I love enchiladas and who doesn’t?! The problem is calories add up quickly, like with any food. Isn’t that always a problem?!:) So, I tried to come up with lighter low carb chicken enchiladas recipe without sacrificing the flavour and taste. Swiss chard to the rescue! Why haven’t I thought of this before?!
If you do not like Swiss chard or never cooked with poblanos, please do not run away and listen to me! The leafy green/lettuce has literally no noticeable taste, holds the firm texture after baking and fills you up with very few calories like you won’t believe it. And poblanos can be easily replaced with green bell peppers + jalapeños/green chiles. Have I convinced you yet?!
Poblanos are very mild chili peppers. Like 1 on a scale of 5 mild, even the seeds are significantly milder than jalapeños’.They are sweet peppers with soft texture and a bit of a heat kick. Perfect to add flavour without extra calories to any Latin dish. I was able to find poblanos in 3 out of 4 grocery stores in my area. Please note red poblanos are hotter than green ones.
If you can’t find poblanos, no big deal. I grew up on my mom’s roasted green bell peppers during summer months. She would bake or panfry them until charred, peel and then dip in salt. To die for! It was my first time cooking poblanos and once I tried them, I immediately was brought back to my childhood years. You can easily substitute poblanos with green bell peppers + a few jalapeños.
These low carb chicken enchiladas came out extremely delicious, with no tortilla! Reminded me of Ukrainian cabbage rolls a la Mexican style.:) Juicy chicken mixed with homemade enchilada sauce, topped with roasted poblanos and tiny bit of cheese. Then rolled in a firm leafy green and topped with more delicious sauce and a bit more cheese. I really went light on cheese. To serve, I sprinkled an enchilada with cilantro and topped with an avocado slice => I died. Me and Alex died. Kids didn’t wanna do anything with my enchiladas. Good, means more for me.
I did not miss a tortilla at all and was so full with just 1 enchilada. All that fiber and protein fills you up and an abundance of flavour satisfies the tastebuds with a small portion. And I like my bread, who doesn’t?! But this time around I didn’t miss it a tiny bit. Enjoy!
Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas
- 1 lb boneless & skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
- 3 Poblanos or 3 green bell peppers + 2 jalapeños*
- 4 large white Swiss chard leaves
- 1 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, divided
- Avocado and cilantro for garnish, optional
- 2 x 14 oz cans tomato sauce
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix chill powder with cumin and rub chicken breasts with the mixture. Place in a single layer on prepared baking sheet along with poblanos (3 green bell peppers + 2 jalapeños). Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer chicken to a medium bowl and peppers to another bowl that you can cover tightly with a lid. Let peppers sit covered and chicken to cool down for 15 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, rinse Swiss chard and shake off excess water. Lay flat on a cutting board, one leaf at a time, and using sharp knife remove the membrane and cut into 2 parts. Repeat the same steps with remaining leaves. You should end up with 8 "tortillas". Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together Enchilada Sauce Ingredients. Spread 1 cup sauce on the bottom of 8" x 11" baking dish. Set aside.
- Remove the stem, seeds (leave some in, they are not very hot) and skin from poblanos (3 green bell peppers + 2 jalapeños). Some skin left on is fine. Cut or rip with your hands into wide strips and set aside in a bowl. Shred cooled down chicken using 2 forks and mix with 1 + 1/2 cup Enchilada Sauce.
- To roll enchiladas: Place one "tortilla" at a time on a flat surface and fold in half lengthwise. Fill with 1/4 cup chicken mixture and top with 1 - 2 poblano strips + 1 tbsp cheese and roll. Place into previously prepared baking dish and repeat this step with remaining enchiladas.
- Top evenly rolled enchiladas with remaining Enchilada Sauce and 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 10 mins. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve hot with avocado and cilantro if desired.
*Poblanos are mild green chili peppers that are sold in many supermarkets. If you can't find poblanos, substitute with 3 green bell peppers + 2 jalapeños. Once baked, remove as many seeds from jalapeños as you like as they are hotter than poblanos. This substitute will give you similar flavour, sweetness and spiciness as poblanos.
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving = 1 enchilada with 2-3 tbsp sauce:
Total Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 33.5 mg
Sodium: 664.9 mg
Total Carbs: 10.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
Protein: 18.4 g
WW Points+: 3