Monday, February 16, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

I've been making these enchiladas for several years now, and every time I make them I do something a little ever evolving recipe. I've shared the recipe with several people including Hilary, my non-cooking sister, and Mel, who is a busy mother of 5 children (well 9 if you count me, my brother, my sister-in-law, and Hil).

Before I moved to Houston, Hilary and I lived together and I did all of the cooking. When I moved, I left her a packet of easy-to-make recipes and this was one of them. And believe it or not, she actually made the enchiladas several times.

So I knew these were easy to make, and I knew they were relatively healthy (I adapted the recipe from, but I wasn't sure what the nutritional content per enchilada was going to be.

About two weeks ago I prepared them with the help of a 14 year old...and she did most of the work. So if Hilary can make these, and a 14 year old can make these, anyone can!

For the enchiladas I take advantage of several convenience products...a store-bought rotisserie chicken, salsa, tortillas, and pre-shredded cheese. All you have to do is chop and saute a few veggies (you knew there were going to be veggies involved!), shred the chicken, blend the sauce, and assemble. Easy!

And an added bonus? They are delicious!

Chicken Enchiladas
created by me!

makes 10 servings (1 enchiladas each)

1 store bought rotisserie chicken, shredded (bones and skin discarded)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used a red one)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 24 oz jar salsa
½ cup skim milk
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (the cilantro is optional but worth it!)
8 oz reduced-fat cheese (I used a Mexican blend, but cheddar or Jack would be good too)
10 8" whole wheat tortillas (the closer to 100 calories, the better)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until warmed. Set aside to cool slightly.

To prepare sauce, in a blender or food processor (I like using a blender) combine salsa, milk, and cilantro. Blend thoroughly.

To assemble, spread about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 11 x 7 baking dish. Warm tortillas in the microwave for 30 second intervals until softened. Spoon ½ cup of chicken filling in center of tortilla and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Roll tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas; use back of spoon to spread sauce so it coats top of each tortilla. Sprinkle with remaining cheese (you should have about ¾ cup left). Cover baking dish with foil. Bake enchiladas until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Per serving (1 enchilada*) - 293 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated), 32 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 22 g protein (exchanges: 1 ½ starch, ½ vegetable, 2 ½ protein, 1 ½ fat)

Notes - If you can find tortillas that are lower in calories, use them...the ones I bought were whole wheat and 140 calories apiece; I wouldn't worry too much about finding whole wheat ones...they aren't that much healthier and ALL tortillas you find in the grocery store are SO processed (I mean does it really take over 30 ingredients to make a tortilla???) - I'm spoiled from living Houston where you can find fresh, homemade tortillas that actually taste good!; corn tortillas would be a good option too

*Honestly, I ate 2 (1 just wasn't enough!)...if you find tortillas that are around 100 calories apiece, then each enchilada will have 250 calories; so 2 would be about 500 calories, which I don't think is too much!


  1. I think those sound great! I plan on trying them this week. It was great to see you in Houston last Friday.

  2. Picture is beautiful. Me-Me and I are going to make this dish this weekend. I looks so good. I will let you know how it turns out. Keep cooking. Give my love to Hilary. Love, Aunt Sherrie

  3. Me-Me made these for my birthday and they were delicious. Your Dad stopped by on his way home and ate with us. He thought they were wonderful. Keep comming up with these wonderful dishes. I can't wait to make them for my teacher friends. I hope you are doing fine. Love you, sherrie