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How to Make Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

Learn everything you need to know about how to make a smoked chicken enchiladas! 

Smoked chicken enchiladas are an easy one-pan meal can be smoked on ANY grill or smoker!

Whether you’ve got a gas or charcoal grill, a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we’ve got you covered!

smoked chicken enchiladas in a cast iron skillet

 

What you Need to Make Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

First let’s talk a little about what you will need to make great chicken enchiladas on your grill or smoker.

 

A Cast Iron Skillet

chicken enchiladas smoking in a smoker

In order to make a GREAT smoked chicken enchiladas, you will need a good 12-inch cast iron skillet like our favorite affordable one from Lodge.

We use it for everything from smoked baked beans, to homemade skillet queso, to even smoked peach cobbler!

While you CAN technically use something disposable like an aluminum foil pan, nothing will beat the even cooking, heat retention, and just overall awesome presentation of a smoked chicken enchiladas in a cast iron skillet.

 

Use Smoked Chicken for More Smoky Flavor

For our recipe below, you can use any kind of pre-cooked chicken you like, whether its a store bought rotisserie that you shred up, or just some leftover chicken you made the night before.

Smoked chicken enchiladas are actually a great way to make something delicious from your leftover smoked chicken, especially if you want smoky flavor throughout the entire dish.

The BEST option in our opinion is to go with shredding up some smoked boneless skinless chicken thighs using our easy to make recipe found here.

smoked boneless skinless chicken thighs

You can use also use shredded up meat from a smoked whole chicken, chicken breasts, or even legs and quarters.

It’s up to you and any option will be delicious.

So check out any one of our complete recipes for Smoked Chicken below, and then come on back we’ll show you how to use it in your smoked chicken enchiladas!

Our Favorite Chicken for Smoked Enchiladas: Smoked Boneless Chicken Thighs for Shredded Chicken

Pit Boss Chicken Recipes

Traeger Chicken Recipes

Electric Smoker Chicken Recipes

Other Smoked Chicken Recipes

 

How to Make Smoked Pig Shots
How to Make Smoked Pig Shots

How to Prepare the Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

First, let’s go through how to prepare the ingredients and assemble the chicken enchiladas to smoke on your grill or smoker.

smoked chicken enchilada ingredients

Ingredients

For the smoked chicken enchiladas you will need:

  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 8 Corn Tortillas
  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Table Salt
  • 16 oz Canned Tomato Sauce
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Shredded Chicken, fully cooked
  • 12 oz Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese, freshly grated
  • Fresh Cilantro (for garnish)

 

Prepare the Tortillas and the Enchilada Sauce

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the oil and the onions.  Stir the onions around in the oil and then push to the side of the skillet.

sauteeing onions in a cast iron skillet

Spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray and place, one at a time, in center of skillet just until warm, flip, then remove to a plate.

heating a corn tortilla in a cast iron skillet

This softens the tortillas to make them easier to roll.

warmed tortillas on a plate

When the tortillas are finished, move the onions back around the pan and continue to until they have softened.

smoked chicken enchilada sauce spices

Add the garlic, spices, sugar and salt, and cook for 20 seconds, then add the tomato sauce and water.

adding spices to onions for enchilada sauce

Stir well and continue cooking the sauce until it is reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.

stirring in sauce for smoked chicken enchiladas in cast iron pan

Remove the sauce from skillet to a measuring cup or bowl using a large spoon or ladle, leaving behind just a enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.

extra sauce set aside in a measuring cup to pour over enchiladas

 

Assemble the Chicken Enchiladas

One at a time, add a little bit of shredded chicken and cheese to the center of each corn tortilla, roll, and place seam side down in the skillet.

chicken and cheese in a tortilla to make a chicken enchilada

wrapping a chicken enchilada

In a 10 or 12-inch skillet, you can fit 6 enchiladas across and one on each side running perpendicular.

putting the first chicken enchilada in the cast iron skillet

chicken enchiladas placed in a cast iron skillet

Pour the reserved sauce on top of the chicken enchiladas and use a spatula or spoon to evenly distribute it to cover them.

pouring sauce on chicken enchiladas before smoking

sauced chicken enchiladas before smoking

Finally, evenly cover the enchilada with a layer of cheese.

cheese sprinkled on chicken enchiladas before smoking

For the best results, shred the cheese yourself from a block rather than using pre-shredded packaged cheese.

Pre-shredded cheese is coated in cellulose to keep it from clumping up in the package, but this inhibits both melting, and its ability to absorb smoky flavor.

To make fats work of shredding a big block of cheese, make sure to get a good cheese grater like our go-to favorite from Cambom.

 

Best Woods for Smoking Chicken Enchiladas

bear mountain gourmet blend pellets

Cherry, Apple, Oak, Pecan, and Hickory are great choices that work wonderfully for smoking chicken enchiladas.

We liked using this Gourmet Blend from Bear Mountain on our Pit Boss because it contains both fruitwoods and some other milder flavors that don;t overpower the food.

These pellets also work great on fish, chicken, turkey, pork butt, and ribs.

 

Best Times and Temperatures for Smoking Chicken Enchiladas

Set your grill smoker up for INDIRECT heat at 350°F.

pit boss pellet grill set to 350 degrees

More details on using indirect heat below.

While “Low and Slow” temperatures in the 225°-300°F range work great on big fatty pieces of meat like brisket or pork shoulder, if you try smoking your chicken enchiladas down in this range they will dry out before they ever get hot and melty.

Once you’ve followed all the steps above, place your skillet of chicken enchiladas directly on the grill or smoker grates and cook for 25-40 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

chicken enchiladas smoking in a smoker

Once they are done, remove the hot skillet to a trivet and sprinkle with cilantro, if desired, for garnish.

 

Setting Up a Grill or Smoker for Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

New to smoking?

Check out our Complete List of the Best Entry Level Smokers for Beginners Here.

If you need more specific instructions for setting up your particular grill or smoker for smoked chicken enchiladas, skip down to your section below!

 

Smoked Chicken Enchiladas in a Vertical or Offset Charcoal Smoker

Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

Weber Smokey Mountain on Amazon

Fill your firebox or lower charcoal basin with about 1 chimney’s worth of unlit charcoal and create a small hollowed out depression in the center where you can add your lit briquets.

If your smoker comes with a water pan, like the Weber Smokey Mountain, don’t bother filling it.

Light a charcoal chimney about 1/2 of the way and wait about 10 minutes for them to fully ignite.

Once lit, add the lit briquets to the center depression you created.

Keep the top vents half closed and the bottom dampers about 1/2 way open until the temperature is in the 325°F range.

Add 1 chunk of smoking wood, and once the smoker is up to temperature, and put your cast iron skillet with the chicken enchiladas on.

Then slowly close down the top and bottom dampers to only about 1/4 open until you are maintaining a temperature of 350°F for about 25-40 minutes.

Continue to adjust the dampers open and closed as necessary to maintain this temperature.

Want to see a list of our FAVORITE Vertical Smokers for 2022?  Check it out here!

 

Smoked Chicken Enchiladas in a Propane or Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler, 30 inch, Black
The Classic Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
See Masterbuilt Reviews on Amazon

Propane and electric options are some of the easiest smokers for beginners to start with.

Debating whether to buy a propane or electric smoker?  Check out our COMPLETE Comparison Guide HERE.

 

For Propane: Open your gas valve and light the bottom burner. Adjust it to keep the temperature right at about 350°F.

Need a refresher? Check our our Complete Guide to How to Use a Propane Smoker HERE.

Fill the smoking wood tray with your chosen wood chips and keep the top vent closed about 1/2 way.

Place your cast iron skillet of chicken enchiladas on the top rack as far as away from the burner as possible.

You should only need to use a single load of wood chips.

After 25-40 minutes, when the cheese looks nice and melted, remove the skillet from the propane smoker.

 

For Electric: Plug your electric smoker in, open the vents, and turn the temperature to 350° F.

If you have a smaller Masterbuilt or other brand that only goes up to 275°F, set the temperature as high as it will go.

You can always move the cast iron skillet to a preheated oven set to 350°F for an additional 5-10 minutes if the cheese does not look melted enough after 40 minutes inn the smoker.

Once the electric smoker comes up to temperature, add smoking wood chips, not pellets, to the smoking wood tray.

You should only need to add a single load of wood chips for this cook.

Place your cast iron skillet with the chicken enchiladas on one of the racks.

No need to fill the water pan.

After 25-40 minutes, remove the smoked chicken enchiladas from the electric smoker and either serve if they look ready or finish in the 350°F oven.

 

Annoyed with Your Electric Smoker?

Refilling wood chips is one of the major drawbacks, besides tray size, of electric smokers compared to pellet grills like Traegers and Pit Bosses.

However, we recently found a great solution.

If you are tired of having to reload fresh wood chips into your electric smoker, especially on longer cooks like pork butt and brisket, then check out this Masterbuilt Automatic Slow Smoker Attachment.

It basically burns new fresh wood chips at a constant rate, much like how a pellet grill works, freeing you up to do other things while getting your food nice and smokey!

 

Smoked Chicken Enchiladas on a Pellet Grill

a pit boss pellet grill making smoke

Fill the pellet hopper with your choice of smoking wood pellets.

Plug in the pellet grill and turn it on.

Let the pellet grill run through its start up process.

Set the temperature to 350°F

Make sure you have the pellet grill set up for INDIRECT cooking, meaning the flame broiler is CLOSED if it has an adjustable option.

When the pellet grill has come up to temperature, place your cast iron skillet filled with the chicken enchiladas on the grill grates, preferably not directly over the fire pot to limit any risk of burning the bottom.

Turn and rotate the skillet as needed depending on how even the heating of your pellet grill is.

Let the smoked chicken enchiladas cook for 25-40 minutes or until the cheese on top looks good and melty.

Never used a pellet grill before?  Read our Ultimate Guide to Pellet Grills to learn why they are so easy and how to set one up for success every time.

Here is also a list of our Favorite Pellet Grills Priced UNDER $500

 

Smoked Chicken Enchiladas on a Gas or Charcoal Grill

Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Liquid Propane Grill, Black

Check out this Weber Grill on Amazon

On a gas or charcoal grill you will likely need to use a smoker box filled with wood chips, or a pellet tube smoker filled with wood pellets.

Think you need a fancy smoker to smoke food at home? 

Think again.

Great smoked food can be made right on your current gas or charcoal grill.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Smoking on a Gas Grill HERE.

If you are unfamiliar with these gas grill smoking devices mentioned above, no worries, we have you covered!

Read Everything You Need to Know about how to use Smoker Boxes here, and see a selection of our Favorite Pellet Tube Smokers here.

Or check out this handy comparison between smoker boxes and pellet tube smokers if you can’t decide which is right for you.

In the case of smoked chicken enchiladas on a gas grill, we would opt for the smoker box filled with wood chips since we only need about 30 minutes of smoking time.

On a charcoal grill, use a wood chunk placed directly on the hot coals.

Set up your gas or charcoal grill for indirect cooking with the burners or a small amount of lit briquets on one side and plan for your chicken enchiladas to be on the other side.

a charcoal grill set up for indirect smoking

Remember, we are smoking the chicken enchiladas INDIRECTLY, like an oven, not DIRECTLY over the burners or coals.

Bringing the temperature of your grill up to 350°F and smoke your cast iron skillet of chicken enchiladas for about 25-40 minutes until the cheese is nice and melty.

 

Serving Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

pulling out a smoked chicken enchilada with a spatula

Carefully remove the hot cast iron skillet from the grill or smoker and place on a trivet to cool for a couple minutes before serving.

For some extra flavor and color, garnich the top with a sprinkle of minced cilantro.

Scoop out individual enchiladas with a small spatula and serve with sour cream, guacamole, or salsa if you wish.

smoked chicken enchiladas on a plate

Smoked Chicken Enchiladas are a great and easy one-pan meal to make on your grill or smoker, especially when you are trying to find something to do with your leftover smoked chicken!

Enjoy!

 

What Other Foods Can I Smoke?

Looking for some more smoky inspiration?

Starting up a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

You’ve come to right place!

Check out these other great step by step recipes for your grill, smoker, or pellet grill.

Pork

 

Beef

 

Seafood

 

Poultry

 

Lamb

 

Sides and Desserts

smoked chicken enchiladas in a cast iron skillet

Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

Learn everything you need to know about how to make a smoked chicken enchiladas! 
Smoked chicken enchiladas are an easy one-pan meal can be smoked on ANY grill or smoker!
Whether you’ve got a gas or charcoal grill, a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we’ve got you covered!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine barbecue, BBQ, Hispanic, Mexican, Smoked
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 400 kcal

Equipment

  • Smoker, Grill or Pellet Grill
  • Wood for smoking (chunks, chips, or pellets).
  • 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
  • Plate
  • Large Measuring Cup
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Heat Resistant Grilling Gloves
  • Large Spoon or Spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1 Medium Onion finely chopped
  • 8 Corn Tortillas
  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 2 Cloves Garlic finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Table Salt
  • 16 oz Canned Tomato Sauce
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Shredded Chicken fully cooked, preferably smoked, see recipes in Notes section below
  • 12 oz Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese freshly grated
  • Fresh Cilantro for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat a Grill or Smoker set up with INDIRECT heat to 350°F.
    a pit boss pellet grill smoking with white smoke

Prepare the Tortillas and the Enchilada Sauce

  • In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the oil and the onions. Stir the onions around in the oil and then ush to the side of the skillet.
    1 and 1/2 Tbsp Canola oil, 1 Medium Onion
    sauteeing onions in a cast iron skillet
  • Spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray and place, one at a time, in center of skillet just until warm, flip, then remove to a plate.
    8 Corn Tortillas, Canola oil cooking spray
    heating a corn tortilla in a cast iron skillet
  • When the tortillas are finished, move the onions back around the pan and continue to until they have softened.
  • Add the garlic, spices, sugar and salt, and cook for 20 seconds, then add the tomato sauce and water.
    2 Cloves Garlic, 3 Tbsp Chili Powder, 2 tsp Cumin, 2 tsp Coriander, 2 tsp Granulated Sugar, 1/2 tsp Table Salt, 16 oz Canned Tomato Sauce, 3/4 Cup Water
    stirring in enchilada sauce to spices in cast iron skillet
  • Stir well and continue cooking the sauce until it is reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.
    stirring in sauce for smoked chicken enchiladas in cast iron pan
  • Remove the sauce from skillet to a measuring cup or bowl using a large spoon or ladle, leaving behind just a enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.
    extra sauce set aside in a measuring cup to pour over enchiladas

Assemble the Chicken Enchiladas

  • One at a time, add a little bit of shredded chicken and cheese to the center of each corn tortilla, roll, and place seam side down in the skillet.
    2 Cups Shredded Chicken, 12 oz Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
    wrapping a chicken enchilada
  • In a 10 or 12-inch skillet, you can fit 6 enchiladas across and one on each side running perpendicular.
    chicken enchiladas placed in a cast iron skillet
  • Pour the reserved sauce on top of the chicken enchiladas and use a spatula or spoon to evenly distribute it to cover them.
    pouring sauce on chicken enchiladas before smoking
  • Finally, evenly cover the enchilada with a layer of cheese.
    cheese sprinkled on chicken enchiladas before smoking

Smoke the Chicken Enchiladas

  • Place your smoking wood chunk on the hot charcoals if using a charcoal grill or pellet tube or smoker box if using a gas grill. If using a propane or electric smoker, fill the wood chip tray.
  • Place the cast iron skillet in the grill or smoker, away from any DIRECT heat and close the lid. Smoke at 350°F for about 20-40 minutes until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbly. Rotate the skillet as necessary for even cooking but DO NOT stir the contents of the skillet.
    chicken enchiladas smoking in a smoker

Remove and Serve

  • When the smoked chicken enchiladas are finished, carefully remove the hot cast iron skillet from the grill or smoker using heat resistant gloves.
    chicken enchiladas smoking in a smoker
  • Optionally top with some freshly chopped cilantro for additional color and flavor.
    Fresh Cilantro
    smoked chicken enchiladas in a cast iron skillet
  • Let the skillet cool slightly on a trivet for about 5 minutes, then scoop out individual enchiladas with a large spoon or spatula and optionally top with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole.
    smoked chicken enchiladas on a plate

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcal
Keyword bbq, Camp Chef, cast iron skillet, chicken enchiladas in a smoker, electric smoker chicken enchiladas, grilled chicken enchiladas, Masterbuilt, pellet grill, pellet grill chicken enchiladas, Pit Boss, Pit Boss Chicken Enchiladas, skillet chicken enchiladas, smoked chicken enchiladas, traeger, Traeger Chicken Enchiladas
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