Healthy (but still delicious!) chicken enchiladas

ZOMG you guys. I’m so sorry. Work has been supercrazytown recently (I got to go to Europe, which was amazing, but also nuts, and then like 17 more things happened), and of course we had a Super Bowl party… we just didn’t decide to have it until like four days before. So… yeah. I’ll have some fun, gluttonous foods to tell you about soon. But first, how about something healthy, easy AND delicious?


As you may recall, I am an enchilada addict. Can’t get enough of them, especially cheese enchiladas with red sauce. So. Good. But not exactly the healthiest or lowest fat option.

cooking-chicken cooked-chicken

So you can imagine how excited I was when I came across this recipe in a southwestern cookbook I bought in California this summer. The recipe is from Canyon Ranch, the renowned health spa in Tuscon, Ariz. So it’s delicious, easy to prepare and good for you.

roasted-veg enchilada-sauce

Now, if you’ve made enchilada sauce before (or are an enchilada sauce purist), the instructions for this sauce may alarm you. But they shouldn’t. It may not be 100 percent traditional, but it tastes amazing. And it’s not spicy, so don’t worry if you’re not into heat.


They’re not pretty. But I promise you’ll love them. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.


Healthy grilled chicken enchiladas (Adapted from The New Southwest Cookbook, serves 4)
12-16 tomatoes
1 medium onion
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground red chile (a bit more if you want the sauce to be spicier)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground red chile
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese*
1 small can diced green chile*
Avocado and lime juice or nonfat sour cream for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the tomatoes into quarters (remove the stem and any leaves), then peel and slice the onion (it doesn’t have to be super thin or perfect). Peel and smash the garlic cloves.

Line a baking sheet with foil and then coat lightly with olive oil. Spread the tomato pieces, onion slices and garlic cloves on the baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until the onion slices are browned. Allow the vegetables to cool.

Place the cooled vegetables in a blender or food processor with the red chile, cumin and salt and puree.

While the vegetables are roasting, stir the paprika, additional red chile and cumin together in a small bowl. Add oil and water and stir to combine.

Rub the spice paste on the chicken breasts. Cook the chicken breasts on a grill pan over medium heat or on the grill until cooked through. Slice the cooked chicken into long, narrow strips.

Spoon a little bit of the enchilada sauce onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Place four of the corn tortillas on a plate and drape a wet paper towel on top. Microwave for 20-30 seconds, then allow to sit for about 10 seconds. The tortillas *should* be softened enough to roll easily.

To assemble each enchilada, lay one softened tortilla on a plate. Place two chicken strips, a tablespoon of grated cheese and a tablespoon of the diced green chiles in the center and roll. Place in the dish (with the edge down so it doesn’t unroll). Continue with remaining tortillas (heat/soften the remaining four tortillas once you’ve used the first four).

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce all over the rolled enchiladas and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Reduce the oven to 350F. Cook the enchiladas for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce looks bubbly.

Smash up some avocado and mix with a little lime juice and salt for a basic guacamole to dollop on top of the finished enchiladas, or top with a little non-fat sour cream.

*Feel free to leave the cheese or chiles out, or to use more/less of either. The green chiles really aren’t spicy, though.

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About Jen @ Marshmallows and Margaritas

Sugar addict / glitter lover / cocktail enthusiast
This entry was posted in cooking, eating and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Healthy (but still delicious!) chicken enchiladas

  1. Isabel says:

    Do you usually make your own sauce for normal enchiladas and if so… I would like to have your recipe, please! (These look delish!)

  2. Pingback: Talk Derby to me | Marshmallows and Margaritas

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