These Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas are loaded with shredded chicken and poblano peppers, wrapped in earthy Swiss chard, and layered with homemade enchilada sauce and cheese.

I keep these in rotation with my chicken enchiladas and enchilada skillet for days when I want to prepare more substantial meal!

Low carb chicken enchiladas with cheese on top served in a baking dish with slices of avocado and cilantro. More avocado and lime on a side.

I’m not going to lie, I love tortillas! Along with enchiladas, my family often enjoys chicken burritos, chicken tostadas, chicken quesadillas, and even a taco skillet along with the many tacos we eat!

But sometimes, I want something a little lighter, which is where these low carb chicken enchiladas come in to save the day!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Delicious: From the perfectly seasoned chicken to the fresh cilantro garnish, these baked enchiladas are meaty, cheesy, and saucy.
  • Easy: This is one of Mexican recipes with a longer list of ingredients and more labor involved, but surprisingly they come together quite easy!
  • Healthy comfort food: Loads of fresh ingredients and no tortillas! It’s a hearty healthy dinner perfect during the cooler months.
  • Customizable: You can swap the swiss chard for low carb tortillas and poblanos can be substituted too. Please see info below.

Ingredients for Low Carb Enchiladas

This low carb chicken enchiladas recipe comes together with 5 main ingredients, simple seasonings, and optional garnish.

Chicken breasts, Swiss chard, cheese, poblano peppers, avocado, lime, cilantro, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder.
  • Swiss chard: You can use white Swiss chard or red Swiss chard, try to pick ones with big leaves for rolling.
  • Poblano peppers: These mild green chili peppers can be found in most grocery stores. When you prepare them, you want to remove the seeds and dice into small pieces. See for substitutions below.
  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced. I cooked my chicken with the peppers but you can use leftover chicken as well, check out my tips below.
  • Cheese: We love shredded Tex Mex cheese, but you can use any type of shredded cheese that melts such as cheddar cheese, Mexican cheese blend, Colby jack cheese, Mozzarella cheese, or Monterey jack cheese.
  • Tomato sauce: Use whatever you have on hand, I prefer a tomato sauce with no added salt or low sodium. I know that authentic enchilada sauce doesn’t have it but we are using it.
  • Spices: We use chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to season the chicken and the savory homemade sauce.
  • Oil: Any neutral cooking oil that’s good for frying such as avocado oil or olive oil.
  • Optional toppings: For garnish, I love adding fresh cilantro and a splash of lime juice. Then I’ll serve this family favorite dish with a side of diced avocado.

How to Make Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas

These healthy chicken enchiladas are divided into 4 easy-to-make sections – prep the greens, make the sauce, cook the chicken, then assemble and bake.

There is a full recipe card located below.

Step by step process how to cut Swiss chard into tortillas and make enchilada sauce in a bowl.
  • Prep Swiss chard: Rinse Swiss chard leaves under cold water then use a kitchen towel to pat dry. Lay each leaf flat on a cutting board, then prepping one leaf at a time, use a sharp knife to remove the membrane and cut into 2 lengthwise pieces. Once you’ve done this with all the leaves, you should have 12 “tortillas”. Set aside.
  • Make the enchilada sauce: Pour tomato sauce into a medium bowl, then add your cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
 poblanos, chicken breast with spices and tomato sauce in a skillet with a wooden spoon.
  • Sauté peppers: Pan fry diced poblanos along with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes, stirring just a few times to keep the peppers from burning.
  • Cook the chicken: Add the chicken, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes, while stirring a few more times.
  • Add enchilada sauce: Add in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to the skillet, stir and set aside.
Step by step process how to roll and bake low carb chicken enchiladas.
  • Prep your baking dish: Set your oven to 400 F. Use a spatula to spread a bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Set aside while you assemble the enchiladas.
  • Roll enchiladas: Assemble one enchilada at a time by placing a leaf on a cutting board, scoop the chicken mixture into one end, and roll tightly. You should end up with 12 rolls in your baking dish.
  • Add toppings: Evenly distribute the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, then sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake: Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove enchiladas from the oven, cover with tinfoil, and let them rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Tips for Best Results

You can enjoy restaurant quality enchiladas at home by following my helpful tips.

  • About rolling: The amount of chicken added depends on the size of leaf. I was able to add 1/4 – 1/3 cup to each leaf without any spilling out.
  • Roll them tightly: Each one should be rolled tight enough to keep the chicken mixture inside. You also want to fit all 12 enchiladas in your baking dish, so roll them as tight as you can.
  • Leftover filling: If you have any chicken mixture left over, spread it in between the rolls in the dish.
  • Use leftover chicken: Don’t let your chicken go to waste. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, baked chicken breast, Instant Pot chicken breast, or air fryer chicken breast, feel free to shred and toss in.
  • Use any enchilada sauce: Pick up a jar of no sugar enchilada sauce, gluten-free enchilada sauce, or green enchilada sauce. Or use homemade enchilada sauce.
  • Let them stand: Letting them rest helps enhance the flavors but also allows them to set so they don’t fall apart.

What Can I Use Instead of Poblanos?

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 flavor 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. You can easily substitute them with 2 green bell peppers plus a few seeded jalapeños. You can leave some seeds in for more heat.

Three low carb enchiladas served with avocado, cilantro and lime on a plate with a fork.

Other Variations

  • Swap the protein: For a beef alternative cook up some ground beef or use leftover taco meat. Shredded turkey with taco seasoning is also delicious, and if you’re a shrimp taco fan like me, swap the chicken for chopped air fryer shrimp or grilled shrimp.
  • Chicken thighs: Feel free to use baked boneless skinless chicken thighs. They are perfect for dark meat lovers but contain more fat.
  • Vegetarian option: Add extra cheese and your favorite roasted veggies. Mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, spinach, and zucchini come to mind.
  • Toppings: Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded lettuce, green onion, salsa, guacamole, homemade Pico de Gallo, or salsa verde.

What to Serve Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas with?

For a full rounded low carb meal, I’ll often whip up one of our favorite Mexican inspired side dishes:

How to Store

Store: If you have any leftovers, cover them with foil, or transfer enchiladas to an airtight container, and refrigerate for 2 – 3 days. Collard greens do not get soggy like lettuce would.

Freeze: I don’t recommend freezing these low carb enchiladas as the greens will become soggy when thawed. I find them to have an unpleasant texture.

FAQs

Will I taste swiss chard?

Swiss chard has no noticeable taste, holds the firm texture after baking and fills you up with very few calories, like you won’t believe it. Also white Swiss chard has more neutral taste than red Swiss chard.

What else can I use as low carb tortillas?

You can swap Swiss chard for these low carb tortillas or these ones.

More Low Carb Chicken Recipes

Low carb chicken enchiladas with slices of avocado and cilantro in a baking dish.
Low carb chicken enchiladas with slices of avocado and cilantro in a baking dish.

Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas

Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas with shredded chicken and peppers, wrapped in low calorie greens, and layered with sauce and cheese.
4.95 from 17 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 207
Diet Low Calorie
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients  

For the Enchiladas:

  • 6 large Swiss chard leaves
  • 3 medium poblano peppers seeded & diced
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Tex Mex cheese shredded
  • 1 tablespoon oil for frying
  • Avocado, cilantro, lime for garnish, optional

For the Enchilada Sauce:

Instructions 

  • Rinse Swiss chard leaves with cold water and dry with kitchen towel. Lay flat on a cutting board, one leaf at a time, and using sharp knife remove the membrane and cut into 2 parts lengthwise. Repeat with remaining leaves. You should end up with 12 "tortillas". Set aside.
  • To make enchilada sauce, in a medium bowl, combine tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk and set aside.
  • Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to coat. Add poblanos with a pinch of salt and pan fry for 5 minutes, stirring just a few times.
  • Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, chicken, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Turn off heat, add 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and stir. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread a bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of large 9" x 13" baking dish. Set aside.
  • To roll enchiladas, place one swiss chard leaf on a cutting board, top one end with 1/4-1/3 cup chicken mixture (depending on its size) and roll tightly. Place into previously prepared baking dish and repeat this step with remaining enchiladas. You should end up with 12 rolls. Spread any remaining chicken mixture on top.
  • Top enchiladas evenly with remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with foil and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm with avocado, cilantro and lime, if desired.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers covered for up to 2 – 3 days. I don’t recommend to freeze this dish as greens will become soggy.
  • Poblanos replacement: Poblanos are mild green chili peppers that are sold in many supermarkets. If you can’t find poblanos, substitute with 2 green bell peppers  and 2 seeded jalapeños. This substitute will give you similar flavor, sweetness and spiciness as poblanos.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 enchiladas | Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 532mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g
Course: Casserole
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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.

  2. 5 stars
    I had leftover spaghetti squash and replaced the chicken with that. Holy smokes, it was great!!! Thanks for such a fabulous recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    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?!:)

  4. 5 stars
    These sound crazy good. it’s kind of like cabbage roll gone Mexican! πŸ™‚ Pinning! πŸ™‚

    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.

  5. 5 stars
    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! πŸ™‚

  6. 5 stars
    Those look delicious! Love the creative substitution, will have to try it sometime. πŸ™‚

  7. 5 stars
    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

  8. 5 stars
    This is a seriously, ridiculously, stunningly easy and delicious-looking dinner, and I’m pinning it to try later this week!

4.95 from 17 votes

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