How to make green chile chicken enchiladas healthy and delicious! These shredded chicken enchiladas verdes are easy to make and freeze well, too.
Believe it or not, one of my most popular recipes on the blog is my Shredded Chicken Enchiladas recipe. It was one of the first ever recipes I shared when I was just learning how to take photos and run a blog.
Fast forward 7 or 8 years, google “Shredded Chicken Enchiladas,” any there’s my recipe at the top of Google. Pretty crazy, right?
Back then, I used canned enchilada red sauce and quite a bit more cheese. But, with this green chile chicken enchiladas recipe, I wanted to make everything from scratch and make them a healthier, lighter version of a popular enchilada recipe.
Plus: salsa verde rocks.
I like anything salsa verde. A lot.
You may have noticed this from my recipe for 10 Minute Salsa Verde. <— Perfection.
Or these Slow Cooker Green Chile Pork Tacos.
Or this Chile Verde.
Or this Crock Pot Enchilada Soup.
Seriously. I may be obsessed. But in a totally good way. Because anything with salsa verde cannot be bad.
My main goal with these green chile chicken enchiladas was to make them healthy. To do this, I used unprocessed, simple ingredients so I could avoid any extra, uneccesary fats, salts, and sugars. I also reduced the amount of cheese in this recipe a ton. While I don’t consider cheese to be an unhealthy ingredient, it does contain a lot of saturated fat so we do want to limit its use.
Instead of using canned enchilada sauce, I use my 10 minute salsa verde recipe which is a great from-scratch enchilada sauce recipe. I hope you get a chance to make it for these enchiladas, but any salsa verde should do the trick.
A serving of these enchiladas, which I consider to be two enchiladas, contains just 417 calories and 34 grams of protein. That means you’re getting a whole lotta protein in these enchiladas so you’ll be nice and full without consuming too many calories, too.
Yes, you can totally freeze your enchiladas. There are a few tricks, however, to freezing enchiladas to keep them from getting mushy when you reheat them. Here are my tips for how to freeze these green chile chicken enchiladas:
- Allow the enchiladas to fully cool before wrapping and placing int he freezer. If you freeze your food while it’s hot or warm, ice crystals can form on the surface, which will cause the tortillas to get mushy when reheating and before it’s fully frozen.
- Wrap the individual enchilada servings in plastic freezer wrap, airtight. Then, place the the wrapped enchiladas into a freezer bag.
- Add any cheese to the top when reheating, not before freezing. If you know you’re going to be freezing these enchiladas ahead of time, choose to add the cheese once you’re reheating as cheese can deconstruct when frozen. Not a huge deal, though, since there isn’t much cheese in this recipe.
- Freeze them as quickly as possible once cooled to prevent them from getting mushy.
- Bake to reheat, rather than microwave.
Corn or Flour Tortillas?
There are many ways to answer this, but my best answer is to choose whichever tortilla you prefer. I prefer corn tortillas for enchiladas because they hold up better and I prefer the flavor BUT flour tortillas are perfectly good, too. Some people complain that corn tortillas are too dry, while others complain that flour tortillas get too chewy in enchiladas. Ultimately, it’s up to you and what makes you happy.
The issue I find with flour tortillas is they are more difficult to find with minimally processed ingredients. It’s much easier to find corn tortillas at the store with just a few simple, unrefined ingredients, so that’s a big plus for me. I usually wind up buying whole wheat/grain tortillas for my flour tortillas.
To keep my corn tortillas from getting too dry, I brush them with a little olive oil before they go in the oven so they don’t dry out while baking. If you’d like to make your own corn tortillas, these ones are super duper extra special delish.
Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
- 4 cups salsa verde
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 10-12 7-inch corn tortillas
- 1 1/3 cups jack cheese, shredded, divided
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 9×13 baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Season with sea salt and pepper. Brown on both sides, cooking about 2-3 minutes per side.
Pour the salsa verde from the blender over and around the browned chicken in a large pan and heat over medium-high heat, until boiling.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce, set aside and let both the chicken and the sauce cool.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken breasts by holding one fork steady and slowly scraping the other fork, prongs faced backwards, away from the other fork.
- Transfer the shredded chicken to a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the jack, the cilantro, and half the chile verde enchilada sauce (from the pan) to the shredded chicken. Stir to combine.
- Place filling in the center of the tortillas, roll then up gently, and then arrange in pan, seam-side down. You can lightly coat with olive oil to help keep them from cracking in the oven.
- Cover with remaining sauce and remaining cheese.
- Place into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until bubbly.
- Top with fresh cilantro and diced red onion.
You can use any salsa verde, but I highly recommend using my 10 minute salsa verde because it's super yummy and only take 10 minutes to make.
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