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Smoked Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

Smoked chicken and cheese enchiladas ready to serve

There’s just something perfect about a cheesy enchilada, a cold beverage, and some crunchy chips and pico that puts me in a happy place. I’d consider smoked chicken and cheese enchiladas a comfort food, but one that doesn’t have to be reserved for only the cold winter months like a beef stew. One of the best things about enchiladas is that you can fill them with about anything. Of course, today is all about smoked chicken enchiladas but you can use this same recipe with beef, pork, or just shredded cheese.

First, let’s start with the protein. Of course, I recommend you use my chicken recipe here for this, but you can use your favorite chicken recipe. I won’t be offended if you don’t use mine; ok, I will but I’ll get over it. A good shredded chicken breast is perfect for these smoked chicken and cheese enchiladas, but don’t be afraid to add some dark chicken meat in as well. The concept here brings me to my second point.

Second, this is a great recipe to make with leftovers. Chicken is a fairly inexpensive protein so the next time you make your favorite chicken recipe, just make some extra and save it to make this recipe. I’m all about simple and easy and use leftovers all the time.

Finally, and most importantly, don’t use a canned enchilada sauce for this smoked chicken and cheese enchilada recipe. Use the recipe I have here, you’ll be glad you did. It’s simple, quick, tastes amazing and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand.

Tips for making Smoked Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

You’re going to get messy, have plenty of paper towels on hand.

While I love to use grilled chicken, this can also be done with rotisserie chicken as well. Those $5 rotisserie chickens at the grocery stores are great for this.

Shred your own cheese, the pre-shredded stuff is coated with some crazy stuff like potato starch, powdered cellulose, and natamycin. This helps the cheese not stick together in the package, but also prevents it from melting smoothly.

This is excellent to make a double batch of and freeze for another day when you don’t have time to cook and have fun.

Don’t get carried away with the smoke. Cheese takes on smoke very well and it only needs a kiss of smoke for this recipe. Pecan provides a very mild smoke flavor.

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Smoked Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

Serves: 4 | Active Prep Time: 20 min | Cooking Time: 35 min

Ingredients
4 cups pulled chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded jack cheese
3 cups enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas
1 medium jalapeño, seeded, blistered and diced
1/2 medium Vidalia onion, diced
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

How to Make Smoked Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas, Step-by-Step

Step 1: Light your grill, smoker or pellet grill and set it up for two zone heating. Using a reliable digital thermometer, set your grill temperature between 350-375 ° F. While your grill is preheating, prep your ingredients for the enchiladas.

ingredients for Smoked chicken and cheese enchiladas

Step 2: In a medium mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken, diced onion, half of both the cheddar and jack cheeses, diced jalapeño, and 1/2 cup cilantro.

chicken mix for smoked chicken enchiladas

Add in a 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and mix together well, set aside.

smoked chicken mix for enchiladas

Step 3: Put just enough warm enchilada sauce in a 7 X 11 baking dish to cover the bottom. About 1/2 cup, and set aside.

Step 4: Using a cast iron pan or griddle, heat your tortillas slightly on both sides. You’re not looking to fry them, just soften them up so they don’t crack when you roll them.

corn tortilla warming on the griddle

Step 5: Once the tortillas are warm, dip both sides in the warm enchilada sauce and stack them on a plate.

corn tortilla dipped in homemade enchilada sauce

Step 6: Now it’s time to set up your assembly line for assembling the enchiladas. From left to right or right to left (however you prefer to work) place your chicken mixture, your sauced tortillas, and your baking dish next to each other.

TIP: You’ll need to sort of mentally divide the chicken mixture into 8 equal portions.

Step 7: Put a portion of the chicken mixture on the top tortilla, roll it up and place it seam side down in the sauced baking dish.

chicken on a corn tortilla

Step 8: Repeat for the remaining 7 enchiladas. Once all are in the baking dish, pour the remaining sauce over top of the enchiladas.

chicken enchiladas covered in homemade enchilada sauce

Step 9: Top with remaining cheese and place over indirect heat, close grill lid and cook for 25 minutes.

Step 10: Open grill and add 1 pecan chunk of wood or a handful of soaked pecan wood chips to the hot coals. Close lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

A pan of smoked chicken and cheese enchiladas

Step 11: Remove from grill, and serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional) and remaining cilantro.

Smoked chicken and cheese enchiladas plated

Smoked chicken and cheese enchiladas with sour cream

The best part of being a food blogger, I get to eat while I work!

Make Homemade Smoked Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas:

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Smoked chicken and cheese enchiladas ready to serve
Smoked Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

This quick and flavorful meal is enhanced by my homemade enchilada sauce.

Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex Mex
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 cups pulled chicken
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded jack cheese
  • 3 cups enchilada sauce
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 jalapeño seeded, blistered, and diced
  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion diced
  • 3/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. Light your grill, smoker or pellet grill and set it up for two zone heating. Using a reliable digital thermometer, set your grill temperature between 350-375 °F. While your grill is preheating, prep your ingredients for the enchiladas.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken, diced onion, half of both the cheddar and jack cheeses, diced jalapeño, and 1/2 cup cilantro. Add in a 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and mix together well, set aside.

  3. Put just enough warm enchilada sauce in a 7 X 11 baking dish to cover the bottom. About 1/2 cup, and set aside.

  4. Using a cast iron pan or griddle, heat your tortillas slightly on both sides. You're not looking to fry them, just soften them up so they don't crack when you roll them.

  5. Once the tortillas are warm, dip both sides in the warm enchilada sauce and stack them on a plate.

  6. Now it's time to set up your assembly line for assembling the enchiladas. From left to right or right to left (however you prefer to work) place your chicken mixture, your sauced tortillas, and your baking dish next to each other.

  7. Put a portion of the chicken mixture on the top tortilla, roll it up and place it seam side down in the sauced baking dish.

  8. Repeat for remaining 7 enchiladas. Once all are in the baking dish, pour remaining sauce over top of the enchiladas.

  9. Top with remaining cheese and place over indirect heat, close grill lid, and cook for 25 minutes.

  10. Open grill and add 1 pecan chunk or wood or a handful of soaked pecan wood chips to the hot coals. Close lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

  11. Remove from grill, and serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional) and remaining cilantro.