Served in a creamy green salsa, these chicken enchiladas suizas are the perfect Mexican dinner idea. Serve them with refried beans, fluffy red rice and a squeeze of fresh lime juice!
This easy enchiladas suizas recipe is everything you want in a flavorful Mexican dinner. Tender shredded chicken is stuffed inside warm tortillas, then topped with a creamy green sauce and finished with manchego cheese. The end result? Enchiladas perfection.
In this recipe, we are going to use homemade green enchilada sauce made with tomatillos, jalapeños and serrano peppers. This may sound like a super spicy sauce, but because we are also adding evaporated milk and Mexican crema the dairy will cut some of the heat. Plus, since you are making the enchiladas sauce from scratch you can control the heat by reducing the number of chilies if you prefer – that’s the beauty of going the from-scratch route!
Unlike my avocado enchiladas or my birria enchiladas, these enchiladas are cooked on the stovetop. No need to wait for your oven to preheat!
What Are Enchiladas Suizas?
In Spanish, “enchiladas suizas” translates to “Swiss enchiladas.” This is an interesting name for a Mexican dish but there’s a story behind it. Although it’s never been confirmed, it’s said that enchiladas suizas were inspired by a Swiss guy who often ate enchiladas verdes but said they were too spicy. To tone down the heat, the restaurant added cream and melted cheese to the recipe.
Today, enchiladas suizas remain the same: they are made with chicken, creamy green salsa, and melted cheese. In Mexico, they are a traditional breakfast dish, but you can also eat them for lunch or dinner. We pretty much think enchiladas are great any time of day!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
In case you’re not yet an enchilada-lover, here are several reasons to add them to your weekly menu:
- Prep-friendly. You can assemble these chicken enchiladas in advance. Just put it all together, cover with saran wrap or foil, then store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it.
- Crowd-pleaser. Who doesn’t love enchiladas? These creamy chicken enchiladas are always devoured when I make them for my family.
- Perfect for any meal. You can enjoy this recipe for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s up to you!
- Rich and creamy. Blended with evaporated milk and crema, these enchiladas are as creamy and rich as possible!
- Leftover perfection. These enchiladas are an ideal way to use up leftover cooked chicken.
- Authentic. This is the real deal when it comes to enchiladas suizas. They’re a true taste of Mexico.
What You’ll Need
Get ready to pack lots of green ingredients into this sauce! Here is a quick overview of what you’ll need to make enchiladas suizas from scratch. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
For the Sauce
- Tomatillos – These are green Mexican husk tomatoes. Don’t substitute them for red tomatoes.
- Jalapeño – You can omit it to reduce the heat.
- Serrano chiles
- White onion – Yellow onion is a good swap.
- Garlic – Don’t use garlic powder for this.
- Fresh cilantro
- Vegetable oil – Corn and canola oil work too.
- Kosher Salt
- Evaporated milk
- Mexican crema – Sour cream and heavy cream are good alternatives.
- Manchego cheese – Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Muenster, and mozzarella are good substitutes.
- Light brown sugar – Don’t use dark brown sugar.
For the Enchiladas
- Corn tortillas – Please don’t use flour tortillas.
- Chicken – You can also use Rotisserie chicken if you’re looking for a shortcut.
- Manchego cheese – Chihuahua cheese is a great substitute.
How to Make Enchiladas Suizas
Are you ready to make enchiladas suizas from scratch? Here’s how to do it:
Cook the Chicken
This recipe is made with cooked chicken, and I have a couple favorite ways to prepare the meat.
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Thighs – You can follow the directions in my Million Dollar Chicken Casserole recipe to prepare tender chicken thighs in your Instant Pot. It’s super easy to do and once the chicken is cooked you just shred it with two forks.
- Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs – You can also roast chicken meat in the oven as described in this White Chicken Lasagna recipe. Just follow the recipe as directed, shredding the chicken with two forks before adding it to your enchiladas.
I have also been known to use extra paprika chicken thighs for this recipe. The paprika adds incredible flavor to the enchilada filling! As mentioned above, you can also use a rotisserie chicken from the market.
Make the Green Enchiladas Sauce
While your chicken is cooking, you can make the tomatillo sauce. Here’s how:
- Cook the ingredients. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the tomatillos, jalapeño, serrano, onion, and garlic. Low the heat to medium-low and let everything simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the tomatillos change color. Don’t let them burst in the water.
- Blend the sauce. Place the cooked veggies and garlic in the blender. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and the cilantro. Process everything until you get a smooth mixture.
- Cook the sauce. Discard the cooking liquid and add the vegetable oil to the pot over medium-high heat. Let it heat for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the sauce. Stir occasionally and let it come to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. The sauce should have changed color again, going from a milky light green to a clear and vibrant green. Season with salt to taste.
- Let it cool. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool fully.
- Prepare the cream. Add the evaporated milk, crema, and cheese to the blender. Process until you get a smooth mixture. Set it aside until the tomatillo salsa is fully cooled.
- Mix the sauces. Stir the cream mixture into the cooled tomatillo salsa. Add the manchego cheese. Stir until well combined. Place it over medium-low heat and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Season with salt to taste. Add the sugar to taste and stir will. It will help cut through the acidity. Set the sauce aside.
Assemble and Cook the Enchiladas
- Heat the tortillas. Heat a griddle or large pan over low heat. You can also use a comal for this. Add two to three tortillas at a time. Heat them for 1-2 minutes on each side or until warm and pliable. They should be able to bend and fold without breaking. Set them aside and cover them with a kitchen towel to help them stay warm.
- Assemble the enchiladas. Fill each tortilla with shredded chicken to taste (about 3-4 tablespoons should be enough). It should be along the center so you can roll the tortillas and enclose the chicken filling inside. Top the chicken with Manchego cheese.
- Assemble your enchiladas dish. Place the chicken enchiladas in a large pan. You may have to work in batches because they shouldn’t overlap or get too crowded. Ladle 2-3 cups of prepared salsa on top.
- Cook the enchiladas. Sprinkle with manchego cheese on top of the enchiladas. Then cook them on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Cover the pan with a lid to help everything warm up and melt the cheese. Let the enchiladas cook for about 10 minutes or until the insides are warm and the cheese has melted. Remove them from the heat. Serve warm and spoon more sauce on top or around them to taste.
Tips & Variation Ideas
The following section is all about helping you cut down on effort and follow the same hacks Mexican families use to put these enchiladas suizas on the table much quicker:
- Skip the cilantro. After 2-3 days, the cilantro in the sauce starts to get bitter. If you need to store the sauce for longer, I recommend skipping it altogether.
- Sprinkle with water. Sprinkle the tortillas with some water before heating them over the griddle to help them soften.
- Use the microwave. Use the microwave to heat your tortillas Pop them in for 5-10 seconds or until warm and pliable.
- Store them separately. Keep the assembled enchiladas (without sauce) and the salsa in separate containers. This will help you throw together fresh enchiladas in seconds any day of the week.
- Bake them. Place the enchiladas in a baking dish and add the sauce on top. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is warm and the cheese has melted.
Enchiladas suizas are typically served with a side of Frijoles Refritos (Mexican Refried Beans). Another common side is a bit of Mexican Rice. However, you can definitely also enjoy them on their own. A squeeze of fresh lime juice is also never a bad idea, the citrus just adds an irresistible zip to every bite. Fresh avocado is also a welcome addition to any Mexican meal!
How to Store and Reheat Extras
Once fully cooled, refrigerate these enchiladas suizas in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
To reheat them, you can pop single servings into the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warm. You can also heat them in a pan for 4-6 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on. If you’re reheating a large amount, you might be better off using the oven. Set it to 350 F and bake them for 15-20 minutes or until warm.
Can I Freeze Enchiladas?
Yes! However, you’ll need to freeze these enchiladas suizas without their sauce. Since it’s cream-based, it will split and separate during freezing. Warm the corn tortillas and fill them with the shredded chicken, then place them in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. You may need to use toothpicks to help the tortillas keep their shape if you are not using a freezer-safe baking dish.
When you are ready to use your frozen enchiladas, transfer them to the fridge overnight so they have enough time to thaw. Then make the sauce and pour it on top. Proceed with cooking the enchiladas as described in the recipe or in the oven as described above. You may need to extend the cooking time a bit since the enchiladas will be cold.Print
This easy enchiladas suizas recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners. A creamy tomatillo sauce is spooned over warm tortillas filled with shredded chicken, then everything is cooked on the stovetop.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 7-9 servings
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove-top
- Cuisine: Mexican
For the sauce:
- 2 lbs tomatillos, husks removed
- 1 jalapeño, whole, stems removed
- 1–3 serrano chiles, whole, stems removed
- 1/4 small white onion
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Kosher salt, to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup Mexican crema
- 1/2 cup shredded Manchego cheese
- 2–4 teaspoons light brown sugar, to taste
For the enchiladas:
- 2 lbs corn tortillas
- 5 cups shredded chicken **
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Manchego cheese, for filling the enchiladas and the topping
Make the Enchiladas Sauce
Cook the ingredients. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the tomatillos, jalapeño, serrano, onion, and garlic. Low the heat to medium-low and let everything simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the tomatillos change color. Don’t let them burst in the water.
Blend the sauce. Place the cooked veggies and garlic in the blender. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and the cilantro. Process everything until you get a smooth mixture.
Cook the tomatillo sauce. Discard the cooking liquid and add the vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat. Let it heat for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the sauce. Stir occasionally and let it come to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes. The sauce should have changed color again, going from a milky light green to a clear and vibrant green. Season with salt to taste.
Let it cool. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool fully.
Prepare the cream. Add the evaporated milk, crema, and cheese to the blender. Process until you get a smooth mixture. Set it aside until the tomatillo salsa is fully cooled.
Combine and cook the mixtures. Stir the cream mixture into the cooled tomatillo salsa. Add the Manchego cheese. Stir until well combined. Place it over medium-low heat and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Season with salt to taste. Add the sugar to taste and stir will. Set aside.
Assemble and Cook the Enchiladas
Heat the tortillas. Heat a griddle or large pan over low heat. You can also use a comal for this. Add two to three tortillas at a time. Heat them for 1-2 minutes on each side or until warm and pliable. Set them aside and cover them with a kitchen towel to help them stay warm.
Assemble the enchiladas. Fill each tortilla with shredded chicken to taste (about 3-4 tablespoons should be enough). Add some Manchego cheese and roll the tortilla up.
Make the enchiladas. Place the filled tortillas in a large pan, seam side down. Ladle 2-3 cups of prepared sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining manchego cheese to taste. Heat the enchiladas over medium-low heat. Cover the pan with the lid to help everything warm and let the cheese melt. Let the enchiladas cook for about 10 minutes or until warmed through and the cheese has melted. Remove them from the heat.
Dig in. Serve warm and spoon more sauce on top or around them to taste. I like to serve enchiladas with Mexican rice and refried beans.
** You can cook the chicken in the Instant Pot as in my Million Dollar Chicken recipe, or in the oven as described in my White Chicken Lasagna recipe. You’ll need about 2lbs of raw chicken to make 5 cups shredded chicken.
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Keywords: enchiladas suizas, enchilada suiza, enchiladas suizos, enchiladas verdes
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Reader Questions and Reviews
I haven’t made it yet, but will be soon, can I substitute heavy whipping cream for the evaporated milk? I would think that would give it a creamier sauce.
I haven’t used evaporated milk before, next time I make this recipe I’ll give it a test. If you try it and like the end result please let me know!
I will be making this very soon!!! Looks heavenly!!!
I hope you enjoy!