I’ve been holding out on you. Earlier this week, I gave you the recipe for a better-tasting, healthy Crockpot Mexican Chicken, plus 10 ways to use it. It seemed generous, but the truth is, I left one very important Mexican chicken recipe off the list: Chicken Enchilada Skillet.

Cheesy skillet chicken enchiladas, served in a skillet and topped with avocado

Secret Mexican Chicken Recipe #11, this one deserves its own stand-alone post. I’d call it lazy chicken enchiladas, except that name doesn’t do it justice.

You see “lazy” does nothing to communicate the taste euphoria that is juicy shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, soft corn tortillas, beans, and cheese (lots of cheese!) bubbling away until the tortillas soften, the creamy sauce wraps itself around every morsel, and the entire shebang tastes like the daily special at your favorite no-frills authentic Mexican joint (I mean this as a compliment).

“Deconstructed” chicken enchiladas? Chicken enchilada pie? Sweatpants chicken enchiladas? I’m taking suggestions.

Whatever you decide to call this recipe, it’s a keeper.

I found a number of easy chicken enchilada skillet recipes online, including a classic Campbell’s one. Not surprisingly, the original recipe calls for a can of “cream of” soup. The sales angle was obvious, but I prefer to use whole ingredients when I can.

Is it too much to want a meal to be quick and easy and limit the processed items?

Of course not!

Instead, I came up with this healthy cheddar chicken enchilada skillet. It’s still easy to make. You don’t need to fuss with a cream sauce, even though we told the canned soup goodbye. The entire recipe is all cooked in one skillet, so you have fewer dishes to wash.

It’s *mostly* homemade so you can feel great eating it, but it also uses a few pantry items when they make sense (corn tortillas!), so you don’t have to spend hours prepping.

Despite its slimmed-down status, I promise this lighter version tastes indulgent enough to be worthy of its place on a daily special board—and, of course, at your table too!

Chicken enchilada skillet in a large skillet with cheese and avocado

How to Make a Healthy Chicken Enchilada Skillet

A few ingredient swaps make this a cheddar chicken enchilada skillet that’s light on calories and big on flavor.

The Ingredients

  • Shredded Chicken. For maximum flavor points, use my Crockpot Mexican Chicken or the chicken from these Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos. In a hurry? You can use plain shredded chicken.
  • Red Enchilada Sauce. This homemade red enchilada sauce takes just 10 minutes to make, has wonderful flavor, and is lower in sodium than canned sauce. You can swap canned sauce too, of course; use mild or spicy, depending upon your family’s flavor preference.
  • Poblano Pepper. Not spicy! These complex, mild peppers have become one of my favorite ingredients in Mexican cooking ever since making this King Ranch Chicken. They’re sold at most grocery stores now, but if you can’t find one, you can swap a green bell pepper instead.
  • Red Bell Pepper. Naturally sweet and a great source of vitamin C. They also contain many other vitamins, folate, and potassium.
  • Greek Yogurt. My sneaky swap to create a creamy sauce that doesn’t require canned soup.
  • Cheese. I like a sharp cheddar, because it’s fully flavored so a small handful goes a long way. Pepper jack is excellent if you’d like a kick; cheddar jack or Monterey jack are classic.
  • Corn Tortillas. No persnickety rolling. Simply tear them up, then stir them in. I recommend corn versus flour tortillas for the best texture and flavor here.
  • Spices. Cumin does the heavy lifting here. I also used garlic powder (because I’ll use it anytime I can get out of chopping garlic without sacrificing flavor, shhhh).
  • Oregano. Add a pinch to any Mexican dish. You’ll love the results.
  • The Works! For topping. Fresh cilantro, avocado, and a dollop of Greek yogurt in place of sour cream are the everyday house favorites. When we’re feeling dangerous, we add jalapeno.

The Directions

  1. Sauté the vegetables and spices in a large oven-safe skillet until browned and tender.
    Shredded chicken, vegetables, and black beans in a mixing bowl
  2. Transfer the vegetables to a mixing bowl, then add the sauce, chicken, and beans. Stir to combine.

    A mixing bowl with Mexican ingredients and flavors

  3. Stir in the yogurt, tortilla quarters, and part of the cheese.
    Ingredients for chicken enchiladas in a large skillet
  4. Transfer the mixture to the skillet, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
  5. Place the skillet in the oven, and bake at 425 degrees F until hot and bubbly. Let rest, then serve hot with desired toppings. DIG IN!

Recipe Variations

  • Beef Enchilada Skillet. Swap in ground beef for the chicken. You could also use ground turkey or ground chicken. Brown the ground meat ahead of time, and add to the skillet when it calls for the shredded chicken. (For another delicious ground beef recipe, try this Mexican Casserole.)
  • Vegetarian Enchilada Skillet. Instead of chicken, use the tofu filling from these Tofu Tacos (you can omit the black beans since the tacos call for those, or double up).
  • Gluten Free. If you buy certified GF tortillas, no other changes are needed; this recipe is naturally gluten free.

Easy, cheesy chicken enchilada skillet topped with avocado and jalapeno

Make-Ahead, Storage, and Reheating Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Chop the vegetables as directed, and sauté them in the skillet. Transfer them to the mixing bowl, and store in the refrigerator overnight. Finish the recipe as directed when you’re ready finish preparing.
  • To Store. Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish or oven-safe skillet in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot and cheese is bubbly.

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

A large skillet filled with chicken enchiladas

Whatever you decide to call this chicken enchilada skillet (casserole? one-pan Mexican wonder?), it’s sure to hit the spot on a busy night not too long from now.

And as always, if you try this recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know how it came out. It makes my day to hear from you and keeps me motivated to create the best-ever healthy recipes for you!

Cheesy skillet chicken enchiladas, served in a skillet and topped with avocado

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

5 from 14 votes
This easy Chicken Enchilada Skillet cooks in one pan and is made with simple, healthy ingredients. Light on calories, big on flavor, and always a favorite!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins

Servings: 5 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper cored and diced
  • 1 poblano pepper or green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 20 ounces red enchilada sauce I recommend my homemade red enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups cooked shredded slow cooker Mexican chicken (for max flavor!) or regular cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 15-ounce can low sodium black beans or low sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup 2% or whole plain Greek yogurt do not use fat free or it may curdle
  • 6 corn tortillas cut into quarters
  • 1 cup shredded cheese such as sharp cheddar or cheddar jack, Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack, divided
  • For serving: diced avocados sliced jalapeno, chopped fresh cilantro, additional Greek yogurt or sour cream

Instructions
 

  • Place racks in the upper third and center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, bell pepper, poblano pepper, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Sauté until the vegetables brown and are becoming tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Keep the skillet handy. Add the enchilada sauce, chicken, and beans and stir to combine. Stir in the Greek yogurt. Fold in the tortilla quarters and ¼ cup of the cheese.
  • Spoon the mixture back into the same skillet. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven, placing it on the upper third rack, and bake until the cheese is hot and bubbling, 10 minutes. If you like, switch the oven to broil and broil for a minute or two to make the top of the cheese brown (don't walk away to make sure the cheese doesn't burn). Remove from the oven (be careful, the skillet handle will be hot!). Let rest a few minutes, then serve hot with desired toppings.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish or oven-safe skillet in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot and cheese is bubbly.
  • TO MAKE AHEAD: Chop the vegetables as directed, and sauté them in the skillet. Transfer them to the mixing bowl, and store in the refrigerator overnight. Finish the recipe as directed when you're ready finish preparing.   

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 5); without extra toppingsCalories: 497kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 41gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 78mgPotassium: 711mgFiber: 13gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1768IUVitamin C: 53mgCalcium: 359mgIron: 5mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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Recipe Rating




43 Comments

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  1. This recipe is going onto my next weeks menu schedule! I’ve never made enchilada sauce but will for this dish. And because we’re not wild about corn tortillas, I’ll sub in flour ones. Have you taken to grating your own cheese? I have been and it’s much easier to get a nice melty texture without all the weird ingredients. I did try doing it in my food processor but didn’t care for the gigantic mess to clean up so I just do it by hand. It really doesn’t take all that long – with an 8oz. chunk, you actually get more cheese once it’s shredded. Please don’t ask me to explain this because it’s strange to me also! Anyway, have a nice weekend.

    1. Hi Chris! Thanks for your tip on grating your own cheese, I’ll have to give that a try myself. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

  2. I already made your delicious crockpot Mexican chicken, so will be happy to try some of it in this recipe of yours which sounds yummy. Another one for my Pinterest board!

  3. Hi Erin — if I wanted to bake this in a casserole dish instead of an ovenproof skillet, what size dish would you recommend?

    1. Cari, the skillet pictured is 10 inches; I think a small 8×10 in casserole dish would work great! You also could divide it between two smaller dishes. As long as it’s in an even layer that looks like about the thickness you see the photos, you’ll be fine. You could even experiment with a deep 9×9-inch pan. I hope you love it!

      1. Thank you so much!  I know my family will love it — everything I have made from your website has been a huge hit — thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!

  4. Made this for dinner last night and both my husband and I loved it! I made your enchilada red sauce to go with it. It was a bit as well. He loves the heat but I’m not as big a fan. I used just one Adobe chile and the the of the shade in it. Instead of blending the chile in the sauce when it was done cooking, I removed it. Still had some heat but not so much that I couldn’t enjoy it.
    Thanks for all your awesome recipes.

    She C.5 stars

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review, She! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe!

  5. Made this for dinner last night and we liked it alot. I did use flour tortillas that I crisped up in the oven. This took no time at all! I also used your sauce recipe – so good. Love the smokiness of the chipotles and will use a bit more next time I make this. There’s so many different sized peppers in the can and I’m always afraid I’ll use too much… Thanks for a great recipe that went together so nicely.5 stars

  6. Hi Erin!

    I have made many of your recipes over the last couple years, and your page has become one of my “go to” resources when I plan my weekly menu. :) I’m making this enchilada skillet tomorrow and I plan to use your enchilada sauce recipe (which I love!). How much of that sauce should I use? This recipe calls for 20 oz. of sauce. Any idea how many cups of your enchilada sauce that would be?

    Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Erin! Since 1 cup is 8 ounces, I’d suggest using about 2.5 cups. I hope this helps and that you love the recipe!

  7. Hi Erin, 
    I made this last night and my husband and I loved it! I am a big fan of one pot meals. When this comes out of the oven it looks amazing and tastes even better. One question: in the description it says cumin and chili powder do the heavy lifting, but chili powder is not listed in the ingredients. Is that because it is integral to the chipotles in adobo? I had to use a jarred red picante sauce that I thought was weak, so added about 1T. chili powder to the cooking veggies. All was well!!
    Joy Z5 stars

    1. Hi Joy, I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! And, thank you for pointing out this discrepancy. Chili powder is not an ingredient for this recipe, but it is certainly a big part of the adobo sauce in my homemade enchilada sauce. Thanks for sharing your adjustment as well!

  8. I just made enchiladas this past weekend, and next time I will do this! What a time saver! And it looks soo good! I have to be dairy free right now; do you have suggestions of what I can replace the yogurt with? It’s hard to find plain non dairy yogurt around here. ?5 stars

    1. Thank you for this kind comment, Shawna! I haven’t tried this recipe without the yogurt, but from what I can find online, it sounds like a dairy-free sour cream or pureed tofu could work as a swap. I’m not sure how these swaps might change the flavor, so it would be an experiment. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  9. Okay WOW this is one of my favorite recipes to date! I modified it using green enchilada sauce and pinto beans (just our preference) and one can of hot green Chile’s and it tasted just like your green chile chicken enchiladas. SO GOOD!5 stars

  10. I made this recipe last night and it was DYNAMITE! I made it with the Crock Pot Mexican Chicken and homemade enchilada sauce and boy was it well worth it! I made the enchilada sauce before putting the chicken in the slow cooker which really allowed the flavors to blend together. Thank you for such an amazing recipe, I can’t WAIT to make this again!5 stars

  11. I’ve loved all your recipes and excited to try this one. I already made the taco sauce and realized my casserole dish is 10 x 13. Based on your response that 8 x 10 is best, do you think I need to tinker with the ratios to use a 10 x 13 dish?

    1. Hi Lindsay! It will be quite a bit thinner in the 10 x 13 dish, so you will want to check it several minutes earlier. You could also consider dividing it between two smaller pans (such as an 8×8-inch pan and a loaf pan, round cake pans, or whatever you have on hand) instead. I hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe!

    1. Hi Marcella! I haven’t tried this recipe without the yogurt, but you could experiment with sour cream. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  12. Made this for meal prep this week, and my boyfriend and I both loved it! I did the crockpot shredded chicken that you recommended, using chicken thighs. I swapped Greek yogurt for sour cream, because that’s what I had on hand, and I used canned enchilada sauce. Next time I will omit the corn tortillas because I feel like they get a bit lost in the jumble of textures and flavors, and we ate it with a side of tortilla chips anyways (it makes for good dipping). But this definitely earned a spot in our favorites list!5 stars

  13. SO DELICIOUS! I made this last week and it was a HUGE hit. Creamy, flavorful, hearty, unique! AMAZING! Thank you Erin!5 stars

  14. I loved this recipe ! I actually love everything I’ve made so far off of here. I forgot to put in the Greek yogurt that definitely made a huge difference spice wise.5 stars

  15. My kids gobbled this up and couldn’t get enough. They went from “I’m not hungry” to devouring several bowls each. Super easy to make! Will definitely be going into my family dinner rotation, thank you for this!5 stars

  16. This was excellent! I trusted your recipe enough to make it for the very first time for company and everyone loved it! This will definitely make it into my weekly rotation – so easy, so good. Everyone wanted seconds… should have doubled it!5 stars

  17. Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!! I did use a rotisserie chicken to keep it simple, but I did make your enchilada sauce and It is perfect in this dish. This has made our favorites list and it will be made again soon!5 stars