In these Lighter Chicken Enchiladas cooked shredded chicken is mixed with a light chipotle sauce, stuffed into tortillas, topped with muenster cheese and baked until melty and delicious! Yields 8 enchiladas or 4 servings (2 each).
I’ve never met an enchilada I didn’t like.
Stuffed and baked tortillas topped with sauce and cheese? What’s not to love?
I’m a little particular about my enchiladas, preferring homemade enchilada red sauce (shocker right?) over store-bought. If you haven’t made your own enchilada sauce YOU MUST! I have a quick version and a more from scratch version. But what I love about this particular enchilada recipe is that it doesn’t have a red sauce at all! Yes, enchiladas without a red sauce! Instead the sauce is made by sautéing onions, peepers, garlic, cumin and chipotles. You make a quick and simple roux stir in some broth which makes for a lighter creamy and broth-like sauce.
Who’s not a sucker for those crispy tortilla edges, I aim for a crispy end piece every. single. time.
To Make These Lighter Chicken Enchiladas You Will Need:
- shredded cooked chicken – Use either leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie.
- extra light olive oil – Or use avocado oil.
- red bell pepper – Adds a pop of color and touch of sweet flavor.
- yellow onion – Lends delicious onion flavor.
- garlic – Lends distinct punchy flavor.
- butter – Use unsalted butter to control the saltiness of the dish.
- unbleached all-purpose flour – Needed to thicken the sauce.
- chipotles in adobo sauce – Lends smoky and spicy flavor.
- low-sodium chicken broth – This is used for making the sauce.
- kosher salt – Enhances the flavors of the dish.
- freshly ground black pepper – Lends distinct bite and flavor.
- soft flour tortillas – Use regular, low-carb or whole wheat.
- Muenster cheese – A delicious mild melty cheese that’s perfect for enchiladas or nachos.
Make the Sauce:
Start by spraying a 9×13 baking dish with olive oil spray, then set it off to the side. Heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add in 1 cup finely dice onion and 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper. Cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Once the peppers and onions are soft and translucent, add in the teaspoon of cumin and 3 cloves minced garlic.
Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Next add in a 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted, then stir in the 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour.
Stir until a wet paste forms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add in the minced chipotles and 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, more or less to taste.
Stir in 1-3/4 cups of chicken broth. Increase the heat to medium-high, stirring occasionally for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Taste and season with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste) and a few turns of black pepper, about 1/8 teaspoon give or take.
Make The Enchiladas:
Take 3/4 cup of the sauce and it to the shredded chicken, tossing to combine.
Spread a 1/2 cup or so of the sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Spoon some of the chicken mixture down one side of a tortilla.
Tuck, roll and repeat.
Line them up, seam side down, in the baking dish.
Pour all of the remaining sauce over top of the rolled enchiladas.
Use a spoon to smooth it out over top.
Lastly, grate about 1 cup or more (you decide!) of Muenster cheese and then sprinkle it over top.
Finally slide the pan of lighter chicken enchiladas onto the middle rack of your preheated 400° oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden in spots.
With enchiladas, sometimes I cover with foil and sometimes I don’t. For some reason, with this recipe, I never cover it. The cheese melts and turns golden brown and where the cheese touches the pan, it gets super crispy.
Allow these lighter chicken enchiladas to cool for a minute while you finish prepping some easy toppings.
Optional Toppings For Enchiladas:
- sour cream
- hot sauce
- green onions
- chopped tomatoes
- raw onion
- sliced fresh jalapeños.
These lighter chicken enchiladas are definitely a family favorite in our house and I hope they are in yours too!
Lighter Chicken Enchiladas
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 small chipotle peppers, in adobo, minced
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
- 1¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE ENCHILADAS:
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken, leftover roasted or rotisserie
- 8 tortillas, enchilada or soft taco size tortillas
- 1 cup grated muenster cheese
- Spray the bottom and sides of a 13x9 baking dish with olive oil and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400°.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large, 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the finely diced onion and peppers, season with a pinch of salt and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Next, add in the garlic and cumin. Cook 1 minute before adding in adding in the butter. Once melted, stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Then add in the chipotle peppers and 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce. Stir while slowing pouring in the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer while stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened, about 4 to 6 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- In a bowl, combine all of the shredded chicken with 3/4 cup of the sauce. Then spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Spoon a little of the chicken mixture down one side of tortilla, tuck and roll, placing it seem side down into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling
- Pour the remaining sauce over top of the enchiladas and spread using a spatula before sprinkling with the grated Muenster cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, in your preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted and is golden brown in spots.
- Allow to cool slightly, before serving with desired toppings.
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