If you’ve ever made enchiladas, you know that the process is often time-consuming and requires a lot of stuffing, rolling, tortilla-breaking, re-rolling, and baking. Unfortunately, this recipe requires all of that and more, because I also include a recipe for homemade enchilada sauce (WAY better than the stuff in the can), which adds another step. Before you exit this page and find completely different recipe, just hear me out. Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce are hands down the best enchiladas you will ever eat, and making everything homemade will really make you feel accomplished in this year of complete and utter failures. Come on, give these babies a try!
Ingredients needed to make Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce
To make your life easier, I’ve separated the ingredients list into two parts: the enchiladas themselves, and the sauce. That way, if you choose to ignore my instructions and use store-bought red enchilada sauce, you don’t need to decipher which ingredients go with what aspect of the recipe. But seriously, just make the sauce yourself and chew in awe once you taste the finished product.
For the enchiladas, you’ll need the following:
-1 medium yellow onion
-Pineapple chunks (fresh, or canned)
-Salt and pepper
-Juice of 1 lime, plus more for serving
-Small corn tortillas
-Sharp white cheddar cheese
-Cilantro, for serving
Pretty straightforward for a Mexican-inspired recipe, right? Now let’s talk sauce. For the sauce, you’ll need to find a can of chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce. These are available at most grocery stores in the international foods aisle, but I’ve also linked a brand I like here. These are on the spicier side, which is why my enchilada sauce recipe only uses one pepper plus a bit of the sauce. If you enjoy spicy food, you can certainly add more peppers. Otherwise, the rest of the can stores great in the freezer in an airtight container for whenever you’re making Latin cuisine and want a little extra heat. Here’s the complete list of what you’ll need for the Homemade Enchilada Sauce:
-Tomatoes (about 1/2 cup, any variety)
If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to try this Homemade Enchilada Sauce, I’ll clue you in on the best store-bought variety I’ve tried to date (here). It’s great in a pinch, and I won’t tell anyone.
Tools used to make Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce
The tools needed to make these enchiladas are minimal, which is great since there are a lot of components to this recipe. You’ll need a large skillet to brown your chicken and cook the enchilada filling, and a medium saucepan to cook down your enchilada sauce. Additionally, you’ll want a casserole dish, such as this one. To make the sauce, I used my favorite food processor/blender combo, which I talk about a lot on my page. It’s just so versatile and you can use it for so many things! I’ve linked it here if you’re thinking about a small appliance upgrade. Other than that, you’ll really only need basic cooking equipment like a cutting board and a knife. Ready to cook?
How to make Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce
To make these enchiladas, I start by making the sauce, as it needs about 20-30 minutes to cook down and thicken up. You start by adding the chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, tomatoes, and some chicken stock into a blender and letting it go until smooth. After that’s done, you create a roux of olive oil and flour, add the blended adobo plus remaining sauce ingredients, and let it simmer until thick.
For the filling, the chicken and onions simply get browned until cooked-through, and tossed with flavorful spices and sweet pineapple.
Then, you assemble! I stuff the tortillas down the center, roll, then line them up seam-side down in the casserole dish. Pour over the luscious sauce, sprinkle with cheddar, bake, and enjoy. It’s so tasty, and although it has a lot of steps to completion, it’s beyond worth it when you taste how delicious. I love to top these enchiladas with lime wedges, fresh cilantro, sour cream, and more pineapple. Yum!
Looking for other Mexican-inspired recipes?
For the Enchiladas
1 tbsp olive oil
1lb ground chicken
½ cup pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
10-12 small corn tortillas
Sharp white cheddar cheese
Cilantro, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
For the Homemade Enchilada Sauce
1 chipotle in adobo sauce plus 1 tbsp adobo sauce (from the can)
2 cups chicken stock, divided
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for browning the chicken and greasing the baking dish
½ cup fresh diced tomatoes, any variety (I used cherry from the garden)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp salt
- Make the sauce. Blend the whole chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, tomatoes, and ½ cup of the chicken stock in a high-speed blender.
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the flour and whisk constantly until a thick paste (roux) forms. Add the blended adobo tomato mixture and whisk to combine.
- To the saucepan, add the chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and gradually add in the rest of the chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, allowing the sauce to thicken each time before adding more stock. Sauce is finished once all of the chicken stock has been incorporated and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, which will take about 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Make the filling. Heat a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, chicken, garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, and salt. Let cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the pineapple, lime juice, and additional salt if needed.
- Assemble the enchiladas. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13inch casserole dish with olive oil.
- Place a generous spoonful of the filling down the center of a tortilla. Roll and place seam side down, in the casserole dish. Repeat this process until the casserole dish is filled. Pour the sauce evenly over the top, and sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are softened. Top with cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges. Enjoy!
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