How many calories are in 2 homemade chicken enchiladas?

Enchiladas are a popular Mexican dish that typically consists of a tortilla wrapped around a filling and covered with a chile sauce. Chicken enchiladas are a classic version made with shredded chicken, cheese, and various veggies wrapped in corn tortillas and smothered in an enchilada sauce. But how many calories are actually in homemade chicken enchiladas? Let’s take a closer look.

Calories in Tortillas

The tortilla is the foundation of an enchilada. Homemade enchiladas typically use 6-inch corn tortillas. The number of calories in corn tortillas can vary based on the brand, but on average a 6-inch corn tortilla contains around 60 calories.

For 2 homemade chicken enchiladas, you would typically need 2 corn tortillas. So the total calories just for the tortillas would be:

  • Calories per corn tortilla: 60
  • Tortillas needed for 2 enchiladas: 2
  • Total calories for tortillas: 120

Calories in Fillings

The filling is where enchiladas get most of their calories. A chicken enchilada filling typically contains shredded chicken, cheese, onions, and maybe extras like beans or rice. Let’s break down the calories by ingredient:

Shredded Chicken

Chicken breast is a lean protein that provides around 100 calories per 3 ounces when cooked. Each enchilada would likely have around 1/2 cup shredded chicken. So:

  • Calories per 3 oz chicken breast: 100
  • Approximate chicken per enchilada: 1/2 cup (around 2 oz)
  • Calories for chicken in 1 enchilada: 67
  • Calories for chicken in 2 enchiladas: 134


Enchiladas are typically made with Mexican cheese blends like queso quesadilla or asadero. These cheeses provide around 100 calories per 1/4 cup shredded. Each enchilada may have around 1/4 cup cheese. So:

  • Calories per 1/4 cup shredded cheese: 100
  • Cheese per enchilada: 1/4 cup
  • Calories for cheese in 1 enchilada: 100
  • Calories for cheese in 2 enchiladas: 200


Onions provide minimal calories – around 15 calories per 1/4 cup chopped raw onions. Each enchilada may have around 2 tablespoons.

  • Calories per 1/4 cup raw onions: 15
  • Onions per enchilada: 2 tablespoons (around 8 calories)
  • Calories for onions in 2 enchiladas: 16

Beans (optional)

Some recipes may add beans like refried pinto beans to the filling. Beans provide around 100 calories per 1/2 cup. Each enchilada may have around 1/4 cup beans.

  • Calories per 1/2 cup refried beans: 100
  • Beans per enchilada: 1/4 cup (around 50 calories)
  • Calories for beans in 2 enchiladas: 100

Rice (optional)

Some extra calories may come from rice in the filling. Cooked white rice provides around 100 calories per 1/2 cup. Each enchilada may have around 2 tablespoons rice.

  • Calories per 1/2 cup white rice: 100
  • Rice per enchilada: 2 tablespoons (around 33 calories)
  • Calories for rice in 2 enchiladas: 66

Calories in Enchilada Sauce

To finish off enchiladas, a sauce is poured over the top. Homemade enchilada sauce is typically made from chile peppers, onions, garlic, spices, and broth or tomatoes. The calories depend on the specific ingredients used.

A 1/2 cup serving of a homemade red enchilada sauce provides around 50-100 calories. Each enchilada would have around 1/4 cup sauce.

  • Calories per 1/2 cup enchilada sauce: 100
  • Sauce per enchilada: 1/4 cup (around 50 calories)
  • Calories for sauce on 2 enchiladas: 100

Total Calories in 2 Homemade Chicken Enchiladas

Putting all the ingredients together, here are the total estimated calories for 2 homemade chicken enchiladas:

Ingredient Calories
2 corn tortillas 120
Filling (chicken, cheese, onions) 450
Optional beans 100
Optional rice 66
Enchilada sauce 100
Total calories (without extras) 670
Total calories (with beans and rice extras) 936

So on average, 2 homemade chicken enchiladas contain between 670-936 calories, depending on any extra fillings added.

Ways to Make Enchiladas Lower Calorie

If you want to lighten up this Mexican favorite, there are several options for lowering the calorie count:

  • Use low-calorie corn tortillas instead of flour (around 50 calories each instead of 150)
  • Opt for low-fat cheese like cotija instead of higher-fat cheeses
  • Load up on extra veggies like spinach, zucchini, peppers
  • Use beans or rice sparingly
  • Choose chicken breast over dark meat
  • Use a tomato-based enchilada sauce instead of creamy
  • Go easy on toppings like sour cream, guacamole, etc.

With some simple substitutions, you can enjoy enchiladas for around 500 calories per serving!

Nutrition Facts for Homemade Chicken Enchiladas

Here is an overview of the nutrition facts in a typical serving of homemade chicken enchiladas, based on the moderate calorie count:

  • Calories: 670
  • Total Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 115mg
  • Sodium: 1114mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 44g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 3g
  • Protein: 52g

As you can see, while homemade chicken enchiladas are high in calories, they provide a good amount of protein and fiber. The sodium is a bit high, so be mindful of salt used in cooking. Overall, enjoyed in moderation, enchiladas can be part of balanced diet.

Health Benefits of Chicken Enchiladas

Despite their high calorie count, chicken enchiladas made with wholesome ingredients offer some nutritional benefits:

  • Lean protein. The chicken provides a lean protein source to help build muscle and keep you full.
  • Vitamin A. Cheese contains vitamin A for healthy vision and immunity.
  • Calcium. Cheese is also high in calcium for strong bones.
  • Fiber. Fillings like beans and veggies add fiber for digestion.
  • Vitamin C. Onions, tomatoes, peppers boost vitamin C for antioxidant protection.
  • Iron. Beans provide iron to prevent anemia.

Overall, homemade chicken enchiladas made with lots of veggies are a nutritious part of a Mexican-inspired meal.

Tips for Making Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

Follow these tips for lightening up enchiladas at home:

  • Use lean chicken or turkey instead of fatty meats
  • Choose low-fat cheese and limit to 1/4 cup per enchilada
  • Load up on roasted veggies like zucchini, spinach, peppers
  • Use plenty of beans and brown rice for extra fiber
  • Make tomato-based sauce instead of heavy cream-based
  • Use just a sprinkle of sharp cheese instead of tons of fatty cheese
  • Boost flavor with cilantro, lime, jalapeno instead of fat

With some simple substitutions, it’s easy to enjoy healthier chicken enchiladas at home.

Common Questions

Are chicken enchiladas healthier than beef enchiladas?

Yes, chicken enchiladas are generally healthier than beef enchiladas. Chicken breast is a leaner protein than beef and contains less saturated fat. Just be sure to remove the skin from the chicken to further reduce fat and calories.

Are enchiladas high in carbs?

Enchiladas can be relatively high in carbs, mostly coming from the tortilla. A 6-inch corn tortilla contains around 15g net carbs. Fillings like beans, rice, and veggies will further add to the carb count. Just monitor portion sizes for anyone watching their carb intake.

Should enchiladas be made with flour or corn tortillas?

Corn tortillas are the more traditional and authentic choice for enchiladas. They are lower in calories and carbs than flour tortillas. But you can use whichever you prefer. If using flour, look for whole wheat for more nutrients.

Can I make enchiladas in advance?

Yes, you can assemble enchiladas up to 2 days in advance. Simply prepare the fillings, wrap tortillas, place in a baking dish, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to cook, add sauce and cheese and bake as directed. The enchiladas may need 5-10 extra minutes of baking time from chilled.

Can I freeze enchiladas?

Fully cooked enchiladas freeze very well for up to 3 months. Let the baked enchiladas cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in a 350°F oven until hot throughout.

Tasty Chicken Enchilada Recipes

Traditional Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe sticks close to the classic enchilada flavor: Traditional Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Baked Chicken Enchiladas

An easy baked version with green enchilada sauce: Baked Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

All the flavors of enchiladas in casserole form: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce

With a homemade red enchilada sauce: Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce

Skinny Chicken Enchiladas

A lighter version with Greek yogurt and lean turkey: Skinny Chicken Enchiladas


Homemade chicken enchiladas can provide between 670-936 calories per 2 enchilada serving, depending on any additional ingredients or fillings. While not a low-calorie dish, enjoyed sparingly as part of a healthy diet, they can be a delicious way to get in some lean protein, fiber, calcium, and more. There are also many tricks for lightening up enchiladas to cut down on the calories without sacrificing the delicious Mexican flavor. With some healthy tweaks, chicken enchiladas can be nutritious comfort food.

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