Chicken Enchilada Make-Over


hautemealz.com member Stephanie wrote me to ask…

“Hi Hautemealz, for Cinco De Mayo I went off the Hautemealz plan a revived a family favorite, Chicken Enchiladas.  Before going back to my tried and true recipe that I clipped from a magazine ad years ago, I reviewed a number of recipes on line.  What I found was  many of the recipes on-line were more complicated and not healthier.  I moved forward and  whipped up a batch of enchiladas.  They were good, but they seemed sort of, I don’t know, boring.  This got me wondering if Hautemealz would have a way to take them up a notch (while keeping it simple) and maybe even make them a little better on nutritional value.  I know Hautemealz has spoiled me –  now I expect  healthy food with excellent flavor for my family. “

So, I took a look at the recipe and was pretty sure that we could whip up just as good of a recipe, or better, and make it healthier at the same time. Here were the nutritional stats for the original recipe, which included a can of cream of chicken soup (see the sodium count? Be afraid…)

Original Chicken & Cheese Enchilada Stats

Here’s what we came up with, which, if I say so myself, is freakin’ awesome!

We shaved 170 calories off each serving, cut the fat almost in half, and reduced the sodium to less that 1/5th of the original recipe! Even managed to bump up the protein a bit (see stats, below.) All that, and I think it tastes even better than the original!

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Chef Perry’s Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock*
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup crema (Mexican sour cream)
1 1/2 cup green enchilada sauce, divided
1/2 cup chopped green chilies
12 oz. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese, divided
1/4 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1/2 tsp each: ground cumin & chili powder
6 flour tortillas (6-inch)
1 green onion, sliced (about 2 Tbsp.)

* If you don’t have time to make your own chicken stock, combine 2 tsp. Better than Bullion Low Sodium chicken base with 1 1/2 cups of hot water.

Heat the oven to 350F.

In a bowl, combine shredded chicken, 1/2 of Mexican blend cheese, cumin and chili powder. Mix well and chill.

Pour 2/3 of the green enchilada sauce onto a plate (you may need to do this in stages) and dredge a tortilla through it (both sides).

Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas.  Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side down in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Repeat for all remaining enchiladas, adding sauce to the plate as needed.

Heat a skillet to medium, melt the butter, and stir in the flour. Cook 2 minutes, stirring, until just starting to color and smell nutty. Add chicken broth and whisk until smooth, thick and bubbly (do not boil). Reduce heat to medium low, and stir in crema, yogurt, remaining enchilada sauce, and the green chilies.  Cook 1 minute, stirring.

Pour the sauce evenly over the enchiladas and top with remaining cheese and green onions.

NOTE: You can cook your enchiladas now, and they’ll be great. For NEXT LEVEL enchiladas however, cover your baking dish with plastic wrap and let your enchiladas chill over night (up to 24 hours). Set them on the counter about an hour before cooking, then replace the wrap with foil, and proceed with the directions…

hautemealz Chicken & Cheese EnchiladasBake 25 minutes, covered with foil, the broil until highest setting for 3 minutes, until starting to brown (watch carefully).

Remove from oven, allow to rest 10 minutes, and then serve.

FYI…a little of our Fresh Pepper Pico de Gallo makes a lovely garnish for this dish.

NOTE: If you prefer red enchiladas, simply replace the green enchilada sauce for red, and replace the chopped green chilies with 1/3 cup of fire-roasted tomato salsa (I strongly recommend picking this up fresh at a Chevy’s restaurant.)


-Chef Perry

PS – Got a recipe you’d like made-over? Email it to me at hautemealz@gmail.com