Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas

Smoky, Spicy, and Rich. These are worthy Sunday lunch dinners that will fill you up all day.

Serves 4 on its own or 8 with Sides

What are Enchiladas?

Enchiladas consist of a filling wrapped in a tortilla and covered with a savoury sauce. These Mexican wraps have a long history. Despite their Spanish name, which derives from the Spanish “Enchilar” which literally means “to season with chilli” they have been around in some guise since the Aztecs wrapped small fish in corn tortillas.

What is the filling in an Enchilada?

There’s no set recipe for an enchiladas filling and can include anything from meat to beans, vegetables and cheese. It can also include a number of these in various combinations. This enchilada recipe calls for Chicken marinated in a chipotle paste. Alongside the chipotle chicken, it calls for pinto beans, sweetcorn, and what would be considered traditional fajita vegetables.

The sauce for Enchiladas

The sauce for Enchiladas typically seems to refer to a tomato-based sauce seasoned with chilli. However, tomatillo, a Mexican fruit like a tomato, and cheese sauces. One such cheese sauce is called Chile con queso which literally means chilli with cheese. This recipe uses a traditional tomato sauce seasoned with chilli, cumin, oregano, garlic, and lime juice.

While we’re not using a spicy cheese sauce, we’ll definitely top our enchiladas with a liberal amount of grated cheese.

Chipotle Paste

These Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas call for chipotle paste. Chipotle paste is made from Chipotle chillis which are smoked and dried Jalapenos. The result of this process is a smoky and spicy paste which will add a kick to our filling. Most pastes usually consist of added ingredients such as onion, garlic, tomato puree, herbs, spices, and sugar. The actual variation will depend on the brand, so find one you like and enjoy.

Other Ingredient Notes

Traditionally, Corn tortillas are used, however, wheat tortillas are more readily available in UK supermarkets.


4 Chicken Breasts, Diced

2 Tbsp Chipotle Paste


Enchilada Sauce

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 White Onion, Sliced

3 Garlic Cloves, Crushed

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes

100ml Water

1 Tsp Chilli Powder

1 Tsp Paprika  

1 Tsp Ground Cumin

½ Tsp Coriander

½ Tsp Dried Oregano

¼ Tsp Nutmeg. Ground

Juice from 1 lime

Vegetable Filling

45ml Vegetable Oil

1 Onion, Diced

2 Red Peppers, Diced

1 Tin of Sweetcorn, Drained

1 Tin of Pinto Beans, Drained

Juice of 2 Limes

Salt, to taste.

20ml Vegetable Oil

8 Large Tortillas

70g Grated Cheddar

A handful of Chopped Coriander, Garnish

Sour Cream, to Garnish


  1. To cook the Chicken: Mix the chicken with the chipotle paste and leave to marinate for 2 minutes. After 20 minutes, heat a pan over medium-high heat and cook the chicken until it’s cooked through and begins to char. Set aside.
  2. To make the Sauce: Heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onion for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before adding the spices. Stir in the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and water. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the acidity from the tomatoes has cooked out. Blitz the sauce, and season with salt to taste, and the lime juice. Set aside.  
  3. To Cook the vegetables: Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions, and peppers until they begin to soften. Add ½ of the Enchilada sauce and the sweetcorn and pinto beans and cook for 3-4 minutes until the sweetcorn and beans are hot throughout. Add the chicken to the sauce and Set Aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190oc, gas mark 5, and grease a baking dish large enough to hold 8 tortilla wraps.
  5. To make the tortillas: Spread a tortilla over a clean work surface and build with a large spoonful of the filling. Fold the wraps and ensure the filling is fully in case. Repeat for 8 wraps and tightly pack the wrapped tortillas in the baking dish. Top with a liberal amount of enchilada sauce, and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the cheese has melted and begun to bubble.

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