Instant Pot Chipotle Ranch Chicken Enchiladas are my dish to beat this year! My favorite flavor combination, lime and chipotle, take center stage in these healthy, cheesy enchiladas and are proof that Mexican food can taste amazing and be good for you too!
This recipe, oh wow, it's a good one. Like really, reeeeaaallly good! It was inspired by another recipe on my site, Instant Pot Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wrap, but I dare say, this version is even better.
If I ever need a recipe in my back pocket for “Meal to make when I do or say something selfish or rude in my husband's direction” this baby is the one.
Like, hypothetically, if I was super immature and pouted for 24 hours on Valentine's Day about receiving a mini rose bush plant instead of an extravagant bouquet of pink roses only to find out that my husband bought the mini rose bush because it was supposed to live for at least 4 weeks and he wanted me to put it in my office and be reminded of how much he loves me every time that I looked at it instead of getting me a bouquet of roses that would die off in a week . . .
So, yeah, if that ever happened, which it shouldn't unless you're 16 years old and think the world revolves around you, these Chipotle Ranch Chicken Enchiladas just might be your saving grace.
And while we're speaking hypothetically, guess what? Hypothetically, these enchiladas will get you out of said awkward situation in less than 30 seconds flat.
You simply say, “Sorry. Here is a giant plate of smoky, lime-y, creamy chicken enchiladas that I filled and rolled all by myself and piled high with guacamole . . . will you forgive me?”
Or come up with your own sincere, rambling apology, it doesn't really matter what you say, these enchiladas erase memories of hurt and rejection like magic. FOOD MAGIC!
Before we continue, I just want to be clear: the FILLING for these enchiladas is created in the Instant Pot. The enchiladas are then baked in the oven like a proper enchilada should be so it can melt and brown the cheese. I didn't want anyone to think I was crazy enough to “bake” an enchilada in the pressure cooker. That's madness.
Alright, moving along.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
- The boring ol' chicken breast gets infused with the flavors of lime, chipotle, and salsa verde to ensure that every bite of your enchiladas is bursting with flavor. No bland rotisserie chicken used here!
- I wanted max amount of goodies in these enchiladas which means they are bursting with veggies! Black beans, chiles, corn, and red bell peppers join the chicken party in every tortilla.
- No bland green enchilada sauce here. Instead, we break the flavor bank by combining salsa verde with a homemade ranch to get an incredible, creamy sauce to pour all overtop your mega stuffed tortillas.
- Browned cheese and crispy tortilla edges piping hot out of the oven – I live for this food moment.
- Toppings galore! Guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cilantro . . . put it all on there!
- Make ahead-able! Enchiladas can be time-consuming, but I've got tips and tricks for you coming up.
If you've ever had an enchilada this extravagant at a restaurant, I need to know the name and location asap, cuz my town just doesn't have it.
HOW TO MAKE CHIPOTLE LIME CHICKEN ENCHILADAS WITH THE HELP OF THE PRESSURE COOKER
- Cook the chicken in the Instant Pot with spices, lime juice, salsa verde, and adobo sauce
- While it cooks, whisk up a homemade ranch sauce (or skip this step and use your favorite ranch dressing)
- Shred the chicken
- Add ranch to the pot and whisk to combine; reserve some of the sauce
- Return chicken to the pot and add beans, green chiles, corn, and red bell pepper.
- Lay out the tortillas; add chicken mixture and cheese, then roll them up
- Place filled tortillas in a baking dish
- Pour reserved sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with shredded cheese
- Bake until browned and bubbly
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
- To get tender, not chewy chicken, I like to cut each breast lengthwise into long strips so they end up looking like chicken tenders. I find this cooks the chicken more evenly and prevents them from becoming dry and chewy. Plus, it infuses the chicken with more flavor compared to if you cooked them whole.
- It's common to use a can of green enchilada sauce for enchiladas, and while this will work in a pinch, I HIGHLY suggest using salsa verde instead. It can usually be found right next to the enchilada sauce and contains simple ingredients with lots of flavor, without the preservatives and sugar that you'll find in the can of enchilada sauce.
- Make your own ranch dressing. It's quick and easy and again you avoid the additives of typical ranch dressing.
- Use the adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. There is so much flavor packed into this little can and it won't make your enchiladas overly spicy, unless you add triple what the recipe calls for (ME! I DID!). I'll link to more recipes that use this sauce below so you won't have it sitting in your fridge for 3 months after you make these enchiladas.
- Use whole wheat flour tortillas. They are whole grain and taste fantastic here. I avoid corn tortillas at all costs when making enchiladas. Nothing makes me madder than seeing them start to crack and break in the baking dish after I went through all the work of filling and rolling each of them with love.
MAKE AHEAD ENCHILADAS
Enchiladas are a great make-ahead dinner, but I have a specific way of doing it to prevent “Super Soggy Tortillas” syndrome – it's a thing, and it's bad.
Fill and roll all of the tortillas and place them in a baking dish; cover and refrigerate. Instead of pouring the salsa verde ranch sauce over the tortillas, store it in a mason jar in the fridge. When ready to cook, pour the sauce over the tortillas, top with cheese, and bake at 350°F for at least 30 minutes, until everything is hot and bubbly. If the cheese is browning too quickly, tent it with foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
HOW TO STORE, REHEAT, AND FREEZE QUINOA FRIED RICE
- Store: Leftover enchiladas can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: If reheating only 1 or 2 enchiladas, place them on a plate, cut them in half (for quicker/more even heating)and warm for about 1 minute in the microwave. You can also place the baking dish back in the oven at 300°F to gently reheat.
- Freeze: I do not suggest freezing these enchiladas. I worry the sour cream will make the sauce grainy and separated.
VARIATIONS OF CHIPOTLE RANCH CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
- Red Enchilada Ranch Chicken Enchiladas: Swap the salsa verde with your favorite red enchiladas sauce or salsa.
- Extra Meat Enchiladas: If you want a more classic chicken enchilada, omit the added veggies from the filling and serve them on the side.
- Chipotle Ranch Chicken Quesadillas: If you have leftover filling, use it the next night to make the best quesadilla you've ever had in your entire life.
- Chipotle Ranch Chicken Salad: Serve the enchilada filling over crunchy romaine lettuce and top with guacamole and your favorite ranch salad dressing.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER CHIPOTLE IN ADOBO
My favorite way to preserve leftover sauce is to blend the entire can and pour it into a freezer-safe ziplock. When I need it for a recipe, I just break a piece off straight from the freezer and it thaws in less than 10 minutes. You could also portion and freeze it in an ice cube tray if you want to be extra awesome.
Are you suddenly in the mood for the best Mexican food of your entire life?
If I can save a marriage with this Chicken Enchilada recipe, just imagine what it could do for your life!
- Are you a teenager kissing up for a new car? Chipotle Ranch Chicken Enchiladas.
- Are you apologizing to your neighbor for your dog trampling their tomato plants? Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas.
- Is life just feeling heavy and you need a reminder that everything is going to work out in the end? Chipotle Enchiladas.
It can do it all and I can't wait to hear what this simple dish of food can do for you.
MORE RECIPES THAT USE CHIPOTLE PEPPERS IN ADOBO SAUCE
- Instant Pot Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wrap
- Instant Pot Chipotle Shredded Chicken
- Instant Pot Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Instant Pot Chipotle Peach Barbecue Sauce
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHIPOTLE RANCH CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
- Instant Pot
- Salsa Verde – my favorite brand
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
- Baking Dish
- Mini Spatula – for easy serving
Instant Pot Chipotle Ranch Chicken Enchiladas
The best Chicken Enchiladas you'll ever have! Slightly smoky, super creamy, and cooked up quickly in the Instant Pot.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 7 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breast (about 2 large chicken breasts)
- ½ cup salsa verde or green enchilada sauce (see note)
- Juice of 1 lime (note: zest first and reserve)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1–3 tablespoons of adobo sauce from a can of chipotles peppers in adobo sauce (see note)
- 1 cup ranch dressing, your favorite brand or the homemade version below
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (4 oz) can mild green chiles, drained
- 1 cup corn, frozen or canned
- 1 cup diced roasted red bell peppers from a jar (or 1 fresh red bell pepper chopped)
- 8–10 (7 inch) whole wheat flour tortillas
- 1 ½ – 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese or Quesadilla cheese
For serving: diced fresh tomato, diced avocado or guacamole, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and sour cream
Homemade Ranch (may substitute with 1 cup of your favorite ranch dressing)
- 1 cup sour cream (not light)
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dill
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 3 or 4 pieces. Place in pressure cooker pot.
- In this order, add enchilada sauce, lime juice, spices, then adobo sauce.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, make ranch sauce by whisking together sour cream, lime zest, and spices.
- When pressure cooking is complete, turn pressure cooker off and use a natural release. If in a hurry, release pressure after 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken to a plate and shred with 2 forks.
- Add homemade or store bought ranch to the pressure cooker pot and whisk to combine well. Reserve 1 ¼ cups of the sauce and set aside.
- To the remaining sauce in the pot, add chicken, corn, black beans, red bell peppers, and can of green chiles; stir.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Pour ¼ cup of reserved sauce into a 9×13 or larger casserole dish.
- Lay out 8-10 tortillas. Scoop about ½ cup of chicken mixture onto each tortilla. Top with desired amount of cheese and roll tight. Place in casserole dish.
- Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with desired amount of cheese.
- Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbling. Note: Don’t let it bubble too aggressively or the sour cream might separate.
- Add desired toppings and serve.
- One tablespoon of the adobo sauce from the can of chipotles will not be spicy, three has a pleasant amount of heat. For even more spice, chop the chipotle peppers from the can and add them to the chicken mixture.
- I prefer to make my own ranch so I can control the ingredients in it, but feel free to swap with your favorite brand to save a step.
- I much prefer wheat tortillas because they don’t tear like corn tortillas do. Corn tortillas will still be delicious, but they might be a tad messy to serve.
- I prefer Salsa Verde over green enchilada sauce because the ingredients are better and it has more flavor.
- If you prefer a more simple enchilada, you can fold it up with just the chicken and leave out the corn, beans, etc.
- Enchiladas can be made ahead, but be aware that the tortillas will get a bit soggy. To remedy this, assemble all of the enchiladas and place them in the casserole dish. Do not pour the sauce on yet. When ready to bake, pour sauce over top and add cheese. Bake until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes.