Recipes Main Courses Poultry and Game Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

The main ingredient in both corn tortillas and tamale dough, masa harina is available at Latin American markets and most well-stocked grocery stores (look next to the regular cornmeal or with the other specialty flours). These enchiladas are a great way to use up leftover roast chicken, but if you don’t have any on hand, use about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) boneless, skinless breasts that have been poached and then shredded.


  • 3 cups (12 oz./375 g) masa harina
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) hot water
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) spinach, stemmed
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups (1 1/2 lb./750 g) cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded yellow cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 jars Tacolicious ranchera enchilada sauce
  • 2 green onions, white and light green portions, thinly sliced


In a large bowl, stir together the masa harina and salt. Stir in the vegetable oil, then slowly stir in the hot water until the dough comes together into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Divide the dough into about 24 balls, each about 2 1/2 oz. (75 g). Use scissors to cut along the seams of a resealable plastic bag to cut it in half. Place half of the bag on the bottom of a tortilla press and place a ball of dough in the center. Top the dough with the remaining half of the plastic bag and close the press to form a tortilla. Peel the tortilla from the plastic wrap and set aside. Repeat to form tortillas with the remaining balls.

Using a griddle, tortilla comal or cast-iron fry pan over medium-high heat, cook 1 of the tortillas until lightly browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the tortilla and continue cooking until the second side is lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Wrap the tortilla in a towel while you continue cooking the remaining tortillas.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach and cook until wilted but still bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well and rinse under cold running water. Drain again and squeeze to remove the excess water. Coarsely chop the spinach. Set aside.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish.

In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the onion mixture, chicken, spinach, sour cream, half of each type of cheese and the cilantro.

To assemble the enchiladas, spread 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) of the enchilada sauce in the prepared dish. Pour 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) of the enchilada sauce into a pie dish or shallow bowl. Using tongs, dip one of the tortillas into the enchilada sauce. Place the tortilla on a work surface, add a few tablespoons of the chicken filling down the center and roll up the tortilla. Place the enchilada, seam side down, in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Drizzle all of the remaining enchilada sauce, including any remaining in the pie dish, evenly over the enchiladas, and sprinkle with all the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with the green onions and cilantro and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen