Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas | cookeatbehealthy.com

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!

Chicken Enchiladas | cookeatbehealthy.com

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! šŸ˜‰  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 | cookeatbehealthy.com

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 jalapeƱo to form the filling.  

Chicken Enchiladas | cookeatbehealthy.com

Chicken Enchiladas filling.

Chicken Enchiladas | cookeatbehealthy.com

My favorite tortillas from Alvarado Street Bakery! 

Chicken Enchiladas | cookeatbehealthy.com

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, jalapeƱo slices, fresh lime wedges, chopped fresh tomatoes, and sour cream.

Chicken Enchiladas | cookeatbehealthy.com

Fresh from the oven!

Chicken Enchiladas | cookeatbehealthy.com

Chicken Enchiladas | cookeatbehealthy.com

Dig in!

 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 jalapeƱo to almost count as a salad! šŸ˜‰  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!

Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 8
These Chicken Enchiladas are my family's favorite...and they're destined to become yours as well!
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
690 calories
77 g
71 g
28 g
36 g
13 g
482 g
1820 g
8 g
0 g
13 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
482g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 690
Calories from Fat 241
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g
42%
Saturated Fat 13g
64%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 71mg
24%
Sodium 1820mg
76%
Total Carbohydrates 77g
26%
Dietary Fiber 13g
53%
Sugars 8g
Protein 36g
Vitamin A
32%
Vitamin C
32%
Calcium
45%
Iron
34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  2. 2 cups chicken stock
  3. 1 tbsp chili powder
  4. 1 tsp cumin
  5. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  6. 1 tsp oregano
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  9. 2 cups enchilada sauce, divided ~ link to recipe for homemade in body of post
  10. 1 cup salsa ~ your favorite brand
  11. 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  12. 1 16 oz. can refried beans
  13. 1 7 oz. can chopped green chilies
  14. 1 cup frozen fire roasted sweet corn
  15. 1 medium jalapeƱo, seeds removed, minced
  16. 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or colby-jack cheese
  17. 8 tortillas ~ fajita or burrito size
  18. Fresh diced avocado and tomato, sliced fresh jalapeƱos, lime wedges, extra cheese, and sour cream if desired for serving.
To prepare the chicken
  1. Simmer chicken breasts in chicken stock seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano, salt, and cayenne, until tender.
  2. Remove chicken from pan and set aside until cooled enough to handle. Reserve cooking liquid to add to filling if it's too dry.
  3. Once chicken has cooled slightly, use 2 forks to shred the meat.
For the Enchiladas
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. In a large bowl combine shredded chicken, salsa, both kinds of beans, minced jalapeƱo, 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.
  3. Spray the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish with cooking spray, or coat with olive oil.
  4. Spread 1 cup of enchilada sauce in bottom of dish.
  5. Divide chicken enchilada filling evenly among the 8 tortillas, rolling each one tightly, and place in baking dish.
  6. Drizzle remaining 1 cup enchilada sauce over top of enchiladas.
  7. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  8. Place in preheated oven and bake 45-50 minutes until hot and bubbling, and slightly browned.
  9. Remove from oven, serve with fresh chopped avocado and tomatoes, sliced fresh jalapeƱos, lime wedges, extra cheese, and sour cream as desired.
Notes
  1. 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!
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calories
690
fat
28g
protein
36g
carbs
77g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Fast Family-Friendly Chicken Fajitas

Fajita Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

I feel like now that we’ve covered salsa and guacamole it’s time to really get down to business and talk about fajitas!  There are so many wonderful things to love about this recipe but first let’s talk about how quick and easy it is to make.  Truthfully most of your prep time involves slicing onions, peppers, and chicken.  Cook time is less than 20 minutes so that means this is a fast & easy go-to meal for me when time is short and tummies are rumbling!

Of course without the proper seasoning fajitas are boring and fall flat, but when I took a look at the ingredient label from the seasoning mix I had in my pantry, I knew I could do better!  Added sugar?  NO thank you!  Monosodium Glutamate? Umm…NO!  So I came up with a spice blend that’s fast to concoct, makes enough to have on hand for several Fajita Fiestas, and you probably already have all the ingredients in your cupboard!

A little chili powder, garlic and onion powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt, and of course, cayenne pepper – because after all, I like it hot – mix or shake it all up and you’ve got about 1/2 cup of seasoning mix, which is a little more than you need for 3 fast fajita dinners!  Way to make things easy for ourselves, right?!?

Fajita Seasoning Mix | cookeatbehealthy.com

The fajitas themselves are very straight forward.  Peppers, onions, and chicken.  It just doesn’t get much easier than that friends!  Start by slicing your peppers and onions into approximately 1/4 thick strips.  Then once I’ve sliced my vegetables I slice the chicken.  I know all our ingredients will be cooked, but I’ve made it a habit to always cut meat last to avoid any possibility of cross contamination.  Just the thought of food poisoning makes me uncomfortable.  My brother is a food microbiologist and he always says when you have the flu you may FEEL like you’re dying, but when you have food poisoning you WISH you would die.  I digress.  Sorry!  But really – just get in the habit of cutting meat last and you’ll be much less likely to get a food-borne illness.

Tip:  Don’t worry about getting perfectly even slices of vegetables.  This is one of those times where close enough really is good enough.  Also – cut your onion in half crosswise and place the flat side on your cutting board to simplify the cutting process and lessen the chances of cutting yourself while chasing a slippery onion!

Bonus Tip:  If using from frozen chicken, slice it while it’s still slightly frozen.  This allows you to get super thin slices that cook up evenly and quickly….a real time saver when you’ve forgotten to get something out for dinner and you’re looking for that fast and delicious meal!

Fajita Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

Cooking Fajitas | cookeatbehealthy.comFajita | cookeatbehealthy.comLettuce Wrap Fajita | cookeatbehealthy.com

The best thing (other than the obvious deliciousness) of this recipe is how easy it is to adapt it for the specific tastes of everyone in your family.  My daughter likes hers pretty traditional on a flour tortilla with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and shredded cheese.  My husband likes them much the same, but would never dream of letting guacamole or sour cream “contaminate” his fajita.  I like mine on a Boston Butter Bibb lettuce leaf with only salsa and guacamole as I find dairy delicious, but sadly, disagreeable.

Fajita Seasoning
Homemade seasoning mix for fajitas
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
172 calories
35 g
0 g
6 g
8 g
1 g
103 g
2895 g
3 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
103g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 172
Calories from Fat 49
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2895mg
121%
Total Carbohydrates 35g
12%
Dietary Fiber 19g
74%
Sugars 3g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
245%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
26%
Iron
55%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup chili powder
  2. 2 tbsp cumin
  3. 4 tsp ground black pepper
  4. 3 tsp dried oregano
  5. 2 tsp garlic powder
  6. 2 tsp smoked paprika
  7. 1 tsp onion powder
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well, or in a jar and shake well.
Notes
  1. Store in a cool dry place.
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calories
172
fat
6g
protein
8g
carbs
35g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/
Fast Family-Friendly Chicken Fajitas
Serves 6
A fast and healthy recipe for chicken fajitas
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
135 calories
9 g
24 g
7 g
10 g
1 g
151 g
84 g
6 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
151g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 135
Calories from Fat 60
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
10%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 24mg
8%
Sodium 84mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 6g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
12%
Calcium
3%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  2. 2 Vidalia onions
  3. 1 each red, yellow, green and orange bell pepper, or any color combination for a total of 4
  4. 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 3 tbsp fajita seasoning mix, divided
  6. 1/2 lime
Instructions
  1. Cut onions and peppers into approximately 1/4 inch slices and set aside.
  2. Slice chicken into thin slices no more than 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Heat EVOO in large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add chicken, sprinkle with 1 tbsp fajita seasoning and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 5-7 minutes, until the chicken is mostly cooked through with very little pink still showing.
  4. Add in onions and peppers, sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp fajita seasoning and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables are tender, approximately 12-15 minutes.
  5. Just before removing from heat squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lime.
  6. Remove from heat and serve as desired.
Notes
  1. Serve on flour tortillas or in lettuce leaves along with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and cheese.
  2. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
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calories
135
fat
7g
protein
10g
carbs
9g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/