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Best Homemade Chicken Enchilada

Published by Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD on Dec 22, 2020

Hands-down, this is the very best chicken enchilada you’ll make!

If you’re in search of a crowd-pleasing recipe, here it is.  Easy to assemble, using common and convenient ingredients, you’ll make it again and again. Mexican dishes like chicken enchilada are always a favorite. This enchilada recipe is no exception. Creamy with the perfect blend of a hint of spiciness without being overbearing, it’s a winner in my recipe book!

Fiber-filled beans and corn, bone-building cheese, along with protein-packed poultry, you can feel good feeding your family this fulfilling and nutritious meal. If you already make your own enchilada sauce and salsa from scratch, go for it.  Otherwise, save yourself loads of time in prep work by using store bought, prepared enchilada sauce and salsa. Buy either mild (which is what I used) or hot, whichever you prefer. To round out the meal, serve this casserole alongside with veggies, sliced strawberries or other fruit.

What I especially like about this recipe is it’s easily assembled early in the day.  That way, when you come home after a long day at work, this allows you to simply heat up the oven and in 30 minutes, you’ll have a meal on the table to feed your hungry family. Refrigerate leftovers (if you have any) in an air-tight container for up to five days.  When ready to use, just reheat in the microwave.

Or if you want to save even more time in the future, you can freeze the whole dish for later use. Simply cover tightly after assembling in the 9 x 13 pan without cooking it. It can stay frozen for up to 3 months.  When ready to bake, defrost it first by thawing in the refrigerator for 1-2 days; then bake as directed. For smaller families, you can also assemble the casserole in two 8-inch baking dishes instead of a large 9 x 13 pan.  Bake one 8-inch casserole to serve now and freeze the other for another day in the future.

Best Homemade Chicken Enchilada – Serves 10-12

Nutrition per serving: Calories – 298; Total Fat – 10 grams; Protein – 24 grams; Carbohydrates – 28 grams; Fiber – 5 grams; Sodium – 320 milligrams 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 ounces or 1/3 cup nonfat cream cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce

1 cup salsa

Corn Tortillas (about 5.5 – 6 inches round), quartered or cut into fourths

1 8-ounce package shredded Mexican-blend cheese

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium low heat. Add onion, stir and sauté for 5 minutes. Add cream cheese, garlic powder, cumin, and salt, stirring to combine and to melt cream cheese. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in chicken, beans, corn, mushrooms, and cilantro.

4. In a small saucepan, heat enchilada sauce and salsa together over medium heat until warm.

5. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

6. To assemble:

*Spread 1/2 cup enchilada mixture in bottom of pan

*Top with 16 tortilla quarters

*Place half of chicken mixture on top of quartered tortillas, followed by 1/2 cup shredded cheese

*Add an additional 16 tortilla quarters

*Add 1/2 cup enchilada mixture

*Top with remaining half of chicken mixture

*Add on top of chicken mixture, remaining 16 tortilla quarters

*Pour remaining enchilada mixture evenly over casserole

*Top with remaining shredded cheese

7. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot, bubbly and lightly browned.


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Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia and The Prediabetes Action Plan and Cookbook, both available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.

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