I'm continuing my streak of posting only fast and/or easy dinner recipes, and this is one of my favorites! All you need is a handful of basic ingredients and thirty minutes to make these 30 minute stovetop chicken enchiladas.
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I love this recipe because it's so quick to put together, but it feels like you are treating yourself to something special on a random Tuesday night! There are several steps so I don't feel I can call this "easy" per se. But! The steps are pretty straightforward. Just cook the chicken in the skillet, take it out, chop it and mix it with the other filling ingredients.
Then assemble the enchiladas right inside the same pan you cooked the chicken in. Add the enchilada sauce and cheese, cover the pan and simmer on low until everything is heated through and bubbly. Dinner is done in 30 minutes!
30 Minute Stovetop Chicken Enchiladas Ingredients:
The ingredients here are super basic: chicken tenders, plus a bit of oil to cook the chicken, shredded Mexican cheese blend, a can of black beans, corn tortillas, canned enchilada sauce, and some seasonings (chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper). Of course, you can top them with any other ingredients you want: chopped cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.
Some ingredient notes: I recommend chicken tenders because they cook really quickly. But, if you don't have chicken tenders on hand, just use regular chicken breasts and cut them into quarters beforehand so they cook faster. No problem!
And about the cheese - usually I'm a big advocate for grating your own cheese rather than buying pre-shredded cheese, which has added ingredients to keep the cheese from clumping together. This can make cheese sauces (like in mac and cheese) grainy. However, in this recipe I don't think it matters as much because you are just melting the cheese on top and inside the enchiladas, not incorporating it into a smooth sauce. But, if you like grating by hand that is perfectly good! I just like to save some time where I can, and buying pre-shredded cheese helps a lot here.
The Key to 30 Minute Dinners: Working Ahead
The key to getting these enchiladas on the table in 30 minutes flat is using pockets of downtime to prep the next steps. This principle can be used for many other quick cooking recipes too. Here, you have a bit of time while the chicken cooks in the skillet. There's no need to do anything to the chicken during that time except keep an eye on it. So, use that time to open your can of beans and drain and rinse them.
Then, when the chicken is cooking on the other side, you can prep your tortillas and open your cans of enchilada sauce. Getting these little steps done when you have a spare moment really helps speed the recipe along!
A Few More Tips:
Here are a few other tips that should help you out when making this recipe:
- Make sure to thoroughly heat your corn tortillas before trying to roll them up. They should be floppy! If they aren't, they will crack when you try to roll them or when you put them into the pan. This is ok of course (it will still taste amazing!) but it won't look quite as nice.
- Use a pan that's the right diameter and has a tight-fitting lid. I used my favorite Lodge 3.6 Quart Cast Iron Casserole Pan. I absolutely love this pan and have used it for this Maple Butter Glazed Squash and Apples recipe. This skillet has a diameter of 12 inches. So anything close to 12 inches should work.
- While heating the enchiladas up and waiting for the cheese to melt, resist the urge to keep opening the lid! This will let the steam escape and it will take way longer to melt the cheese.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, if you make it please leave a rating and comment below!Print
Chicken and black bean enchiladas are made on the stovetop and are ready in thirty minutes!
- 1 lb. chicken tenders (about 10 - 11 tenders) (see note 1)
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 16 corn tortillas
- 8 oz. shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
- 1 can black beans
- 2 10 oz. cans enchilada sauce (red or green)
- optional toppings: chopped cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, sliced jalapenos
- Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet (that has a tight-fitting lid) on medium high heat.
- Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper on the chicken and use your fingers to massage it into the chicken so the tenders are evenly coated in the seasoning.
- Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook for 3 minutes. While the chicken is cooking on the first side, prep your beans: open the can, drain and rinse them. Shake off most of the moisture and add them to a medium bowl.
- Flip the chicken and continue cooking on the second side for an additional three minutes, or until cooked through (see note 2). While the chicken is cooking on the second side, prep your tortillas: take 8 tortillas, wrap them in a very damp paper or kitchen towel, and place on a plate. Set aside. Open the 2 cans of enchilada sauce and set aside. Add most of the cheese to the bowl with the beans, reserving about 1 cup of cheese for later.
- When the chicken is done cooking, remove from the pan onto a cutting board. Turn the heat off and remove skillet from the hot burner.
- Put plate of wrapped tortillas in the microwave, and heat on high for 30 seconds. Meanwhile, use tongs to hold the hot chicken and cut into small pieces. Add chicken pieces to the bowl of cheese and beans, stir to combine.
- Pour about ¾ of the first can of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the skillet. The bottom should be completely covered in sauce.
- Remove tortillas from the microwave. Add a couple large spoonfuls (about ⅓ cup) of filling to the middle of one tortilla, roll it up and place it seam side down in the pan. You may have some leftover filling as I did. You don't really need to measure here, just a few spoonfuls will work! (And be careful when placing in the pan, the pan/enchilada sauce may be hot!)
- Continue rolling the enchiladas and placing them in the pan, making a wreath shape. Keep enchiladas wrapped in the damp paper towel while you are working. You will need to gently "smoosh" the tortillas already in the pan to make them fit snugly.
- When you run out of your first batch of warm tortillas, microwave the second batch in the same manner and keep rolling and adding enchiladas to the pan.
- When all of your enchiladas are in the pan, pour the remaining enchilada sauce from both cans over the top of the enchiladas; try to coat them completely without any dry spots. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top. Put the lid on the pan and heat on medium until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 8 - 9 minutes.
- Top with your favorite toppings (optional) and enjoy!
1. If you don't have chicken tenders, use chicken breasts and cut into quarters before cooking to speed up the cooking time.
2. If you are using chicken breasts instead of tenders, your cooking time may be slightly longer depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
Keywords: enchiladas, easy, fast, quick, stovetop, chicken, black beans, cheese