The best homemade BBQ chicken enchiladas! So easy to make and will never fail to bring a smile to your hungry mob.
Hey Lovely People,
I’ve been making enchiladas for several years now. They were a favourite of mine in my university years because they were so easy to make, and so easily pleased a crowd. And, I’m still making them regularly nearly 20 years later. What I love the most is how customisable they are. Want to add more of one ingredient, do it. Wanna leave something out, do it. Dinner is still always going to taste amazing when enchiladas are on the menu.
However, when you’re trying to lose weight (like me!) enchiladas can really rack up the calories if you’re not careful. Often packed with lots of processed white carbs, sugar-laden processed sauces, cheese, sour cream, maybe a little more cheese. But they really don’t need to be unhealthy – with a few simple swaps you can up the nutrient density of a meal dramatically.
Simply switching from white tortilla wraps to wholemeal tortilla wraps is a good starting point. Making a homemade enchilada sauce instead of using a store brought version, you’re on to a winner. Cutting back a little on the cheese makes a world of difference.
So I guess I’m trying to say, when it comes to healthy food and weight loss, it’s not about everything you have to take away from your meals, coz that’s just dull, boring, and a binge session waiting to happen. It’s more about what you’re adding in. Yep, I said ADDING. By making those simple swaps and then incorporating lots of extra vegetables and beans you’re meal will be less about empty calories and more about filling up on delicious ingredients and essential nutrients that all go towards helping your body to function at its best.
CHICKEN ENCHILADA INGREDIENTS
I have so many recipes for enchiladas that I will most certainly get onto the blog over time. Recipe ideas always come from making small tweaks each time I make them, which is at least fortnightly I’d say. This BBQ Chicken Enchilada recipe had to make its debut first though, because it’s my personal favourite. I just love BBQ sauce. Here’s the ingredient low down…
Corn tortillas are the traditional choice for enchiladas. However, they are not so easy to find where I live. So, unless I’ve got the time to make them myself, the supermarket options are almost always white or brown flour tortilla. When you’re following a real food lifestyle, wholemeal (whole wheat) is the preferred option, because out of the two, the ingredients they contain have been through the least processing. As far as weight loss is concerned, they’re also a better option, because they contain much more fibre, which among other things keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
I almost always use chicken breasts and thinly slice it up – it goes much further that way. But you can use your favourite cuts of chicken such as thighs or wings. Cooked rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken will also work well and make for quicker meal prep.
Enchilada Spice Mix
There’s just no need to spend money of jars of enchilada or fajita spice mix when you can so easily pull together a delicious homemade mix from ingredients you’ve probably already got in your cupboard. I’m using ground cumin, ground coriander, ground chilli (chili) powder and dried oregano.
Again, no need to spend money on jars of enchilada sauce when you can make it from scratch in super-quick time. It’s literally a case of opening a jar of tomato passata (tomato sauce), adding the BBQ sauce and the enchilada spice mix. Easy.
Vegetables & Beans
This recipe uses onions, peppers, sweetcorn, garlic, black beans for added fibre, a good dose of antioxidants and general wellbeing.
Enchiladas are just not enchiladas without cheese if you ask me! But, it doesn’t need to be added like a cosy thick blanket for you to be able to get those cheesy endorphins (er yeah, that’s totally a real thing people!). I’m adding a combination of extra mature cheddar because the stronger flavour means you need less to get the cheese kick and a little gouda, which is a good alternative for Monterey Jack, which I can’t get hold of for the life of me where I live. And, you can just forget those “Mexican FLAVOURED” cheese packs in the supermarket – my word they’re full of crap. AVOID!
HOW TO MAKE BBQ CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
Gather your ingredients and preheat the oven.
Put the garlic and a tablespoon of the spice mix into a small saucepan and stir until fragrant.
Add the tomato passata and BBQ sauce, then simmer on low heat.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan, cook the chicken and remaining enchilada spices over medium-high heat for a minute…
… add the onions and cook for another 4 minutes.
Now, add the peppers, chilli and sea salt and fry for a further 4 minutes. Then remove BOTH the vegetable mix and the enchilada sauce from the heat.
Spread some of the BBQ enchilada sauce out over the bottom of the baking dish. Place filled enchiladas over the top of the sauce.
To build the enchiladas first, spoon some enchilada sauce onto the tortilla, then add some black beans and sweetcorn.
Next, spoon some of the chicken and vegetable mix, sprinkle a little cheese and squeeze over some lime juice.
Once all eight tortillas are filled and in the baking dish, spread the remaining BBQ sauce over the top.
Top with a generous sprinkle of grated cheese and then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese has melted and the edges of the tortillas are a little crispy.
Remove from the oven and top with your favourite toppings. Here I’ve added spring onions, coriander and extra green chilli. Yummers!
Thinking of making these BBQ Chicken Enchiladas? I’d love to know how they turn out. Get in touch in the comments and let me know!
Looking for more chicken recipes? Give these a try…
- Chicken Chasseur (Instant Pot Recipe)
- Oven-Baked Chicken Dippers with a Creamy Chive Dip
- Easy Chicken Tikka with Mint Sauce
WHAT BBQ SAUCE SHOULD I USE?
When it comes to condiments, they’re often full of processed sugar, salt and artificial additives. Now, don’t get me wrong I love ’em. I’ve always used some form of condiment on most of my meals. But when you’re trying to lose weight, adding excess sugar to meals is not particularly helpful. It tends to lead to cravings pretty soon after eating.
Luckily, more and more food producers are bringing healthy options to the market so that we don’t have to miss out when we’re trying to make healthier choices. In this recipe, I’m using the Hunter and Gather Unsweetened Smokey Barbecue Sauce. This sauce is a total game-changer if you ask me. Check out this ingredients list:
- Organic Tomatoes (84%)
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Pink Himalayan Salt
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Mustard Powder
- Smoked Water
To find real food condiments near you, check out the ingredients list on package labels to see what manufacturers are putting into the product. If you can buy each of the ingredients in the supermarket that’s a good sign. Unpronounceable ingredients can remain in the lab, not in your sauce. Watch out for products that state “good for you” or “all-natural” as this can be misleading – sugar and its variations can be classed natural. Some condiments will use white processed flours as thickeners – watch out for those – you’re looking for whole foods in your condiments.
WHAT TOPPINGS WORK WITH BBQ CHICKEN ENCHILADAS?
Anything!!! Ok, that’s not helpful. But, there are so many toppings that would be delicious loaded up on top of these BBQ Chicken Enchiladas. Here are just a few ideas:
- Avocado or Guacamole
- Onions or Spring Onions (Scallions)
- Sour Cream
- Tomato Salsa
- Lime Wedges
BBQ Chicken Enchiladas
- For the Spice Mix: Small bowl & teaspoon
- For the Enchilada Sauce: Small Saucepan
- For the Chicken & Vegetables: Sharp Knife, Chopping Board, Wooden Spoon & Frying Pan
- Other: 11" x 14" Baking Dish, Cheese Grater
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil Divided
- 2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 2 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp Ground Chilli (Chili) Powder
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 Clove Garlic Finely chopped
- 340 g (1½ cups) Tomato Passata (Tomato Sauce)
- 115 g (½ cup) BBQ Sauce
- 2 Chicken Breasts Boneless, skinless, sliced into thin strips
- 1 Large Onion Roughly sliced
- 2 Bell Peppers (Mixed Colours) Sliced into strips
- 1 Green Chilli Finely diced
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 8 Wholemeal Tortilla Small
- 170 g (1 cup) Tinned Black Beans Drained, rinsed
- 125 g (½ cup) Tinned Sweetcorn Drained, rinsed
- 85 g (1 Cup) Cheddar Cheese Grated
- 85 g (1 Cup) Gouda Cheese Grated
- 1/2 Lime Juiced
- Spring Onions, Fresh Coriander, extra Chilli
- Gather and prepare your ingredients. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 5.
- In a small bowl combine the ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder and oregano. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan heat 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat and add the chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon of the enchilada spice mix. Stir continuously for 1 minute. Now add the tomato passata and BBQ sauce, stir well to combine and then turn the heat down to low and let the sauce gently simmer away while you're cooking the chicken and veg.
- In a large frying pan add the remaining tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and remaining enchilada spice mix and stir for a minute until the spices release their fragrance. Add the onions and fry for 2 minutes. Now add the peppers, green chilli and season with salt. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring every so often until the chicken is cooked through, then remove from the heat.
- Spread 4 tablespoons of the BBQ Enchilada Sauce over the base of the baking dish.
- Now assemble the enchiladas. First, have all your ingredients ready and to hand. Take a tortilla wrap and lay it out on a flat surface. Spread two tablespoons of the BBQ sauce over the tortilla. Down the centre, place two to three tablespoons of the black beans, then a tablespoon of sweetcorn, followed by a generous scoop of the chicken and vegetable mixture. Squeeze a little lime, and then finally, 2 tablespoons grated cheese (1 tablespoon of each type). Roll up the tortilla and place in the baking dish. Carry on until all 8 tortillas are filled and rolled.
- Spread the remaining BBQ Enchilada Sauce mixture over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake on the centre shelf for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese has fully melted and the tortillas are a little crispy at the edges. Carefully remove from the oven.
- Some of my favourite toppings to serve on these enchiladas are fresh coriander, spring onions, a dollop of sour cream and some extra green chilli's if I'm feeling spicy! Load 'em up with your favourites, serve 'em warm and enjoy!
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Thank you so much for reading.