Quick chicken enchiladas

I need meals I can put together quickly.  This chicken enchilada recipe took me about half an hour from start to finish.  The result is cheesy and a little decadent!  And yet it’s simple and filling. The secret is sour cream and low carb tortillas. 

Cooking and Keto

Even with lazy, dirty keto, people have more success if they cook their own food.  Control over the ingredients is critical.  But most of us live “Standard American Lives.”  We work all day –and we don’t really know how to cook that well.  I myself was raised on canned, frozen and take out everything. Moving to a different standard, a higher standard, takes some conviction and help.   This is a good recipe to start out on. 

Fortunately there is Pinterest.

Pinterest, Youtube, and other Internet resources are out there to teach us how to cook. I haunt the food blogs looking for easy, tasty meals that don’t require a certificate from the Culinary Institute of America to prepare. I came across this recipe on Pinterest but there were several others, nearly identical.  

Differences from the main recipe.

I used fresh chicken, not cooked.  Rotisserie chicken would be rather dry (if leftover) and they’re so often overcooked to begin with.  My son said he would agree to “taste” but wouldn’t commit to eating a full meal of it.  I found a package of chicken breast tenders for $3.48  When I make this again, I’ll be using a package of chicken thighs — and save the leftovers as this is a really great recipe. 

I used a small can of El Paso (rather than a larger can) because really, I was making this mostly for myself.   My son was very unsure of this recipe.  I made three for myself with enough leftover for two for my lunch tomorrow.  As it happened, my son ate (and enjoyed) one of the three enchiladas. He was hooked on the first bite!

I added fresh red peppers.  This made the fresh flavors pop and added to the sweetness of the onions. 

Cheese and Time.  The original poster used about 3 to four CUPS of cheese.  And she cooked this for half an hour. I’m sorry but the chicken is ALREADY cooked and so you’re just melting cheese and reducing the sauce a little.  Half an hour and that much cheese?  Not really necessary. 

The ingredients

  • A package of chicken breast tenders (thighs will also work)
  • El Paso red enchilada sauce (I used the small can but I’d think the large can would be a little better if making more than the five enchiladas I made. I had to skimp on the sauce as it was.)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of chopped sweet onion
  • a clove of garlic (or a teaspoon of garlic paste)
  • low carb tortillas (I used La Tortilla brand)
  • shredded Mexican cheese (about a cup)
  • olive oil (2-3 tablespoons
  • 1 pat of butter
  • Optional: chopped red pepper (a  half will do) and / or chopped mushrooms 
  • I sprinkled some cilantro on the finished product (see photo) before serving — to make it pretty. 🙂 

Yes, that’s all.  

Just out of the oven!

The directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat up the oil and butter together til hot. 
  3. Add the garlic and the onions to the pan, set it at a medium level of heat. Brown the onions.  This might take five minutes. 
  4. Cut the chicken into small pieces.  I took a tenderloin and cut it into three pieces; if I had used thighs, I would have done three or four. 
  5. If using the red pepper and mushrooms, add to the skillet and cook for another three or four minutes. 
  6.  Add the chicken to the skillet and brown, cooking until it’s all the way done. 
  7.  Add the sour cream to the skillet and about half the can of enchilada sauce.  Set the can aside, you’ll be using that later.
  8.  Combine the sour cream and enchilada sauce with the chicken and let that all cook for maybe two minutes.  Then turn off the heat. 
  9.  Take an oven-safe casserole dish and line it with aluminum foil. 
  10. Add a little more olive oil OR spray the foil with cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray).   This is to help slide the enchiladas out later. 
  11. Put 2-3 of tablespoons of enchilada sauce from the half can you’ve reserved (from step 7) on the aluminum foil. 
  12. Dip a tortilla in the sauce and coat on the outside. You want it just a little wet with enchilada sauce. 
  13. Add a tablespoon or so of chicken and sauce from the pan in the tortilla. 
  14.  Add a tablespoon or so of shredded cheese.
  15.  Roll up the tortilla.
  16.  You’ll repeat steps 13-15 til you run out of chicken.  Should make between four and five enchilada, possible six.  (If you use a large can of enchilada sauce and thighs, then you can get as many as eight. )
  17. Pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken enchiladas.
  18.  Scatter shredded cheese on top of the sauce. 
  19.  Put in the oven til the cheese gets hot and bubbly and slightly brown.  This will probably take ten minutes.  To be honest, I cooked these for five minutes in the oven. 

Dinner is done.   My son said “add this to the dinner rotation!  I heartily approve!”    He thought it was as good as or better than our favorite restaurant. There is no higher accolade in the house.  

Carb Facts

  • Enchilada sauce: 4g net carbs per servings
  • La Tortilla low-carb tortillas 6g net carbs per tortilla

Thus the two enchiladas I had were a total of 20 net carbs.   I’m going to work on a lower carb enchilada sauce to see if I can get these down to 7 carbs a piece.   That’ll take more effort on my part, but for a quick and easy dinner, this one works 

Author: Lola

Recovering academic, real-life, honest to cornflakes anthropologist (Ph.D. and fieldwork and everything), tech-head and social media researcher.

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