Enchiladas are known in my family to be the ultimate comfort food. I’ve grown up all my life eating them a variety of different ways: red sauce, green chile, a tomatillo salsa version, avocado and even sour cream. In my opinion, all enchiladas are worthy of eating.
And shame on me for not giving you this recipe sooner! The first time I made this version, Sarah and I devoured these after a long day of photography and recipes. Our minds were teetering on the verge of delusional and delirious, but our bellies were happier than ever.
Now that Tony’s home, he’s been craving home cooked meals. So far I’ve made him turkey meatballs, healthy chicken parm, pepper jack and chicken pasta and finally, these beautiful enchiladas. He’s an athlete so I have to make sure that my recipes are both satisfying, filling and tasty. Most of the time, he is never able to tell that my recipes are lightened-up or healthier versions of his favorites.
These enchiladas were no exception.
To make this recipe healthier, I used a few key ingredients:
Chicken breast instead of rotisserie chicken: we bake the chicken first, then shred it. It’s easy and you don’t get the added calories + fat that your average store bought rotisserie chicken does.
Just a little bit of cheese: I didn’t go crazy on the amount of cheese in this recipe. Frankly, it isn’t necessary thanks to the wonderful creamy beans and flavorful enchilada sauce. Major win.
Refried beans: I love, love, love using refried beans in my enchilada recipes because of the added nutrition, fiber and protein. Plus it makes the enchiladas literally melt in your mouth.
Homemade enchilada sauce: this is the most exciting part of the recipe. Making your own enchilada sauce is easier than you can imagine. Just tomato sauce, garlic, onions and a few spices. You are going to be making it again and again! And best yet, it cooks while your chicken breast is baking so you get two things done at once.
These enchiladas are a healthy complete meal and can please any sort of crowd. You are also welcome to use small whole wheat tortilla instead of corn. I personally just love the way corn tortillas taste with the other flavors but it’s up to you.
I hope you love these enchiladas as much as I do. If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below or tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram!
- Serves: 12 enchiladas
- Serving size: 2 enchiladas
- Calories: 400
- Fat: 10g
- Carbohydrates: 45.6g
- Sugar: 6.1g
- Fiber: 10.8g
- Protein: 31.2g
- For the enchilada sauce:
- 1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- ½ cup water
- Salt, to taste
- For the enchiladas:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 – 15 oz can refried beans (I like to use refried black beans)
- 1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 12 yellow corn tortillas
- To garnish: Onions, avocado, tomato and cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or large pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- While the oven to preheating, prepare the enchilada sauce by heating oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add in garlic and onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent. Add in chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper and stir for 30 seconds to allow the spices to cook a bit. Stir in tomato sauce and water, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- While enchilada sauce is cooking, place chicken breasts on prepared baking pan, season with salt and pepper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked completely and is no longer pink. If your chicken breasts are on the thicker side, this may take a little longer than 20 minutes. It’s always best to test with a meat thermometer to ensure they are fully cooked. Once done cooking, shred chicken with two forks.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- To make the enchiladas: Prepare enchiladas by spreading ¾ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13inch baking pan. To assemble enchiladas, place 2 tablespoons of refried beans in a corn tortilla, then top with a few tablespoons of shredded chicken and about 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce. Roll tortillas up and place seam side down in pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Next pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle with cheeses. Cover pan with foil and bake enchiladas for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with onion, avocado, tomato and cilantro, if desired.Makes 6 servings, 2 enchiladas each.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen
Photography by: Sarah Fennel // Broma Bakery