Tomatillo Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

A while back I posted a recipe for chicken enchiladas from Tyler Florence.  They were good, but not the best.  At the beginning of that post I mentioned my all-time favorite recipe for chicken enchiladas, but did not provide it.  What was I thinking?  How could I be so selfish as to say how wonderful something was, but not share it?  I must apologize and make up for it by sharing this incredible recipe with you now.  I made  these enchiladas this weekend and they were a hit  that night for dinner, and last night as leftovers.

There are a few shortcuts to this meal, but the sauce totally makes this dish, so don’t try to use any shortcuts there.  When I have time I boil my own chicken and shred it, but you can save quite a bit of time by shredding the meat from a rotisserie chicken.  I also use a cup of the chicken broth to make the sauce when I boil my own chicken.  This time I used 3 large skinless, bone-in chicken breasts, and that was just enough chicken.  Using pre-shredded cheese is an obvious time saver.  You can put the enchiladas together and refrigerate or freeze them until you want to bake them.  The sauce also freezes well, but freeze them separately and thaw them in the fridge overnight before baking.

You can add more green chiles to kick up the heat, which I usually do.  The cheese is also something you can play with.  More or less is fine, but leave it out entirely and you’ll be sad and sorry.  If you have leftover turkey, then use that in place of the chicken.

This recipe is from Austin, Texas Junior League cookbook, Austin Entertains.  You can purchase it here.  The recipe is below, and just slightly adapted.

Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas

Austin Entertains Junior League Cookbook

Tomatillo Sauce

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomatillos
  • 1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½  teaspoon salt


  • 4 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken
  • 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (divided)
  • 1 or 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chiles
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12-18 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
  • Lime slices (for garnish)


  1. Heat the oil in a 3-4 quart saucepan over medium high heat until hot.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 7-10 minutes until tender.
  3. Stir in the un-drained tomatillos, green chiles, chicken broth, lime juice, oregano, sugar and cumin.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  6. Using a blender or food processor, process until smooth, then season to taste.
  7. Return the sauce to the pan, and keep warm. (Half of the sauce can be removed and frozen for another time)


  1. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the chicken, green chiles, 1 ½ cups of cheese and oregano in a bowl.  Season to taste.
  3. Heat chicken broth in a shallow pan over low heat.
  4. Add one tortilla to the broth and let soften for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Remove from broth and set on a work surface.
  6. Spoon about  ¼  to ½ cup chicken mixture down the center of the tortilla, then roll up and place in pan, seam side down.
  7. Repeat with all the tortillas.  You should be able to fit between 12 and 14 enchiladas in the pan.  At this point you can cover the pan with foil and freeze or refrigerate the enchiladas.
  8. Spoon the sauce over the enchiladas and cover with foil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350° F.
  9. Remove the pan, sprinkle the enchiladas with the remaining cheese and return to the over uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  11. Serve the enchiladas topped with sour cream, cilantro and lime slices.