I've eaten and enjoyed many a taco salad bowl. But, it's never quite the same as slicing into a tried and true enchilada. When you are craving a real-deal enchilada, there's just nothing that can take it's place. There's gotta be cheese, and plenty of it. You can take your pick of red or green sauce, but you just can not skip the tortillas with crispy edges. Take your pick of tortilla... which ever way you choose to go, you're in good shape:
- I used regular corn tortillas, which when made the traditional way are treated so they are easier to digest. (As I explained in Foraged Breakfast, some things just are meant to be exactly as they always have been: You can try to health-ify Tex-Mex food, but it doesn't always work out).
- But.... there are some great almond flour-based tortillas available at the grocery store these days: Look for Siete Foods (affiliate link!) and don't skip the frying in step number 4, because it will help prevent crumbling).
To me, enchiladas are a quintessential Christmas food, because they speak to my Southern-Colorado roots and the food eaten in those parts. For this dish I opted for just green sauce, but you can also alternate green sauce and red sauce, a style of enchilada known as "Christmas."
Making enchiladas is a family affair, something best done when there are plenty of hands to share in the work and the eating. I made this batch with just my own two hands, so while you don't need the help, it's fun to have some one join you in the kitchen. I have fond memories of working with my dad in an enchilada assembly line: he would fry the tortillas, and I would stuff and roll them, placing them into a casserole dish. Faster and faster we would go, each trying to out-enchilada the other, until the tortillas were gone.
You can stuff them with just about anything (pork, cheese, beans), but I opted for a mix of shredded chicken and roasted veggies. I suppose adding in veggies was my way of health-ifying them without missing out on what's important to me in an enchilada.
So! From my kitchen to yours, here's the whole darn enchilada. Happy Winter Solstice!
Serves: 8 | Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 1 batch green chile sauce
- 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (1/3 to 1/2 pound)
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 summer squash or zucchini, diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese for filling and 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese for top
- 6 tortillas (try corn tortillas or these grain-free almond flour tortillas (affiliate link))
- 1/4 cup high heat cooking oil, such as avocado or coconut, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking vegetables
- Optional, for serving: chopped greens such as romaine, sliced fresh peppers for color, and minced cilantro or green onions for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375°F, and grease an 9x16inch casserole pan.
- Toss diced bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, roasted vegetables, 1/2 cup cheese (make sure the veggies have cooled, or the cheese will melt right away!), salt, and pepper. Mix until everything is evenly distributed.
- Assembly: heat 1/4 cup oil in a skillet on the stove until it sizzles. Using tongs, place one tortilla at a time in the oil, cooking until it begins to puff up, and then flip, cooking about 1 minute more on the other side. Lift tortilla with tongs from the oil, and allow access to drip off back into the pan. Place tortilla on a paper towel to drain for at least 30 seconds. Then, scoop about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture into the center line of the tortilla and roll the tortilla up. Place roll seam-side down in casserole dish.
- Repeat step 4 until all tortillas are used, nestling each enchilada into the pan.
- Pour sauce over enchiladas, and then top with cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling, cheese is melted, and edges of tortillas begin to crisp. Serve hot on a bed of chopped greens, and garnish with sliced peppers, cilantro, and/or green onion.