Chicken Enchiladas


Usually I’d post this as party food, but we’re not partying today. I was just asked by a friend to share the recipe, so here it is! This dish is an essential menu component of a Mexican-themed party and teams very well with Nachos and Tacos, but on its own it makes for a great family meal.

Here’s What Goes In:

  • 1kg of chicken breast fillets, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic, crushed
  • 1 quarter cup of water
  • 1 tin of good quality, plum tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 bottle of passata or tomato purée (700ml)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • Half a teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken seasoning
  • Half a teaspoon of dried origanum
  • 16 white tortilla wraps
  • Grated cheddar cheese for the topping
  • Variation: add sweetcorn

For the cheese sauce:

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of butter
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of flour
  • 1 and a half cups of milk
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • salt to season


How to do it:

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C. In a large heavy-based pan, fry the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil until the onion is soft and transparent. Add the chicken, season with all the spices and continue to fry until the chicken is well coated and browned. Add a quarter cup of water and the tinned tomato and leave to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through. Remove the pan from the stove and set it aside to cool. In the meantime, prepare the cheese sauce.

In a heavy-based saucepan melt the butter over low heat, add the flour and whisk vigorously until a paste is formed. Stir continuously with a hand whisk while gradually adding the milk so that lumps do not form. Keep stirring and add the cheese bit by bit as the mixture is thickening. When all the cheese has melted and your sauce has a thick, creamy consistency, it is ready to use.

Ideally you want the enchilada mix to be slightly minced before assembling. I find the best way to do this is to use a hand-held stick blender and just do it in the pot. If you don’t have one, you can use your food processor, but just pulse the mixture a few times so that it isn’t completely liquidised. In the end, you want a slightly pureed but still chunky mixture.

Now grease two rectangular roasting dishes measuring approximately 20 x 30cm and get the tortillas ready. To assemble, ladle around three heaped tablespoons of chicken into the centre of the tortilla in a horizontal line, and then roll the tortilla, fairly tightly, into what resembles a wrap. Do this with each one and lay them flat across the length of the roasting dish, filling the space. Pour half the passata, or tomato purée, evenly over each dish and then top with cheese sauce in the same way. Cover each one with a good sprinkling of grated cheese and a dash of paprika. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, essentially just to heat the whole dish through, until the sauces are bubbling and a beautiful, cheesy crust forms.


Photograph by Caroline Miller Photography

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