This healthy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas recipe is easy to make and full of flavor! If you are starting with some already cooked chicken, these enchiladas can be on the table in 30 minutes! Check out our What To Serve with Enchiladas collection for some great side dish ideas. And our testing suggest a fruit-forward red wine is a good pairing for these chicken enchiladas.
Enchiladas are definitely close to the top of our favorite list when it comes to Mexican food. But somehow, we didn’t have a recipe for chicken enchiladas here on Cooking Chat. It was time to fix that!
We write this Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas based on having cooked chicken ready to go. This could be leftover chicken from another cooking project, or some store bought rotisserie chicken.
But we actually started this enchilada project by making some Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs, and that made for a delicious filling. So I have included a section with some tips (after the Ingredients overview) on how to proceed with using that chicken thighs recipe for your chicken. Just skip over that section if you already have your cooked chicken!
Below we cover some key pointers on the main ingredients for our chicken and black bean enchiladas. Head to the recipe card for all the details!
- Chicken: This recipe assumes you already have some cooked chicken on hand. You can use leftover chicken or some store bought rotisserie chicken. But if you want to cook up some chicken specifically for these enchiladas, see our tops for slow cooker chicken thighs in the next section!
- Black beans: we typically use canned black beans, drained and rinsed. If you want to use dried black beans, we have used this Instant Pot Black Beans recipe from Well Plated, with good results.
- Chile peppers: we used some chopped, fresh jalapeño pepper for the filling. but you could definitely go with canned diced green chiles if you like.
- Tortillas: You can use corn or wheat tortillas based on your preference.
- Shredded cheese: I used a pre-shredded Mexican blend with cheddar, Monterey Jack, asadero and queso quesadilla cheese. But any good melting cheese will do the trick!
- Green enchilada sauce: We often make our own enchilada sauce — we’ve got a delicious red enchiladas sauce featured in recipes such as this Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas recipe. But we were in the mood for some green enchilada sauce, so we picked up some Siete Green Enchilada Sauce, and liked the flavor of that. Here’s a homemade green enchilada sauce recipe from Pinch & Swirl that looks good — let me know if you try that!
Starting with Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
OK, let’s give you some tips for making the slow cooker BBQ chicken thighs as the starting point for your chicken enchiladas.
One thing I liked about starting with the slow cooker recipe as I wound up with a serving of cooked chicken thighs I could give our teen who isn’t a fan of enchiladas.
I started the chicken thighs in the morning, in order to have them cooked for the enchiladas that night. Use the recipe as given, then follow these steps:
- When the chicken has completed the slow cooking time, remove the chicken from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Place on a platter or large plate, and let cool enough to work with the chicken.
- After the chicken has cooled a bit, use two forks to shred the chicken.
- For a flavorful chicken filling, return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the sauce. You can leave the shredded chicken in the slow cooker, keeping the crockpot covered on the warm setting, until you are ready to make the enchiladas.
- Scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon when ready to use.
You could also make the chicken the day before making the enchiladas. After step #3, just scoop out the chicken into a storage container and refrigerate until you are ready to make the enchiladas.
How to make chicken enchiladas
Here’s a visual overview showing you how to make chicken and black bean enchiladas with green sauce. Head on down to the recipe card for all the details!
Prepare the filling. Combine the black beans, scallions and jalapeño peppers in a bowl.
Add the chicken (cooked) to the bowl.
Stir the chicken into the bowl, to combine it with the black bean mixture.
Set the chicken and black bean mixture aside as you get ready to assemble the enchiladas.
Spread some of the green enchilada sauce to lightly cover the bottom of a baking dish.
Place a tortilla shell on a plate. Then add about 2 tablespoons or so of the chicken and black bean mixture to the center of the tortilla shell, leaving room around the edges for folding up the enchilada.
Sprinkle a bit of shredded cheese over the enchilada filling.
Fold the tortilla, first at the top, then the bottom. Then fold the long way, to close up the enchilada, and place the enchilada fold side down in the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining enchiladas.
Spread the remaining sauce to cover most of the enchiladas.
Sprinkle shredded cheese over the enchiladas.
Cover the baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes.
Carefully remove the cooked chicken and black bean enchiladas from the oven after the 20 minutes. Remove the cover with your oven mitts on, and the enchiladas are ready to serve!
Our “what to serve with enchiladas” article has over 33 ideas for you! We served ours with a simple red cabbage and green apple salad, along with some sliced avocado and tortilla chips.
Wine with enchiladas is a topic we have enjoyed covering! We’ve test a lot of pairings, so with was time to try out wine pairings for chicken enchiladas with green sauce.
White wine pairings
I wouldn’t have thought of Albariño as a pairing for chicken enchiladas, but I saw it mentioned as a suggestion in my research. With a bottle on hand, I thought I would give it a try.
The 2020 La Val Albarariño ($17, 12.5% ABV) from Rias Baixas had notes of straw and lemon on the palate. A decent wine and an OK pairing, but our chicken enchiladas came out fairly spicy. I’d say a white with more fruit and/or a bit of residual sugar would be better. I think the Mexican Chenin Blanc we had with our Ground Turkey Enchiladas would like be a better option here. A Riesling is another one to try.
I’m not sold on Albariño as a good pairing for chicken enchiladas! I think I will stick to pairing Albariño with seafood dishes, like the pairing we did with our Pan Seared Sea Bass recipe.
Red wine options
Awhile back I picked up a case of half bottles of the Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône (CDR) at Bin Ends, and that can be a nice option when I want to test a red wine along with a white.
This CDR is fruit forward with a smooth mouthfeel. It definitely worked better with the savory and the spice of the chicken enchiladas than the Albariño. A slight note of pepper on the CDR enhanced the pairing.
That peppery aspect of the CDR that helped the pairing makes me think a straight Syrah might also be a good option, and I’ve seen some articles suggest that. Mark that down as another enchilada wine pairing to test out!
But generally speaking, I would recommend a fruit forward red wine with these chicken enchiladas. Bonus if it has any spice notes! Stay away from tannic reds like Cabernet Sauvignon.Print
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas with Green Sauce
This healthy recipe for chicken and black bean enchiladas is easy to make and full of flavor! You can cook up some chicken to use for the recipe, or make use of leftover chicken or pick up some rotisserie chicken at the store.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cut into bite sized pieces
- one 15 ½ ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño or other green chile (fresh or canned is OK)
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheese, divided (I used a Mexican cheese blend)
- 1 cup green enchilada sauce
- 4 to 6 tortilla shells
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, combine the black beans, chicken, scallions and jalapeños. If you are using plain chicken, stir in an a tablespoon or so of the green enchilada sauce if you want to add some additional flavor.
- Prepare the baking dish: add a couple of scoops of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of a baking dish, and spread so that the bottom of the dish is evenly covered with a light coating.
- Assemble enchiladas: Lay a tortilla shell on a work surface. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling to the center of the enchiladas, spreading the filling into a rectangular shape, leaving plenty of room around the edges. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the shredded cheese over the top of the filling. Fold the tortilla, first at the top, then the bottom. Then fold the tortilla the longer way, bringing the left, then the right edges over to close it up. Place the enchilada fold side down in a large baking dish. Repeat the process for the remaining 4 enchiladas.
- Spread the sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top. Cover the enchilada dish, and bake for 20 minutes. At the end of the 20 minutes, carefully remove from the oven. Enjoy!
- Extra sauce for plain chicken: If you are using fairly plain chicken, such as store bought rotisserie chicken, you might want to add a tablespoon or so to the chicken and black bean mixture to add additional flavor to the filling.
- A homemade chicken option: We cooked up a batch of Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs to use for this recipe. This made for a flavorful enchilada filling!
- Using our Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken: If you are using our slow cooker chicken recipe to prepare the chicken for the enchiladas, or something similar, here are the steps to take. When the chicken has completed the slow cooking time, remove the chicken from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Place on a platter or large plate, and let cool enough to work with the chicken. When cooled a bit, use two forks to shred the chicken. For a flavorful chicken filling, return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the sauce. You can leave the shredded chicken in the slow cooker, keeping the crockpot covered on the warm setting, until you are ready to make the enchiladas. Scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon when ready to use.
Keywords: chicken enchilada with green sauce, chicken and black bean enchiladas, leftover chicken enchiladas