Are you looking for a recipe to satisfy a Mexican food craving? Maybe you have guests arriving, and you’re looking for a ready to serve out of the oven one dish meal. Well, this recipe for Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce might just be what you’re looking for. It was one of my go-to recipes when our kids traveled home from college. I could assemble ahead of time and pop it in the oven shortly before the ETA. It’s fun to serve with a variety of toppings like guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and onions. Switching out the chicken with beans, spinach, and cheese transforms this dish into a vegetarian entree or lighten it up with low-fat ingredients. Just add some tortilla chips, and everyone is HAPPY!
The filing begins with caramelizing onions. Onions are naturally sweet, and when cooked for a period of time the natural sugars in the onions caramelize giving them a robust flavor. By all means, taste them right out of the skillet! Butter or oil is used when caramelizing onions; for this recipe, we are using butter. The butter is heated in the skillet over medium-high heat stirring often, and then the sliced onions are added and cooked for approximately 20 minutes. You need to stir often but not too much, or the onions won’t brown. Caramelized onions can be used to top meats, pizzas, in dips and the list goes on and on.
When the onions are finished, the chopped chicken, cream cheese, roasted red bell peppers and salt and pepper are added, and the filling is complete. I will add that the vegetarian version of this recipe could include your favorite beans, spinach, and cheese.
The Green Chili Sauce
You say Chili – I say Chile. Either way, this sauce starts with four cans of diced green chilies. It’s easy. Just add the chopped onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and sugar to your blender or food processor and in just a couple of pulses, you have what looks just like a salsa verde (green sauce). This mixture is then heated with chicken broth and cooked on high heat for 5 minutes to thicken, and then salsa is added. You’ll notice in the pictures below that the color darkens because of the broth and salsa. YUM!
The assembly is just a spoonful of the chicken mixture placed in the center of the tortilla, add the cheese and roll. Place the seam side down. I know this is basic, but it’s good to show how a third of the sauce is spread on the bottom of the dish and the rolled enchiladas on placed on top. The rest of the sauce tops the enchiladas.
For this recipe, I used whole grain tortillas, and ten rolled enchiladas fit perfectly in a 9 X 13 dish. To make in advance, freeze the green chili sauce and enchiladas separately up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake when ready.
Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce
Here are some great reasons to consider this recipe the next time you are craving Mexican food or planning a party.
- You can assemble the recipe the day before or the morning of your gathering and bake as needed.
- The green chili sauce and enchiladas can be frozen separately up to one month.
- Try beef instead of chicken.
- Gluten free tortillas can be used.
- Beans, cheese, and spinach can be used instead of meat making it a vegetarian dish.
- Low fat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and tortillas can be substituted.
- It’s fun to serve with a variety of toppings and your guests will love doing it themselves.
Well, if you weren’t hungry for enchiladas before, maybe you are now. I think you’ll agree that with this recipe you know what’s going in the sauce and the chicken mixture and for me, that makes for a great recipe. I hope you give it a try and let us know how you liked it.
Do you cook Mexican food, or do you just head to the local Mexican restaurant to satisfy your craving? Please consider leaving a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for stopping by, Rose
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- ½ cup diced roasted red bell pepper
- 8 oz package cream cheese, cubed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 (4.5 oz) cans diced green chilies
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 (14½ oz can chicken broth)
- ½ cup salsa
- 10 (7-inch) flour tortillas
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Additional cheese for the center of the enchiladas. The amount is up to you.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often.
- Add sliced onions and cook 20 minutes or until caramelized. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and add chopped chicken and next 4 ingredients, stirring until combined.
- Set aside.
- Place chilies and next 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until combined.
- In a saucepan, bring chile mixture and chicken broth to a boil over high heat and cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. The mixture should be the consistency of a thin gravy. Remove from the heat and stir in the salsa.
- Spread one-third of the chile mixture on the bottom of a lightly greased 13X9 inch baking dish.
- Assemble the enchiladas by placing a spoonful of the chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, roll up, and place the seam side down in the baking dish.
- When all 10 enchiladas are in the dish, spread the remaining sauce on top of the tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.
- Freezing- if you'd like to make in advance, you can freeze the green chili sauce separate from the prepared enchiladas up to 1 month. Thaw in your refrigerator overnight and prepare as directed.
- Low calorie- you can substitute ⅓ less fat cream cheese, reduced fat Cheddar cheese, and fat-free tortillas.
- YUM YUM!