A healthy Chicken Enchilada recipe that’s easy to make for a weeknight dinner or you can prep ahead on the weekend, freeze and heat in the oven when you need them.
Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe
Pre our Clean Eating days, I would buy my family those ready made enchiladas, You know the ones in the little trays you get from the Supermarket deli? My kids loved them, so I would pay premium prices for a little stack of 6 enchiladas. I refused to spend that much money buying two packs, so family always felt a little dissatisfied at the end.
For some reason I put this recipe in the ‘too hard’ bucket for years. Now, after making this recipe hundreds of times since then, I really wish I hadn’t waited so long to make DIY chicken enchiladas from scratch in my own kitchen.
This is an easy recipe that requires very little skill, particularly if you are using store bought tortillas. It’s just a case of making your chicken enchilada mix and then assembling your tortillas and baking. Easy! If you want to DIY the entire thing, then give my two ingredient tortilla recipe a go (it’s AMAZING!)
Freezing your Chicken Enchiladas
I love having a little stash of freezer meals in my freezer. It takes the stress out of busy days when I’ve run out of time or something unexpected pops up right before dinner.
If I’m making a batch of enchiladas for the freezer, I like to use these aluminium foil containers. I get the large size as I have three teens in the house who literally fight over who gets to lick the bowl. And nothing annoys me more than when kids are scratching around in the kitchen for snacks 5 minutes after dinner. So I make sure that serving sizes are generous and that tummies are full all round.
Meal Planning Tips
- You can prep these enchiladas ahead of time and instead of popping them in the oven, just cover them and freeze them.
- Chicken Enchiladas keep well in the freezer for up to two months.
- Aluminium foil makes a great substitute container. Double wrap your enchiladas in heavy duty foil, then when you are ready to eat them, you can thaw and bake without removing them from the foil. Just remember to open the top to grill the cheese before serving. This is a great option for making up individual serves or smaller portions.
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas
I’m always try to keep dinner dishes to an absolute minimum. That after dinner time in the evening is family time, and I don’t want to spend it in the kitchen. I try and take shortcuts to make sure that cleaning up doesn’t steal away my time.
Couple of hacks that make this recipe a little faster and easier:
- I make my chicken filling and enchilada sauce all in one pot. Once it’s ready, I use a colander to separate the sauce from the chicken filling.
- I use store bought tortillas. There are tons of organic, relatively clean tortilla options available now.
- If you are short of time, you can use rotisserie chicken. Simply shred the meat and use in place of the chicken thighs. This will take at least 10- 12 minutes off the cooking time.
- Oil your baking tray before cooking. This stops tortillas sticking to the base and makes clean up easy.
- Add your veggies to the sauce. Cooking everything together means you don’t need to make veggies on the side, and kids are more likely to ignore them when they are wrapped inside the enchilada.
- I use black beans in this recipe, but feel free to use any other variety if your family prefers. Beans are a great budget friendly way to bulk up the meal. You get an extra two more enchiladas per can of beans.
STEP 1: Fry onion, chicken & spices
STEP 2: Add Stock, tomato puree and vegetables
STEP 3: Separate Sauce and Chicken Filling
STEP 4: Assemble your tortillas
STEP 5: Top with sauce and cheese and Bake for 25 minutes.
More Easy Family Dinner Ideas
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My kids go crazy for these!! Healthy , Clean Eating Chicken enchiladas with black beans and corn.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
6 chicken thigh fillets, sliced into strips
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
300ml tomato puree /passata
1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cheese, grated (any variety)
Preheat Oven to 180’C / 350’F. Prep a large baking tray by rubbing a little olive oil on the base (you can use parchment paper to make clean up easier).
Heat up a large pot on the stove top. Add olive oil and diced onions. Cook until softened (around 5 minutes). Add chicken pieces, salt and pepper. Fry until juices have evaporated and chicken starts to brown.
Add cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, garlic. Fry for around one minutes, stiring to coat chicken evenly with spices.
Pour in stock, tomato puree, beans and corn. Cover pot and allow to simmer on medium for 10-15 minutes until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat. Use a colander to drain the sauce from the chicken and set sauce and chicken filling aside. DO NOT THROW SAUCE AWAY.
Soften your tortillas by wrapping in foil and heating in the oven for a couple minutes. This makes them easier to work with.
Spread a teaspoon sour cream on each tortilla and spoon chicken and bean filling on top along the center. Roll up your tortilla and place seam side down in your baking tray. Repeat until all 8 tortillas are done.
Spoon strained enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas and top with grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden and serve.
Gluten Free Chicken Enchiladas: Replace the tortillas with Gluten free tortillas.
Vegetarian Enchiladas: Replace the chicken with 3 cups of sliced vegetables and use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.