What Are Chicken Tinga Enchiladas? (Easy Explanation)

It is difficult to ignore that many dishes have acquired an international reputation for their unforgettable taste. From Italian Lasagna to Thai Tom Yum Soup, they are all served with care and interest.

We are super excited to share a stunning Mexican dish called chicken tinga enchiladas in this post. They are flavorful and simply cooked, which is why you should give them a try to fulfill qualified meals for your family.

But what exactly are they? Let’s take a look.

What Are Chicken Tinga Enchiladas?

Chicken tinga enchiladas are shredded chicken combined with tinga sauce and tortilla wrappings. The tinga sauce has a unique flavor. It is usually made from tomatoes and chipotles sauce. 

If you’ve ever tried a Mexican dish called tinga tostadas, you’ll recall the same flavor as tinga enchiladas.

They are famous not only for their flavor but also for their versatility in cooking. Wanna know more about this dish? Read on!

Are They Authentic Mexican Food?

Enchiladas originated in Mexico, dating back to the Mayans’ time when the people there traditionally rolled corn tortillas around small fish.

There has been a variety of enchiladas over time. However, they are still regarded as the most favorite dishes of the Mexicans. The flavor of shredded chicken in the tomato, adobo, and chipotle sauce makes this recipe famous worldwide.

With the food internationalization, delicious chicken enchiladas appear in many countries like Canada or the United States. People also create diverse types of them by replacing chicken with beef, shrimp, or making vegetarian enchiladas.

A Simple Recipe

It is no wonder that these enchiladas are nutritious and tasty. They are versatile in cooking as well. First, however, we would like to introduce to you this delicious and simple recipe.

It takes you about one hour in total. You’ll get a stunning dish to treat hungry stomachs.

Things to prepare

  • 8-9 corn tortillas
  • 1 chicken breast (about 200 gr)
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup cheese
  • Clive oil
  • Coriander (optional)

For the sauce:

  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 3-4 tomatillos
  • ½ onion
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves
  • 3 teaspoon chipotles in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • ½-1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Cumin (optional)
  • 1 cup broth (optional)

Step 1: Prepare chicken

The chicken can be cooked any way that you want. However, for this batch, we’ll show you how to brine and bake it.

  • Firstly, dissolve ¼ cup of salt in a bowl with a quart of water.
  • Dip the chicken breast into that bowl and let it brine in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is brined, dry it, then put it on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the chicken breast at 400F for about 20 minutes until it’s no longer pink inside. (this step can be combined with baking tomatoes at step 3 to save time)
  • Wait for the chicken breast to be cooled, then shred it with forks or any helpful utensils. After finishing, set it aside for the later steps.

Step 2: Prepare corn tortillas

For traditional enchiladas, tortillas will be quickly fried before rolling up. This step helps them gain a tastier flavor. In addition, it prevents them from getting mushy due to absorbing too much sauce. So how to fry it then?

  • Heat the saucepan, then add a small amount of olive oil (¼ cup or so) into it.
  • After the oil is boiling, put a tortilla in it. Each side of the tortilla takes about 5-10 seconds to crisp up.
  • Once it’s fried, let it drain on the paper towels.

Step 3: Make tinga sauce

Tinga sauce is the star of chicken tinga enchiladas. If it’s made good, the whole dish gains a much better flavor. Here’s how to make it:

  • Rinse the tomatoes and tomatillos, then let them dry. Next, bake them together with the chicken breast (step 1).
  • Meanwhile, saute half of the onion along with garlic cloves in some olive oil at medium heat. Wait until the onion turns brown, then take them all out.
  • Add the mixture in a blender, including sauteed onion-garlic, roasted tomatoes-tomatillos, and 3 teaspoon chipotles in adobo. Want it much spicier? Add more chipotles.
  • Pour the mixture back to the sauteed-onion pan, then season it. Add ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano, ½ cup broth, and a pinch of cumin (optional). Simmer them and give additional seasonings until it reaches your desired taste.
  • Set the tinga sauce to a clean bowl but keep about half a cup of it on the pan to mix with the cooked chicken.

Step 4: Roll up the tortillas

  • Place a single corn tortilla on a plate. Fill it with two tablespoons of chicken tinga, a pinch of chopped onion, and cheese.
  • Roll it tight and gentle, then put the seam side down on a glass baking dish.
  • Keep rolling the next ones until you run out of tortilla or chicken. Usually, this amount of chicken breast is enough for 8-9 enchiladas.

Step 5: Bake the enchiladas

  • Bake the enchiladas at 400F for 8-10 minutes. They are ready when the cheese is all melted.
  • Next, take the dish out of the oven and let the enchiladas drench with tinga sauce.

Step 6: Enjoy the dish

If you have any Queso Fresco, Cotija cheese, or Crema in your pantry, add it to the top of the chicken tinga enchiladas. In addition, a sprinkling of coriander will also make your dish look more attractive.

Now, it’s time to serve these delicious enchiladas to your family.

For storing, place them in a plastic zipper bag or any airtight food container. Keep them for a few days in the fridge.

If you are interested in a versatile dish of chicken enchiladas, this video of enchiladas with white cream sauce might treat your taste.

Are They A Popular Dish In The US?

There is an increase in Mexican restaurants across the US States for many years. It partly proves that Mexican food is so well-loved in the US.

People would not skip a delicious dish like chicken tinga enchiladas. They are enchanted by their high nutritious content and unique flavor. More importantly, this dish can be simply cooked at home. That makes it much more popular.

How Much Does It Cost On Average For This Dish In A Restaurant?

Different restaurants set a specific price for their chicken tinga enchiladas. It might be because they earn different reputations and their dishes differ in nutrition content. However, the average cost is often from $12 to $14 per one dish.

For example, in many restaurants, this enchiladas dish costs $11.95 or $12. On the other hand, other restaurants have it at a little higher price, at $13.95 or $13.99.

What Side Dishes Are Best Served With This Dish?

Chicken tinga enchiladas will achieve their full flavor when being served with side dishes. Consider the nine best side dishes below for a more Mexican-inspired family meal:

  • Black Beans and Mexican Rice
  • Tangy Mexican Slaw
  • Classic Guacamole
  • Salsa Fresca
  • Mexican Corn Salad
  • Shrimp de Galo
  • Avocado Tomato Salad
  • Refried Bean Dip
  • Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

How Many Calories Are There In Such A Dish?

If 2000 calories a day is set as general nutrition advice, one dish of 8 enchiladas contains about 1600 calories. In particular, there is 88g of total fat (40g is saturated fat), 112g of total carbohydrate, and 88g of protein.

To burn off 1600 calories, you’re required to take 293.8 minutes of walking (17min/mile), 133.8 minutes of running (10min/mile), 109.5 minutes of cycling (18 mph), or 240.9 minutes of weight training.


The chicken tinga enchiladas is a worth-trying dish, isn’t it? Besides being tasty and nutritious, it treats the gourmets with a simple cooking recipe. Thus, if you have time, do not hesitate to make some delicious enchiladas at home.

We hope this post gives you a deeper understanding of this Mexican recipe so that more tasteful meals can be served for your family. Share with us if you have any questions. Our pleasure to help!

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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