This easy gluten-free chicken enchiladas recipe is cheesy and saucy with homemade red enchilada sauce and corn tortillas. The best quick and healthy weeknight dinner made with rotisserie chicken. Great for meal prep and freezing!
The best saucy gluten-free enchiladas
Whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant, I order chicken enchiladas. They are cheese, saucy, and absolutely delicious. But, unfortuanly, enchiladas are not usually gluten-free, so my boyfriend, who has celiac disease, can’t enjoy them. That’s why I developed this outrageously delicious recipe. We make these gluten-free enchiladas at least once a week.
Gluten-free enchiladas are so easy to make and require minimal ingredients. You’ll need shredded chicken, corn tortillas, tomato paste, seasonings, onion, cilantro, chicken broth, and a handful of other ingredients. My favorite part is that this recipe uses a homemade enchilada sauce rather than a store-bought sugary sauce.
Anyways, you’re going to love this gluten-free chicken enchiladas recipe. They’re made with corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas, and you can use rotisserie chicken!
We are huge fans of these homemade gluten-free enchiladas. They’re great for weeknight dinners and meal prep, and are freezer-friendly. The perfect healthy, flavorful recipe!
Why you’ll love this gluten-free recipe:
- Quick & Easy: ready in under 30 minutes
- Healthy: made with simple and wholesome ingredients and without sugar
- 100% Gluten-Free: these enchiladas are gluten-free since they’re made with corn tortillas
- Make it Dairy-Free: you can make these enchiladas dairy free with dairy-free shredded cheese
- Homemade Enchilada Sauce: our gluten-free red enchilada sauce is rich in flavor and healthier than store-bought sauces
- High Protein: There are over 29g of protein per serving
- Use Rotisserie Chicken: this recipe calls for shredded chicken, so you can make your own or use rotisserie chicken.
- Corn Tortillas: Most recipes call for flour tortillas, this one is made gluten-free with corn tortillas.
- Easy Meal Prep: easily make gluten-free enchiladas ahead of time for meal prep
- Freezer-Friendly: you can freeze enchiladas for up to 3 months
- Similar Recipe: try these Mexican turkey kale quinoa stuffed peppers or these chicken fajita tacos next!
Ingredients and substitutions
This gluten-free enchiladas recipe has three parts: (1) the homemade red enchiladas sauce, (2) the shredded chicken filling, and (3) the toppings. Here is a list of ingredients so you have every prepared:
Gluten-Free Enchilada Sauce:
- Olive Oil: to help saute the onions and peppers. You can also use avocado or coconut oil.
- Red Onion: for sharpness and flavor. If needed, substitute with yellow or white onion.
- Bell Pepper: I use red bell pepper since they are actually sweet and have the best flavor. You can also use yellow or orange. Green bell peppers are a little bitter but still work.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic adds the best flavor. You can substitute with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder if absolutely necessary.
- Tomato Paste: To make this gluten-free enchilada sauce thicker, red, and more flavorful.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth: Use low-sodium to control the saltiness of this enchilada sauce. You can also use vegetable broth or chicken stock.
- Spices: Grab chili Powder, paprika, and ground cumin to flavor the red enchilada sauce.
- Salt & Pepper: adjust to your taste preferences.
Rotisserie chicken filling
- Chicken: You need 3 cups of boneless and skinless shredded chicken breasts. I love using rotisserie chicken since it is so easy; however, you can make your own by shredding oven-baked chicken or air fryer chicken breasts.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds the best flavor!
- Black Beans: For protein and texture. You can also use red kidney beans.
- Corn Tortillas: They are gluten-free and great for these enchiladas. Be careful when substituting the corn tortillas for another gluten-free brand. Gluten-free “flour” tortillas made from quinoa and corn will work, but cassava, almond, and chickpea tortillas tend to be delicate and may break during the baking processes.
- Cheese: Shredded cheese makes everything better. Use a Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, or Cheddar.
- Toppings: I love adding crunchy tortillas strips, Greek yogurt or sour cream, lime, and lots of cilantro. So good!
Kitchen tools you’ll need
Here is a list of kitchen utensils you will need to make these cheesy gluten-free chicken enchiladas.
- Large Skillet, cast iron, or 9×11-inch baking dish
- Cutting Board + Sharp Kitchen Knife
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Aluminum Foil (optional)
- Measuring Tools: 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon, 1/4 cup, and 1/2 cup.
How to make gluten-free chicken enchiladas with red sauce
Gluten-free enchiladas are incredibly easy to make. First, prepare the homemade gluten-free red enchiladas sauce, season the shredded chicken, and finally, assemble and bake the enchiladas. This recipe is healthy and 100% gluten-free since we use corn tortillas and no flour. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions for any level cook:
First, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
Step 2: make the gluten-free red enchilada sauce
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Sauté red onion and red bell pepper over medium heat for around 7 minutes until softened and slightly browned. Then, add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
After that, add the tomato paste and stir to coat the veggies. Then, add the chicken broth, chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir until the tomato paste is dissolved (making your homemade red enchilada sauce).
Simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. If you prefer a thicker sauce, dissolve 1 tbsp of arrowroot starch in ¼ cup of cold water and mix it into the sauce.
Step 3: Prepare the chicken filling
Combine the shredded chicken, black beans, cilantro, and ¼-½ cup of the prepared sauce in a large bowl. Mix until everything is evenly coated.
Step 4: Prepare the pan
Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or a large skillet for baking the enchiladas. Then, add a few spoons of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of the dish.
Step 5: assemble
Warm the gluten-free corn tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds to make them more pliable.
Then, fill each tortilla with about ¼ cup of the chicken mixture, roll them up, and place them seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with all the tortillas.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the enchiladas.
Step 6: bake
Finally, bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Cover the pan with aluminum foil if the cheese and tortillas are browning too quickly.
Then, serve you gluten-free chicken enchiladas with desired toppings such as guacamole, crunchy tortillas, salsa, Greek yogurt or sour cream, lime, and plenty of cilantro. Enjoy!
- Use Rotisserie Chicken: You can use precooked rotisserie chicken to save time. Just shred the chicken breasts before mixing them with other ingredients.
- Warm the Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are less flexible than flour tortillas. So, to prevent the tortillas from breaking while rolling the enchiladas, I recommend warming them in the microwave. This makes them more pliable and easier to work with.
- Cheese Selection: Choose a cheese that melts well for the topping, such as Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, or Cheddar.
- Make them Dairy-Free: You can also make these gluten-free chicken enchiladas 100% dairy-free by using your favorite dairy-free, vegan cheese.
- Experiment with the Fillings: While this recipe uses chicken and black beans, feel free to get creative with your fillings. Use sautéed veggies, different types of beans, or even a combination of meats. You can use ground beef, shredded turkey (leftover from Thanksgiving), or tofu.
- Make-Ahead: You can easily assemble gluten-free enchiladas ahead of time and keep them covered in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. This is especially helpful for busy days or when hosting gatherings.
- Freezing: If you have leftovers or want to make a batch for later, you can freeze assembled, unbaked enchiladas. Just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. When ready to eat, bake them from frozen, adding a little extra time in the oven.
What to serve with chicken enchiladas:
Here is a list of the best dishes to serve with chicken enchiladas:
- Mexican Rice: A classic side dish made with rice, tomatoes, onions, and spices. It’s a great choice to balance the flavors of the enchiladas.
- Refried Beans: Creamy and savory refried beans are a traditional side that pairs well with chicken enchiladas.
- Guacamole: Add a dollop of creamy homemade guacamole – it’s tangy and delicious!
- Salsa: Fresh salsa is always a great choice. I love this spicy mango habanero salsa recipe.
- Corn Salad: Try homemade street corn salad or simple corn salad made with corn kernels, bell peppers, red onion, and cilantro, dressed with lime vinaigrette.
- Black Bean Salad: It’s protein-packed and made with simple ingredients like black beans, tomatoes, onions, and a zesty dressing.
- Cilantro Lime Coleslaw: It’s zesty, crunchy, and healthy.
- Mexican Street Corn (Elote): Grilled corn on the cob and coat it with light mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime juice.
- Fried Plantains: Sweet and caramelized plantains offer a unique and tasty side option. I love using this air fryer banana chips recipe.
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: Try serving your enchiladas with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- Avocado Slices: For a creamy and delicious flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are corn tortillas gluten-free?
Yes, corn tortillas are typically gluten-free. They are made from maize (corn) rather than wheat.
Are tortilla chips gluten-free?
Yes, tortilla chips are often gluten-free. However, I always recommend checking the label for cross-contamination if you have celiac.
Can I make enchiladas dairy-free?
Yes, it’s easy to make enchiladas dairy free. Simply substitute the shredded cheese with your favorite dairy-free, vegan cheese.
What are the best gluten-free tortillas to use for enchiladas?
Corn tortillas are the best for homemade enchiladas since they are thicker and can hold all the saucy fillings without breaking. Almond, casava, and chickpea tortillas tend to be thin and fragile.
What’s the best cheese for enchiladas?
The best cheese for enchiladas is typically a melty and flavorful option like shredded Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, or Cheddar cheese.
Is shredded cheese gluten-free?
Yes, shredded cheese is gluten-free.
What can I substitute the shredded chicken with?
You can substitute the shredded chicken in these enchiladas with options like cooked and seasoned ground beef, turkey, sautéed vegetables, black beans, or even a plant-based protein source like crumbled tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian or vegan version.
Why do I have to microwave the tortillas?
Corn tortillas tend to be stiff when cold or at room temperature. Warming them in the microwave ensures they don’t rip or break in half when rolling up the enchiladas.
What’s the difference between red and green enchiladas?
The main difference between red and green enchiladas lies in the type of sauce used: red enchiladas are covered in a red chili sauce often made from dried red chilies, while green enchiladas are covered in a green chili sauce, usually made from tomatillos and green chilies. Green enchiladas sauce tends to be spicier.
Can you freeze enchiladas?
Yes, you can freeze enchiladas. After assembling them, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then place them in an airtight container before freezing; when ready to enjoy, bake them directly from frozen, adding a little extra baking time.
How to store and reheat enchiladas:
Storing: To store enchiladas, let them cool completely, then cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator.
Reheating: To reheat, microwave individual portions for a quick warm-up or bake the enchiladas in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes, until heated through. I reccomend baking them so the tortillas are not soggy and covering the pan with foil to prevent excessive browning in the oven.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Chicken Fajita Tacos
- Al Pastor Shrimp Tacos
- Mexican Turkey Kale Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Taco Stuffed Sweet Potato Boats
- Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Gluten-Free Chicken Enchiladas
- 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breasts, (or 3 cups of rotisserie chicken), cooked and shredded
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Red Enchilada Sauce:
- 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp chili powder, yes Tablespoon
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 10 – 12 gluten-free corn tortillas
- ¾ cup shredded cheese, , Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, or Cheddar
- Toppings: crunchy tortillas, greek yogurt or sour cream, lime, lots of cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
Make the Enchilada Sauce
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Sauté red onion and red bell pepper over medium heat for around 7 minutes until softened and slightly browned.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the veggies.
- Add the chicken broth, chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir until the tomato paste is dissolved (making your homemade red enchilada sauce). Simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. If you prefer a thicker sauce, dissolve 1 tbsp of arrowroot starch in ¼ cup of cold water and mix it into the sauce.
Make the Filling:
- In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, black beans, cilantro, and ¼-½ cup of the prepared sauce. Mix until everything is evenly coated.
- Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or a large skillet for baking the enchiladas. Then, add a few spoons of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of the dish.
- Warm the gluten-free corn tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds to make them more pliable.
- Fill each tortilla with about ¼ cup of the chicken mixture and then roll them up.
- Place them seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with all the tortillas.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the enchiladas.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. If the cheese and tortillas are browning too quickly, feel free to cover the pan with aluminum foil.
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