SNAP Challenge: Creamy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

$8.62 recipe / $1.08 per enchilada
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.75 from 35 votes
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For the entire month of September, I’ll be participating in the SNAP Challenge and attempting to eat on $4.50 per day. Read more here.

**UPDATE: Well, I overlooked the fact that you can’t buy rotisserie chicken with SNAP benefits! You can, however, buy a fresh chicken and roast a home if you have time. There are links throughout the post on how to roast your own chicken, if needed.**

I’m back! I’ve completed the move to my new house, my internet is hooked up, and I can finally update week four of the SNAP Challenge. I was worried about not having time to cook before packing up my apartment, but I made it work. I was able to whip up these enchiladas in just a short amount of time and they helped keep me fed all week through the tough move.

For these enchiladas I utilized the convenience of a grocery store rotisserie chicken. Roasting a chicken at home is actually quite easy, but you have to have a little time on your hands. If you’re short on time or too intimidated to do it yourself just yet (promise me you’ll try it eventually), grocery store rotisserie chickens can be a good option. Sometimes they’re the same price or even slightly less expensive than fresh chickens and all the work is done for you. Just make sure to price compare. My chicken was $6.99 and I used half of the meat (about two cup, loosely packed) to make the enchiladas. I’ll explain how I used the rest of the chicken, including the carcass, in the week summary. ;)

I made a quick and easy creamy red sauce similar to the sauce used for this Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta, except I used canned tomatoes with green chiles for a southwest flavor. I then added my usual can of black beans and a cup of frozen corn (I just love that combo) to fill out the enchiladas and stretch the meat a bit further. I quickly made a batch of my favorite red enchilada sauce to pour over top (seriously, only takes about ten minutes) and then they were ready to go in the oven. Pretty easy!

Creamy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

Top view of a baking dish of cooked Creamy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

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SNAP Challenge: Creamy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

4.75 from 35 votes
These enchiladas are filled with a creamy southwest sauce, shredded chicken, black beans, and sweet corn. A homemade enchilada sauce brings it all together.
Creamy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas - Budget Bytes
Servings 8 enchiladas
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 15 minutes



  • Mince the garlic and sauté it in a large skillet with cooking oil over medium heat for one to two minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the can of diced tomatoes with green chiles and let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the tomato liquid has reduced by about half and become slightly thick.
  • Cut the cream cheese into chunks and stir it into the tomato mixture. The sauce will become smooth and creamy as the cheese melts in.
  • Rinse and drain the can of black beans, then add them to the skillet along with the frozen corn kernels, shredded chicken, and cumin. Stir to combine. Taste the filling and add salt if needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the creamy chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it up like a cigar. Place the filled and rolled tortillas into a 9×13 inch casserole dish, seam side down.
  • While the oven is preheating, make a batch of homemade red enchilada sauce (or use canned), then pour it over the enchiladas in the casserole dish (you may or may not use all the sauce, it’s up to you). Bake the dish in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the edges of the tortillas are slightly brown and crispy.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Flour or corn tortillas may be used. Corn tortillas are usually smaller, so this recipe would yield about twice as many small enchiladas using corn tortillas.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 413.23kcalCarbohydrates: 47.16gProtein: 20.25gFat: 17.08gSodium: 1170.31mgFiber: 8.79g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Two Creamy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas on a white plate

Step by Step Photos

Pre cooked chicken pulled off the bone and shredded and placed in bowl

I used about half of the meat from one grocery store rotisserie chicken for this recipe. I was able to pull about four loosely packed cups of meat from one chicken. I find the meat easier to pick when it’s chilled, so I just popped it into the refrigerator when I got home from the grocery store. If you want to roast your own chicken instead, you can find great instructions at

Some of the shredded chicken placed in a zip lock bag to freeze for later

I divided the chicken in two, about two loosely packed cups each. I froze half for use in a second recipe later.

Sauté Garlic in skillet on stove top

To begin the enchiladas, mince two cloves of garlic then sauté them in one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat for one to two minutes, or until the garlic is softened and slightly fragrant.

Can of diced tomatoes with green chiles

Next, add one can of diced tomatoes with green chiles. This is the generic version of Rotel. If you can’t find Rotel or a generic version at your local grocery store, you can sub one 15-oz. can of regular diced tomatoes and one 4-oz. can of diced green chiles (usually found in the ethnic food aisle). Add the can of tomatoes to the skillet and let it simmer for about five minutes, or until some of the liquid has evaporated and it’s a little thicker.

Open block of cream cheese in package

Next you’ll need 4 ounces (half a block) of cream cheese. Cut the cream cheese into pieces so that it melts into the sauce easier.

Melting cream cheese added to tomatoes in skillet

Stir the cream cheese into the tomatoes until it melts in. It will look a little chunky to begin with, but as it melts it will become smooth…

Creamy Tomato Sauce in skillet on stove top

Like this!

Shredded chicken, black beans and corn added to tomato sauce in skillet

Rinse and drain one 15-oz. can of black beans, then add them to the skillet with two cups of shredded chicken. one cup of frozen corn kernels.and 1/2 tsp of cumin.

Enchilada filling stirred together in skillet on stove top

Mix it all up and now you’ve got a creamy and delicious chicken enchilada filling. (taste the sauce and add salt if needed. I didn’t add any to mine, but that’s personal preference.)

Stuffing tortilla with enchilada filling

Fill your tortillas with the chicken mixture, then roll them up like cigars. The amount of filling and number of enchiladas you get will depend on what size tortillas you buy. I prefer smaller tortillas for enchiladas, but these particular tortillas were buy one get one free this week, so I hopped on that. There is a lot of filling, so I was able to make eight large enchiladas.

Stuffed and rolled enchiladas in baking dish

Place the filled and rolled enchiladas into a large (9×13 inch) casserole dish, seam side down. 

Red Enchilada Sauce in pot on stove top

Start preheating the oven to 350 and whip up a batch of red enchilada sauce while you wait (or use canned, but this homemade sauce is FAR superior). That recipe makes about two cups of sauce and you may or may not use all of it on the enchiladas, just depending on how saucy you like them.

Enchilada sauce poured over rolled enchiladas in baking dish and ready to bake

Pour the sauce over the enchiladas and pop them in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the edges of the tortillas are a little brown and crispy.

Top view of baked Creamy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas garnished with cilantro

I poured the remainder of my sauce over top when they came out of the oven and I happened to have some cilantro in the fridge, so I threw that on there for the photo’s sake. As I mentioned, these were fairly large so I ate one per sitting along with a big helping of some cilantro lime rice

I never get sick of enchiladas!

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  1. I would give this 3.5 stars. I should have left out the cayenne in the enchilada sauce–I halved the amount and we all thought it was still too spicy. These were just ok the first day, but did taste better the next day. I split the bean/tomato mix in half, mixed chicken in with half of it, and a can of corn in with the other half to satisfy both vegetarians and meat-eaters., and sprinkled cheese on top. Might add onions and cheese in the enchiladas if I make again.

  2. I’ve been making this for a good number of years now, and this is quite literally my husband’s favourite dinner. Thanks!

  3. (Intended 5 stars, site isn’t working on my phone)

    doubled the recipe so my household would have leftover for tomorrow. They DEVOURED it in a single evening! I live with the pickiest eaters under the sun sometimes and they absolutely loved this and want me to make it again. Absolute winner. I added cheese on top at the end of baking for that smothered enchiladas look.

    The enchilada sauce, THANK YOU! I absolutely abhor the sauce from a can. It tastes bitter and stale. I can finally make enchiladas.

  4. I made this with toasted corn tortillas and a half recipe of the mole enchilada sauce from your Avocado & Black Bean Enchilada recipe. Learn from my mistake— don’t halve the enchilada sauce! Make a full batch and put a bunch in the bottom of the pan, otherwise the tortillas get really tough and hard to eat. Also, I should have only baked for 25-30 min. 40 min was too long for corn tortillas. Will attempt again soon.

  5. This one is amazing. I’ve made it a handful of times and it’s always perfect

  6. Great recipe.
    As a vegetarian, I doubled the beans and corn while removing the chicken. This was a simple to fix, and some thing new to add to the recipe list for the month, as I try to not be eating the same thing ten or more times a month.

  7. I was making this recipe and the craziest/funniest thing happened (true and funny story). A friend dropped by and at the last minute, needed me to babysit 2 of her kids. I knew I needed to make this meal stretch double plus in a hurry for several additional guests. So I doubled the cream cheese from 4oz to the full 8oz block. I used 1 pound of ground pork (that I lightly seasoned) that I had on hand already defrosted instead of 2 cups of chicken. I added 2 cans of beans and 2 cans of corn and 2 cans of diced tomatoes (without the green chilies) instead of 1 can of beans, corn, and tomatoes to make it stretch. I made 2 pans instead of 1 pan of enchiladas. I made your homemade enchilada sauce and put that on the bottom of both pans. I used corn tortillas instead of flour. I only had 1 pack of corn tortillas. So instead of wrapping each enchilada with the corn, bean, cheese mixture, I laid 6 tortillas spaced out on the bottom of each pan. Then I put the corn, cheese, and bean mixture (drained) on top of the spread out corn tortillas. Then I put another 6 corn tortillas spaced out on top of the corn, cheese, and bean mixture. Then I put remaining enchilada sauce on top. Since I was babysitting, I sprinkled cheese on top of the enchilada to make it fun and the kid thought I was a cooking genius (hahaha!!!). We were all able to eat and it didn’t break the ‘budget’ thanks to Budget Bytes. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe Beth.

  8. Made these for the second time last night and they’re just as delicious as before. I had a random sweet potato that I needed to get rid of and have enjoyed the sweet potato/black bean combo from your other recipes, so I added that in there too – with that, I ended up with 11 enchiladas! I couldn’t fit the last two in the pan and ate them as tacos instead while I had the pan of enchiladas in the oven :-D. Yum!

    Quick question though – I realized after I stuck these in the oven that there’s no way I’ll be able to eat them all before I have to head out of town. Do these freeze well? With the cream cheese, I wasn’t sure how that would go, but I don’t want them to go to waste. Thanks!

    1. Sorry – just saw that you already answered this question. Please ignore me! Thanks!

  9. This has become my GO-TO recipe for meal trains. It’s so easy to make at my house (in a disposable pan) then transport to a friend’s house for them to bake when they are ready for dinner. Always gets great compliments! I LOVE the sauce too – excellent flavor and just the right amount of ‘kick.’

  10. We loved this enchiladas! very easy to make and very tasty. I will be making this enchiladas again.

  11. SNAP information that might help – you CAN get a rotisserie chicken! You just have to get a cold one – not a hot one!
    I love your recipes – keep them coming!

  12. SOOOO good!!
    I omitted the black beans but I’ll be making this again and again!

  13. Every time I make this, I always have extra filling. What could I do with it? Would it keep good as a taco filling for quick lunch?

    1. Yep! Or even just folded over in a tortilla and crisped up in a skillet as a quesadilla.

  14. Have you frozen these? If so, how well did they freeze? I made these tonight and had a lot of leftovers. (I added some onion, extra tomatoes by accident, and extra chicken. I got 12 out of it and decided to freeze the rest of the filling by itself.)