Stellar Creamy Enchiladas
I can’t even tell you how beloved these enchiladas are in my home! We adore them and my husband always reminds me that we don’t make them enough. I have brought them to many potlucks and they are quick to get eaten and the recipe for them is always requested.
This is no surprise though. They hit a lot of high points - cheesiness factor, creaminess, they even have some greens in there. Just enough to trick your brain into thinking it’s totally fine to eat half the baking dish on your own. True story! The chicken component is optional and you can leave it out if you want them meatless but I love to include it not just for extra flavour but they are so much more filling. More details about what to add in as a meat replacement below.
They are super easy to make — all basic ingredients and believe it or not I can find the canned chillies here all the time. I find that truly suspicious. There are times I can’t find Nutella but these little bad boys are always in stock.
If you can’t get them where you are - have no fear I have an alternative that I have used on other occasions (p.s. I also feel your pain). What I do is I will sub in a few jalapeño peppers or pimentos or any other fresh chilli peppers or I have even used a sweet green pepper. I will chop them up and sauté half of the peppers with the chicken and the other half I will sauté as well until tender and add them to the cream mixture. Definitely not the same as the canned chillies but the dish will still taste wonderful.
I don’t usually add any onions or garlic to it but if you would like to for extra flavour go ahead and sauté a chopped onion and a couple cloves of garlic with the chicken.
I like to serve this up with a simple Salad some extra cheese, in this case, a sprinkle of crumbled homemade queso fresco and some fresh parsley. This is totally optional but more cheese is just such a no-brainer right?!?! The recipe I used for it is below.
I love to make it ahead like the night before if I’m having people over for lunch or dinner and then pop them in the oven just before dinner time. So easy to prep and a great make ahead to keep things simple for when it’s just you and your family or if you’re having people over for dinner. A pretty solid recipe that I think you will be making over and over just like us. Enjoy!
- ¾-1 lb of chicken thighs or breast cut up into small cubes (can also used minced turkey or chicken)
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil to brown your meat
- 1 packet of taco seasoning or I always use the pioneer woman’s DYI taco seasoning -recipe below
- ¼ cup water
- 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 cup frozen corn thawed
- 1½ cups grated white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 small cans of chopped green chillies
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 corn tortillas (softened in the oven for a few minutes before assembling if needed- the ones I use are usually soft enough to roll)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- In a medium sized skillet heat up oil to medium heat and cook chicken for 5-10 minutes until lightly brown and fully cooked
- Add the taco seasoning and water and continue to sauté chicken for another few minutes until the water has completely reduced and then take off the heat and set aside
- In a medium size bowl mix together the spinach, corn, 1 can of chillies, and 1 cup of cheese
- In a separate bowl whisk together the heavy cream, the second can of chillies and salt and pepper to taste (I usually do approx ½ tsp of each)
- Now it’s time to assemble the enchiladas. Get your shallow baking dish ready and start assembling.
- Lay out your corn tortilla on a plate and fill along the centre of the tortilla with approx 1⁄4 cup of ingredients half being the chicken and the other half the corn and spinach mixture. Roll the tortilla and place seam facing down into the baking dish
- Do the same with the rest of the tortillas trying to divide the filling evenly.
- Pour over the heavy cream mixture evenly over the enchiladas, sprinkle the rest of the cheese over them too and cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes until bubbling
- Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes or until golden brown
Simple Queso Fresco - adapted from Serious Eats
- 4 cups whole milk - I used fresh organic goat’s milk from marketmovers.com
- 3 tbsp of lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- Line colander with four layers of cheesecloth or 2 layers of food-safe paper towels and set over large bowl. Heat milk in a large pot over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it registers 165 to 180°F on an instant-read thermometer. Add the lemon juice or vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring gently after each addition. Stop adding the acid when the curds separate from the whey: you will see white clumps of curd suspended in a pale translucent whey. Let sit uncovered for at least 5 minutes and up to 20 while the separation finishes.
- Using slotted spoon or wire skimmer, transfer curds to the prepared colander, cover the exposed top with plastic wrap, and allow to drain until desired texture is reached, about 20 minutes if using for pressed cheese (see step 3), or an hour for fresh curds. Gently stir in salt to taste.
- For pressed cheese, gather curds into a ball in the middle of the cloth and press them into a hockey-puck shape. Tie the cloth closed around the cheese. Place the bound cheese back in the colander and place a heavy can or pan on top. Let sit until cheese has reached desired texture, about an hour and a half.
Homemade Taco Seasoning by the Pioneer Woman
- 2 teaspoons Chilli Powder
- 1½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
Mix all spices together and that’s basically equivalent to a store-bought taco seasoning packet
To make ahead just put everything together and cover tightly with foil and store in the fridge overnight and up to 12 hours. Bake the same way but increase covered bake time by a few minutes
Prep the enchiladas the exact same way only do not sprinkle with the last half cup of cheese. Wrap the dish tightly to seal it off and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake sprinkle half cup of cheese over them and you may have to double the cooking time.
Omit the chicken altogether and enjoy as is or sub the chicken for sautéed or roasted veggies that you can sauté with the taco mix.