white chicken enchilada skillet

The White Chicken Enchilada Skillet is a testament to the magic of one-pan meals, transforming a traditional Mexican dish into a convenient, yet equally mouthwatering dinner option. Originating from the heart of Mexico, enchiladas have made their way across borders, evolving into various forms that cater to different tastes and preferences. Among these, the White Chicken Enchilada stands out for its creamy, cheesy goodness, marrying the robust flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine with the ease of a skillet preparation.

For those intrigued by the evolution of enchiladas, a deep dive into their history reveals fascinating insights into how this dish has become a staple in both Mexican and international kitchens. The White Chicken Enchilada Skillet recipe embraces the essence of Mexican cuisine, balancing spice with the creamy textures of sour cream and cheese, making it an all-time favorite.

Incorporating key ingredients such as tender chicken, creamy sauce, and soft tortillas, this skillet meal is not just about tantalizing your taste buds but also about bringing a piece of Mexican culinary tradition into your home. For those eager to explore more about the richness of Mexican dishes, discovering the varied aspects of Mexican cuisine can provide a broader appreciation for recipes like this one. As we delve into the preparation of this delightful dish, let’s remember the history and cultural significance that make it so special.

With every bite of the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet, we not only savor a delicious meal but also celebrate the rich tapestry of flavors that Mexican cuisine has to offer.

Ingredients Overview :

Creating the perfect White Chicken Enchilada Skillet begins with gathering high-quality ingredients that blend harmoniously to create a dish bursting with flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter and Flour: The foundation for the roux, adding richness and thickness to the sauce.
  • Chicken Broth: Enhances the overall depth of flavor.
  • Chili Powder and Cumin: These spices are essential for imparting the characteristic enchilada flavor.
  • Salt & Pepper: For seasoning.
  • Diced Green Chilies: Add a mild heat and authentic Mexican taste. Learn more about the benefits of chilies in cooking.
  • Chicken: Boneless, skinless breasts or thighs, providing the protein base.
  • Monterey Jack Cheese: Offers creaminess and a smooth melt. Discover more about Monterey Jack Cheese.
  • Corn Tortillas: The gluten-free component that adds texture and substance.
  • Sour Cream: Brings a tangy creaminess, balancing the spices.

Choosing fresh and quality ingredients is key to achieving the best taste and texture in your White Chicken Enchilada Skillet. Each ingredient plays a pivotal role, from the subtle heat of the green chilies to the comforting creaminess of the cheese, culminating in a dish that’s as nutritious as it is delicious.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide :

Preparing Your Skillet :

  1. Start with the Roux: In a large skillet, melt three tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in three tablespoons of all-purpose flour to form a smooth roux. This mixture will thicken your sauce and provide a velvety texture to the dish.
  2. Develop the Sauce: Gradually pour in two cups of chicken broth, stirring constantly to ensure the mixture remains lump-free. Season with half a teaspoon of chili powder and half a teaspoon of ground cumin for that authentic enchilada flavor. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Add the Chicken: Introduce one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes, into the skillet. Ensure each piece is coated with the sauce for maximum flavor absorption. Cook over medium heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Incorporate the Cheese and Tortillas: Sprinkle in one and a half cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, ensuring it’s evenly distributed. Cut ten corn tortillas into small, bite-sized pieces and add them to the skillet along with one cup of sour cream. Stir well until all ingredients are fully combined and the cheese has melted, creating a creamy mixture.
  5. Simmer to Perfection: Reduce the heat to low and let the skillet simmer for a few minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly, enhancing the dish’s overall taste and consistency.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Once the mixture is hot and bubbly, it’s ready to serve. Garnish with additional Monterey Jack cheese, diced avocado, and fresh cilantro for added color and freshness. Each serving promises a comforting and satisfying meal, perfect for any day of the week.

By following these steps, you’ll create a White Chicken Enchilada Skillet that’s not only easy to prepare but also packed with flavor. The key to this dish lies in the layering of textures and tastes, from the tender chicken pieces to the creamy sauce and the soft tortillas. Every bite offers a delicious combination of ingredients that make this skillet meal a surefire hit with family and friends.

For those looking to explore further variations of this dish or complement it with other recipes, considering easy enchilada recipes or one-pan Mexican meals can provide additional inspiration for your cooking adventures. Remember, the essence of Mexican cooking is to experiment and enjoy the process, creating meals that bring joy and comfort to your table.

Serving Suggestions :

A White Chicken Enchilada Skillet is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of sides. To round out your meal, consider these recommendations:

  • Mexican Rice: A fluffy and flavorful side that complements the creamy texture of the enchilada skillet. It absorbs the sauce beautifully, enhancing each spoonful.
  • Refried Beans: Offer a rich and hearty element to your meal. Their creamy texture contrasts nicely with the slight crunch of the corn tortillas.
  • Salad: A light, fresh salad with a citrusy dressing balances the richness of the dish. Include ingredients like avocado, tomato, and corn for a Mexican-inspired salad.
  • Tortilla Chips and Salsa: For an added crunch, serve with crispy tortilla chips and a side of restaurant-style salsa. The salsa adds a fresh and spicy kick that complements the creamy enchilada skillet.

When serving, garnish your White Chicken Enchilada Skillet with extra cilantro and diced avocado for a pop of color and freshness. A dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of cheese can also add an extra layer of flavor and texture. No matter which sides you choose, the key is to balance the flavors and textures to create a satisfying meal that delights all your senses.

Nutritional Information :

Understanding the nutritional content of the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet can help you appreciate not only its taste but also its health benefits. Here’s a breakdown of what you’re enjoying with each serving:

  • Protein: Chicken serves as an excellent source of lean protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Calcium and Phosphorus: Monterey Jack cheese is rich in these minerals, crucial for bone health.
  • Vitamins: Avocado, a common garnish, is loaded with vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, along with riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. It also provides lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Fiber: Corn tortillas contribute dietary fiber, promoting digestive health.

Per serving, this dish approximately contains:

  • Calories: 596
  • Total Fat: 32g (Saturated Fat: 17g, Unsaturated Fat: 12g)
  • Cholesterol: 156mg
  • Sodium: 720mg
  • Carbohydrates: 33g (Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g)
  • Protein: 44g

While the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet is hearty and filling, it’s also balanced, offering a range of nutrients from its diverse ingredients. For those watching their intake of certain nutrients, consider adjusting the recipe to fit your dietary needs, such as using low-fat cheese or increasing the number of vegetables for added fiber and vitamins. Enjoying this dish as part of a balanced diet allows you to savor its flavors without compromise.

Variations of the Recipe :

The beauty of the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet lies in its versatility. Here are some variations to suit different tastes and dietary needs:

Vegetarian Version :

  • Replace chicken with a mix of black beans and quinoa or a meat substitute for a protein-packed vegetarian alternative. Incorporate a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms for added texture and nutrition.

Gluten-Free Adaptation :

  • Ensure your corn tortillas are 100% gluten-free to cater to those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Also, verify that all packaged ingredients are certified gluten-free.

Spicy Kick :

  • For those who enjoy a bit more heat, add diced jalapeños to the skillet or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Adjust the level of spiciness to your preference.

Low-Carb Solution :

  • Reduce the number of corn tortillas and add more vegetables, such as cauliflower rice or spiraled zucchini, to keep the carb count lower without sacrificing the heartiness of the dish.

Dairy-Free Modification :

  • Substitute dairy ingredients with their plant-based counterparts. Use almond milk cream cheese, coconut milk sour cream, and dairy-free cheese. These alternatives mimic the creaminess and flavor of traditional dairy products.

Common Mistakes to Avoid :

To ensure your White Chicken Enchilada Skillet turns out perfectly, here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Overcrowding the Pan: Adding too many ingredients at once can prevent them from cooking evenly. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Underseasoning: Spices bring the dish to life. Taste and adjust seasoning as you cook to ensure a flavorful result.
  • Not Letting the Roux Brown: The roux should be cooked until it’s golden brown to develop its flavor and effectively thicken the sauce.
  • Overcooking the Chicken: Cook the chicken just until it’s done to keep it moist and tender. Overcooked chicken can become tough and dry.
  • Skipping the Garnishes: Fresh cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of lime can elevate the dish, adding fresh, bright flavors that contrast the creamy, rich sauce.

By paying attention to these details, you can avoid common mistakes and ensure your White Chicken Enchilada Skillet is a delicious success every time. Whether you’re serving it on a busy weeknight or as part of a festive meal, this dish is sure to satisfy a wide range of tastes and dietary preferences.

FAQs :

Q: Can I make the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet ahead of time?
A: Absolutely! You can prepare the skillet meal up to the point before you add the final cheese topping. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, sprinkle on the cheese and reheat in the oven or on the stove until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Q: What can I do if the dish is too spicy or not spicy enough?
A: If it’s too spicy, add more sour cream or cheese to balance the heat. If it’s not spicy enough, stir in extra chili powder, cayenne pepper, or diced jalapeños to taste.

Q: Is there a way to make this dish lower in fat without sacrificing flavor?
A: Yes, use low-fat versions of the dairy ingredients and lean chicken breast. You can also increase the amount of vegetables and decrease the cheese used to top the skillet.

Q: How can I store and reheat leftovers?
A: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet over medium heat, adding a little chicken broth or water to keep it moist, or microwave it covered, stirring occasionally.

Q: Can I freeze the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet?
A: This dish freezes well without the final cheese topping. Freeze in airtight containers. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as directed above, adding the cheese once it’s hot

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White Chicken Enchilada Skillet

  • Author: Easy Recipes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes



3 tablespoons salted butter

½ cup diced yellow onions

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon

Black pepper (to taste)

2 cups water

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

3 Anaheim or Hatch chiles (or a 7-ounce can of diced green chiles, drained)

2 teaspoons canola oil (not needed if using canned chiles)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

4 ounces cream cheese

½ cup sour cream

3 cups grated jack cheese, divided in half

10 white corn tortillas, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cayenne pepper (to taste)


  1. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are softened and begin to brown.
  2. Add flour, cumin, bouillon, and a pinch of black pepper and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer to brown the flour mixture.
  3. Stir the water into the flour mixture, cooking over medium heat until the sauce begins to thicken slightly and becomes bubbly.
  4. Add chicken breasts into the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165°F on a meat thermometer).
  5. Once the chicken in the skillet has cooked through, shred it into bite-size pieces.
  6. Add chiles, ¼ cup cilantro, cream cheese, sour cream, and 1½ cups of the jack cheese into the skillet and stir until smooth.
  7. Add corn tortilla pieces to the skillet, cooking over medium heat until the mixture is bubbly and evenly combined.
  8. Sprinkle remaining cheese and a pinch of cayenne pepper over the top of the skillet mixture and place under the oven broiler to cook for about 5 minutes or until the top is bubbly golden brown.
  9. Garnish with more cilantro and sliced fresh avocado. Serve hot.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • Serving Size: 6 servings

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