Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas with an easy homemade enchilada sauce are filling, healthy. and so tasty.
These healthy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas are as good as any restaurant and good for you. These enchiladas are filled with chicken, black beans, corn, onion, and cilantro and covered with a spicy enchilada sauce and plenty of cheese. That's a winning dinner. This meal can also be made in advance and even frozen.
Enchiladas have always been one of my must eats at a Mexican restaurant. There is nothing better. However, knowing that pack in tons of calories and fat, I have been focused on improving my enchilada game at home. And I finally discovered the secret. It's making your own enchilada sauce. The flavor is so much better than a store-bought version and it's actually surprisingly easy.
The other key to making a healthy and diet friendly enchilada at home is focusing on filling it with good for you ingredients. This enchilada is stuffed with chicken breast, black beans, and corn. This creates a hearty filling that is packed with protein and fiber.
The other key to creating a healthier enchilada is the tortillas. Did you know the tortillas for most restaurant enchiladas are dipped in hot oil before being rolled? This helps them to be flexible and not break when being rolled. Luckily the microwave can do the same thing. Warming your tortilla slightly before rolling it will prevent cracking without adding tons of unnecessary calories. Additionally, I like to use a low carb whole wheat tortilla. This adds some extra fiber and cuts down on calories. However, any tortilla will work - flour, corn, low carb, high fiber, or paleo tortillas are all good choices.
Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup fat-free chicken broth
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1.5 tbsp chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- Directions: Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add all ingredients and bring to a low boil. Turn heat down to let, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.
- Consider making a double or triple batch and freezing it for future use.
How to Freeze Chicken Enchiladas
The easiest way to freeze enchiladas is to prepare them in a freezer and oven safe container without baking them. Once they are fully prepared, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Then wrap them in foil. They can be frozen for 3-4 months. To bake them, remove the plastic wrap and cover them in foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Then remove the foil and finish baking them.
Do I have to roast the chicken?
Personally, I like the flavor of roasting my own chicken for these enchiladas but it does add an extra step. If you want to save time you can use leftover cooked chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken. Consider tossing it with some cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder to add another layer of flavor. You can also add a can of drained diced tomatoes to the chicken as well to add some extra moisture and flavor. I like to use diced tomatoes with green chilies since we love heat but fire roasted tomatoes are also a good choice.
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
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- 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder (for sauce)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil (for sauce)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup canned black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (for sauce)
- 1 lime, juice
- 8 low carb tortillas
- 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese
- 2 cups tomato sauce (for sauce)
- 1 cup fat free chicken broth (for sauce)
- 1 tsp cumin (for sauce)
- 1.5 tbsp chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (for sauce)
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TO ROAST CHICKEN: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set chicken breasts in dish, and season with seasoning mix. Place in oven, and roast for about 20 min, or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken and any pan juices to a large bowl and tent with foil. When cool enough to handle, shred using two forks.
TO MAKE ENCHILADAS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add in onions and garlic and saute for about 1-2 minutes. Add in shredded chicken, cilantro, corn, black beans, lime juice, and ¾ cup of the prepared enchilada sauce. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Cook for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat. To assemble enchiladas, add about 1/3 cup of chicken and bean mixture onto each tortilla. Roll it up, and place into baking dish, seam side down. Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas, top with the shredded cheese, cover with foil, then bake in the oven for for about 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped scallions or cilantro if desired.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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