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Make-Ahead Chicken Enchiladas

Make ahead 5-ingredient enchiladas
Casey Barber


  • 1 15-ounce can enchilada sauce
  • 8 packaged flour tortillas
  • 4 cups chopped rotisserie or other cooked chicken (about 1 pound)
  • 1 small red or green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 6-ounce bag shredded Mexican blend, Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Optional: sour cream, guacamole and/or salsa for serving
  • Chef notes

    If you don't think you have time to make gooey, bubbly enchiladas, think again: These five-ingredient chicken enchiladas are your secret weapon for spicing up weeknight dinner. When you make a whole casserole's worth of enchiladas in advance, you've got a satisfying meal that's ready to go when you want it — or quick, easy-to-heat lunches for the rest of the week. Or serve them for a dinner party — they're just that good!

    RELATED: 10 time-saving rotisserie chicken recipes


    Casey Barbar / TODAY

    Do ahead: Make the enchiladas

    Prepare the pan and tortillas: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pour about 1/3 of the can of enchilada sauce into a 9-by-13-inch casserole pan. (Make sure your pan is also freezer-safe if you plan to freeze the finished dish.) Line the tortillas up crosswise in the pan, folded open like taco shells for easy filling.

    Fill the enchiladas: Scoop about 1/2 cup of cooked chicken into each tortilla. Divide the diced bell pepper evenly between the tortillas, sprinkling the pieces on top of the chicken. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon shredded cheese over the bell pepper. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon enchilada sauce over the filling.

    Roll and bake: Starting at one end of the pan, roll the tortillas up so the seamed side of each tortilla is face-down in the pan. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly across the top of the tortillas, then top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Cool to room temperature.

    Store the enchiladas: To keep the enchiladas up to 2 days in the refrigerator, tightly cover the pan with foil before storing. To freeze the enchiladas for up to 3 months, tightly wrap the entire pan with foil, crimping to seal around the edges to prevent freezer burn. Or to freeze smaller portions separately, scoop the enchiladas into individual lidded freezer-safe containers before storing.

    Chow time: Reheat and serve

    Heat the enchiladas: If you're feeding the whole family or a crowd, the enchiladas can be reheated directly from the refrigerator or freezer in the casserole dish they were baked in. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Keep the foil on the dish and reheat for 20-30 minutes (refrigerated) or 45 minutes (frozen), until the enchiladas are warmed through. If you'd rather reheat individual servings, enchiladas in small microwave-safe containers can be zapped in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or reheated in a toaster oven for 10-15 minutes.

    Eat up: Serve the enchiladas with sour cream, guacamole, and/or salsa.