Freezer-Friendly Chicken Enchiladas

Forgive me if I don’t have much to say today.
I am now living in the Land Beyond Due Dates (again) and I’m having trouble thinking of anything more than this baby’s pending arrival. My brain and body are fried from weeks of early contractions and the last few sleepless nights of false labor. Can’t complain, though- I am lucky to be able to keep this baby healthy in here. Some ladies have to fight tooth and nail to keep their babies in, and I have been so blessed with healthy pregnancies.
See, I’m already off on a baby tangent. Moving on to the main event:
Apparently this dish has been making the internet rounds lately. I didn’t know this until I recognized the recipe over on Kristina’s blog (which you should check out immediately, she’s the cutest on the planet and has great recipes!) Now that I’ve eaten them, I can understand why they’ve been so popular. The savory red sauce, the delicious mix of two melty cheeses, the crispy crunch of the tortilla edges.. it all comes together to make a perfect bite.
The original recipe doesn’t need any help, but I did add my own freezer instructions to it so you can make this meal even easier to prepare. For me, the full recipe made two 8×8 pans of enchiladas as well as the single serving pictured here. I cooked the small serving and one 8×8 for our dinner and put the second 8×8 in the freezer for another time. Hardly any extra work for a whole extra dinner.
If you haven’t already beat me to it, I hope you have a chance to try these out!
Freezer-Friendly Chicken Enchiladas
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


via Annie’s Eats, originally from America’s Test Kitchen; freezer instructions added by Oven Love
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
  • 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • salt and ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Combine the onion, jalapeno, ½ teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.
  3. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.
  4. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture, and add ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
  6. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon ⅓ cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  7. *To freeze, stop here and see instructions below.*
  8. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don’t like the crunch).
  9. Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through.
  10. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, etc.
  11. To Freeze: Cover the dry enchiladas with aluminum foil and freeze. Freeze the sauce separately in a Ziploc freezer bag. Freeze the remaining cheese in a separate Ziploc bag as well.
  12. To reheat after freezing: Let the enchiladas, sauce and cheese thaw in the refrigerator (putting it in the fridge in the morning should be fine). Preheat the oven to 400. Pour sauce on top of the thawed enchiladas and top with the cheese. Recover with foil and bake 20 minutes or until heated through. Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese browns. Remove from oven and follow serving directions above.

One Response to “Freezer-Friendly Chicken Enchiladas”
  1. Paige says:

    Love ATK!! These are from their America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook – my go to cookbook. I appreciate the freezer instructions, since they don’t have any for that recipe.