You Know you Wanna Enchilada…
Let’s talk about an enchilada dinner. I think there are probably a thousand variations of this recipe, and better yet, every family has their own secret ingredient. What makes an enchilada good? I am going to tell you. Lots of seasonings, some really good sauce, and the secret ingredient, which is green chilies. They are savory and spicy. This is a perfect meal anytime of the year. The best part of this recipe, is that it is quick to make and an easy meal for the family. I will also share with you a couple of tricks to really make your dollar and budget spread out to make more for less!
Is this Enough for Dinner?
These cheesy bad boys are delicious and very filling. Usually two enchiladas are enough to fill any person up, no matter their appetite. You’ll also love how your house smells while cooking these. We usually eat these at least once a week. My husband and I work long days and it’s nice that we can both come home and cook this dish up quickly, and the outcome is amazing.
Why Make Enchiladas?
Another thing that I love about this recipe is how interchangeable it is! You can use either a green sauce or a red sauce. The flavors are completely different, but both delicious. The base of the recipe is good for many variations. You can add different fillings inside as well. This is where you can really stretch your dollar. I love adding corn and black beans, because It makes them much fuller, adds different flavors and textures, and it’s only an additional $1.50. I mean, if you have some big eaters in the house, or some guests coming over unexpectedly, this is the way to make your meal much larger. Trust me on this!
Let’s Get Started!
Now we are ready to begin our recipe. Let’s start with our ingredients. These will also be listed down below, as well as some quick steps to make this dish as a reference. To feed roughly 4 people, or 8-10 enchiladas, I start with a pound to a pound and a quarter of chicken. I say this variation, because depending on the fillings you choose, you might be able to get away with more or less chicken. To start, chop the onion nice and fine. Then, start cutting the chicken into 1/8-inch cubes. You can think of them being about the size of a dice, maybe a little bit bigger, because they do get smaller as they cook. You want to cook it up as quickly as possible!
Let’s Start Sizzling
Set the oven to 375º F. Let’s start the pan now. Use a deep skillet because it’s easier to scoop the mixture later on. I like to put about a teaspoon of olive oil in the pan. Then, I turn the heat to about medium and let it get warm for roughly 2-3 minutes. When I put the chicken in the pan I want it to sizzle a little to get a nice crunch and texture on the outside of the chicken. Once your pan is warm, go ahead and throw the onion in and cook it for about a minute. After you cook the onion, add the chicken. Cook the chicken until almost done; we will season it and continue to cook it. I usually cook the chicken for about 7-8 minutes.
Season Baby, Season.
Next is the fun part! Seasoning! Now before you judge, I love seasoning. I believe that chicken is very bland, so I season heavily. I start by seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper, I used fresh cracked because it really intensifies the flavors without having to add teaspoons of each. So, season to your taste. Next, we add the chili powder, some cumin powder, some onion powder, and garlic powder. You know that you have seasoned the chicken enough when the chicken looks dark reddish-brown. This means it’s all covered, and you will get the most out of the flavors.
Now that we have the flavor, we are going to kick it up a notch. I am going to open the can of green chilies and dump the entire thing into the mixture. There will be a lot of juice, but it will cook down. Here is where I also like to add fresh garlic, because I am a garlic addict. This is also a good time to crack open the cans of corn and black beans, make sure to drain and rinse them well. If you do not drain the beans well it will add a sludge-like texture to the enchiladas, which we do not want. I start off with about ¾ of the can of each of the beans and corn and add it to the mixture to heat all the way through. You can add more if you prefer more veggies.
Stuff and Roll.
It’s almost time to stuff the tortillas. I start by taking about a tablespoon of the enchilada sauce and add it to the meat and corn/bean mixture. Let this cook for about 2 minutes. After that, I shut off the heat and add about ¼ of the cheese to get the mixture nice and gooey.
I like to use fajita tortillas as my enchilada base. I like this because I can eat more, I don’t personally like massive burritos or too small of tacos. in this case, the fajita tortillas are the perfect size. We are finally ready to fill these up and get the show on the road. I usually take a big tablespoon and scoop two big heaps into the tortillas. I tuck the sides in and roll as I go to create the perfect little shell for our mixture.
Let the Show Begin!
It’s showtime. The key here is to make sure that the enchiladas do not stick to the pan. I take about 1-2 teaspoons of enchilada sauce, depending on how big your pan is, and spread it evenly across the bottom of the pan. In addition, I tightly align all my enchiladas, making sure there are not any gaps. This keeps the insides tender and gives you the perfect crunch on the outside. Once we have our little packages nice and tight, I pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce all over the tortillas. I actually don’t spread the sauce but merely poor it on top. I really enjoy where there are parts that are crunchy and some parts that are soft, so you constantly get new textures when you are eating.
Final Touches and Eating Time!
The final touches are simple and easy. I take a nice freshly grated cheddar cheese and generously spread it over the top of the enchiladas. Then, go ahead and place the tray in the oven. I bake these for about 20 minutes or until the edges start to get crunchy and all the cheese is melted. Pull them out of the oven and enjoy! Finally top them with your favorite toppings, such as sour cream, cilantro, jalapeños or even black olives. Most of all enjoy!
- 1-1 ¼ pound of raw chicken diced into cubes, slightly larger than a dice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 of an onion
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 clove freshly peeled and finely chopped garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-4 oz can green chilies fire roasted, diced, and peeled
- 1-15 oz whole sweet canned corn (drained and rinsed)
- 1-15 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 10 fajita style tortillas
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1-15 oz can green enchilada sauce
- Sour cream
- Black Olives
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Dice your onion to start, so you do not cross contaminate anything. Next, dice your chicken up into bite size pieces about the size of a dice, maybe a little larger. Heat the olive oil in a larger skillet for 2 minutes. Place cubed onion and chicken into pan and start to brown meat.
- When chicken is close to being done, add all seasonings, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in fresh garlic and stir. Next, when the chicken is done, add the entire can of green chilies. The juice will saturate all of the meat, let the juice cook out. Open the can of beans and corn and drain and rinse well. I start with about ¾ of each can, you can add more depending on your preference of beans and corn. Continue to heat until warm with mixture.
- Add roughly 2 tablespoons of the green enchilada sauce to the mixture. Next, take about ¼ cup of cheese and add to the mixture and turn off the heat. The cheese will continue to melt to make a gooey mixture.
- To prepare the pan, add 1-2 teaspoons of the green enchiladas sauce to the bottom of the entire pan to prevent the enchiladas from sticking to the pan. Then take 2 heaping tablespoons and fill the tortillas with the warm mixture. Tuck in the sides and roll tightly. Place all tightly rolled tortillas next to each side by side in the pan. Drizzle the top with the left-over green enchilada sauce. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and enjoy! You worked hard for this!
I would love to know if you made this recipe! Or if you tried adding or changing something up! Also be sure to check out our group on Facebook at The We Spot. If you liked this blog, then check out my last blog about cleaning!