What comes to mind when you hear enchiladas? I doubt you think of the word “healthy” when confronted with these comforting, creamy, cheesy packets of love. But that is exactly what they are. Now, they are not like kale and water healthy, but they are definitely better than the alternative. Let me throw a few other things atcha: Kids love them, and they are packed with protein and veggies. This has been one of my go-to meals for years. Today I made a few healthy tweaks so you can still enjoy a comforting family meal AND meet your “stay healthy” goals!
- 4 frozen chicken breasts
- 1 large 28oz can of enchilada sauce
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and dried
- 1 7 oz can of green chilies
- 1 1/2-2 cups of cheese divided equally
- 1 generous cup of nonfat plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- 1 cup of corn
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. chipotle chili pepper
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 10-12 flour tortillas (you can sub whole wheat or low carb tortillas)
Start by boiling four frozen chicken breasts. (This is the easiest way for me, but feel free to bake it) If you are using frozen breasts, boil for about 25 minutes.
While the chicken is boiling, dice one red pepper and one sweet onion. Sauté in the oil of your choice. Now, here is were you can really get creative. You can add any color pepper, or how about mushrooms! Zucchini! You could even try shredded carrot. Use what you have.
Once the chicken is done boiling, let it rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes. Shred with two forks, and then sprinkle with your seasonings: Salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and chipotle chili pepper. WARNING>> The chipotle chili pepper can be a bit spicy. If you have children that are sensitive to spicy, reduce the amount you use, or just omit it all together.
Add chicken to a large mixing bowl with your sautéed veggies and your other ingredients: Black beans, half of the cheese, greek yogurt (or sour cream if you are “living la vida loca”) and diced green chilies. At this point add anything else that sounds good. I love adding corn but I forgot. I also love adding fresh cilantro, however I always forget at least one item at the store and today it was the cilantro, and the diapers.
Now hire some really cute helpers to do all the dirty work. I know it can be scary to let kids help with the cooking, but try to just go with it. They usually love any kind of job you give them and you might just find that they eat more when they help make it.
Liam loved to help cut the peppers and stir.
Braunson’s job was to nibble a tortilla and then pass it to Liam. (Don’t worry, these will only be consumed by our immediate family)
Set up a station with a pie pan or a large plate with a lip. Fill this plate with enchilada sauce. This is where you will dip the tortillas. Have another plate next to it, this is where you will fill and roll the tortillas. Lastly have a 9×13 baking dish with just a little bit of enchilada sauce to cover the bottom. Fit 6 or 7 enchiladas in one pan. I made two pans with 6 enchiladas each.
Now add more enchilada sauce on top. If you like super soggy, saucy enchiladas (I salute you) then pour a bunch on. If you like your enchiladas a little more dry and to mostly keep their shape, just drizzle and then spread over the top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Please notice how reserved I was with the cheese use here. (small victory)
Cover with foil and bake both pans on the center rack for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and melted. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. You could also just cook one pan and freeze the other one!
Serve warm with a big salad and a hungry helper.
Add salsa and sour cream or greek yogurt and enjoy! If you are wondering whats up with the greek yogurt, I promise you can hardly tell a difference! I almost prefer the taste over sour cream. It’s an easy way to lower the calories and pump up the protein.