Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce


Last time I made chicken enchiladas, I used roasted Hatch green chiles and made Roasted Chile Chicken Enchiladas. Below is another version of chicken enchiladas, this time with red sauce. In this recipe, the flavoring of the sauce comes from dried spices. You could find some red fresno peppers, roast them, and use that in the sauce. I will try that another time and get back to you with that dish. For now, enjoy this version. The red sauce has a really deep flavor from cooking the spices first and then cooking the chicken in the sauce. Delicious!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce


  • 1 ½ Tbsp vegetable oil or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar or monterey jack cheese, grated (2 cups)
  • 10 corn or flour tortillas (six-inch)


  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering
  3. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown.
  4. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
  5. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices.
  6. Add tomato sauce and 3/4 cup water.
  7. Stir to separate chicken pieces.
  8. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  9. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.
  10. Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl.
  11. Press on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside.
  12. Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool.
  13. Combine chicken with cilantro, jalapenos, and 1 ½ cups cheese in bowl and set aside.
  14. Smear entire bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with 3/4 cup chili sauce.
  15. Heat/Microwave tortillas until they are soft and pliable.
  16. Place warm tortillas on counter-top.
  17. Place 1/3 cup filling down center of each tortilla.
  18. Roll each tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, side by side, seam-side down.
  19. Pour remaining chili sauce over top of enchiladas.
  20. Use back of spoon to spread sauce so it coats top of each tortilla.
  21. Sprinkle ½ cup grated cheese down center of enchiladas.
  22. Cover baking dish with foil.
  23. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 30 minutes.
  24. Uncover and serve immediately.
  25. Serve with sour cream, avocado, lettuce, diced tomato, and lime wedges.

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