I know I know. I just talked about enchiladas five minutes ago.

Spicy Beer Braised Lime Chicken Enchiladas I howsweeteats.com

And now I rhyme. I’ll just shut up for all eternity.

But first, here’s ten reasons why you should scoot into the kitchen and get these enchiladas in your face. Pro tips? Not really.

1. They are more substantial than holiday mint m&m’s. BTW, I’m totally curious on what the difference is between holiday mint and peppermint and why our excessive world needs to have both out right now. Makes no sense. Eat enchis instead.

2. You can make this pan ahead of time and HAVE A LIFE. Dude. It’s the holiday season. I hope you are outside having fun and throwing snowballs and sliding across ice on a sparkly little pond and shopping your butt off and attending cocktail parties and spending time with friends and relishing in all the love that this month is really all about. I hope you’re roasting chestnuts or sitting by a fire or some kind of cliché stuff other than sitting on the internets or living in the kitchen. Seriously. Do it. Well, first, take like 20 minutes and do this. THEN do that.

3. BEER.

Spicy Beer Braised Lime Chicken Enchiladas I howsweeteats.com

4. You can’t fathom one more cinnamon roll, French toast slice or eggnog-stuffed thing. I get it. Make enchiladas, eat some chex mix. It sounds better for you. I want to make chex mix. Do you have a recipe? I asked for some on Facebook yesterday. I’m asking for some here. I’m in a chex mix state of mind.

5. I’ve heard that New Years Eve is lots more fun with a big, fat Mexican food feast. It sounds dreamy and food coma-ish all at the same time. Just don’t even show me an eggnog margarita. No. But enchiladas and chips and guac and tequila and queso and grilled corn on December 31st. Sign me up. Yes? Please. We will be fast friends.

6. Enchilada bar this holiday season. MAKE IT HAPPEN. Different enchis, toppings, beverages and what not. Fun party favors. Festive hats. Maybe I’ll see if I can find one on Pinterest to make us all feel inadequate.

Spicy Beer Braised Lime Chicken Enchiladas I howsweeteats.com

7. Santa likes cheese.

8. You might be covered in glitter from head to toe because you fell for gimmicky sparkly wrapping paper at Target because they are inside your brain and know exactly what you’d buy when you need nothing at all and unless you want to make a sparkly dinner, you can just pull your enchis from the fridge and warm them up. Take that Target.

9. Delicious tex-mex makes up for all of your run-on sentences.

10. It’s sweatpants season. If you disagree, put your enchilada on top of a salad.

Spicy Beer Braised Lime Chicken Enchiladas I howsweeteats.com


Spicy Beer Braised Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: serves 4

Total Time: 1 hour


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces of your favorite beer
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 lime, juiced
8 ounces monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
8 to 10 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat)

beer enchilada sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups your favorite beer
15 ounces tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, combine the lime zest, brown sugar, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix together well, then rub all over both sides of each chicken breast. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once it's hot, add the chicken and sear on both sides until deeply golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Pour in the beer, reduce the heat to medium, cover and let cook until the chicken is cooked and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, use forks or tongs to shred the chicken and mix it in with the remaining beer in the skillet. Turn off the heat. Add in 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce and about 1/2 cup of grated cheese along with the peppers and lime juice, mixing well.

Add another 1/3 cup of the sauce to the bottom of the baking dish and spread it out with a spoon. Add the chicken filling to the center of each tortilla and roll them tightly, placing them next to each other in the dish. When finished, cover the tortillas with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is golden and melted on top.

enchilada sauce
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Whisk in the flour and cook until it is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes before using.

Spicy Beer Braised Lime Chicken Enchiladas I howsweeteats.com

I hope that’s reason enough.

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87 Responses to “Spicy Beer Braised Lime Chicken Enchiladas.”

  1. #
    Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness — December 19, 2013 @ 7:49 am

    The cheese, the beer, the lime…..I need this. With a Margarita. or 5.
    These look delish!


  2. #
    Diana — December 19, 2013 @ 7:50 am

    No snow ball throwing or ice gliding (outside at least) for me. I live in the South. We are lucky to get one snow storm a year. hahaha. But definitely yes to #10. But I think every season is sweatpants season, so…

    Anywho, these look delicious! Love the addition of beer to classic enchiladas. Yum!


  3. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — December 19, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    I was just talking about making enchiladas. I have been craving a little spice. Your recipe looks amazing and loving the beer and limes!! Love that you can make this ahead of time. It seems with all this holiday stuff I don’t have time to do anything. Ugh… Bookmarking this recipe!


  4. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — December 19, 2013 @ 8:48 am

    I think this calls for a enchilada party! Beer and people gathering to make this dish even more special. Really the chicken and spices in this dish make it perfect for sharing the tex mex love.


  5. #
    Brie @ Entrée the Giant — December 19, 2013 @ 8:50 am

    I’ll try and get my aunt’s chex mix recipe for you – not sure if she’s going to keep it a secret, but it can’t hurt to try!


  6. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — December 19, 2013 @ 8:57 am

    Another reason to eat these: It’s friggin freezing here and ALL I want are nice warm meals like this one. Enchilada bar is genius!


  7. #
    Ashley — December 19, 2013 @ 9:13 am

    YES #10!!! Definitely emailing my sis-in-law and telling her x-mas even dinner will be enchiladas. Oh yes.


  8. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — December 19, 2013 @ 9:18 am

    a) you know how I love rhymes.
    b) you know how I love run-on sentences.
    c) you know how I love enchiladas
    d) you know how I love eating the enchiladas
    e) you know how I love bullet points
    f) okay bye.


  9. #
    Tieghan — December 19, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    UM!! Mexican food is the way to go this time of year! These are awesome they will be being made as part of my annual New Years Eve Mexican feast!


  10. #
    Katie — December 19, 2013 @ 10:04 am

    growing up, we always had a mexican food feast on Christmas eve. I still crave it even though we don’t spend that part of the holiday with my family anymore…I may just make these for myself and dig in on the 24th.


  11. #
    betty — December 19, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    we have Mexican food Christmas eve, so this might be up to bat on Tuesday. also, I love that you call them enchis.


  12. #
    Lily @ Life, Love, and Cupcakes — December 19, 2013 @ 10:34 am

    This is awesome!!! Enchiladas are probably one of my favorite foods EVER, but I’ve definitely never made them with beer..and that needs to change..!


  13. #
    Lisa — December 19, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    I could eat these suckers for breakfast with an egg on top!!


  14. #
    Kylie — December 19, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    Enchiladas are my top favorite foods. These look so yummy! and I love your list of why we should actually be eating enchiladas today, 10. because sweatpants.


  15. #
    DessertForTwo — December 19, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    I’m really loving the idea of enchis for New Year’s Eve! I might steal that idea!


  16. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — December 19, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    Yess! Love this list. I didn’t need a reason to make these enchiladas, but those certainly help. I’m basically living in sweatpants (if only I could pull them off at work) right now.


  17. #
    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner — December 19, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    Ha, I actually did serve Mexican food for New Year’s once. Everyone ate too much, and then my sister’s fell asleep on our couch before midnight. (Although that may have been because they tried their first dirty martini).


  18. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — December 19, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    I love all of your enchilada and tex mex recipes!! I really want to try this one. Immediately.


  19. #
    Rosie von Waldherr — December 19, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    This is just making my mouth water =D =D great recipe!!

    Rosie’s Life


  20. #
    Bridget — December 19, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    Chex mix! :)

    Chex Mix
    adapted by me!

    84 grams butter (6 tablespoons)
    1 teaspoon garlic salt
    1 teaspoon onion salt
    34 grams low sodium worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons)
    93 grams corn chex (3 cups)
    81 grams rice chex (3 cups)
    141 grams wheat chex (2.25 cups)
    224 grams dry roasted peanuts (2 cups)
    224 grams cashews (2 cups)

    1. Preheat oven to 250ºF.
    2. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add salts and worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
    3. Measure out chex and nuts into a 9×13 pan. (one batch, one 9×13 pan)
    4. Pour melted butter mixture over chex and nuts.
    5. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

    11.30.13 – note that one large box of corn chex makes four batches, one box of wheat chex makes two batches, with some leftover, and one box of rice chex makes four batches. 1 pound of nuts makes two batches.
    So—to make four batches, buy one box of corn chex, one box of rice chex, two boxes of wheat chex, two bags of cashews, and two bags of peanuts.

    Homemade chex mix
    1 teaspoon garlic salt
    1 teaspoon onion salt
    34 grams low sodium worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons) 26 0 6 0
    84 grams butter (6 tablespoons) 600 66 0 0
    93 grams Corn Chex (3 cups) 360 1.5 78 6
    81 grams rice chex (3 cups) 300 0 69 6
    141 grams wheat chex (2.25 cups) 480 3 117 15
    224 grams dry roasted peanuts (about two cups) 1312 112 48 56
    224 grams cashews (about two cups) 1360 112 64 40
    total (950 grams; approximately 16 cups)) 4438 294.5 382 123
    50 grams 233.5789474 15.5 20.10526316 6.473684211
    50 grams homemade chex mix 233.6 15.5 20 6
    makes about 16 cups, 2 8 cup pyrex containers


  21. #
    Amy Powell — December 19, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    oh my. looks amazing.


  22. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — December 19, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    Ok..sooo definitely agree with enchiladas all the time. I’m currently preparing myself for a trip to Mexico and swore off Mexican food three weeks ago, and have eaten it a total of 525 times since then. I.can’t.stop. Also got hooked into some glittery wrapping paper from Home Goods and now my whole house, car, wardrobe, dog and husband are now coated in gold glitter. ‘Tis the season!


  23. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 19, 2013 @ 11:28 am

    I bet that beer sauce, with the lime, and the cheese, just makes this whole thing zing and burst with flavor!


  24. #
    Erin — December 19, 2013 @ 11:39 am

    I’m all over that Mexican food NYE party idea. Everybody’s invited to my house on NYE for enchiladas and margs and more guacamole than you can stand.


  25. #
    Tricia — December 19, 2013 @ 11:52 am

    I’m perpetually in a chex mix state of mind. I think it’s turned into a state of being at this point.


  26. #
    Devon — December 19, 2013 @ 11:58 am

    “10. It’s sweatpants season. If you disagree, put your enchilada on top of a salad.”

    Love this so much. My coworkers are staring at me as I laugh out loud.


  27. #
    Julie — December 19, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    Ok beer in my enchiladas? Sounds like the perfect way to celebrate any holiday! Also, I’m in for the New Year’s Eve Mexican food fest. :)


  28. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — December 19, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    Haha, I love the sliced lime placement over the enchiladas. Perfect idea for making that scrumptious, messy plate look fabulous! This is a killer recipe, Jessica! I can’t wait to try it.


  29. #
    Kim in MD — December 19, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

    I am so hungry right now and I am seriously drooling over this recipe!


  30. #
    Courtney @ Neighborfood — December 19, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

    I’ll give a big ho, ho, ho to these Enchis! This girl can’t live on cookies alone. Also, this chex mix recipe is the bomb. It’s been my faithful companion since college. Still my all time favorite- http://www.neighborfoodblog.com/2011/07/my-favorite-party-chex-mix.html

    Please excuse the less than stellar photos. it was from the early days of the blog. :)


  31. #
    Ashley — December 19, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    We went Mexican for Thanksgiving and had a taco bar. Dessert included a Cinnamon Churros Chex mix. It was delicious and I highly recommend you try it!


    • Jessica — December 19th, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

      i’m very jealous. and i also just googled cinnamon churros chex mix. i’m making it right now.


  32. #
    Kelly — December 19, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

    As a huge M&M fan, I just needed to address #1. Holiday mint are delicious milk chocolate mint M&Ms while Peppermint are made with white chocolate and not nearly as good. Holiday Mint should be consumed in large portions throughout the Holiday season :)
    Love your blog and your gorgeous pics! Made your fat fluffy snickerdoodles last night and added cinnamon chips – yum!


    • Jessica — December 19th, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

      ahhh very good point. i would choose holiday mint too. :)


  33. #
    Katriel — December 19, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

    When you said Chex Mix on Facebook, I was scrolling through everyone’s ideas and there were things that had garlic or parmesan cheese and I was really bothered cause I was like “That would not taste good with chocolate at ALL!!!” And then I realized that when most people say chex mix, they don’t mean the melt chocolate over cereal kind. They think of the “Boring Potato Chip Decoy Bag” that they’ll need to cover their bag of Chex MIx in the movie theater. The not chocolate kind.


    • Jessica — December 19th, 2013 @ 3:10 pm



  34. #
    Jordana — December 19, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

    So weird, its like you’re in my head.. I’ve been craving chex mix for daysssss


  35. #
    Jen@topateplate — December 19, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    Hi Jessica! I love this recipe. I pretty much move anything that is covered in cheese! Here’s a question I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while now. Do you and Mr. How Sweet eat all the amazing food you make for your blog? Do you donate it? What do you do with it?


    • Jessica — December 19th, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

      yep! we always eat what i make, otherwise i’m not sure how i could share it. you can read more about this in my faq: http://www.howsweeteats.com/faq/

      the problem for me with donating it is that i’m rarely making a large amount of food to donate, you know? for example, if we eat these for dinner and don’t want the leftovers, am i going to go donate 3 or 4 enchiladas? that’s the main issue i’ve come across. well, that and the fact that i do not have a certified kitchen (i don’t cater/personal chef/sell food from my home). most of my recipes though are made on a smaller scale for 4 to 6 people or even less. other than that… my family gets a TON of food. :)


      • Jen@topateplate — December 19th, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

        Makes sense. Not sure why I didn’t think of that. Thanks!

  36. #
    Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina — December 19, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    Yummy! Iove the color you got on that chicken too, looks delish!


  37. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — December 19, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

    Yep, I can get down with enchis. I made them for the first time a few weeks ago and I’m kind of hooked. This recipe sounds amazing!


  38. #
    Mariah and Coty@quirksandtwists — December 19, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

    This! I need it! What a recipe!


  39. #
    Abigail — December 19, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

    This is just what I needed today. Thanks! Happiest of (enchilada filled) holidays to you!


  40. #
    Ashley @ Snow Cream and Syrup — December 19, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

    MEXICAN FOOD NEEDS NO REASON. But seriously, my in laws have tamales on new year’s as a tradition. One I have heartily endorsed and adopted. These look delightful.


  41. #
    Cheri — December 19, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    Your blog always makes me smile…


  42. #
    Koko @ Koko Likes — December 19, 2013 @ 11:19 pm



  43. #
    Meg — December 20, 2013 @ 12:46 am

    Christ. I am making these tomorrow.


  44. #
    food4two — December 20, 2013 @ 3:13 am

    Nice recipe. Is there also a budget variant?


  45. #
    hopscorkenbottle — December 20, 2013 @ 3:15 am

    we are making right cant wait to taste yummy i love it


  46. #
    Elizabeth — December 20, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    BUFFALO CHEX MIX!!!!!!!!!!
    This is the best. People at work scream at me at regular intervals to bring it.
    9 cups of mixed Chex
    one bag Butter Snap pretzels (It has to be this kind)
    one bag Flavor-Blasted Goldfish crackers
    one bag Texas Toast Croutons
    one can mixed nuts
    one stick butter, melted
    one packet dry ranch dressing
    a huge heap of garlic powder
    a large handful of celery seed
    as much Red Hot as you like
    Mix the dry in a roasting pan. Mix the butter with the seasonings. Bake at 225 for an hour, stirring every 15 min. Try not to eat all the croutons yourself before sharing with others.


    • Jessica — December 20th, 2013 @ 9:32 am



      • Elizabeth — December 20th, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

        I made this for work today. It is the only thing getting us elementary teachers through the last day before Christmas break, Polar Express, pajama day craziness. You will NEVER make another Chex Mix. CanNOT stress enough that it must be the Snyder Butter Snap Pretzels. They give it a salty, buttery, something-y something.

  47. #
    three feathers — December 20, 2013 @ 9:45 am

    give me enchiladas, tacos, anything mexican any day, holiday or not; i consider mexican food “health food,” with all the fresh peppers, onions, hot peppers, beans, cilantro, etc lol i don’t drink beer hardly at all, but i sure cook with it! and this enchis recipe sounds awesome; was planning a mexican food bar for new year’s eve–guess what i’m adding to the buffet? ;0)


  48. #
    Kara Lynn — December 20, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    Gah, every time you post these recipes I feel like you are reading my mind! One of my fav vacations was when I went to Arizona for 4 days and ate Mexican food for literally all but two of my meals. So perfect. Can’t wait to try these out!


  49. #
    Suzers45 — December 20, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

    This is HIGHLY addictive! I usually double the amount of red curry (I like a bit of zing).



  50. #
    Sarah — December 20, 2013 @ 6:18 pm

    Oh my goodness! This sounds amazing. I cannot wait to try this recipe out!!



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