Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas


I’ve always loved Mexican dishes like tacos and burritos, but enchiladas are a bit newer to me. I tried my first enchilada a few years ago at a Mexican restaurant back home called Sam Diego’s and was in heaven. Smothered in cheese and enchilada sauce, what’s not to love?

Recently I made enchiladas from scratch for the first time and realized how easy they are to make. The recipe I used called for a green enchilada sauce, but this time I decided I wanted a more traditional red sauce. I adore chipotle peppers in adobo sauce so I based my recipe around that. They are smoky, spicy, and sweet. I quickly learned to remove the seeds from the peppers after failing to do so once and practically crying by the time my meal was finished – way too spicy for me!

These Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas are filled with shredded chicken, black beans, and avocado, then covered in a spicy chipotle enchilada sauce and finished off with cheddar cheese. This meal is filling and surprisingly good for you. I recommend removing the seeds from the chipotle peppers, unless you like things extra spicy. The sauce is moderately spicy even without the seeds.

First we’ll make the chipotle enchilada sauce:

Chipotle Enchilada Sauce:
makes about 1.5 cups

  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed and diced + 2 tsp adobo sauce*
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp flour

*If you’re sensitive to spicy things, use only 1 pepper and taste the sauce as you go along.


  1. In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low-medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add red pepper and garlic and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until soft and golden brown.
  2. After peppers and onions have cooled slightly, add to food processor along with all remaining enchilada sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth.
To remove the seeds from the chipotle peppers, cut the top of the pepper off and then slice down the side. Use your knife to carefully scrape out the seeds.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
This is what it will look like when it’s done (though slightly less orange, darn those fluorescent lights..)

Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas
makes 4 enchiladas


  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 cup prepared chipotle enchilada sauce (see below for recipe)
  • 4 8-inchwhole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided in half



  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a medium mixing bowl, toss shredded chicken with 1/3 cup of prepared chipotle enchilada sauce to coat. Arrange chicken on tortillas, about 1/2 cup of chicken per tortilla.
  2. To each tortilla, add 1/4 cup diced avocado, 2 Tbsp black beans and about 2 Tbsp of cheese. Wrap up each tortilla tightly and place in a lightly greased 8 x 8″ baking dish.
  3. Pour remaining 2/3 cup enchilada sauce over tortillas, along with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Serve with chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.
Mix chipotle enchilada sauce with shredded chicken


Layer 1/2 cup spicy chicken onto a tortilla along with diced avocado
Add some black beans and shredded cheese, and roll up tightly
Place rolled up tortillas into a greased baking sheet (I lined mine with foil for easier clean up)
Top off with about 2/3 cup enchilada sauce and shredded cheese
Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is nice and melty.
Sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro (I used parsley.. shh!)


12 Comments Add yours

  1. yourothermotherhere says:

    Those ARE pretty easy to make and I am going to try them. With a few seeds! LOL!

    1. hp11260 says:

      Daring decision but I support it! It will just be extra flavorful and you might want to keep a glass of milk nearby 🙂

      1. yourothermotherhere says:

        Bread works well too. A friend of mine told me once that liquid just spreads the fire around, but bread acts like a sponge in your mouth, cleaning up the heat!

  2. This looks super easy and delicious!! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 I will definitely be making it soon.

    1. hp11260 says:

      I hope you like them! 🙂

  3. Robin Lovely says:

    Looks yummy, can’t wait to try!

    1. hp11260 says:

      They are really tasty! I used the leftover enchilada sauce on pasta tonight, it was surprisingly good.

  4. Lisa says:

    Is this very spicy?, and if it is, how can i make it less spicy!

    1. hp11260 says:

      The sauce itself is rather spicy, though when it’s all mixed together with the enchilada filling it’s not too hot. To make it less spicy you could just use 1 chipotle pepper (seeds removed), or use 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder or chili powder instead! I would recommend starting out with less and tasting it as you go along to make sure it’s to your liking.

  5. Lacey says:

    Mmh, just made enchiladas using your sauce recipe… I altered it a bit, adding some canned diced tomatoes, and I used broth instead of water… but still, great recipe! I love the addition of the sautéed onions and red peppers…it gives the sauce such great flavour.
    XD I gotta wonder if the brand of adobo peppers I used has a different kick than yours… I wound up using like 4 or so whole peppers in my sauce. I had a nice spicy kick to it, but was definitely bearable.

    1. Yeah I do wonder if the spiciness varies from brand to brand. I consider myself to be pretty tolerant of heat (my friends/family often think my food is too spicy!) but I just remember using adobo peppers last year in a dish and I could barely finish it because my mouth was on fire. I noticed they sell just the adobo sauce without the peppers, so I picked some up recently and I think that’s what I’ll use next time a recipe calls for it!
      Anyway, glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂

  6. Chris says:

    Delicious! I made them tonight. Bonus tip: cook the chicken in a slow cooker with the onions, garlic, and red pepper (and your spices of choice). When finished, use a slotted spoon to gather the veggies for the sauce.

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