This is the BEST chicken enchiladas with white sauce recipe! It’s made with tortillas wrapped around a hefty portion of tender chicken, black beans, and corn filling and then smothered in an amazing homemade lime cream sauce.
Enchiladas take us back to the Mayan people of Mexico who rolled corn tortillas and topped them with a tomato or chili sauce. Fast forward several hundred years later, and the concept is relatively the same! We wrap tortillas around various vegetables, meats, cheeses, or beans and top them with sauce before they hit the oven.
Why you’ll LOVE this recipe
- The homemade white sauce. I could eat it by the spoonful. It’s cheesy, it’s limy and it’s packed with flavor.
- Make ahead. Yes, I get it, we like fast recipes. But this one takes time to make but can be made a day ahead of time. So plan ahead and don’t miss out on this recipe.
- Flavor combinations. Um, once you try this recipe you are going to want to make it all the time. The flavor combinations with the lime and black beans and oh my. It’s gooood.
- Share the love. You can freeze this recipe before baking which makes a great recipe to share with friends.
- Monterey Jack Cheese. I don’t know what it is about the flavor of this cheese, but it gives this recipe great flavor. I would not substitute it with anything else.
- Lime. The liminess that comes through with the combination of cilantro is amazing.
- Green Chilis. I’m not too fond of super spice, but you can add the heat here if you do. I use the mild chilis, and they’re delish with this recipe.
- Flour or Whole Wheat Tortillas. I prefer flour tortillas but whole wheat tortillas work great as well. Just make sure to get the 10-inch tortillas to help fit them perfectly into the pan.
How to Make The Recipe
The recipe is basically made in three steps – filling, sauce and putting it all together.
- FILLING: Saute the onion, bell pepper, green bell pepper, and three cloves of garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes in butter.
- In a large bowl, combine the beans, green chilies, shredded chicken vegetables along with cilantro, cumin, salt, and fresh lime juice.
- SAUCE: In the same saucepan that you sautéed your peppers and onions, add more butter. Next, add white flour, ground coriander, and salt. Stir it around together and then cook it for two minutes on low to medium heat until super thick. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups chicken broth and cook until it is smooth and bubbling. Finally, turn off your heat and whisk in sour cream, shredded Monterey jack cheese, and more fresh lime juice.
- PUTTING IT TOGETHER: Pour 1/2 cup of the cream sauce into your bowl of chicken, beans, and vegetables. Grease a 13×9 casserole pan with either more butter or a bit of the sauce.
- Fill 1 – 10 inch tortilla with a heaping 3/4 cup of filling. Roll the tortilla into the pan and tuck in the sides. Repeat this 7 more times until you have 8 filled tortillas.
- Pour the remaining cream sauce on top of the filled tortillas and top with the last of the shredded cheese and chopped cilantro.
- BAKE: Bake at 350˚ F for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Drain the black beans. Don’t skip this step! We don’t want the extra liquid or flavors of the bean water in our enchiladas.
Chicken. I use shredded rotisserie chicken that is pre-cooked from Costco. (Keeping it real.) But you can use whatever cooked chicken you enjoy including a combination of white and dark meat.
Make-Ahead. Once made, seal with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to two days—Bake as directed.
Freezing. After assembling the casserole, cover with plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator before baking as directing.
Storing. Once baked, store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
Allow the chicken enchiladas to cool for 10 minutes before serving. We like to cut it right down the middle, serving two halves to each person. Set out bowls of salsa, guacamole, jalapenos, and tortilla chips in front of those in your presence, and the meal will tell its own story. We think this version of enchiladas is the best since Mayan civilization 🙂
More Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Rotini Casserole – made with pasta, this one is a great one with kids!
- Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Chicken Divan – another rich in flavor dish!
Chicken Enchiladas with White Sauce
- 6 Tablespoons butter divided
- 1 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 15 oz. black beans rinsed and drained
- 4 cups shredded chicken cooked
- 4 oz. diced green chilies
- 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
- 3/4 cup cilantro chopped, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt divided
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice divided
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups Monterrey jack cheese divided
- 12 inch whole wheat tortillas
- In a saucepan, saute the onion, peppers, and garlic in 3 T. butter on medium heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse and drain 1 - 15 oz. can of black beans.
- In a large bowl, combine the beans, 1- 4oz. can of chopped green chilies, 4 cups of cooked, shredded chicken, and 1/2 cup frozen corn.
- Stir in the sautéed vegetables, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 T. fresh lime juice.
- In the same saucepan as you saute your vegetables, melt 3 T. butter. Whisk in 1/4 cup white flour, 1 tsp. ground coriander and 1 tsp salt. Cook this flour mixture for two minutes on low to medium heat or until thick.
- Whisk in 2 1/2 cups chicken broth until smooth and bubbling. Then turn off the heat and whisk in 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, and another T. of fresh lime juice.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of the cream sauce into your bowl of filling.
- Grease a 13x9 casserole pan with either butter or a bit of the sauce. Fill 1 - 10 inch tortilla with a heaping 3/4 cup of filling. Roll the tortilla into the pan and tuck in the sides. Repeat this 7 more times until you have 8 filled tortillas.
- Pour the remaining cream sauce on top of the filled tortillas and top with 1 cup of shredded cheese and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.
- Bake in a 350˚ F oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
This recipe was originally shared in 2015. It has been updated with new photographs. The recipe remains the same.