Looking for a crowd pleasing, prepare ahead, flavorful dinner to feed a hungry family or house full of holiday guests?!? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This recipe for Chicken Enchiladas has evolved over the many years I’ve been making it to be a little more healthy with a lot fewer processed foods. Now you might think that by making those changes I’ve sacrificed flavor, but happily, I can say the flavor of this dish has only improved with the changes I’ve made to the original recipe!
For many years this has been a family favorite, frequently requested dinner at our house! Even when I struggled to feed a very picky youngster, this was something I could always get her to eat – though she did prefer it when I left out “the green things”! I love this enchiladas recipe for many reasons…I can prepare all the components ahead of time, or even assemble the entire dish and refrigerate it until I’m ready to pop it in the oven. I also like the fact that I’m getting some healthy proteins in our diets, and it’s easy to sneak in extra vegetables – they don’t even know how many times they’ve eaten shredded zucchini in their enchiladas! 😉 The homemade Enchilada Sauce is the real key to making these extra delicious and healthy…I’m including a link to that recipe here.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
The chicken is simmered on the stove, or I use my Ninja Cooking System (my FAVORITE kitchen appliance), in spiced chicken stock which infuses the chicken meat with such fantastic flavor! Once the chicken is tender, remove it from the cooking liquid until it’s cool enough to handle, then shred it with 2 forks. I reserve the cooking liquid in case I need to add a little to my enchiladas filling. After the chicken is shredded, it’s combined with salsa, black beans, refried beans, fire roasted corn, canned green chilies, and fresh diced jalapeño to form the filling.
Chicken Enchiladas filling.
My favorite tortillas from Alvarado Street Bakery!
Filled, rolled, sauced, and sprinkled with cheese…ready to pop into a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
Once the filling is combined, the sauce is made, and the cheese is grated, assembly is quick work! I coat the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray or a little olive oil to make clean up easier later. Spread a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking pan, evenly distribute the filling between 8 tortillas, roll the wrap around the filling, and place in the baking dish. Continue until they’re all rolled up, drizzle more enchilada sauce over the top, sprinkle with the shredded cheese, and pop the baking dish into a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until it’s bubbling hot and slightly browned on top. I like to serve the finished enchiladas with fresh diced avocado, jalapeño slices, fresh lime wedges, chopped fresh tomatoes, and sour cream.
Fresh from the oven!
You could definitely serve this with a salad, but I hate to fill up on salad when I have this delectable enchilada in front of me! Plus I add enough tomatoes, avocado, and jalapeño to almost count as a salad! 😉 I hope you find your family loves this recipe as much as we do! In fact, I think I’d better pick up some more tortillas – my daughter will be home from college for Christmas and I know she’s going to want these one night while she’s home!
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cups enchilada sauce, divided ~ link to recipe for homemade in body of post
- 1 cup salsa ~ your favorite brand
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 16 oz. can refried beans
- 1 7 oz. can chopped green chilies
- 1 cup frozen fire roasted sweet corn
- 1 medium jalapeño, seeds removed, minced
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or colby-jack cheese
- 8 tortillas ~ fajita or burrito size
- Fresh diced avocado and tomato, sliced fresh jalapeños, lime wedges, extra cheese, and sour cream if desired for serving.
- Simmer chicken breasts in chicken stock seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano, salt, and cayenne, until tender.
- Remove chicken from pan and set aside until cooled enough to handle. Reserve cooking liquid to add to filling if it's too dry.
- Once chicken has cooled slightly, use 2 forks to shred the meat.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- In a large bowl combine shredded chicken, salsa, both kinds of beans, minced jalapeño, green chilies, and corn. Mix well. If the filling feels too dry, gradually add a little of the reserved chicken cooking liquid, being careful not to add too much.
- Spray the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish with cooking spray, or coat with olive oil.
- Spread 1 cup of enchilada sauce in bottom of dish.
- Divide chicken enchilada filling evenly among the 8 tortillas, rolling each one tightly, and place in baking dish.
- Drizzle remaining 1 cup enchilada sauce over top of enchiladas.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Place in preheated oven and bake 45-50 minutes until hot and bubbling, and slightly browned.
- Remove from oven, serve with fresh chopped avocado and tomatoes, sliced fresh jalapeños, lime wedges, extra cheese, and sour cream as desired.
- I always make the full recipe, then freeze half for us to enjoy for another meal when I'm too busy - or tired - to cook!