by Olena

Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas

by Olena

5 from 4 reviews

Low Carb Enchiladas

Low Carb Enchiladas

I love enchiladas and who doesn’t?! The problem is that calories add up quickly, like with any food. Isn’t that always a problem?!:) So, I tried to come up with tortilla less low carb enchiladas without sacrificing the flavor.

Swiss chard to the rescue. No tortilla! Healthy enchiladas! Why haven’t I thought of this before?!

Will I Taste Swiss Chard?

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.

Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas

Poblanos Substitutions

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 pan fry 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.

Have I convinced you yet to give this low carb enchilada casserole a chance?!

How to Make Healthy Enchiladas

  1. Rub chicken breasts with spices and bake with poblanos uncovered for 35 minutes in 425 degrees F oven.Chicken for Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas
  2. Remove from the oven and transfer peppers into the bowl with a lid. Let peppers sit covered for 15 minutes. poblanos for low carb enchiladas casserole
  3. 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.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together enchilada sauce ingredients. Spread 1 cup sauce on the bottom of 8″ x 11″ baking dish. Set aside.
  5. Remove the stem, seeds and skin from poblanos. Cut into wide strips and set aside in a bowl. Shred chicken using 2 forks and mix with 1 + 1/2 cup enchilada sauce.
  6. How to roll: 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.
  7. Top chicken enchilada wraps with remaining enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup cheese and bake for 10 mins.

More Low Carb Mexican Recipes to Try:

Print

Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas

5 from 4 reviews

Tortilla less Low Carb Enchiladas that are just as flavorful and tasty as the original.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican
Scale

Ingredients

  • 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

Enchilada Sauce:

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Store: 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.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

 

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

40 comments on “Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas

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  1. Can’t wait to try this. My partner is Salvadorian and a bit over weight with diabetes so can’t wait to spring this one on him. Mahalo, David

  2. Excellent – I made this for a family potluck, everyone liked it. I sauteed some onions and crushed garlic in coconut oil to add to the chicken – and also sprinkled some fresh chopped cilantro over the finished dish.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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!

    1. 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?!:)

    1. 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.

  6. 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! 🙂

    1. 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.

    1. 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.:)

  7. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

        1. 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.

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