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 the sauce isn’t a red sauce at all! Yes, enchiladas without a red sauce!
This 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. Amazing!
To Make These Lighter Chicken Enchiladas You Will Need:
- shredded chicken (either roasted or rotisserie)
- olive oil
- red bell pepper
- yellow onion
- all-purpose flour
- chipotles in adobo sauce
- low-sodium chicken broth
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- soft flour tortillas (I like whole wheat or the corn and flour blend)
- Muenster cheese
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, 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 cup 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 and a few turns of black pepper, about 1/8 teaspoon give or take.
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.
Who’s not a sucker for those crispy tortilla edges, I aim for a crispy end piece every. single. time.
Allow these lighter chicken enchiladas to cool for a minute while you finish prepping some easy toppings.
We like ours with a little sour cream, a few dashes of hot sauce, green onions and some torn cilantro leaves. But you could so do chopped tomatoes, raw onion or 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 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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