Adobo Chicken Enchiladas

Prep 25 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 50 mins

Adobo Chicken Enchiladas are just like your favorite classic Mexican enchiladas recipe, but with a spicy twist! These cheesy, chicken-filled tortillas are smothered in a smoky adobo salsa that will change your life for the better!

Adobo chicken enchiladas in a baking dish.

Easy Adobo Chicken Enchiladas

Remember this Mexican Chicken Adobo recipe? We’re such fans of this spicy chicken dinner in my household, that I decided to make another variation of it to switch things up a bit.

The result was this Adobo Chicken Enchiladas recipe, and oh my gosh, are you guys in for a treat. Now, I love me some traditional chicken enchiladas, and I was a little nervous to mess with such a classic dish. I’m so glad I did, though, because these spicy enchiladas are a game changer!

Let me tell you what we’re dealing with here. Crispy tortillas are packed with juicy chicken, tender black beans, and sweet corn. All of that is smothered in a smoky, spicy chipotle adobo salsa, and topped off with a layer of cheese. Are you drooling yet?? It can’t be just me…

Anyway, make this for guests, for a casual family dinner, for yourself… any occasion is a fitting one for these adobo enchiladas!

Chicken enchiladas with tomatoes and avocado.

What is Adobo Chicken?

There are two main types of adobo chicken: Filipino and Mexican. Filipino adobo chicken features chicken legs/thighs that are marinated or braised in a savory sauce of vinegar, soy sauce, and more. Mexican adobo chicken varies slightly.

Authentic Mexican adobo is a cooking sauce with a base of chiles – particularly smoked ancho and chipotle peppers. This homemade sauce adds a smoky, spicy flavor to the chicken that is absolutely addicting. I personally think that once you’ve tried your enchiladas with this salsa it will be your go-to enchilada sauce. I can’t get enough of it. It will certainly delight and surprise guests as well!

Ingredients for adobo chicken enchiladas.

Recipe Ingredients

Alright, time to round up the key chicken adobo enchiladas ingredients. Here’s what we’ll be working with today:

For the Chicken Filling

  • Olive Oil: For sautéing the veggies. You can use whatever cooking oil you like.
  • Onion: I generally use a white/yellow onion.
  • Garlic: Garlic flavor pairs perfectly with the spice of the adobo sauce.
  • Chicken: You’ll need some cooked and shredded chicken – You can use a rotisserie, use this recipe for my favorite shredded chicken on the stove top, make instant pot shredded chicken, or you can use any leftover chicken you have on hand as well!
  • Black Beans: Make sure to drain these before starting.
  • Sweet Corn: You can use fresh, frozen, or canned.
  • Sour Cream: To add some rich creaminess to the filling.
  • More Seasoning: I like to throw in some cumin and salt.
  • Adobo Sauce from Canned Chipotles: Chipotle sauce will also work.

For the Adobo Salsa

  • Canned Tomatoes: Grab a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes for fantastic flavor.
  • Onions: You can use red, yellow, etc. Whatever you prefer.
  • Chipotle Salsa: You can use a 7 oz can of Chipotle Salsa or you can use a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. If you’re using a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, use 4 Chipotles and 3 tablespoons of adobo from the can.
  • Garlic: Minced, for extra flavor.
  • Salt: To enhance/blend the flavors together.

For Assembly

  • Tortillas: You can use corn or flour tortillas, whichever you prefer. And if you really want to kick it up a notch, you can try my homemade flour tortillas!
  • Shredded Cheese: Your favorite Mexican blend is perfect.
  • Tomato: I like to use a fresh roma tomato, diced.
  • Avocado: Creamy avocado makes everything better!
  • Cilantro: As a garnish.
  • Lime: Tangy lime juice is also a great garnish.
A plate of 2 adobo chicken enchiladas.

How to Make Adobo Chicken Enchiladas

Got all that? I know that it’s a lengthy ingredients list but trust me, the result makes the crowded counter worth it! Plus, these chicken adobo enchiladas actually take less than an hour to make, which makes them doable on both weeknights and weekends.

Here’s how you go about preparing them:

Make the Filling

Sauté the Onion and Garlic: In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook them on medium-low for 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.

Cook the Other Filling Ingredients: Add the remaining filling ingredients and heat them until the mixture is bubbly (about 2 to 3 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.

Make the Salsa

Cook the Salsa: In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, add all of the salsa ingredients and cook for 10 minutes. The sauce should get a little thicker as it cooks.

Ingredients for adobo salsa in a sauce pan.

Blend the Salsa: Place the salsa in a blender or food processor and blend well. CAREFULLY REMOVE THE LID by lifting one side of the lid at a time. Since the contents are hot the pressure inside the blender could cause the sauce to jump up and out of the blender, and it could burn you if the lid is removed too quickly. Vent by slowly cracking the lid on one side throughout the blending.

Blended chipotle salsa in a blender.

Assemble and Bake

Preheat the Oven to 375°F: Make sure a rack is on the center rung for the dish.

Fill the Tortillas: Place a heaping tablespoon or two of warm filling down the middle of each tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place it seam side down in a 3 quart casserole dish. Continue until you run out of filling.

Bake: Cover the dish with foil or a lid. Place the dish on the center rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Add the Salsa: Remove the tin foil and spoon the sauce over the enchiladas. Top with the shredded cheese, then place the dish back in the oven for 10 minutes, uncovered. Finally, remove and enjoy!

Tips for Success

And that’s that! There are a fair number of steps, but when you divide them up into three categories, it’s not so bad. Read through the following tips for a few notes on how to make these chicken adobo enchiladas fit your preferences perfectly:

  • For Larger Enchiladas: If you want larger enchiladas, use more of the filling in each tortilla – this will make fewer enchiladas.
  • For Crunchier Enchiladas: You can brush the rolled enchiladas with melted butter before baking for a crunchier enchilada.
  • More Cooking Tips: For less oven time, preheat the tortillas in the microwave and make sure the filling is nice and hot. Also, cover the baking dish with tinfoil for softer enchiladas, if you like.
Enchiladas with avocado, diced tomatoes, and cilantro.

Serving Suggestions

Honestly these enchiladas are so filling that I don’t usually prepare a side dish. Sometimes I’ll serve them over some rice, or with a light green salad on the side. You could also do a simple serving of refried beans if desired.

The most important additions to remember, in my opinion, are diced tomatoes, sliced fresh avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and a lime wedge!

A forkful of spicy chicken enchilada.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Pre-made enchiladas or leftover enchiladas can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can reheat them in the microwave or oven, whichever you prefer.

A serving platter of adobo chicken enchiladas with lime wedges.
Yield: Serves 4

Adobo Chicken Enchiladas

Adobo chicken enchiladas in a baking dish.

Adobo Chicken Enchiladas are just like your favorite classic Mexican enchiladas recipe, but with a spicy twist! These cheesy, chicken-filled tortillas are smothered in a smoky adobo salsa that will change your life for the better!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (you can also use a rotisserie)
  • ½ cup black beans, drained
  • ½ cup sweet corn, fresh, frozen or canned
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotles (or chipotle sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For the Chipotle Adobo Salsa:

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • ¼ cup onions, diced
  • 1 can (7 oz) chipotle salsa**
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To Assemble:

  • 8-10 Corn or Homemade Flour Tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 lime, sliced

Instructions

For the Filling:

  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook on medium low for 5 minutes, until onion is softened.
  2. Add the remaining filling ingredients and heat till bubbly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Chipotle Adobo Salsa:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, add all the salsa ingredients and cook for 10 minutes. The sauce should get a little thicker as it cooks.
  2. Place the salsa in a blender or food processor and blend well. CAREFULLY REMOVE THE LID by lifting one side of the lid at a time. Since the contents are hot the pressure inside the blender could cause the sauce to jump up and out of the blender and could burn you if the lid is removed too quickly. Vent by slowly cracking the lid on one side throughout the blending.

To Assemble:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and make sure a rack is on the center rung for the dish.
  2. Place a heaping tablespoon or two of warm filling down the middle of each tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in a 3 quart casserole dish. Continue until you run out of filling.
  3. Cover dish with foil or a lid. Place the dish on the center rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove tin foil and spoon the sauce over the enchiladas. Top with the shredded cheese, then place back in the oven for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Remove and serve with diced tomatoes, sliced fresh avocado, cilantro, and a lime wedge!

Notes

  • **You can use a 7 oz can of Chipotle Salsa or you can use a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. If using a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, use 4 Chipotles 3 tablespoons of adobo from the can.
  • If you want larger enchiladas, use more filling, this will make fewer enchiladas.
  • You can brush the rolled enchiladas with melted butter before baking for a crunchier enchilada.
  • For less oven time, preheat the tortillas in the microwave and make sure the filling is nice and hot. Cover with tinfoil for softer enchiladas.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can reheat in the microwave or oven. Pre-made enchiladas or leftover enchiladas can be kept in a freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 816Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 2583mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 15gSugar: 19gProtein: 39g

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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