This recipe is one of my go-to’s when a friend has a baby… it’s hearty, warming, can be frozen, and reheats really well. It’s become one of our family favorites! The only thing I don’t like about making these enchiladas is that they’re a bit work-intensive (and give me lots of dishes to do)… so I always make a double batch! That way I only have to do all that work once for two meals. The recipe below is a single recipe, because I know not everyone wants an insane amount of enchiladas like we do 🙂
I like to use my crock pot to make the filling for the enchiladas. Last night, I threw frozen chicken tenderloins (I find they shred easiest), frozen spinach, and a cup of water into my crock pot at bedtime and let it go all night. Then, I shredded and drained the mixture this morning and popped it in the fridge till I was ready to assemble.
I’ve also found an assembly line to be the easiest way to put it all together… it minimizes dishes and hand-washing during the process. You can see I have my avocados pre-cut into their cubes, my tortillas are staged, and I’ve put the sauce in the bottom of both my pans. I also like the disposable pans because they only cost about $1 at BJ’s, they come with a lid, and if I give them away, the recipient doesn’t have to worry about returning it.
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1-2 cans chicken stock (I use a box for a double recipe; you can add more if it’s too thick)
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 small can medium salsa verde (you can adjust this to your taste – it adds spiciness)
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 cups chopped chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
- 4 oz Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 avocados, peeled and chopped
- 8 flour tortillas (10 inch works best)
- 1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (optional, but it’s a great way to sneak in some veggies)
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic for 1 minute. Stir in flour, constantly stirring, and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, whisk in the sour cream, salsa verde and cilantro. Remove from heat.
Cook chicken, onions and spinach in a pan until chicken is done (alternative method: cook in crock pot all day, then shred chicken before using). Add a ladle full of sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Add chicken mixture and 1/6 avocado (1/3 of a half an avocado) to the center of each tortilla and roll, placing seam-side down in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with cheese and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling. Serve immediately.
If you make it all at once (chicken filling is warm, sauce is hot when you pop it in the oven), that 15-20 minute time is accurate. If you’ve made it ahead and refrigerated it, 30 minutes is probably more accurate. And if you’re popping a frozen enchilada tray into the oven, it will be closer to 45 minutes to an hour.
Whether you make this meal for yourself or bring it to a friend, it’s sure to fill bellies and make everyone smile! Just don’t fight over the leftovers!