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When Colin and I first started dating, we decided to compete in a March Madness bracket. It was just the two of us, so the grand prize for the winner was dinner and drinks, all prepared by the loser. I won, of course, so Colin decided to make chicken enchiladas for me. It was love at first bite, although not with what you’d think. I fell in love with his chicken enchilada recipe! Of course, I couldn’t just leave it as is, so I’ve been changing it every time I make it and this last time, I finally perfected the recipe. It’s so good that I knew I had to share it with all of you!
The filling for these chicken enchiladas is a little unique as it uses green chiles and slivered almonds. The almonds add an unexpected crunch and nuttiness that is so addicting (and also the reason I fell in love with these in the first place). I hope you made lots of shredded salsa chicken
from the last post, because that chicken is the perfect for these enchiladas. It adds some extra flavor and is so tender. This recipe uses a white sauce with green chiles and some extra spices for added zest. It compliments the filling so well and makes these enchiladas extra creamy, cheesy and delicious! The enchiladas are on the heavy side so, if you prefer to lighten it up, you can use red or green enchilada sauce instead. Trust me though, once you try these with the white sauce, you’ll never go back! Another great way to lighten these up is to use non-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I’ve made them successfully this way and cannot taste the difference. This easy substitution increases the protein in each enchilada by 4g and decreases calories by 40kcal! If you’re looking for a way to make these a little healthier, I would highly recommend this substitution.
If you have the time, you can make these from start to finish, but that makes this a tough meal for a weeknight. I usually make the enchiladas a few hours to a couple days ahead of time and store them without the sauce. When it’s time to bake, I let them sit out while the oven preheats and add the sauce just before putting them in the oven. You can also freeze the enchiladas and re-heat in the oven without thawing. Just know that the cooking time will be longer. There’s nothing better than coming home from a long day at work and having a delicious, homemade meal ready to eat. These make great leftovers for lunches too!
White Chicken Enchiladas
For the filling:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup (about 2 oz) diced green chiles
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2-2.5 cups (about 1 pound) cooked chicken breast, chopped or shredded
For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
- 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 8-10 flour tortillas
- 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
- Chopped cilantro, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray, set aside.
To make the filling:
- Heat butter in medium saute pan over medium heat.
- Once butter is melted, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until onion is starting to soften but not brown.
- Add slivered almonds and continue to cook for about 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until onions are opaque and almonds are lightly toasted.
- Remove from heat and stir in green chiles.
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, milk, sour cream, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
- Add chicken and green chile mixture to bowl and mix well. Set aside.
To make sauce:
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large saute pan.
- Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking frequently, for 1 minute.
- While whisking constantly, slowly add 1 cup of chicken broth and continue to whisk until all lumps are gone.
- Whisk in the remaining chicken broth along with the cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes and diced green chilies.
- Bring the sauce to simmer and let it cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sour cream or Greek yogurt and whisk until no lumps remain. Season to taste. Remove from heat, set aside.
- Spoon a heaping 1/4 cup chicken mixture into center of each tortilla.
- Roll up tortillas and place, seam side down, in prepared baking dish.
- Pour sauce evenly over tortillas in baking dish.
- Cover with foil.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until enchiladas are heated through.
- Top with shredded cheese and continue to bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Recipe for filling adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Sauce recipe adapted from Little Spice Jar .
Nutrition Panel (made with Greek yogurt): Serving Size: 1 enchilada Calories: 320kcal Carbohydrate: 29g Fat: 33g Protein: 28g
Nutrition Panel (made with sour cream): Serving Size: 1 enchilada Calories: 366kcal Carbohydrate: 29g Fat: 39g Protein: 25g