If you haven't had these green chile chicken enchiladas, you are missing out! The quick and easy from-scratch creamy white sauce takes them over the top!
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken (a rotisserie chicken works great here or this simple method for quick, cooked shredded chicken)
2 cans (4-ounces each) green chiles, lightly drained (see note)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, light or regular, softened and cubed
1 can (15-ounces) white or black beans, rinsed and drained (you can really use any type of bean you prefer here or leave them out)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) green chile enchilada sauce (or salsa verde) - homemade version here
1/2 cup sour cream, light or regular
8 ounces (about 2 cups) Monterey jack cheese, shredded
8 medium (soft taco size) flour or corn tortillas
Handful of chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and green chiles. Mix well. Add the chicken, beans, cilantro and lime juice. Mix to combine. Set aside.
For the sauce: in a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. As you whisk and the mixture cooks, the flour will get less lumpy around the onions and the mixture will become smooth. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is bubbling and has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the enchilada sauce and sour cream.
Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce in a thin layer on the bottom of the dish. Fill each tortilla with about 1/2 cup of the chicken/cream cheese filling. Top with a small handful of shredded cheese, a couple tablespoonfuls for each enchilada. Save at least 1/2 cup cheese for the top of the enchiladas.
Roll the tortillas up and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling enchiladas until the dish is full (I get about 8 enchiladas for this recipe; the exact number will depend on the size of tortillas).
Pour the white sauce over the top of the enchiladas and spread evenly. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the enchiladas are bubbling, hot and lightly browned. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the top and serve.
You can sub out the green chiles completely and use storebought or homemade green enchilada sauce or salsa verde. Use about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of sauce in place of the green chiles in the filling.
I wouldn't classify these enchiladas as being overly saucy (because I'm ethically opposed to soggy tortillas); if you like things on the saucier side, consider doubling the sauce.
Make Ahead Instructions: Follow the recipe instructions, letting the sauce cool to warm room temperature before proceeding with filling the enchiladas. Assemble the enchiladas as directed in the recipe with the cooled sauce. Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-12 hours before baking. Bake according to the recipe, adding an additional 5-10 minutes if needed since the enchiladas were refrigerated. Alternately, after assembling, the baking pan can be covered with a double layer of foil and put in a jumbo-sized resealable bag and frozen for up to two months. Bake from frozen by decreasing the baking temperature to 350 degrees F and baking the enchiladas covered for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour until the dish is hot and bubbly.