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Oh so easy, low carb and flavourful Mexican dish! Made with enchilada sauce from scratch and wrapped in firm leafy greens. You won’t miss tortillas at all, I promise!

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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 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 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?!

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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.

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These tortilla-less enchiladas came out extremely delicious! 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!

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Skinny Tortilla-less Chicken and Poblano Enchiladas

Skinny Tortilla-less Chicken and Poblano Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless & skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 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
  • Enchilada Sauce:
  • 2 x 14 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together Enchilada Sauce Ingredients. Spread 1 cup sauce on the bottom of 8" x 11" baking dish. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 2 - 3 days.

Notes

*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.

http://ifoodreal.com/skinny-tortilla-less-chicken-and-poblano-enchiladas/

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 8

Amount Per Serving = 1 enchilada with 2-3 tbsp sauce:
Calories: 138.9
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

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25 Comments

    • Olena

      I know, isn’t it?! Where has my brain been before???!!!LOL. Please let me know how you like these enchiladas!

      Reply
  1. Cassie H.

    These look amazing! Being very new to clean eating, I am still trying to figure out which dairy products are clean. Is there a particular type/brand of mozzarella? Thank You

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Cassie. I buy only organic dairy, it’s pretty clean. No specific brand but depends where you live. Trader Joe’s has organic shredded mozzarella cheese. Otherwise I buy blocks of PC Organics (in Canada) and shred myself. As long as it’s organic. Dairy is a hard choice. Overall, I try not to eat it as much and if I do, I look for low fat but without much extra added ingredients to compensate the flavour. Sometimes it’s not possible, sometimes I buy full fat dairy but than you are dealing with this animal fat…which is different from avocado fats but maybe better than organic guar gum, maybe not. It’s hard. LOL. It’s like vegan cheese and meat imitations…ingredients lists make me cringe most of the time and I’m not sure it’s a better choice than the real deal. I limit dairy overall. That’s why I used only 1 cup in this recipe.

      Reply
      • Cassie H.

        Thank you for your response! That battle between animal fats and unnatural ingredients has been making my head spin! It is reassuring that someome with your experience is still indecisive about what is best. I appreciate your honesty. And I am excited to try this! Made your Turkey Thai Meatballs tonight and they were delicious! So moist. We love heat, so next time, I will add more curry paste. A little extra crushed red pepper did the trick!

        Reply
        • Olena

          Glad you loved the meatballs! Heat is a personal preference, absolutely. I believe in balance and moderation and so far it has worked amazing for me! I choose what I believe to be the best available foods for my family and go with that. Balance is key! The same with workouts and overall clean eating. I don’t yo-yo and that’s why so far I have been successful in this journey because I don’t jump to extremes, I believe.

          Reply
    • Olena

      Thank you! It’s a thin line between making a creative recipe makeover and going too weird… I had a few of those but not this time.:)

      Reply
  2. Kristin @ Tastefully GF

    What I a genius idea! I love enchiladas, but you’re right, the calories add up! Plus, being gluten free, the corn tortillas never quite bend, roll, and fold perfectly like a flour tortillas does. The swiss chard is looks like a great alternative in so many regards! 🙂

    Reply
    • Olena

      True, Kristin. I manage to fold corn tortillas by warming them up in a microwave wrapped in damp paper towel. You gotta work quickly though. But they do not look as pretty as wheat tortillas after baking, that’s true. It’s tricky.

      Reply
  3. Aida

    Hi Olena! Is it possible to substitute Swiss chard with cabbage or lettuce?

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Aida. Unfortunately no. Baked lettuce will be too soggy and cabbage way undercooked and dry unless you pre-boil cabbage, which is extra work… I’m thinking kale might work but I haven’t tried that.

      Reply
  4. Sabrina

    First let me say I will never buy jarred enchilada sauce or dry enchilada seasoning in the packet ever again. Sauce was so simple and tasty. Second, I made this enchilada pie/casserole layer style because I didn’t make the dish right away and the swiss chard had gone a little limp. And, quite frankly, I was too lazy to make individual roll-ups. So I did a rough chop of the chard; layered it between two layers of the meat sauce and then topped with cheese. It’s in the oven now and smells soooo good. I’m making it for my meals this week so I’m sure it will be firmer by the time I cut it into proper portions tomorrow. Thanks a bunch!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Oh, how did it turn out? Great idea to make this recipe as a casserole! Although I gotta say rolling these babies doesn’t take much time. Way faster than my grandma’s cabbage rolls LOL. I know, isn’t this enchilada sauce delicious and simple?! I was quite stunned myself. Where has it been all these years?!:)

      Reply
  5. Betsy

    I had leftover spaghetti squash and replaced the chicken with that. Holy smokes, it was great!!! Thanks for such a fabulous recipe!

    Reply
  6. Kathy

    Hi I didn’t understand the directions for how you cooked the poblano’s. Did you boil them?

    Reply
    • Olena

      I baked poblanos in the oven, on the same baking sheet and alongside chicken. Just like shown in the photo.:)

      Reply
  7. Kathy

    Thank you! I think my computer didn’t load all the pictures the first time.

    BTW I love your recipes!

    Reply
  8. NF

    These are outstanding. I simplified this just a bit by mixing all the filling ingredients together rather than layering the ingredients in each leaf and I used canned chiles. I steamed(nuked) the chard just a hair to soften it can be hard to cut even after cooking. I ended up with 16-18 mini enchiladas(I cut the leaves one more time) topped with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, etc.. Satisfied my Mexican food craving w/o thwarting my healthier eating habits. Thumbs up.

    Reply

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