Sanborns’ Swiss Chicken Enchiladas

Sanborns’ Swiss Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas de Pollo Suizas Sanborns
6 Servings
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, corn tortillas, Enchilada, Oaxaca cheese, pati's mexican table, Recipe, serrano chiles, tomatillos
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Sanborns’ Swiss Chicken Enchiladas, from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 7, Episode 12 "Photographic Food Memories"


  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked, scrubbed and rinsed, and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeding optional
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, and upper part of stems
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon canola or safflower oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth, or vegetable broth, or water, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup Mexican style cream, Latin-style cream, or heavy cream
  • 12 Corn tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 3 cups Oaxaca or Muenster cheese, grated

To Prepare

  • In a blender, combine the tomatillos, garlic, onion, chiles (start with 1 and add another if desired), cilantro, salt and water. Puree until completely smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the pureed tomatillo mixture, being careful as it will sear and splutter. Cover partially with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and darkens, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the broth, cover partially, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Set aside.
  • Prepare the tortillas for enchiladas by either heating them on a comal or passing them through hot oil.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pour about 1 cup of the cooked salsa verde into a 9”x13” baking dish. One by one, place a tortilla on a plate or cutting board and arrange about ¼ cup shredded cooked chicken down the middle. Roll up into a soft chubby enchilada and place seam down in the baking dish. Continue with the rest of the tortillas.
  • Pour the remaining cooked salsa verde over the enchiladas and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has completely melted and begun to lightly brown.

60 comments on “Sanborns’ Swiss Chicken Enchiladas

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  1. Hi. The recipe is delicious. I had a few questions. Do you recommend a brand of corn tortillas in Midwest USA? The ones we used turned out mushy. Also, the tomatillo salsa was still coarse and not smooth. Any recommendations on what to substitute or do?

    1. You can try different brands of corn tortillas, and see which you like best, Hareet. But no matter what brand, so they don’t become mushy, make sure you heat them very well on a comal or griddle until they lightly toast, before filling and saucing the enchiladas. As for the salsa, it sounds like you just need to puree it a bit more…

  2. Gracias Pati! I made these to my Canadian roomates and they loved them. They went to Mexico City for gay pride and had them at Sanborns but of course they said mine were better.

  3. Hola Pati, I just made and enjoyed your enchiladas Suiza de pollo. They were amazing ! My wife and I enjoyed them so much. The left over enchiladas are being saved for my daughters , each getting an equal amount, as they’ll be coming over tomorrow. I know that this a dish that will I will be asked to make for the whole family , maybe even for the guys at my fire station . I will thoroughly enjoy making them with a whole lot of love. Muchas gracias por la receta.

  4. Reminds me of going on Sat. to Sandborns on the Reforma for these wonderful enchiladas…but i also like the simple ench. swissa’s i ate almost daily in a small restaurant on the n.e. corner on the plaza in Oxaca City. They were 4 tortillas folded twice cover in tomatilla sauce, sliced white onions and Oaxaca crumbley cheese. Oh the tortillas had Oaxaca cheese melted on inside. A big delicious meal with a side of Oaxaca black beans. Makes me want to get on the plane and go their today. Well, this recipe is transportive so i ‘ll just close my eyes eat and pretend i am on the plaza…..gracias Pati.

  5. These are, by far, the BEST enchiladas ever! The first time I made one pan and we almost finished the whole thing…the remainder was gone by breakfast the next day! Now I make two pans to make sure there is enough for everyone. We love you Pati! God bless you and your beautiful family!

  6. Hi Pati,
    These enchiladas are very delicious. Glad to have tried your recipe. I fried the tortillas slightly in oil. The texture when baked was just right. The sauce was slightly tangy with a bit of sweetness. Used Munster cheese. I used sour cream but will try to get the cream next time. Thanks and love your show.

  7. I made these tonight. The tomatillo sauce was absolutely wonderful, but my enchiladas came out mushy. As if they absorbed all the liquid and didn’t leave any behind. I cooked them according to the directed time. They were still flavorful and good, but turned out more like a casserole. I love watching your show and want to figure out what I did wrong. Any advice? Thank you!

    1. Sometimes it has to do with the tortillas, Jennifer! Did you heat them and/or pass them through hot oil before saucing? That helps!

    1. Yes, the sauce can be made ahead and stored. And you can reheat it, Shelton. I am not a microwave expert as I don’t have one… you can try and see what it does to the taste. I reheat in a sauce pan over medium low heat and it works great.

  8. Business took me to Mexico City on many occasions and always found the opportunity to go to a Sanborns to eat, my favorite being the Enchiladas Suizas. I love to cook (and watch your show on PBS) so your recipe brought back fond memories. My daughters and their families all enjoy my version of Enchiladas Verdes but it lacked the familiar flavor of Sanborns. Has to be the cheese! I am going to try with the Queso Oaxaca next time. Keep those delicious recipes coming as I look forward to trying more. Thank you

  9. Hola Pati,
    I tried this recipe,NOT substituting nothing, and it was loved by all thank you! I enjoy your show so much and hope to but a cookbook soon! As a 63 year old mother, Abuela we are never to old to learn something new!

  10. Hi Pati,

    I can’t wait to try these – we had a restaurant called La Paz here in Laguna Beach, CA, that served Sanborn Enchiladas -but I think they had ground pork in them – when the restaurant closed, we pleaded for the recipes, but Mrs. Sanborn (we called her that) wouldn’t give an inch -so my girlfriends and I are going to try these soon. I love watching you cook…and then eat and enjoy your tasty dishes!

  11. I haven’t seen you for awhile Pati. I have to try those frosted flake cookies, they sound delicious!!!
    Also, I have made so many types of enchaladas, but not with mexican cream. I will try this. Thank you for being on the WCVE show today! It was a Blessing!
    Have a great 2019 year!!

  12. This is Pete I just want to let you know that I love watching your show. I love to cook and I use a couple of your recipes and they are truly awesome you have a great show keep it up

  13. Patti, I am trying this dish today. My mom only made red chili enchiladas. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I completely enjoy your show. Could you please mention where you buy your beautiful blouses and jewelry. I feel that so much of this embroidered work is absolutely beautiful and just like cooking, it is an art. I love the Historical perspective associated with the foods you make. Gracias,for showing the world how multifaceted Mexican cooking is. I look forward to watching your cooking show.

  14. Thank you for this recipe. I made this but did not have quite the success I hoped for. The sauce was great but when I used the local corn tortillas I found that they were too thin. I later found your recipe for the tortillas and think this would have improved my outcome. I also noticed that I should have cooked the sauce longer (more than 5 minutes) to reduce it and thicken it. Lastly it would have been better if I did not add the 1/2 cup of water. I will try this again with my changes since the taste was fantastic. Just a note. I poached the chicken breast and this really made a difference in the quality and taste of the enchiladas. Really enjoy your show.

  15. This was very delicious, but my corn tortillas turned to mush. I followed the directions to a T and fried them as suggested in your cookbook (which is great BTW). Any ideas? Saw you for the first time over the weekend on PBS and immediately bought the cookbook :).

    1. I’m so glad you found me on PBS, Steven! The trick to not getting your tortillas too fall apart is to heat them really well before dipping and stuffing and rolling them.

  16. I will certainly be making this dish as it looks absolutely fabulous. So happy to see your new season on Amazon and I will be leaving a great review. Your show is awesome!

  17. Hi Patti,
    Why call this dish Swiss, you don’t use Swiss Cheese? The comment from Ana about the red tomatoes was very helpful. I am going to try both! You are a joy at late night TV. Walt

    1. Oh the Swiss comes from Suizas, a word often used to name Mexican dishes that include copious amounts of cream and cheese…like in these enchiladas.

  18. Great Balance of flavors with the tomatillos sauce. Prepped the corn tacos in an iron skillet before stuffing with chicken and rolling. Surprised that all rolled tacos split open after being placed in the baking dish before the sauce and cheese were added. So, cook the tacos longer, or less stuffing?

    1. I’m so glad you liked the flavors, John! The tortillas need to be really well heated before being stuffed and rolled, so they don’t split. It may also be the brand of tortillas.

  19. Hi Pati! Making these today and all I have is red tomatoes. I did not find the green tomatillos, therefore can you make the exact same salsa with red tomatoes? Will it still be as good in flavor?

  20. Thank you for sharing this recipe. The first time I tasted Enchiladas Suizas was at the Sanborns de los Azulejos in Mexico City when I was a child. I have very fond memories. Love your show – I never miss an episode.