If you want restaurant quality Enchiladas, then this recipe for Homemade Chicken Enchiladas delivers and it is easily customizable!
Enchiladas are one of those recipes that are super easy to make at home and can be customized to use what you have on hand and is a perfect way to use up leftovers.
One of the things I love about cooking in large batches is taking leftovers from one meal and turning it into a completely different meal so leftovers aren’t boring!
These Homemade Chicken Enchiladas are made from leftover Mexican Shredded Chicken, but you can make them with ANY leftover meat or beans or even veggies!
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I’ll be giving you examples of how to spice up leftovers and use them to make your own Homemade Enchiladas, so be sure to check out the suggestions, some might surprise you!
I made these Homemade Chicken Enchiladas with the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven, but you can make them with any oven. I’ll also go over suggestions for baking them in the Ninja Foodi PC & AC or the Ninja Foodi Grill.
What Type of Tortillas do I use?
Most of the time, enchiladas are made with corn tortillas and that is what I used in this recipe, but you can make them with flour if you prefer.
Corn Tortillas are preferred because they give the distinctive taste of corn that is typical of enchiladas and, when prepared correctly, they hold up very well when baked with the enchilada sauce.
Flour tortillas tend to get too soft, in my opinion, and can even become a little gummy, so I really recommend giving the corn tortillas a try.
If you really want to use flour tortillas, I would fill them, roll them and then crisp them up with your air fryer before covering in enchilada sauce. This is more of a hybrid of an enchilada, kind of like a mix between a burrito, chimichanga, and an enchilada.
Always, the most important thing is to make food you and your family will enjoy, so, if you prefer flour tortillas or that is what you have on hand, go for it!
What is the BEST way to prepare Corn Tortillas for Enchiladas?
Have you ever tried to roll a corn tortilla straight from the package? If you have, you understand the frustration. If you haven’t, don’t even try it, it isn’t worth it!
Jeff loves enchiladas and I always despised making them because I could never get the corn tortillas to cooperate. We ended up making a soggy enchilada casserole and, although edible, far from what you get in restaurants.
When I started out creating this recipe, I told Jeff that if I didn’t master the corn tortillas, I wasn’t doing the recipe. After MANY failed attempts, I found an easy way that works every time.
While you can do this in your oven, it is super easy to do in the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven. Simply spritz both sides of the corn tortilla and Air Crisp or Air Fry on 425℉/220℃ for 3 to 5 minutes.
You can do about 6 at a time in the air fry oven because you don’t want them overlapping too much. It is possible to do two layers, but you may need to adjust your time.
If you want to do them in your oven, preheat it to 450℉/230℃ and then bake them on a tray for 3 minutes, flip and bake another 2-4 minutes or until they are slightly brown and pliable. They should not be hard.
If you have the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill, use the air fry function with the tortillas in the basket and use the same temps as the air fry oven directions.
For the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker and Air Crisper, you will have to do one at a time for the best results, but keep the temps and times the same as I did in the NF Digital Air Fry Oven.
What’s the best Enchilada Sauce to use?
The best of anything is the one you like the most. Personally, I make my own. I don’t think you can beat the flavor and it’s so easy to do that I hope you give my recipe a try.
If you don’t want to make your own, you can use your favorite enchilada sauce and your homemade chicken enchiladas will be delicious!
What is the Best Filling for Homemade Enchiladas?
At the risk of sounding redundant, the best filling is the one you love! Seriously, you can fill enchiladas with anything you want. They are typically filled with chicken, beef, beans, or cheese and sometimes even a combination.
I heard the other day from someone in one of our Ninja Foodi groups that they love seafood enchiladas. Although I have never had a seafood variety, I can imagine they would be great!
One of the things I like the most about making recipes like enchiladas is you can use leftovers to make the filling. The leftovers don’t have to be Mexican either. You can add a few spices and transform almost any leftover meat into a great filling for enchiladas.
You can even add seasonings to baked beans and turn them into enchiladas. Leftover seafood? No problem. Leftover pork? No problem. I’ll go over some of my suggestions below.
How to use Leftovers to make Delicious Enchiladas
The first thing that comes to mind is using leftover chicken. This can be chicken breasts, thighs, shredded chicken, or even leftover rotisserie chicken. While you could use leftover wing meat, that will be a bit labor-intensive to remove the meat.
As long as your chicken doesn’t have any powerful spices like curry, you should be just fine to add a few Mexican seasonings and shred it up into a delicious filling for Homemade Chicken Enchiladas.
The easiest way to spice it up for an enchilada filling is to add a little salsa and some taco seasoning. If you want to control the seasonings yourself, try using the combination that I do in my recipe for Mexican Shredded Chicken. You can even add all the ingredients and PC for 1-2 minutes. Even though your chicken is already cooked, it won’t dry out if submerged in the liquid. Just keep in mind how your chicken was seasoned the first time you cooked it and decrease the salt and any other seasoning accordingly.
Using leftover beef from a pot roast and turning it into a Mexican shredded beef is something I do all the time. We usually use it for tacos, but it would work great as an enchilada filling.
Simply take your leftover beef and add some salsa or fire roasted tomatoes and Mexican spices like, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle powder or just use a packet of taco seasoning. Simmer it and shred it. Perfection!
If you make this recipe for Mexican Pot Roast, you can turn the beans and rice into enchiladas or the meat without adding any seasoning. These are great leftovers to freeze and then turn into enchiladas!
If you have leftover steak or another cut of beef that doesn’t easily shred, slice it thin and add your spices.
This can be anything from leftover pulled pork (even if it is sauced) to pork tenderloin and everything in between. You can even use leftover bacon, but who ever has leftover bacon?
Pulled pork is an easy one. Even if it has BBQ sauce on it, don’t worry. Once you add some Mexican seasonings, you will never know. A tomato-based BBQ sauce will convert well to Mexican flavors. Now, maybe if you used a raspberry BBQ sauce or something like that it might be a bit strange, but you know what… I’d try it!
If you have leftover pork loin or tenderloin, I would put in the slow cooker or pressure cooker with the same seasonings and liquid I used in my Mexican Shredded Chicken recipe and slow cook for about 4 hours or PC for about 15 minutes. Make sure the pork is completely submerged.
Pork Chops can be used as well. I would cut them into small chunks and slow cook or PC just like the leftover pork loin.
If you have leftover seafood and want to use it in your homemade enchiladas, just chop it up into small pieces and combine it with some Mexican seasonings and maybe a chopped onion or some diced tomatoes.
Green peppers or jalapeno peppers are great choices as well.
I would probably add cheese to the filling as well, but that is completely up to you.
Leftover beans are perfect for whipping up a filling for enchiladas. It doesn’t even matter how they are seasoned or what kind they are.
You could use my recipe for Pressure Cooker Baked Beans and even though they are a sweeter baked bean, with the right doctoring they will be just fine!
Leftover refried beans are perfect of course! I just finished a recipe for those, so I will update this post as soon as that recipe is out.
No matter what kind of beans you have left over, you can use it as a filling. You will want to cook them in some broth or water with Mexican seasonings until they are really soft and able to be mushed easily. Then, spread them on the prepared corn tortilla and make some bean enchiladas.
It really is that simply to turn leftovers into a completely different meal. Just always keep in mind the spices of your first dish, some are harder to turn into Mexican food than others.
How to make Homemade Chicken Enchiladas in the Ninja Foodi PC & AC
The limiting factor in making enchiladas that are not assembled as a casserole is the space of the Ninja Foodi PC & AC. However, if are cooking for 1 or 2, this will not cause much of an issue. If you are cooking for 3 or more, this is one of those times that I suggest using a different appliance or your regular oven. It will simply take too long to do it in the Foodi PC & AC.
Of course, you can always assemble as a casserole and bake it in the Ninja Foodi PC & AC and it will be delicious. In fact, I am working on a recipe for this and I hope to have it out soon.
All of the same instructions apply to making homemade chicken enchiladas in the NF PC & AC, you will just have to make them in batches. I would use the same times for AC’ing your corn tortillas, but use the basket and decrease the heat to 375℉/190℃.
Place the rolled tortillas in a baking pan of any kind. Even glass is fine since we aren’t pressure cooking. Place the pan on the rack in the low position and bake at 300℉/150℃ for about 12-15 minutes. Add cheese on top and broil for just a minute or two.
How to make Homemade Chicken Enchiladas in the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill
I would use the basket to prep the corn tortillas and use the same settings as in the recipe for the Digital Air Fry Oven. Just keep an eye on how they are cooking and don’t let them get too brown.
After you roll the enchiladas with the filling, place them on the bottom of the non-stick insert and spoon over the enchilada sauce.
Bake at the same temperature as in the Digital Air Fry Oven instructions, but check on them every minute or two after the first 15 minutes. They might not take as long to bake. Then add cheese and use the Roast function on 425℉/220℃ for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
How to make Homemade Chicken Enchiladas in the Oven
Preheat the oven to 350℉/175℃. Roll the enchiladas and set them on a sheet pan in pairs. Spoon over the enchilada sauce and place the tray in the oven. Bake at 350℉/175℃ for about 20 minutes.
Add cheese on top and broil just for a few minutes. Keep a close eye on them when broiling, you just want to melt the cheese.
How to make Homemade Chicken Enchiladas in the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven
The first thing you want to do is get all your ingredients together and prepare your corn tortillas as described above.
Next, fill the corn tortillas with about 2-3 Tbsps of Mexican Shredded Chicken or your filling of choice. You don’t want to overfill them or they might break apart or be difficult to roll.
Then simply roll them up. No need to tuck the ends or anything like that.
Once you fill and roll the enchiladas, set them on the tray that comes with the Ninja Foodi Air Fry Oven in pairs. You can get 6 pairs on the tray easily.
Cover each pair with about ⅓ cup of enchilada sauce and bake at 325℉/160℃ for 20 minutes.
Add about ¼ cup of Mexican shredded cheese and broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
No matter which appliance you use to make these delicious enchiladas, top them your favorite toppings and enjoy!
I kept it simple and just used some cilantro; but onions, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa all work great!
Homemade Chicken Enchiladas
- Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven
- Spritz 6 corn tortillas with oil of your choice and line the basket of the NF Air Fry Oven with the tortillas, overlapping them as little as possible. Air Fry on 425°F/220°C for 3-5 minutes or until lightly brown in areas and pliable. Repeat with remaining 6 corn tortillas.
- Add 2-3 Tbsp of filling to each corn tortilla, roll and place in pairs on non-stick tray. I used a homemade Mexican Shredded Chicken that is linked below and in the post.
- Spoon about ⅓ cup of enchilada sauce over the tops of each pair. I used a homemade enchilada sauce and the link is below and in the post.
- Slide the tray in the oven and bake at 325°F/160°C for 20 minutes. Add about ¼ cup of Mexican Shredded Cheese to the top of each pair and return to the oven. Broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Top with your favorite toppings and Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.