Thursday, February 16, 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

It is believed that food memories are some of the strongest we keep. Certain flavors and smells remind us of experiences, people, and places. For me, Tex-Mex food reminds me of the first decade of my life, spent in southern Texas and New Mexico. I can not remember many concrete occurrences from my early years, but I do remember eating bean and cheese burritos as often as other kids ate PB & J's, licking the honey and cinnamon off my fingers after sharing a dessert of hot sopapillas with my family, and begging my mom to stop by Taco Cabana for their fresh flour tortillas. My comfort food is Tex-Mex. For those of you who don't know what Tex-Mex is, it is a Mexican-American fusion cuisine. Basically, everything labeled "Mexican food" in the United States is actually Tex-Mex. Taco Bell, Chipotle, Cafe Rio, Barbacoa, Costa Vida, and all those delicious chain restaurants feature plates as authentically Mexican as fortune cookies are to Chinese food. Ground beef tacos and flour tortillas are not traditional culinary staples in Mexico, neither is it common to smother a burrito, rice, and bean platter in melted cheese, but who's complaining? It's delicious! 

And so is this recipe. The enchiladas are so easy to make, and the recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd. Ethnic food can be intimidating to cook because sometimes recipes call for ingredients only found at specialty stores, but since this recipe is more on the Tex-Mex than authentic Mexican side of things, all the ingredients should be readily available to you.


The enchiladas are best if assembled the night before, refrigerated overnight, and baked just before serving. You can also make and bake them in the same day. If you choose to refrigerate the enchiladas overnight, the baking time will be slightly longer because they will enter the oven cold. Either way you choose to make them, when ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a medium mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, minced olives, green chilies, and black pepper and salt. Personally, I do not like to add more salt to this mixture due to the high sodium content of the soup. If you like your enchiladas on the saucier side, thin the filling mixture with 1/4 cup milk.  


Spread a thin layer of the filling on the bottom of the baking dish. The size of the baking dish will be determined by the size of your tortillas and the amount of enchiladas you choose to make.

Time to build! Spread a healthy dollop of filling mixture on the tortilla,

add a little chicken,

add a little cheese,

and roll up the enchilada and place seam side down in the baking dish.

Repeat, filling all the tortillas and placing them in the baking dish. Reserve a few tablespoons of filling mixture the spread on top of the enchiladas.

Sprinkle with whatever cheese you have leftover, plus some extra if you're feeling generous, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the enchiladas are golden brown and bubbling, 30-45 minutes.

Let cool slightly, garnish with sour cream and cilantro, and serve with Mexican Rice. Delicioso! 

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas 

recipe by Sweet & Savory 


1 cup sour cream, plus extra for garnish
1-10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1-7 oz can diced green chilies
1-4 oz can diced black olives
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt (optional) 
1/4 cup milk (optional)
2 cups shredded chicken 
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided 
8 small flour tortillas OR 6-12 inch flour tortillas
chopped cilantro for garnish 


In a medium mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream of mushroom or chicken soup, chilies, olives, pepper, and salt, if using. If you prefer your enchiladas on the saucier side, add the 1/4 cup of milk to thin the filling at this point. Spread a thin layer on the bottom of a baking dish. Set aside a few tablespoons of filling mixture before assembling the enchiladas. 

Spread a few tablespoons of the filling mixture, chicken, and cheese in the center of a tortilla, roll it up, and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat, filling the remaining tortillas and placing them in the baking dish. Spread reserved filling mixture on top or the enchiladas and sprinkle with any remaining cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Bake the enchiladas until golden brown and bubbly, 30-45 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve garnished with sour cream and cilantro.

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