Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce
The other night we had some extra chicken breasts in the fridge that needed used up, along with an extra pack of corn tortillas, so enchiladas was a no-brainer (plus it wasn’t very hot outside, so it seemed okay to use the oven). The best part about a recipe like this is that there’s plenty leftover for more lunches and dinners – and the leftovers are even better because the flavor develops. I made this enchilada sauce a few years ago and really liked it, so I went with it again. It makes a lot so you should have extra that you can use in another dish or freeze.
I added quinoa to this recipe because we somehow have a ton of frozen cooked red quinoa and I’ve had a little aversion to it since early in my pregnancy when we had it with chorizo, so I’m trying to hide it in whatever I can think of. It’s totally optional and doesn’t add much to the recipe (other than nutrition), so you can leave it out unless you have it sitting around. Otherwise, enchiladas are super easy to customize – just use your preferred meat and vegetables and layer everything.
- 12 small corn tortillas
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1 can refried beans (I used spicy black refried beans from Trader Joes)
- 1/2 cup quinoa (optional – I was just trying to use some up)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 2 cans enchilada sauce or homemade enchilada sauce recipe
- For homemade enchilada sauce:
- 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water*
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes (or 8 ounces of tomato sauce and 1 cup water)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 cup chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup gluten free flour – I used Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour
- Optional: Cayenne pepper added (to taste) at the end, if you like hot enchilada sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Mix together diced tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
- Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan. Lay 4 tortillas in the bottom of the pan, tearing to fit as necessary. Spread dollops of refried beans on the tortillas. Sprinkle 1/2 of the quinoa on the refried beans, followed by 1/2 of the tomato mixture, followed by 1/2 of the chicken. Spread about a cup of sauce on top of the layers and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese.
- Repeat layers: 4 corn tortillas, refried beans, quinoa, tomato mixture, chicken. Top with corn tortillas, 1 cup enchilada sauce, and the remaining cheese.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until bubbly. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Place all ingredients into blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a medium sauce pan. Or, place ingredients into a medium sauce pan (no heat) and blend with an immersion stick blender until smooth.
- Heat mixture in sauce pan over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture thickens and boils. Let boil for 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Cool. Taste, and whisk in some cayenne pepper if you want a hotter sauce.
- *I had to add a little extra chicken broth, as it thickened a little too much. Add extra to your preference.
It’s definitely more of a comfort food, but since it seems to rain everyday in Ohio now, it was fine for this week. I’ll be making this again in the fall to freeze for after I have the baby for sure.