This amazing gluten-free enchiladas recipe has tender chicken, melty cheese and a flavorful homemade enchilada sauce! Made with 100% gluten-free pantry staples!

With a flavorful homemade gluten-free enchilada sauce, tender chicken and blend of cheese, these enchiladas are a crowd-pleasing favorite.

overhead shot of gluten-free enchiladas in white baking dish topped with cilantro

The search is over! This is hands down my favorite recipe for gluten-free enchiladas with red sauce.

This is one of my family’s very favorite dinners. These gluten-free enchiladas are made with pantry staples that create layers of flavors.

For more Mexican favorites – try these gluten-free tortillas, slow-cooker pork tacos and slow-cooker pinto beans. If you eat gluten-free you also might like this best ever gluten-free stir-fry sauce.

First, make a 15-minute gluten-free enchilada sauce!

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s made with easy-to-find pantry staples. You’ll start by making a 15-minute homemade enchilada sauce.

Ingredients for the sauce

ingredients to make the gluten-free enchilada sauce
  • Onion/jalapeno: I love the flavor of fresh vegetables in this sauce. After the sauce has simmered you blend it until it’s smooth. The onions/jalapeno will blend up and help thicken the sauce.
  • Tomato sauce: Use a canned tomato sauce you like the flavor of.
  • Chili powder/oregano/cumin: For the perfect balance of seasoning and flavor.
  • Brown sugar: Adds a little sweetness to the sauce and brings out the flavors.
  • Chicken stock: You can easily use vegetable stock (or even water) if you prefer. Using a stock will lend more flavor than using water.
  • Salt: Be sure to add an extra pinch of salt to the sauce when it’s all finished if needed!

Tip: For a mild sauce remove the ribs/seeds from the jalapeno. For a spicer sauce leave jalapeno seeds and ribs in.

Make the sauce

step by step photos of how to make gluten free enchilada sauce

Once you’ve made the sauce, you’ll add in some chicken breast and let it cook through as the sauce simmers. If you prefer to use rotisserie chicken that will work as well! You can simply add it to the sauce after it’s simmered for 15 minutes.

After you’ve taken the chicken out, you can blend the sauce for a smoother consistency if you like. Or you can leave it with the diced vegetables – either way is delicious!

Next, make the gluten-free enchiladas filling…

shredded chicken mixture in glass bowl with cheese and cilantro

Once the chicken is cooked through you’ll shred it and mix it with cilantro, lime juice, a little of the sauce and Monterey jack and sharp cheddar cheese (freshly shredded is best!).

Tip: Freshly shredded cheese that you grate yourself from a block of cheese works best in these enchiladas. It has the best flavor and will melt beautifully!

tortillas on white plate being softened in the microwave

Before assembling the enchiladas it helps to soften the tortillas in the microwave for a bit. This prevents the tortillas from breaking when you roll up the filling.

chicken and cheese mixture being rolled in corn tortillas

Add some of the filling to a softened tortilla and roll it up. You can portion the filling to make 12 enchiladas with this recipe.

enchiladas rolled up in white pan

Place the rolled enchiladas in a pan. I use a 9×13 pan and place 8 in a row and 4 horizontally on top.

enchilada sauce being poured over enchiladas

Cover the enchiladas in the sauce. If you like you can blend the sauce for a smoother consistency. No need to put any sauce on the bottom of the pan. It will cover the enchiladas as they cook!

gluten free enchiladas in white pan covered with cheese before baking

Sprinkle the top of the enchiladas with more cheese before baking.

enchiladas covered with foil before baking

Cover the pan with foil and bake covered for 20-25 minutes, then uncovered for another 5 minutes to brown the top.

How to serve gluten-free enchiladas

We love serving these with sour cream and hot sauce. I usually serve them with a side of Mexican rice and a big green salad.

When I’m feeding a crowd I’ll often make a double batch and assemble them in foil baking pans for easy clean-up.

gluten free enchiladas in baking dish being scooped out with spatula

You also might like these recipes for gluten-free tacos and gluten-free taco seasoning.

Gluten-Free Enchilada Recipe FAQ

Are enchiladas gluten-free?

Enchiladas are often naturally gluten-free when made with corn tortillas, a sauce that doesn’t have any added flour and a meat/cheese filling. Be sure to check the ingredients for the tortillas, sauce and filling to make sure they don’t contain any wheat ingredients.

Are enchiladas made of corn or flour tortillas?

Enchiladas are traditionally made with corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free so they’re perfect to keep these enchiladas gluten-free.

Can I freeze these gluten-free enchiladas?

The enchiladas can be made and assembled up to 24 hours in advance. Cover, refrigerate, and then bake a few minutes more than the usual recipe.

To freeze, fully assemble the enchiladas but don’t bake them. Cover them with a double layer of tin foil and put inside a jumbo-size ziploc bag. Or you can just make sure the pan is totally sealed with tin foil. They will keep frozen for 2-3 months. To bake from frozen, bake for 1 1/2 hours covered at 350F then uncover and bake for another hour.

I hope you like this gluten-free enchilada recipe as much as we do. If you try it please leave me a comment/rating below. We’d love to hear from you!

More Gluten-Free Recipes

overhead shot of enchiladas in white baking dish topped with cilantro
5 from 15 votes

Gluten-Free Enchiladas (Chicken Red Sauce)

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6 people
This amazing gluten-free enchiladas recipe has tender chicken, cheese and a flavorful homemade enchilada sauce! Made with 100% gluten-free pantry staples!
This recipe uses my favorite homemade gluten-free enchilada sauce.

Video

Ingredients

For the Red Sauce:

  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

For the Chicken Filling:

  • 1- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (2-3 large breasts)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) sharp cheddar freshly shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Monterey jack cheese freshly shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro minced
  • 1 lime
  • 12 6-inch soft corn tortillas

Instructions 

Make the Sauce:

  • In a large saucepan, add the onion, jalapeno and oil. Cook on medium heat until the vegetables have softened, 8-10 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, sugar and salt and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock and stir to combine. Nestle in the chicken. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove the chicken and place in a bowl. (Optional but recommended: Carefully pour the sauce into a blender and blend until smooth.) Season the sauce with a touch more salt, if necessary and set aside.

Make the Filling:

  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add 1 cup of the sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup of the Monterey jack cheese, the cilantro and the juice of 1 lime to the chicken. Mix to combine. (Set aside the rest of the cheese for topping the enchiladas.)
  • Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or damp paper towels. Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 20-30 seconds.
  • Scoop 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture on top of a tortilla and press it evenly down the middle. (You'll portion the filling to make 12 enchiladas.) Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  • Pour the sauce over the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake covered for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe Notes
Freshly shredded cheese that you grate yourself from a block of cheese works best in these enchiladas. It has the best flavor and will melt beautifully!
For a mild sauce remove the ribs/seeds from the jalapeno. For a spicer sauce leave jalapeno seeds and ribs in.
To use rotisserie or pre-cooked chicken: If you want to use pre-cooked chicken that will work great! Just skip adding the chicken to the sauce as it simmers. Mix the chicken with the rest of the filling ingredients as instructed. 

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 1013mg | Potassium: 1069mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1391IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg

Categories: , ,

Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. I’ve been looking for a great gluten free homemade enchilada recipe and these were amazing!! Thank you so much!!

  2. 5 stars
    Just made these tonight. AMAZING!!!! I bought a can of gluten free enchilada sauce just on case the flavor wasn’t what I was looking for in this recipe, but I’m sooo glad I made the scratch. Whole family loved it. Going to be in a regular rotation around here.

  3. 5 stars
    Enchiladas are my favorite and this is one of the best recipes I have tried. I highly recommend these! Make them! You will be glad you did!

    1. Great question! To freeze, fully assemble the enchiladas but don’t bake them. Cover them with a double layer of tin foil and put inside a jumbo-size ziploc bag. Or you can just make sure the pan is totally sealed with tin foil. They will keep frozen for 2-3 months. To bake from frozen, bake for 1 1/2 hours covered at 350F then uncover and bake for another hour.

  4. 5 stars
    All of Erin’s recipes are extensively tested by her, and this one was excellentZ the enchiladas didn’t have that overly salty taste that comes from canned enchilada sauce. They were super delicious and my whole family loved them

  5. 5 stars
    I had tortillas in the fridge and had no idea what to do with them. Your recipe came at the right time! It was delicious. However, I didn’t have Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese so I ended up using Mozzarella Cheese. It was very delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  6. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, we made a batch of these times 2 so I could freeze one and they were so easy! I especially loved the homemade gluten-free enchilada sauce…delicious!

  7. Erin, would it work to use homemade gluten free flour tortillas (your recipe, of course ) instead of corn? Sadly, I have a corn intolerance.

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