Cheesy Lime Chicken Enchiladas

I'm one of those people that pretty much knows what I'm going to order before arriving at the restaurant. Stalking restaurant menus, regardless of whether I have plans to eat there in the near future or not, is one of my favorite past times. I hope I'm safe in assuming this activity is normal for those of us whose lives essentially revolve around food.

No matter what sounds most appealing during my stalking session, when it comes to Mexican food, I always gravitate towards one dish: enchiladas. It doesn't matter if it's an upscale, fancy Mexican (Rosa Mexicano) or your backyard, neighborhood joint (El Rods, duh); enchiladas are always safe and delicious no matter the locale.

I very rarely order tacos at Mexican restaurants because, I mean, a monkey can make a taco at home...and it's likely gonna be wayyy better than what ends up on your plate at the restaurant, anyways. For the longest time, I've imagined enchiladas would be especially difficult to make at home without losing the authentic Mexican flavor (which absolutely justified my need to order enchiladas at every Mexican dining experience).

I proved myself wrong. These Cheesy Lime Chicken Enchiladas were everything I dreamed of and more in a homemade enchilada.

Using meat from a plain rotisserie chicken allows the lime juice to be completely absorbed, giving it a tangy citrus flavor that I've honestly never come across in a Mexican restaurant (I still love you, El Rods).

Like many of my favorite recipes, you can take the base and make it what you want. I like things spicy, so I made sure that jalepeño pepper and green chilies were included in my 'lada mix. I also wanted to incorporate salsa, so I threw some in my favorite restaurant style kind.

If grabbing a rotisserie chicken that's already been cooked wasn't easy enough, my good friend Trader Joe also comes through in the clutch in this recipe with his delicious, fire-colored enchilada sauce. It's thick, a little goopy, and not too spicy. I'd almost say creamy, except, it isn't...but it invokes creaminess in a way I can't exactly explain...

Once your filling is complete, you simply slather the enchiladas in the sauce.

Top with a nice heaping portion of shredded Mexican cheese.

A little bit of this + a little bit of that = the whole enchilada.

Cheesy Lime Chicken Enchiladas

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, hand-shredded
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 2 cans Trader Joe's enchilada sauce
  • 2 generous cups shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small jalepeño pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro 
  • Juice of 1 medium lime
  • ½ cup restaurant style salsa
  • Pinch of cayenne, cumin, salt, and pepper
  • 6 tortillas*

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Chop the onion and the garlic and cook in the oil in a pan over low/medium heat for about ten minutes, or until the onion has started to caramelize. Take mixture off the stove and set aside to cool.

2. Using your hands, pick and shred the rotisserie chicken into pieces and place in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the chicken and stir to combine. Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes to absorb the flavor.

3. Add ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, jalepeño, one cup of cheese, salsa, green chilies, a pinch of cayenne and cumin, and the onion and garlic mixture to the same bowl. Stir well to combine and adjust seasonings as necessary.

4. Pour half a can of enchilada sauce in a large glass casserole dish. Fill each flour tortilla with about ½ cup of the chicken mixture. 

5. Roll up and place seam-side down in the dish and repeat with the remaining tortillas. Once you have filled up the dish completely, pour another cup of enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese. 

6. Cover loosely with tin foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

7. Cool and garnish with additional cilantro. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, and Mexican rice and beans. If you like a spicier enchilada, use hot enchilada sauce.

*I heated my tortillas in canola oil in a pan for 30 seconds on each side prior to adding the enchilada mixture in. You can "cook" them however you want (in a microwave between damp paper towels, for example) but I think this way gives the dish extra flavor and makes the sides slightly crispy.


  1. I am pinning this now! It looks so delicious! I must make.