Healthy Chicken Enchiladas Verde! This Chicken Enchiladas Verdes recipe is packed with lean protein, veggies, and a creamy salsa verde sauce, making it a great go-to dinner. It’s quick and easy to throw together, and can even be prepped ahead and baked when ready.
What you’ll need
- Salsa verde (aka tomatillo salsa): homemade roasted salsa verde is ideal, but you can certainly use store bought as well!
- Cooked and shredded chicken: I prefer shredded chicken breast, but thighs will also work beautifully. If I don’t have cooked chicken on hand, I’ll pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store—it’s a great time saver and always delicious.
- Shredded cheese: chihuahua cheese or quesadilla cheese are great, but you can also use shredded pepper Jack or Mexican cheese blend.
- Light sour cream: I like to use light sour cream because it’s the perfect balance of decadent, tangy and creamy. For more decadent enchiladas, use full-fat sour cream, and for lighter, protein-packed enchiladas, use whole-milk Greek yogurt.
- Corn or flour tortillas: I prefer corn tortillas for their flavor, but if you like the softer texture of flour tortillas then use those! To keep things on the lighter side, I like to use extra-thin corn tortillas. Just be sure to use tortillas that are 6-inch in size.
- Fresh cilantro: not just for garnish, fresh cilantro adds a freshness that rounds out the flavors of the dish.
How to make chicken enchiladas verde
Enchiladas can seem intimidating, but I promise, they’re much simpler than they seem. Make enchiladas once and you’ll realize how great of a weeknight meal they are!
- Make the roasted salsa verde (so easy). Roast the tomatillos, onion, and serrano, then blend with cilantro and garlic.
- Combine salsa verde with sour cream and shredded cheese.
- Toss half of the creamy salsa verde sauce with chicken and kale.
- Brush tortillas with olive oil, stack, top with a damp paper towel and microwave until lightly warm. (This quick trick allows you to skip the step of cooking tortillas on the stove top in hot oil. Less work, less mess, less unnecessary oil, more weeknight friendly!)
- Fill each tortilla with a scoop of filling, and arrange in prepared dish.
- Spread remaining creamy salsa verde mixture over top (like you enchiladas uber saucy? See the the recipe notes in the recipe card for modification notes) and sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake enchiladas until bubbly, about 15 minutes.
- Serve with additional salsa verde, cilantro and sour cream.
Creamy salsa verde sauce
These enchiladas are both filled and topped with a creamy salsa verde sauce. It all starts with a homemade roasted salsa verde (or store bought) that comes together in minutes.
The salsa verde is then combined with light sour cream and shredded Chihuahua cheese (quesadilla or pepper Jack also work). Simple and flavorful!
What are tomatillos?
Tomatillos are the base of salsa verde. Sometimes called Mexican green tomatoes, the small green tomato-like fruit is wrapped in a thin parchment-like husk and can now be found year-round in most larger grocery stores.
Tomatillos are firm in texture, feature a fruity herbaceous flavor, and are most often cooked instead of eaten raw, though you can certainly eat them raw too!
Stored in paper bag in the refrigerator, tomatillos can last up to one month! To prep them, remove the papery husk and rinse well. When cooked, the skins of tomatillos soften and their flavor becomes more concentrated.
Variations on these enchiladas verdes
- Use ground chicken or turkey in place of the shredded chicken. Simply cook the ground meat in some olive oil until cooked through.
- Add rinsed and drained canned black beans to the filling. If you do, decrease the chicken and kale accordingly (or make a second smaller pan of enchiladas, or enjoy the leftover filling on a salad for lunch).
- Make these dairy free by using cashew cream in place of the sour cream, and skipping the shredded cheese altogether. Top the enchiladas with cashew cream instead of cheese. If you enjoy vegan cheese, go ahead and use that.
- Make these vegetarian by skipping the chicken and instead filling the enchiladas with kale, beans, and sautéed mushrooms.
- Make ‘em really saucy by adding ½ cup salsa, ¼ cup sour cream, and ¼ cup water or broth to the sauce that gets spooned over the enchiladas.
- Turn up the heat in these enchiladas by keeping the seeds in the serrano when making the salsa verde, or add some slices serranos or jalapeños when serving.
- Make these even cheesier! For a more traditional, and bold finish, sprinkle Cotija cheese over the enchiladas before serving.
What to serve with enchiladas verdes…
- Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- ZK’s Favorite Guacamole
- Charred Lime & Jalapeno Margarita
- Margarita Cornmeal Cookies
You may also like…
- Baked Chiles Rellenos
- Blackened Fish Tacos
- Mexican-Inspired Fajita Rice Bowls
- Carne Adovada
- Crispy Instant-Pot Carnitas
Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or tag #zestfulkitchen on social media if you make a recipe!
Don’t forget, if you make these Chicken Enchiladas Verdes, leave a comment and rating below!
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This Chicken Enchiladas Verdes recipe is packed with lean protein, veggies, and a creamy salsa verde sauce, making it a great go-to for dinner.
- 1 recipe Roasted Salsa Verde (or 1 large jar purchased salsa verde)
- ½ cup light sour cream, plus more for serving
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 ¾ cups shredded Chihuahua cheese or Pepper Jack cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8–10 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas
- Avocados, cilantro, lime, and/or hot sauce for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 400ºF with rack set in middle position.
Combine 1 cup salsa verde and sour cream. Combine half of the sour cream mixture with chicken, kale and 1 cup cheese; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Brush both sides of tortillas with olive oil; stack tortillas top of each other on a plate. Cover tortillas with a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.
Spoon ⅓ cup chicken mixture onto a tortilla, slightly off-centered. Roll tortilla around filling and place, seam side down, in baking dish. Repeat filling and rolling with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture.
Spread remaining salsa verde-sour cream mixture over filled tortillas and sprinkle evenly with remaining ¾ cup cheese.
Bake enchiladas until cheese is melted, bubbly and starting to brown, 15–20 minutes. For a golden brown top, turn oven to broil and broil for 2 minutes (optional).
Top enchiladas with cilantro and serve with remaining salsa verde and additional sour cream, if desired.
If you prefer super saucy enchiladas, add ½ cup salsa, 1/4 cup sour cream, and add ¼ cup water or broth to the half of the sauce that gets spooned over the enchiladas.
Chihuahua cheese is also sometimes called quesadilla cheese.
I like to use super-thin corn tortillas for a lighter option.
Keywords: enchiladas verdes, Chicken enchiladas verde, Salsa verde enchiladas