Enchiladas Roja

Who doesn’t love some enchiladas? Shredded meat in a tortilla smothered with sauce and cheese? I’m in! I’ve previously posted a recipe for enchiladas verde and also a very healthy version of enchiladas. And this time I share with you my spicy roja sauce! And for the record, these aren’t terrible for you if you pay attention to the ingredients you buy.



-2 chicken breasts

-2 chicken thighs (optional to add, but the dark meat often adds more flavor)

-2 habanero peppers (only use 1 if you want it mild)

-3 garlic cloves

-3 or 4 small sweet peppers or 1 red bell pepper (If you like your sauce sweeter rather than spicy, consider using roasted red peppers)

-1 large can of tomato sauce

-Handful of cherry tomatoes (optional but I had them on hand so I threw them in)

-Tortillas (I bought a package of whole wheat and a package of spinach, they were only 110 calories which isn’t bad for a flour tortilla. In the end, Kyle and I felt the spinach was much tastier. Also, the whole wheat stands up better to the sauce and doesn’t get soggy as the white flour tortillas usually do- unless of course you fry them first which is customary)

-Manchego cheese, shredded

-Reduced fat Mexican cheese blend

-1/2 of spanish onion

-Fresh cilantro

-Ancho chili powder

-Salt & Pepper

-Olive oil

This recipe yielded two separate trays of 5 enchiladas. I made one for dinner and placed the other in the freezer for a weeknight when we have no food in the house!


In a hot saute pan add olive oil, garlic and peppers. Season with salt and let cook for 5 minutes or so.


Add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pan and puree using a hand mixer. Bring to a boil.


Rinse your chicken and place them into the sauce with salt & pepper. Bring to a low boil then cover and simmer on low for roughly 20 minutes.


Take the chicken out of the sauce and set aside to cool. Turn heat off the sauce as well.


Using two forks (or your hands which is sometimes easier) shred the chicken apart. When your chicken is shredded, sprinkle salt, pepper and ancho chili powder on top and mix together.


Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of your baking dish.

To assemble your enchiladas, put your chicken, chopped onion, fresh cilantro and a mix of each cheese in the tortilla. Roll it very tightly and place in your baking dish.



Pour a layer of sauce over the center of your enchiladas and top it with the manchego cheese. You can choose to drench them all in sauce but I like my tortillas to remain a little crispy so I do it this way.


Bake in a 350 degree oven for roughly 30 minutes until the sauce and cheese are bubbling. Top with fresh cilantro.


Serve with a side of black beans which I cooked with onion, lime juice and salt! Cheesy-saucy-goodness.



Healthified Chicken Enchiladas

My father is on a new diet so last night’s dinner was all about taking a dish I love (see recipe here: chicken enchiladas verde) and making it calorie friendly.  My brother also happened to be home and he is on the opposite end of the diet spectrum. With this dinner we managed to make everyone happy. My father, who is on an 1800 calorie a day diet, consumed 424 calories and the rest of us consumed 614, the main difference being the cheese but he also only had one tortilla (with no cheese) and used lettuce for the rest whereas I had two tortillas. The lettuce wraps are a great way to enjoy a wrap with less calories and an added crunch. We did, however, find a whole wheat wrap with only 45 calories which is a great find! Overall this was a healthy meal with lots of fresh veggies that was delicious and offers you a lot of options when cooking for a diverse group of people.


Above is a healthy option with the same tasty chicken used in the baked enchiladas below.

Keep in mind that cheese is about 100 calories per ounce, so you better make sure you want that cheese! It made me think twice about snacking on the delicious, sweet manchego cheese while cooking this meal.


For the Salsa:

  • Can of whole peeled tomatoes, diced
  • Cucumbers, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • Orange bell pepper, chopped
  • One jalapeño, chopped
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Juice and zest from one lime
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper
Combine and let the flavors meld for 20-30 minutes


For the Chicken:

  • 3 lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans Trader Joes green chiles
  • 1 jar Trader Joe’s salsa verde
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 white onion
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • One jalapeño
  • 3 tbsp reduced fat sour cream

Place chicken breasts in a pot of water with salt, pepper, and other seasonings if you have them on hand. I threw in some salt and oregano.  Bring to a light boil and let cook.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Saute the garlic,onion and jalapeno in one cap full of extra virgin olive oil until translucent. Add in 1 3/4 cans of green chiles, the jar of salsa verde, the lime and lime zest. Season with salt & pepper.  Add a dash of cumin.  You want this to cook down on medium to low heat until the onions are sweet and all the flavors meld together.


Shred the chicken into small pieces with two forks or your fingers. Add the chicken and sour cream, salt & pepper to the pan.


Roll each tortilla with 1/2 manchego and 1/2 asiago cheese and the chicken mixture.  Spray the bottom of your casserole dish with olive oil, place the enchiladas in the dish and then spray the tops of the tortillas with olive oil.  This is a much better alternative to frying the tortillas and they will still crisp up in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

When they are almost done, add the remaining chiles and cheese to the top of the enchiladas. When the cheese bubbles, take them out.

For the side of black beans:

  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh chopped cilantro

Chicken Enchiladas Verde

Saturday night was girls night in after a beautiful snowy day, so Alex and I decided to do some cooking.  We researched a few different chicken enchiladas recipes, compared them with what we had in my fridge and decided to make a healthier version, but trust me we didn’t lose out on flavor.  We paired the enchiladas with a side of black beans with onion, fresh cilantro, garlic and lime juice and the product was a tasty sweet and spicy dish!  And we had fun while doing it 🙂


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tomatillo peppers, papery husks removed, rinsed      


  • 1 jalapeno (or more if you like heat)
  • 1 jar salsa verde (I purchased this at Trader Joes which was all natural and included basic fresh ingredients I highly recommend it)
  • 1 white onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 Lime and zest
  • Tortillas (I used white flour)
  • 1 can green chiles (I used  a can of Trader Joe’s fire roasted green chiles)
  • Asiago Cheese, Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 Tbsp ricotta cheese (I would have preferred to use sour cream, puree avocado or mexican crema but we have to go with what we got– this actually worked really well!)
  • Optional: dried cumin and oregano
  1. Place chicken breasts in a pot of water with salt, pepper, and other seasonings if you have them on hand. I threw in some cumin powder and oregano.  Bring to a light boil and let cook.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Chop the onions, tomatillos, garlic and jalapeno.
  4. Saute 3/4 of the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add in the tomatillos, 3/4 of the can of green chiles, jalapenos, garlic, 1/3 of the jar of salsa verde, 1/2 of the lime and lime zest. Season with salt & pepper.  Add a dash of cumin.  You want this to cook down on medium to low heat until the onions are sweet and all the flavors meld together.
  5. Put strained black beans in small pot with about 1/4 of the onion, fresh chopped cilantro, 1/2 lime juice and lime zest.  Add salt & pepper and let cook so the flavors meld.
  6. By now the chicken should be cooked through.  Use two forks (or your hands) to shred it into small shredded pieces.  Put the chicken in a bowl with the ricotta cheese, and the rest of the jar of salsa verde. Add salt & pepper and mix well.
  7. Assemble the tortilla with chicken mixture, pepper mixture and top with fresh grated asiago cheese.
       8.  Roll the tortilla up and place seem side down in a casserole dish.  Repeat  until you use up all your fillings.  Spray the enchiladas       using your olive oil misto.  Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they start to brown.
       9. Take them out and top with the remaining green chiles with the mexican cheese blend and some more asiago cheese.  Put it back in the oven until the cheese melts.  Top with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
    Plate with your black beans and enjoy!!
PS.  I heated the leftover enchiladas back up in the toaster oven for lunch the next day and they were still delicious!