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Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
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cheesy chicken enchiladas I have yet to meet someone that says they don’t care for Mexican food. I mean, what’s not to love? Tangy sauces mixed with savory protein wrapped up in a warm shell. Oh, and cheese- there is almost always copious amounts of cheese. Needless to say, Mexican food is up on my list of foods that I really enjoy, but it’s often too high in calories, fat, and sodium to indulge in frequently. Armed with this knowledge, I made a point to slim down one of my favorite Mexican dishes: Chicken Enchiladas!  Keeping with all of the best things, this dish has a few simple tweaks to make it a better alternative than its traditional counterpart. Let’s start with the tortilla. I used Tumaro’s™ Tortillas; packed with fiber and protein, not to mention fat-free and low in sodium, this is a great option to wrap around your tasty filling. cheesy chicken enchiladas Let’s talk about that filling while we’re at it. Instead of using a ton of cheese, we’re stuffing our enchilada with sautéed onions, peppers, savory salsa and poached chicken with just enough cheese to be satisfying. This gives us a fresh, light enchilada that is oh-so satisfying but doesn’t leave you feeling too full at the end of dinner (you know what I’m talking about). So to get started, we’re going to poach our chicken breast. When a recipe calls for cooked chicken breast, poaching is my favorite way to quickly and efficiently cook it up! Not to mention, it’s a great way to prepare chicken you want to shred or cube very easily (think quesadillas, casseroles, sandwiches….options are endless!). To do this, simply cover your chicken breasts with water (until just covered) in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a simmer and let cook, turning the chicken over at least once. The chicken is done when it shreds easily and/or reaches an internal temperature of 165⁰F. Set the cooked chicken aside to cool in a small dish. Once cool, shred into bite-size pieces. cheesy chicken enchiladas Now, heat 2 Tbsp. canola oil in a large skillet until hot; add the garlic and let cook until fragrant and slightly brown (about 1 minute). cheesy chicken enchiladas Add the vegetables and let cook until just crisp tender, about three-five minutes. Add the cumin, salsa, and shredded chicken. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes; remove from heat. cheesy chicken enchiladas Finally, the fun part- stuffing the enchiladas! Layer 1/8 cup of cheese on the bottom of a tortilla. Add 1/8 of the chicken and vegetable mixture to the tortilla and roll. Lay seam side down in an 8 ½ x 11 baking dish that has been lightly coated with nonstick spray. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used and all of the tortillas have been stuffed. cheesy chicken enchiladas Alrighty, let’s get our sauce on- enchilada sauce that is. Although, traditionally I’m not a huge fan of enchilada sauce, this Frontera® Red Chile Enchilada Sauce from Chef Rick Bayless had the perfect blend of garlic tomatoey-lightness with just a hint of heat. It definitely added a nice layer of flavor to this dish without being overpowering. Win! cheesy chicken enchiladas And everyone’s favorite part- let’s sprinkle on the last ½ cup of cheese! cheesy chicken enchiladas Cover with tin foil and bake at 350⁰F for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the dish is bubbly on the sides. cheesy chicken enchiladas Absolutely delicious, light yet filling, this dish definitely ranks high on my list of favorite Mexican dishes to date! It’s even better with a dollop of cool and creamy guacamole on the side (Wholly Guacamole® is a favorite of mine!). cheesy chicken enchiladas I hope this easy Enchilada dish makes its way to your dinner table at least once this week! Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful day!  

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. Dad’s Chicken Breast (or 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 3/4 cups salsa
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 package Frontera® Mild Red Chile Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 package Tumaro’s™ Salsa Tortillas (8 count) or corn tortillas
Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350⁰F. Prepare an 8 ½ x 11 baking dish by coating lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Poach the chicken in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, chop the bell peppers and onion. When the chicken is cooked through, set aside and shred once cooled.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the vegetables, cooking until crisp tender. Stir the cumin, salsa, and shredded chicken into the vegetable mixture and heat through. Remove skillet from heat.
  4. Layer a tortilla with 1/8 cup cheese and 1/8 of chicken and vegetable mixture. Wrap tortilla and place seam side down in prepared baking dish. Repeat layering until all of mixture has been used.
  5. Top with enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.
  6. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until dish is bubbling and cheese is melted. Serve hot.
Yield: 8 enchiladas Per enchilada*: Calories 280, Total Fat 14g (Saturated 5g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 760mg, Total Carbohydrate 22g (Dietary Fiber 9g, Sugars 5g), Protein 24g, Vitamin A 25%, Vitamin C 90%, Calcium 35%, Iron 15% *Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding. Jenny Dahl is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI. cheesy chicken enchiladas
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