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Student Recipes

Easy and cheap enchiladas recipe

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Chicken enchiladas are a student favourite for a reason. They're cheap, tasty and seriously filling. An added bonus is that they're also super easy to make. Here's how.

chicken enchiladas baked

Credit: Patryk Kosmider – Shutterstock

Chicken enchiladas have long been a popular student recipe because they're so easy to throw together. And while you might not think this dish could freeze, it actually works really well. Freeze them into single portions and they'll keep you going throughout the week.

Below, we'll talk you through how to make enchiladas that are affordable and full of flavour. Enjoy!

You'll need an oven dish to make enchiladas. And, as it happens, that's one of our must-have kitchen gadgets.

How to make enchiladas


Ingredients for chicken enchiladas

Serves: 4 | Costs: £8.12* (£2.03 per serving) | Time taken: 30 mins

  • 8 tortilla wraps (£0.99)
  • 650g chicken breasts (£4.75)
  • 250g passata (£0.28)
  • 1 onion (£0.12)
  • 2 peppers (£0.48)
  • 400g black beans (£0.65)
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (£0.05)
  • 120g grated cheese (£0.80)
  • Rice (optional).
This recipe is featured in our weekly meal plan. It's a great resource to help you eat healthy, delicious and affordable food at uni.


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (gas mark 4).
  2. Cut your chicken into bite-size pieces (if you don't have any sharp knives, kitchen scissors are really handy for this, but make sure you wash them thoroughly afterwards). Heat some oil in a large pan and cook the chicken on a medium heat for around 2–3 minutes.
  3. Once the chicken is browned all over (so you can't see any raw/pink bits), add the onion and pepper to the pan and fry for a further few minutes.
  4. We added rice but this is optional. If you have any in the cupboard, you can put it on to boil at this stage.
  5. Add a good glug of passata (not all of it though – you'll need some later) and a pinch of chilli powder to your chicken and veg mix (as much or as little as you want, but remember that if you're using the kidney beans, you'll have some sauce from that too).
  6. Add the kidney beans (or sweetcorn if you prefer) plus however much chilli sauce/powder you can handle to the mix.
  7. If you're adding rice, make sure it's cooked and add it to the chicken mixture, giving it all a good stir.
  8. Lay out your tortilla wrap and add the desired amount of filling. Fold in from the top and the bottom and roll it up like a fajita to make a sealed package. Then place in a roasting tin seam-side-down, and repeat for all your wraps.
  9. Pour your remaining passata over the top of your enchiladas, and then sprinkle them with grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes until the cheese is a beautiful golden brown.
Got any cheese left over? Don't let it go to waste. Give our cheese and onion rosti recipe a go.

The beauty of this recipe is how many meals it has the potential to see you through. Having gobbled most of them up for dinner, we put one in the fridge and then took it to work the next day to enjoy with a side salad.

Or, if you don't think you'll eat them all in time, let your extra mixture cool, wrap it in a fajita, then wrap it in clingfilm, and place it in an airtight container in the freezer.

Take your enchiladas out of the freezer the night before you plan to eat them to allow them to defrost completely, then cover them in cheese and bake as before.

We're confident you'll make enchiladas as good as any restaurant. But, if it's fakeaways you're after, here's how to recreate all your favourite takeaways.

* Prices were correct at the time of writing (using and prices as guidelines).

Laura Craddock

WRITTEN BY Laura Craddock

Alongside blogging about baking, Laura Craddock shares top tips and recipes for Save the Student to help our readers spend less on food. Laura studied English at the University of Dundee.
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