Chicken enchiladas are truly one of my ultimate comfort foods. When I traveled to Texas they became a daily staple, which was definitely not the smartest move for my waist. If you’ve been living under a sad food-less rock (or maybe you’re just lactose intolerant), enchiladas are traditionally filled with fatty beef, rolled in flash fried corn tortillas and then drenched in a mountain of melted cheese. Delicious, oh yes (my mouth is actually watering writing this) but not exactly the best way to get back on track after an indulgent holiday. Why don’t these Texan restaurants serve healthy chicken enchiladas?
So I wanted to create my own leaner chicken enchilada recipe that provides the same incredible flavour but without the feeling of having a heavy cheese ball in my gut. Cheese balls are good times at the cocktail party. Not so much when in your belly.
My solution to this healthy chicken enchiladas dilemma?
I skipped the traditional high carb, low fibre, deep fried corn tortilla and used Light Flatout flatbreads instead. With 50% fewer calories than traditional flatbreads (90 calories each!), and a whopping 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fibre, I use bust these out daily for lunch. But they’re also great better-for-you stand-ins for your Mexican fiesta, giving you some extra wiggle room for full fat cheese. I always find Flatout in the deli section of your local grocery store, or check FlatoutFinder.com to find the retailer nearest to you that carries them.
The filling in my healthy chicken enchiladas recipe is a lean mixture of protein rich skinless boneless chicken breasts and black beans, plus lots of veggies, low cal salsa and corn.
Then I whip together a super quick enchilada sauce (that you’ll want to put on everything) and voila- you’re practically back in Texas. Minus the 90 F plus humidity (unless you actually live in Texas).
Are you crazy about healthy chicken enchiladas?
Looking for a lighter, leaner way to get your fix?
Leave me a message below about what you think of this easy, low carb swap!
Healthy Chicken Chipotle Enchiladas
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt to taste
- 3 tsp olive oil divided
- 1/2 onion finely diced
- 1 bell pepper finely diced
- 2 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts diced into 1 inch cubes
- Pinch salt and pepper a pinch each
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 24 oz bottle of mild salsa
- 1/2 can black beans 19 oz can
- 1 cup corn frozen, canned or fresh
- 8 Flatout Light flatbreads
- 1/3 cup finely shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Cilantro for garnish
- Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Add in the onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute, or until fragrant.
- Pour in can of tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, the chipotle in adobo sauce and the lime juice. Simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Transfer to a stand blender to puree or process using a hand blender until smooth. Season with salt, to taste.
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add in the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Then add in the bell pepper and continue to stir for an additional minute. Remove the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
- Add an additional teaspoon of oil to the pan, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then sear them on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
- Add in the salsa and cumin, cover the chicken with a lid and allow to simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until it shreds easily with two forks.
- Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Toast the Flatout breads on each side until slightly charred. Set aside.
- Once the chicken is cooked through and tender, shred it in the sauce using two forks then add in the black beans, corn, onions and peppers. Stir to coat in the sauce.
- Lightly grease a 15 x 10 inch casserole dish with a touch of olive oil.
- Using a slotted spoon to avoid getting too much of the sauce, divide the filling mixture down the centre of 8 toasted Flatout breads (opened up landscape-wise like a book) and tightly wrap them. Place the enchiladas seal down in the casserole dish. Bake for 7 minutes.
- Remove the dish and top the enchiladas with 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and the cheese. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese gets bubbly and melts.
- Serve with additional enchilada sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.