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I know. I know. Did I really just add cranberries to enchiladas?

Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

Yes, I did.

BUT hear me out because I promise, THESE are worth it.

Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

Here’s the deal, I have been wanting to make some enchiladas w/fire roasted tomatillo cranberry sauce for forever. Ok, or at least for the last two-weeks, but I kept putting it off because I really just did not have an idea that sounded all that awesome (only awesomeness goes up on the site!). That is until I started stocking up on fresh cranberries. Then, like happens with all my favorite recipes, the name fire roasted tomatillo cranberry sauce came into my thoughts.

I LOVE when this happens. If I get a name that sounds good, I am golden. I build the recipe around the name. It’s a little odd, but I don’t know, it works for me sometimes.

Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

I am really into cranberries at the moment. I think it is because up until last year I had never actually had fresh cranberries. Just the dried, sugared cranberries. I know, this is crazy.

I mean, what about cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving? Yeah, well I was brought up to think that cranberry sauce was no good and that I should really just focus on the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. Although, I never really liked gravy growing up. I mean, I think it’s awesome now, but as a kid, I never took any gravy. What was wrong with me? I missed out on some of the most delicious parts to Thanksgiving for so many years. Ugh. I guess I will just have to make up for it in Thanksgiving’s to come.

Sounds pretty good.

Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

I realize that I may be jumping the gun a week or two by posting these now. I probably should have waited until after Thanksgiving for such a festive looking recipe, but my new motto is PLAN in advance. Plus, cranberries are only in season for just a couple of months, I figure I should use em up well I can. You know?

And well, with November literally being 3 days away, this means the start of easy, make ahead holiday meals. Clearly, this dish should be at your next family dinner, dinner party or small gathering. They are kind of perfect for all three.

Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

Let’s just list off all the pros of this recipe, shall we? I think we shall.

1.) Simple ingredients and minimal time in the kitchen. The chicken gets roasted during the same time as the tomatillos, cranberries and garlic making this a fairly quick meal. Once the chicken is done, you are going to want to “fire roast” the tomatillos under the broiler to give them a nice char. It’s adds that smoky fire roasted flavor without actually standing over a fire and roasting them…ahh, but I just have to say that right now standing over a hot fire sounds so nice. It’s cold and snowy and a hot blazing fire sounds soo good.

2.) These are actually a pretty healthy meal with the lean chicken, corn tortillas, tomatillos, fresh cranberries and garlic. Lots of nutrient dense foods going on. Gotta love that this time of year.

3.) These are the picture perfect, make ahead meal. Prep everything in advance and then either place in the fridge to be baked within a few days or cover tightly and freeze for up to two months. Just thaw them in the fridge overnight and bake as directed the next day. Easy peasy.

4.) The presentation of these enchiladas is pretty perfect for both November and December (just thinkin ahead so you don’t have to). I mean look at those pretty red cranberries. I cannot get enough.

5.) They are a huge hit. Like huge. Even the brothers ate them. That’s the truest test there is. Oh but, if you have picky eaters, make sure the sauce is completely smooth and I wouldn’t add any fresh cranberries onto the top after baking to make the dish look pretty. That does not fly with picky eaters. They just want to see the cheese. Can’t blame um though, cheese is always a good thing to see.

Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

In case you are wondering, the Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce does not taste like grandmas cranberry sauce. It’s spicy, just like any enchilada sauce should be. You can tone the spicy down or bump up, but I like it just the way I have it written. The cranberries offset the spiciness perfectly and when combined with smoked gouda cheese? Well, it’s just really good.

I highly recommend adding a side of spanish rice to complete the meal. In my head, no enchilada recipe is complete without some rice. Gotta have the rice.

I guess you could do a salad, but then again, maybe not. I mean, we all really just want the rice and isn’t their enough health in the tomatillo cranberry sauce? I think so.

Oh my gosh or better yet, to your side of rice, add a big fat bowl of gauc and a big fat pile of tortilla chips. Get the blue corn flax-seed ones from Target so we can all tell ourself what a healthy balanced meal we are having.


Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

Brown Sugar Roasted Chicken Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo-Cranberry Sauce.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 644 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Brown Sugar Roasted Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened (or olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup smoked gouda cheese shredded
  • 16-20 corn tortillas
  • 1 chopped jalapeno juice of 1 lime, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado and cotija cheese, for serving

Fire Roasted Tomatillo-Cranberry Sauce

  • 2 pounds tomatillos
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries plus 1/2 cup chopped cranberries, for garnishing
  • 4 cloves garlic skins on
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 in chipotle chilies adobo use 1 for less heat
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk or cream
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • In a small bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika and pinch of salt + pepper. Rub the chicken all over with the butter mixture and place in a roasting pan. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • During the same time you are roasting the chicken, roast the ingredients for the sauce. Peel the papery skins away from your tomatillos. Place the tomatillos, cranberries and garlic on a separate roasting pan and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes or until the cranberries burst. Once the cranberries have burst, remove the cranberries AND garlic from the pan, leaving only the tomatillos on the roasting pan.
  • Turn the oven to broil and broil ONLY the tomatillos until lightly charred all over, about 2-3 minutes. Allow the tomatillos to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Now, remove the garlic clove skins from the cooled garlic.
  • Add the tomatillos, cranberries, peeled garlic cloves, chipotle chilies, tomato paste, honey and chicken broth to a food processor or blender, puree until mostly smooth. Pour the sauce into a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season liberally with salt. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until thickened slightly. Stir in the coconut milk or cream. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro, taste and season with salt if needed.
  • Meanwhile, shred the chicken with two forks, or your hands, and add to a bowl with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and half cup smoked gouda cheese.
  • Once the sauce is ready, pour about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup over the chicken and toss well.
  • Microwave the tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla. Fold over the filling, place the enchiladas in the prepared pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  • Bake for 15-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey. Garnish the enchiladas with fresh chopped cranberries, cilantro, diced jalapeños, chopped cilantro and cotija cheese if desired. Serve with warm Spanish rice.
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Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce | @hbharvest

Because you need these… with a side of chips + guac.

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  1. Hi Tieghan, I am so excited to make these for a party! I just tried making the sauce and It came out much lighter and more liquidy than your pictures. I used 2 lb tomatillos but it did feel like a ton of tomatillos. Is that the right amount? Or any other suggestions on how to perfect this? Thanks for your help and wonderful recipes!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      Did you finish making the recipe or did you just make the sauce? I would simmer longer in step 5 and then it’s going to thicken up again when the enchiladas are baking. I hope this helps! xx

  2. Flavors are delightful but quite something missing. There is a creaminess I expect in enchiladas that just is not present in this recipe. I am an HBH fan, but there always are a lot of moving parts. Think Martha Stewart in the 90s. Most of us don’t have prep staff. I am an extremely experienced cook with, I would say, intermediate skill. This took me three hours. Saturday funday? Then, yay.

    1. Hi Shelley,
      Thanks for sharing your feedback and giving this recipe a try, so sorry to hear it was not enjoyed! xT

  3. 5 stars
    I think I am going to make this for Christmas such a great idea! Do you think this would work well with mashed potatoes or would rice be the better option?

    1. Hi Amber,
      Totally up to you, I like to serve with rice but nothing wrong with serving with mashed potatoes. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    you are so good! my husband was very skeptical about the cranberries, but together, we won him over (I might have given an extra bit of honey love to the sauce, and I used chicken that my husband had smoked with a pecan wood to make it extra special) 🙂 another wonderful recipe! thanks!

    1. Hey there,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try! Happy Holidays!?? xTieghan

  5. So excited to try this! About to get creative though because my hubby definitely didn’t get enough tomatillos ??‍♀️ I found a can of green chilies in the pantry though so here goes nothing! ? I am actually using your InstantPot carnitas as the meat instead of the chicken because we had pork to use. I’m definitely Frankensteining this recipe but I’ve loved so many of your recipes and just wanted to say thank you for giving us fun ideas to try!

  6. If cranberries aren’t in season is there anything else that can be used in the sauce to replace them?

    1. Hey Hannah,
      Are you able to find frozen cranberries? Cherries would even work here! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    My husband said these were the best enchiladas he has EVER HAD! And make me promise to make them with the leftover turkey next weekend. Great success!

  8. I understand that the tomatillos are basically a staple part of this recipe, but it seems no matter the season, my grocery store NEVER seems to have them. Is there a backup choice you’d consider if you had to have this recipe but can’t find tomatillos?

    1. Hi Amanda,
      You can try buying underripe tomatoes and adding a squeeze of lime juice. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  9. I was skeptical about the cranberries but holy cow, this was fantastic! I made the sauce and ended up straight up drinking it like soup! I froze half the chicken and made a week’s worth of uncooked enchiladas to make for easy dinners. Also, for my very first whole roasted chicken, I’d say I did pretty well! Very happy with how this all turned out!

  10. 5 stars
    Even though this is an older recipe, I wanted to leave a comment about how awesome it is! This has been in my winter rotation for awhile and I just made it again tonight. One of my favorite enchilada recipes and perfect for Christmas time. I don’t change anything, although I top it with guacamole and cranberry sauce instead of the halved cranberries. Everyone in my family loves it, even the kid! Thank you for the recipe, highly recommend!

  11. Finally got around to making this, thanks to a desire for enchiladas mixed with a bag of forlorn cranberries in the fridge. Like so many HBH recipes, it got me to use a brand new ingredient for me (tomatillos this time). It looked fantastic and I loved the taste. Your recipes are always so interesting but never bizarre. Keep up the good work. I eat better because of you!

  12. Considering I’ve made literally about 100 of your recipes by now (if not more!), I thought it’s overdue that I leave a comment. Just have to say that this recipe is absolutely amazing. I’ve made it at least 10 times and it’s my boyfriend’s favorite meal of all time. I even made a huge batch (along with your Queso Fundido Alla Tequila!) for a New Year’s Eve party and every single person raved about them 🙂 Keep up the good work (just made your beet balsamic pasta and thai chicken enchiladas this week-both killer!), I wish I had an ounce of your creativity! Can’t wait for your cookbook!

    1. Wow I am so thrilled this is one of your favorites Amberley! Thank you so much, I hope you continue to enjoy & Happy Holidays!!

  13. Hey, I know this recipe was posted nearly a year ago, but it looks sooo good I have to be making this right now!! My only problem though – tomatillos are really hard to get hold of here in the UK, in fact I’d never heard of them before now, so is there anything you’d recommend to use instead? Tomatoes?! Thanks, and keep up the amazing recipes – I’m so excited you’re finally publishing a cookbook!!

    1. HI Nina!! Canned roasted tomatoes will work as a great sub!! Let me know if you have any other questions, hope you love this! THANKS! 🙂