Creamy Chicken Enchiladas: the stuff American dreams are made of! They are not at all like Mexican enchiladas, but they have tortillas in them so we’ll call it good. It also has chicken, cream, and 2 pounds of pepper jack cheese in it. Yes, you read that right! Aunt Shirley knows how to get it done.
I set this pan of enchiladas on my patio table, getting ready to take some photos of it. I walked back inside to get my camera and found this little thief:
She nabbed one right from the middle! She doesn’t even look guilty! Little stinker. Her shirt says, “The future” which is wildly appropriate I think.
How was your weekend? We spent Saturday in the Bay Area hanging out with our friend Sarah from Snixy Kitchen and her family. It was so fun. We went to a little local farm where you can bring your own celery and feed the cows, goats, sheep, and geese. These is something inherently entertaining about watching a cow eat celery nonstop. And also watching Valentine be terrified of a cow eating celery nonstop.
I’ve got another Aunt Shirley recipe for you today! (If you’re new, check out Famous Buttery Dinner Rolls or these Famous Creamy Mashed Potatoes.) These Creamy Chicken Enchiladas are pretty legendary as well. There’s a reason I always call her recipes famous…for these enchiladas, it’s probably because they have 2 pounds of cheese in them. I mean, you’re not going to forget a meal very quickly if it has that much cheese in addition to a pint of cream, right??
Something magical happens when you bake cheesy enchiladas in cream. It turns into this custardy goodness that is to die for. Can you see the custardy bits in the photo up there? SO good. The pepper jack cheese provides the perfect amount of heat: a little spicy but not overwhelming. If you are worried about it being too spicy, you can use half regular Monterey Jack and half pepper jack.
Yep. 2 pounds. you only live once…especially if you eat this.
Pre bake…post bake. Look at that brown edge!
I’m pretty sure I’m messing up the recipe by allowing all these fancy garnishes. Honestly, the enchiladas are so rich that I feel like the veggie garnishes provide good balance with the cheese. It will be good with garnishes or all buy itself!
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One year ago: Chicken Salad with Mandarin Oranges
Two years ago: Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Frittata
Six years ago: Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
Aunt Shirley's Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
- 4 chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
- 2 teaspoons Lawry's seasoned salt
- 1 tablespoon steak seasoning
- olive oil, for cooking chicken
- 2 pounds Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded and divided
- 10-12 flour tortillas
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1 pint
- red onion
- Start by browning the chicken. Slice the chicken breasts into very thin strips (see photo). In a small bowl, combine Lawry's seasoned salt and steak seasoning.
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with the seasoning, rubbing to coat.
- Heat a wide skillet over medium-high heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add one batch of chicken. The chicken should be placed in the pan so that there is space in between each piece; don't dump it all in, otherwise it won't brown it will steam. I did mine in about 3-4 batches.
- When the first batch of chicken has cooked for about 1-2 minutes and is nice and brown on the bottom, go ahead and flip them over with a pair of tongs. Cook for another minute until browned, then remove to a plate. Add more olive oil as necessary and continue with the next batch until all of the chicken is cooked.
- At this point I sliced the chicken into even thinner strips, but this is optional.
- Shred 2 pounds of pepper jack cheese. Set aside a generous 2 cups for topping the enchiladas with.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Assemble the enchiladas: Add chicken and a generous amount of cheese to the center of a tortilla, roll up tightly, and place seam-side-down in the prepared pan. Continue until you have 10-12 enchiladas.
- Pour the cream over the enchiladas, making sure they all get wet on the top.
- Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick spray, and cover the enchiladas.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil, and then bake for another 10 minutes, or until browned.
- Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve with as many garnishes as you want!
You will love these other recipes from my archives!
Chicken Crepes with Jalapeno Cheese << this recipe is very similar to Shirley’s Enchiladas, except it’s made with homemade crepes. Y.U.M.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas << these are so good!
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker) << this is so easy to throw together!
More enchilada recipes you will love!
Chicken Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Chicken Enchiladas with White Sauce from A Family Feast
Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas from Well Plated
Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas from Taste and Tell
Your Aunt Shirley rocks! I made this last night from the remnants of a baked chicken and the only change I made was first simmering the cream with thinly sliced onions and Hatch chiles from last summer’s garden (got the idea from your copycat cheese sauce recipe from yesterday’s email – brilliant!), then added them to the chicken and cheese filling before rolling the tortillas. It was wonderful – layers of flavors – and there were no leftovers. Your website makes my life so much easier and I appreciate the work that you put into it so very much.
Deb! You are the sweetest! I love the idea of simmering the cream with the onions and chiles like in the cheese sauce, that’s genius! what a fun idea. No leftovers is always the best indication of a meal well loved, haha. So happy it was a hit, and thank you so much for coming back to review! Means a lot to me. 🖤
Hi! Just discovered your site. Your candy and cookie recipes are the BEST! I have made creamy, flour tortilla enchiladas in the past (sour cream, shrimp and tons of cheese, etc.), but the flour tortillas on the bottom of the pan are always kinda wet and falling apart. Although I do usu add some filling to the bottom of the pan first… But it would seem your cream would go under the tortillas and spread as well. I have even precooked the tortillas. GRANTED, they are FANTASTIC, but that part is not how i WANT the tortillas to come out. Do you have that problem with this recipe? If not, what is the difference?
Hi Lisa! So glad you are enjoying the candy and cookies! In my experience, baked enchiladas are usually pretty wet at the bottom. I think that’s just how they are supposed to be! Enchiladas are all about the SAUCE! I feel like they would be dried out otherwise.
I don’t doubt these are delicious made as written but I’m lazy and did a cheater shortcut version.
For the filling, I used canned chicken but another pre-cooked chicken such as rotisserie would be good.
I cut the seasoning down, and only used about 1/4-1/3 of what was in the recipe since precooked chicken is already seasoned.
Then I mixed the chicken, seasonings, half the pepper jack cheese, and some of the toppings, (we like red onion, cilantro, and jalapeño or Poblano) in a bowl.
I filled the tortillas and made the rest of the recipe as written.
I top with sour cream and guacamole.
We’ve had that variation several times and most of us love them except for my picky son.
Sometimes I replace the heavy whipping cream with this jarred avocado sauce but at that point, you have a completely different recipe and that sauce is somewhat spicy. I don’t remember the brand. I get it at Dollar General.
At some point I should try cooking the chicken as directed. I’m certain it would be good, but wanted to share this variation for those short on time.
Hi Angie, thank you so much for sharing your detailed notes! So glad you are loving the recipe. Thanks for commenting!
OMG! I finally made an enchilada recipe that I just love. My husband is a meat and potatoe man and doesn’t like trying new things . But he sure ate this. Can’t wait for leftovers tonight.
Hooray! So happy to hear you found a new go to enchilada recipe that you both like! That’s the best. Thanks for commenting Susan!
This is not the correct way to make Enchiladas, No Disrespect but this recipe is culinary backwards. First off you Boil Chicken with Real Onion and Garlic. Never Ever use powder. A sophisticated palat can tell if you are using Cheap Ingredients.Never Use Cheddar / American Cheese. IT has a different Nuance and Flavor Profile than Spanish Cheese. Never use Flour Tortillas for Enchiladas only Corn for the right texture and Depth.. traditional enchiladas Suizas have Mexican Crema wisked into sauce when simmering. You dont pour heavy creamer onto Enchiladas. Please do your research, people can tell if you are making an Effort to do things correctly.
I got this comment when I was hanging out with my mom the other day, so we went back to read the post. Here’s the second sentence: “They are not at all like Mexican enchiladas.” We just started busting up laughing! I don’t know how I could have made it more clear that this is an American version of enchiladas. :)
I made these tonight and crossed my fingers that they would be good. They were FANTASTIC!!! My whole family loved them. I did add diced green chile’s to the chicken and only put in 1 tbs of steak seasoning because I thought it would be too salty. I will definitely be making these again. Thanks for the recipe!
Ooh diced green chiles would be delicious!! I’m so glad you enjoyed them Diane! Thanks for coming back to comment!
Oh my word……these look DELICIOUS! Your Aunt Shirley knows her way to a person’s heart, huh? That photo of Valentine out on the porch is priceless. She is so darn cute, and I could picture her face while watching the animals munch away on celery. 😂. I will be making these soon….with the veggie garnishes and avocados per “Mr. Charlatan,” and I’ll share pics on IG. Thanks for another great recipe, Karen, and thanks to Aunt Shirley, too!
Ooh yes I would love to see pictures when you make it Collette!! I’ll send them to Aunt Shirley so she can see too ;)
So good! They’re also great if you add some slices of avocado
Wise words from Mr. Charlatan. I should add that to the garnishes list!
These creamy chicken enchiladas look wonderful, how can anyone resist making these after looking at your beautiful pictures of them? Thanks for the recipe and your wonderful site.
Thank you for taking the time to write such a kind comment Linda! It means so much to me! I hope you get to try out these enchiladas soon when you feel like indulging…let me know how it goes!