicken breasts which is really yummy and feel free to top enchiladas with as much sauce as you like, and all the toppings! Hope you enjoy! 🙂
Corn or flour tortillas??
Hello Donna! You can use either corn or flour, however I prefer corn tortillas because I find them much more flavorful for enchiladas. Although recipe says corn tortillas, whether you use corn or flour, make sure to warm them up in the microwave for a about 30 seconds to make them pliable for filling. Can heat through for a few seconds in a pan or skillet too! Hope that helps! 🙂 Hope you enjoy them!
Lorena Harwin says
Thanks for sharing this
Michele S. says
I made this today. My family loved it!! Thank you!!
Hi Michele! So happy to hear your family loved it! Thank you for taking the time to let me know!
Mike Gr says
First time making the dish and what an amazing dish! I used a can of sauce just for a quick meal. Turned out perfect.
Thank you for sharing. Not many authentic Mexican enchilada sauce recipes. Chile powder and flour are added to make the sauce that I have seen and that is not the correct in my eyes. Thank you for keeping it authentic!!!