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Dreamy Refried Bean Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Amazing chicken enchiladas with creamy refried beans, protein-packed chicken, and a homemade enchilada sauce. This delicious, easy chicken enchilada recipe is freezer-friendly and a crowd-pleasing dinner staple!

Course Dinner, Gluten Free, Nut Free
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword chicken enchiladas
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 servings
Calories 400 kcal
Author Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • For the enchilada sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, very finely minced or grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the enchiladas:
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken (breast or thighs work great!)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can refried beans (I like to use refried black beans for best flavor)
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded colby jack or Mexican cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 10 soft corn tortillas
  • To garnish:
  • 1 avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion or diced green onion


  1. Prepare the enchilada sauce by heating oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Add in garlic and onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent. Add in chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper and stir for 30 seconds to allow the spices to cook a bit. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, tomato paste then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Lastly stir in apple cider vinegar, then add salt and pepper to taste. **NOTE: if you don't want to use homemade enchilada sauce, feel free to use 1 (28 ounce) can of red enchilada sauce.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan with a little olive oil or avocado oil.

  3. Begin by spreading ¾ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan.

  4. Next, warm up your tortillas so they are easier to roll and to avoid them breaking: I like to microwave mine for 15 seconds on a plate then cover them with a warm towel so they stay warm. Please note it is important to use soft corn tortillas, these are the ones that do not easily break!

  5. Assemble enchiladas: place 2 tablespoons of refried beans in a corn tortilla, then top with a few tablespoons of shredded chicken, 1 heaping tablespoon of colby jack cheese and 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce. Roll tortillas up and place seam side down in pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

  6. Next pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of shredded colby jack and 1/2 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

  7. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, red or green onion, if desired. Makes 5 servings, 2 enchiladas each. I also love serving this with my spicy cilantro jalapeno yogurt sauce and it makes the recipe extra pretty, too! Just a little drizzle on top really take it to the next level, but it's up to you.

Recipe Notes

If you don't want to make your own enchilada sauce, feel free to use 1 (28 ounce) can of red enchilada sauce.

See the full post for easy ways to customize your enchiladas, plus two ways to freeze them for later!

Nutrition Facts
Dreamy Refried Bean Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Amount Per Serving (2 enchiladas)
Calories 400 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Carbohydrates 45.6g15%
Fiber 10.8g45%
Sugar 6.1g7%
Protein 31.2g62%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.