Chicken Enchiladas With Whole Wheat Tortillas

4 servings
28 min

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When brainstorming meals for the week, my partner suggested we make chicken enchiladas. Our kids ask for soft tacos all the time, so we thought this dish would go over pretty well. And as expected, it was a huge hit! We've been trying hard to stick with whole wheat and whole grains recently, so we thought we'd make some chicken enchiladas with whole wheat tortillas.

Of course, my initial concern with this dish was that it would be impossible to make chicken enchiladas in less than 30 minutes. Typically, enchiladas are assembled and then baked for 25-30 minutes. So, prep + cook time combined can easily add up to 45-60 minutes. Yet, it occurred to us that maybe if we used the broiler, the enchiladas might achieve the same crispy and bubbly effect in a shorter amount of time. And they really did!

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Are Chicken Enchiladas Healthy?

The answer is no...and yes. It all depends on what goes into your enchiladas.

We use whole wheat tortillas instead of flour tortillas because - when you have the choice - whole wheat is much healthier. The Spruce Eats has a great, simple breakdown of this. In creating white flour, the process includes stripping the flour of a lot of nutrients and also fiber. Because whole wheat flour has not undergone that processing, it is way higher in nutrients and fiber.

Our enchiladas have a ton of cheese, which....well....can be said to be unhealthy. Except that cheese makes you happy and a happy mind is a happy life. That's how it works, right?! lol. In all seriousness though, cheese isn't necessary. OR you can use a lower fat cheese. Same goes for sour cream. You can buy a low fat sour cream, or skip it altogether.

Every other ingredient can be pretty healthy. Onions, check. Green peppers, check. Tomatoes, check. Un-breaded chicken, check. You can also use other veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms and corn. Lots of options. If you really wanted to go for a fully unprocessed meal, you could even make your own enchilada sauce. However, we can't guarantee our 28 min cooking time with that choice.

Originally we made this enchilada dish on its own, but it felt like it was missing something. So, we decided to go with a classic beans & rice side. For the beans, we poured a can of black beans into a small pot, added salt and taco seasoning and cooked for maybe 4 mins. [Btw, I totally recommend having a shaker of taco seasoning in your house. I know that taco kits come with seasoning, but sometimes it's not enough. And it's an excellent seasoning for Mexican-style dishes without shells, i.e. these beans].

For the rice, we found these awesome Uncle Ben's Ready Rice packets that cook in your microwave in 90 seconds. We already had the 'Roasted Chicken' flavor in the pantry. But if I had gone to the store, I would have looked for their ' Spanish Style,' ' Whole Grain Brown' or ' Whole Grain Medley' flavors. Boom. Easiest sides ever!

We have a great corn salad we made to go along with our Carne Asada (see Easy Carne Asada with Corn Salad & Creamy Chimichurri Sauce). Also, our Three Bean Salad would be sooooo good on the side!

Chicken Enchiladas With Whole Wheat Tortillas
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 8 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 28 min
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  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (or half a large onion)
  • 4 oz can chopped green chilis
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless & skinless chicken thighs, chopped into small pieces or thin strips
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
  • cooking spray
  • 6-8 medium sized (~8") whole wheat tortillas
  • 2+ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 2.25 oz can black olives
  • 1+ cup sour cream
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, de-stemmed, for garnish
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 T taco seasoning
  • 1 t salt
  • 1-2 Uncle Ben's Ready Rice packets

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 mins. Stir in green chilis and chicken, and cook for 4-5 mins, turning chicken frequently. Pour the tomatoes and 1 cup of the enchilada sauce over the chicken in the skillet and stir. Turn the heat to low-medium. Cook chicken in sauce 2-4 mins, until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, set oven to broil. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce into the pan and spread evenly. Set aside.
Time to assemble enchiladas! Spoon 1/3 cup of chicken mixture onto a tortilla, and sprinkle some black olives and cheese on top. Roll tortilla and place it seam side down in casserole dish. Repeat 6-8 times until casserole dish is full. Sprinkle the casserole with more shredded cheese. Place casserole dish in the oven on top rack for 3 mins, or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
Meanwhile, in a small pot heat beans and seasonings on medium for a few minutes. And pop your rice packet into the microwave, following the instructions on packet.
  • Serve enchiladas with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of cilantro on top. Dish up some rice and beans on the side.
  • We recommend that all meals for children be served with milk.
Marcie and Julie at Platein28
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