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Enchiladas Norteñas Estilo Monterrey (Chicken Enchiladas)

Chicken enchiladas prepared with a chile ancho sauce. This style is popular in the northern regions of Mexico.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • For Chile Sauce
  • 5 large chile ancho stems and seeds removed
  • 3-4 cups water for cooking dried chiles
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • You will also need
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 full cups of previously cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 cup white or red onions finely diced
  • 1 cup oil for frying
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Tips~If preparing the queso fresco version you will need 3 cups of crumbled queso.
  • For Garnish for all style enchiladas
  • 4 to 5 cups of shredded lettuce
  • Onion thinly sliced
  • Mexican crema
  • More queso panela or fresco crumbled
  • Crispy or sauteed potatoes and carrots
  • Avocado slices
  • Tomato wedges
  • Lime


  • Transfer chile ancho to a saucepan. Cover  with 3-4 cups of water and heat to medium. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. Remove from heat and let them cool slightly.
  • While the peppers are cooling crumble the cheese and transfer it to a bowl. Add 1 cup of finely diced onions and set aside. Prep the rest of your ingredients.

  • Drain the chile ancho and transfer to the blender. Add the 2 cups of chicken broth, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. I don't always have chicken broth on hand, so I like to use the knorr brand of chicken bouillon powder to prepare a quick broth. Blend on high until smooth and strain through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl.

  • Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a pan.. Add the chile ancho sauce and continue cooking for a good 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens. If it's too thick, add a little more broth. Taste for salt.

  • Preheat the 1/2 cup of oil(vegetable) in a skillet to medium heat for 5 minutes. When ready, dip one corn tortilla into the chile ancho sauce and turn to coat evenly. Using the tongs, dip the tortilla in the hot oil and cook for just a few seconds or until tortilla softens. Transfer to the serving dish and fill with cheese and onion mixture; roll as tight as you can. Transfer to serving dish.  

  • Repeat until all the enchiladas are done. You have to work quickly when making these if serving right away. If you like, you could keep them in a baking dish covered with foil paper as you roll them to keep them warm. Garnish as you like with toppings listed.


To Cook Potatoes and Carrots: Add diced carrots and potatoes to salted water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until fork tender. Drain and mix in a little of the chile ancho sauce to your previously cooked potatoes and carrots. After you are done frying the tortillas, in that same pan, saute the seasoned carrots and potatoes before serving with enchiladas.