Chicken Enchilada Pasta

$5.45 recipe / $0.91 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.77 from 17 votes
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This is a super easy, quick fix for dinner. I made the basic version with just chicken, pasta, sauce, and cheese, but you could get really creative with the add-ins. Try black beans, corn, green chiles, or anything else that usually goes good in enchiladas. I’m sure you could even make this into a delicious vegetable enchilada pasta, too! Sauté up some squash and other veggies instead of the chicken and you’re good to go!

I used homemade enchilada sauce, which only takes a few minutes to make, tastes better, and costs much less than store bought. Of course, you could always use canned instead, but at least check out the recipe because it’s super easy. You could also use shredded rotisserie chicken for this if you don’t have chicken breasts.

I got a couple of good deals that also helped keep the price of the recipe low. 1) This is chicken that I had in my freezer from when it was on sale for less than $2 per pound. 2) The pasta was on sale $1/lb. Both of those ingredients are things you can stock up on when they’re on sale and then save for later. Always keep your eyes open for deals like that when you’re in the store because taking advantage of them will save you a lot in the long run. You just have to remember to actually use it later ;)

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Chicken Enchilada Pasta in bowl

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Chicken Enchilada Pasta

4.77 from 17 votes
Chicken enchilada pasta is a quick skillet dish flavored with a thick and rich homemade enchilada sauce.
Servings 6
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil ($0.10)
  • 1 medium yellow onion ($0.28)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 lb chicken breast ($1.95)
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce** ($0.40)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream ($0.40)
  • 12 oz uncooked pasta ($0.75)
  • 1 cup shredded monterrey jack ($1.22)
  • 2-3 whole green onions ($0.19)

Instructions 

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large skillet over medium heat with vegetable oil until soft and transparent (about five minutes). Meanwhile, slice the chicken into thin strips. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until no longer pink (5-7 minutes).
  • Make the enchilada sauce or warm up canned enchilada sauce. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside. Shred the monterrey jack cheese (if not shredded already) and slice the green onions.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions and then drain well in a colander. Combine the pasta, sauce, and chicken mixture either in the skillet (if it’s big enough) or in the pasta cooking pot. Taste to see if you want more salt or other seasonings. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and sliced green onions. Serve warm.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

**I made one half batch of this homemade red enchilada sauce to yield 1 cup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 511.8kcalCarbohydrates: 48.25gProtein: 28.82gFat: 22.17gSodium: 400.05mgFiber: 2.57g
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Top view of Large bowl of Chicken Enchilada Pasta with small bowl scooped out on the side

Step By Step Photos

onions and garlic in skillet
Cook the onions and garlic in a skillet with vegetable oil until softened.

chicken sliced into strips with knife
Slice the chicken into thin strips. Thinner than you’d think. The smaller the pieces, the more you’ll have in every bite.

chicken added to skillet with garlic and onions
Add the chicken to the onions and garlic, then cook until no longer pink.

pasta in a pot of boiling water
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions and then drain well.

enchilada sauce being whisked in pot
Either make some enchilada sauce using this recipe (make a half recipe), or warm up some canned enchilada sauce. Whisk in the sour cream.

grating cheese into bowl
Shred the Monterrey jack cheese and slice the green onions. Monterrey jack is perfect for this dish because it’s nice and creamy.

combined sauce, pasta and chicken in bowl
Finally, combine the cooked and drained pasta with the chicken and sauce. You can do this in the skillet if it’s big enough, or in the pot that you cooked the pasta in. Either way, have the heat turned off or just on it’s lowest setting to keep it warm. Taste the mixture to see if you want more salt or other seasonings.

shredded cheese and green onions sprinkled on top
Sprinkle on the cheese and sliced onions and let the residual heat melt the cheese. Serve warm!

Top view of a large bowl of Chicken Enchilada Pasta with a small bowl next to it
Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I wish I would have added some black beans! Yum!

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Comments

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  1. Love a dish that I can customize based on what I have! I admit I made a lot of substitutions on this, just so that I wouldn’t have to go to the store or defrost chicken, but it still turned out! I took a tip from another commenter and did pinto beans instead of chicken. I just added them in with the veggies to heat up. I had a bell pepper and some grape tomatoes in the fridge that needed to get used, so I added those to the skillet. I also added a can of diced green chiles. And all I had was shredded cheddar, so I used that instead of monterrey jack. I’m sure it would be better as written, but it was still yummy, and sometimes you just have to use what you have.

  2. Beth, you’ve done it again! I’m scheduled to work 4-12 hr night shifts starting tonight. I needed to prep some lunches to avoid the ol’ PB&J or Cup Noodle plan I too often fall back on. I had all of the ingredients (minus the can of enchilada sauce- I made your recipe, YUM!) on hand so I even avoided a trip to the store. This was made at 10am and I couldn’t help but have a sneak peek into my work lunches this week. SO delicious! Thank you for rescuing me once again!

  3. I had some of your recipe of red enchilada sauce in my fridge that I wanted to use, and I found this! I used a package of pre-cooked trader joe’s Carnitas that I shredded and crisped up while sauteeing the onions and garlic. I also threw in a small can of green chiles, and I used full fat yogurt instead of sour cream! It turned out so good! It’s a very adjustable recipe.

    A lot of your other recipes have become my staples, and I’m glad I took a chance on this. I have gotten into the habit of searching for random ingredients I have on hand on your site & app! It’s a great database of recipe ideas. Thanks so much for all of your hard work!

  4. This was really good, but the enchilada sauce was so spicy. (not a bad thing for us) I substituted pinto beans for the chicken since I made a large batch earlier in the week. I also threw in a whole bundle of green onions and used mature cheddar instead of the Monterrey jack cheese. We will definitely make this again in the future.

  5. I made this tonight without the sour cream (also not a sour cream fan) and it works great! SO delicious! I will be making enchiladas tomorrow with the rest of this sauce! Thanks so much Beth! I just wanted to say that I keep making your recipes and they have all been turning out so great that I feel like a real cook now. I feel so encouraged to keep cooking, and I have saved my husband and I so so much money (probably over 100 in the last month (we were horrible food wasters)). I just bought your cookbook, thank you for everything! xoxo

  6. I’m thinking of making this recipe, but I do have a question. Am I able to reduce the sour cream? My hubby and child are just not keen on sour cream (I happen to love it.) But am wondering if it even really has a sour cream taste to it. Thanks. :)

    1. I think you could easily reduce it to 1/4 cup or even just leave it out and the dish would still be delicious. :) That enchilada sauce is really good by itself, so I think that could carry the dish on its own.

  7. As a novice just trying out a few recipes, this one went off almost perfectly. Put in some minced jalapenos with the onions and garlic, added some roasted corn at the end, turned out lovely. Got a bit frantic when I was trying to do multiple things at once, but that’s more on my own inexperience. Definitely making this again.

    1. Great and easy recipe. I’d recommend salting the chicken while cooking. I substituted sour cream for cooking cream and it was good. I used cheddar cheese instead of the monteray Jack and that was fine. I added corn and it was perfect. Recommended!

  8. Oh wow! I made this tonight and it was amazing.

    First I cannot thank you enough for empowering me to try to make my own enchilada sauce. It is SO easy and SO good and SO cheap! THANK YOU!

    Second. I loved this. Genius recipe. I ate two bowls. My husband ate three. As you can see we liked it. :)

  9. This is soooooo good. I’ve made this twice once with chicken and the 2nd time with ground turkey and black beans. It’s awesome. It has become a new family favorite. It also stretches a couple of meals and it’s very cheap and easy to make.

  10. I made this a couple weeks ago, and my boyfriend and I both loved it! We added black beans (with the intent to make the leftovers stretch further), and they were a tasty addition, but they changed the color of the dish. It didn’t look so appetizing anymore, but we weren’t serving it to guests or anything, so we didn’t care. :c) Still, that might be something to note for people who are thinking of adding black beans (as many commenters have suggested) but care about presentation. :c)

    1. Hi, I’m new to this site and like what I see. If it’s good enough for you and your family, it’s good enough for company!