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Make-Ahead Chicken Enchiladas

Make ahead 5-ingredient enchiladas
Casey Barber

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  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 8 tortillas
  • 2 pounds cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
  • 2 bell peppers, stemmed, seeds removed and diced
  • cups shredded cheese
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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 dinners the whole family will love. 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. You can also serve them for a dinner party — they're just that good!

RELATED: 10 time-saving rotisserie chicken recipes


Make-ahead chicken enchiladas
Casey Barbar / TODAY

Make ahead:

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.

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