Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas with Cilantro Cream Sauce

I love chicken enchiladas, and this is one of my favorite versions I have made at home (although Josh prefers more of a sour cream sauce). The sauce is adapted from this recipe I found on Pinterest, but you could also use the base chicken enchilada recipe with whatever sauce you prefer. 


  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Mexican beer
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic
  • 10 tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (divided)
  • 2 cups chopped cilantro
  • 4 cups half and half
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
There are several methods for cooking chicken to shred for enchiladas (and you could even buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken), but I prefer to cook mine in the crockpot. It is super easy, and I love using my crockpot.

First, put the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot (I cooked four because I had an extra, and I saved the extra shredded chicken for my quesadilla-loving husband). 

Then get out a bottle of your favorite Mexican beer. 

You only need a cup, which leaves a little bit to enjoy while you are cooking :). 

Mix in the salt, cumin, and garlic. 

And pour the mixture over the chicken. 

I did this the night before (but you don't have to), so I could simply pull it out of the fridge and turn it on in the morning. 

**A note on preparing the crockpot meal the night before and sticking it in the fridge overnight: I was frustrated the first time I tried this because it wouldn't fit into the fridge with the top on (because the handle made it stick up too far), and I had to cover it with foil. Then I realized I could turn the lid upside down. Duh!**

Cook the chicken in the crockpot on low for eight hours. Once it is done, shred all the chicken and put into a bowl. 

Add two cups of the cooking liquid back into the chicken to keep it moist (Sorry...I hate that word, but it is really appropriate here).  

Butter your casserole dish. In this case, I used two smaller to cook for dinner, and one to freeze for later. 

Fill the tortillas with the chicken mixture. 

And top the chicken with cheese. Remember to save some cheese for the top of the casserole (I used a little more than half the cheese inside the enchiladas and the rest on top). 

Roll them up and place seam side down in the casserole dish. 

Now it is time to make the sauce. Start by chopping up all the cilantro. 

Then whisk together the water and cornstarch. 

Add the half and half, salt, and cayenne to a pot. 

Add about a third of the water/cornstarch mixture to start. 

Simmer until thickened, adding more water/cornstarch mixture and stirring fairly frequently as it cooks. 

It should be thick enough once you can coat a spoon. 

Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. 

Cover the enchiladas with the sauce and the remaining cheese. 

At this point, you could refrigerate or freeze the casseroles for baking later. When you are ready to bake them, cook at 350 for 30 minutes (longer if frozen). The cheese will be nice and bubbly, with some browned edges (my favorite part). You could even broil them for a couple minutes if you want the cheese even more browned.

Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!


  1. I wish I liked Cilantro -- there are so many great recipes out there that rely on it! Otherwise sounds yummy -- Russ LOVES sour cream so these would be right up our alley.

    1. Tessa - You could probably substitute chopped green chiles for the cilantro.


About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; The Bar Method; pajamas; Topo Chico; reading; coffee; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows and podcasts; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; snoring; bad hair days; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and Miracle Whip. That pretty much sums it up.


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