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Mexican and Italian are my favorite kinds of food. While I have a pretty good handle on cooking Italian food, I’ve always thought Mexican food to be beyond my reach. Until I found this recipe. Now, if you are looking for totally authentic Mexican food, then you need to be going to your nearest Mexican restaurant, because this recipe won’t be anywhere near as good as the food you get from there. But this recipe is easy and relatively low fat and despite those things it still very much fulfills my Mexican food cravings. It’s gotten to be a staple in my house and whereas we used to go out for Mexican regularly, we’re now more likely to stay in and have this instead, which is definitely better for our bank account and our diets.

Enchiladas

Easy Enchiladas

adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

Dinner | Servings: 2-3
Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 25 | Total time: 55 min

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken cut into strips* (about two cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder**
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin**
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chiles, drained
  • 1 can black beans (and/or pinto beans if you like those), rinsed and drained
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 6 (6-inch) tortillas
  • 1/2 – 1 1/2 cups 4-cheese Mexican blend (or Monterey Jack, Cheddar, etc.)

*To make this easier you can use pre-cooked and already flavored chicken.

**Reduce the spices by half if using pre-seasoned chicken or if you want it to be less spicy.

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Saute chicken, bell pepper and onions until browned, 6-8 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Add filling

    Place a tortilla in the dish and spoon in the chicken mixture down the middle. Roll into cylinder, place seam-side down in the dish. Repeat with all tortillas. Depending on how full you like your enchiladas, you may have more chicken mixture left. I always do. No need to waste it! Just spoon it over the top of the enchiladas.

  3. Top with cheese

    Finally, sprinkle with cheese.

    Note: This is obviously where most of the fat comes from. This recipe is from the Weight Watchers cookbook, so they only recommend 1/2 cup of cheese (and the low-fat kind to boot), so if you are counting calories that’s an option. If you like cheese as much as I do, then you’ll probably just want to sprinkle enough cheese on top to cover the whole dish. More calories, obviously, but I think it’s worth it.

  4. Cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until heated through, the edges are crispy and the cheese is melted. I find the less cheese you have, the less time it needs to cook; about 20-25 minutes if using the minimum amount of cheese, 25-35 minutes for more. Let stand 5-10 minutes before eating. Serve with some refried beans. Yum!


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