Lightened Up Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are easily one of my favorite foods, and I’ve probably tried at least a dozen recipes for this dish. They are also what my inner 8-year old wants to order every time I go out to a Mexican restaurant. There’s just something about them that I absolutely love….oh wait, I know. They’re filled with cheese, covered with cheese, smothered with delicious sauce, and then more cheese. And guacamole. And sour cream. Um. Yeah.

photo 5

Unfortunately, I don’t get to eat this dish nearly as often as my waistline allows. You know, you are what you eat. But then again, being a giant enchilada smothered in cheese doesn’t sound half bad to me. But that’s neither here nor there.

When I saw this version of lightened up enchiladas, I thought it was too good to be true. Also, the amount of onion (an entire diced onion) that the original recipe called for should be a true testament of the lengths I’m willing to go for a healthy enchilada. And lemme tell ya, these didn’t disappoint. I seriously loved on these. Like, had them for dinner, then had them for lunch the next day and the day after that. Don’t judge.

Also, I doubled the recipe for the sauce (changes reflected below), because the original recipe didn’t seem like enough. Like I said, I like mine saucy (insert dirty joke here).

Ingredients (yes, I know this ingredient list is really long, but most of it are things you probably already have in the kitchen. Unless you’re a bachelor.):

  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced small — the original recipe called for a whole onion, which I did, but I thought it was overkill. Use your discretion.
  • ½ whole pepper (I used red), diced small
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 can of diced tomatoes and green chiles (I use Rotel brand)
  • ¼ cups all-purpose flour — you can add more a few spoonfuls at a time if the sauce doesn’t thicken up
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tbs. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce — you should be able to find these in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 can black beans (if desired)
  • 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbs. adobo sauce
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons black pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 whole grilled chicken breasts, shredded
  • 8 whole whole-wheat tortillas
  • ½ cups grated cheese — I used chedder
  • Your favorite enchilada toppings, such as sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, etc.


Lightly spray the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 F.

In a large skillet over medium heat add the two tablespoons of olive oil. Add diced onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and Rotel tomatoes/green chiles and cook for one minute. Add in the flour, cumin and diced chipotle peppers, stir.

photo 1

Whisk in the broth and water. Add in the extra adobo sauce (if desired) and simmer over medium heat until the sauce has thickened. If sauce is too runny, add a spoonful of flour or two  until it thickens up. Season with the salt and black pepper; taste and adjust seasonings.

Put the shredded grilled chicken in a bowl. Add a cup or so of the “enchilada sauce” to the shredded chicken. Add black beans, if you’re using them.

Measure and spread 1/4 of a cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan.

photo 2

Wrap the 8 whole wheat tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for one minute. Spoon a little of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla, then tuck and roll each tortilla and place it seam side down into the baking dish. Pour and spread the remainder of the sauce over top of the enchiladas and top with the half cup of grated cheese.

photo 3

Bake, uncovered, in your preheated 400 F oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

photo 4


Yields: 4 servings

Recipe adapted from: Tasty Kitchen


2 thoughts on “Lightened Up Chicken Enchiladas

  1. Pingback: Enchiladas for Aubrey | Peonies and Pomegranates

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