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Lighter Chicken Enchiladas


Shredded chicken, corn tortillas, plus a smoky chipotle sauce -- a delicious dinner in three steps.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, November 2008


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces)


  1. In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, bring 1 inch salted water to a boil. Add chicken. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 5 minutes; remove skillet from heat. Let chicken steam, covered, until opaque throughout, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl; shred with two forks. Set aside.

  2. While chicken is cooking, make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add flour, cumin, and chipotles in adobo; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, whisking occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly, 5 to 8 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1 cup sauce to bowl with chicken; toss to combine.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1/4 cup sauce into bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish; set aside. Stack tortillas, and wrap in a double layer of damp paper towels; microwave until hot, about 1 minute. Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture; roll up tightly, and arrange, seam side down, in baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce, and top with cheese. Bake until hot and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes

Chipotles in adobo (smoked, dried jalapenos in sauce) are spicy -- for less heat, scrape out ribs and seeds. You'll find them in the international aisle. Pan-steaming is a smart way to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Gentle heat and moisture keep the meat juicy and tender without any added fat.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS11718927
    26 DEC, 2016
    We love this recipe. We like adding some black beans on top with the cheese. Makes a great dinner for 2-4 and leftovers make great lunches. I often freeze a portion for later.
  • MS11707576
    29 SEP, 2015
    I cannot save this recipe even though it says I did'! Does this have anything to do with the merging of Cozi,which is by far,the worst website/app,I have ever saw.i say saw,because I cannot access it !
  • cshanahan1717
    10 JUL, 2015
    Did not read correctly and used whole can of chipotle peppers sooooo spicy!!!!!!
  • rmdatnkx
    29 SEP, 2014
    Used rotisserie chicken. Sauted 1/2 red pepper finely diced with 4 cloves of garlic. Added chili powder with the cumin instead of chipotles (we don't like heat). Low fat shredded cheese. Delicious and definitely didn't taste 'light'. Will make again.
  • ossineke
    21 MAY, 2014
    Definitely use 1 chipotle. My sauce was too thick, but I forgot to add the water because it wasn't on the "Ingredient" list (I was talking on the phone while I made the sauce). Seems to need a little something added to the chicken like white beans and maybe a little thinly slice onion.
  • dinnymarie
    3 JAN, 2014
    my addition? 2 tablespoons of tomato paste gave the sauce glorious color and added flavor! we enjoyed this dish with dollops of guacamole and sour cream atop!!
  • Quinncy
    20 NOV, 2013
    Sauce is bland? hellooo? the base smokey flavor with the pepper bite along with salt and pepper and a little extra cumin if you feel it needs it is perfect. My boys ate the entire thing and asked that I put it on an index card to put in my recipe box. Did you cook the flour enough? Is that why you thought the sauce was bland? You might taste the flour if you don't cook it enough.
  • gadenice
    8 SEP, 2013
    Easy to make and my guys liked it a lot. The chipotles in adobo sauce were interesting to work with but blended them into the sauce ... added white pepper to give it some extra after-burn after reading some of the comments. We will be making this again.
  • tfloyd2
    14 MAY, 2013
    Was extremely disappoint this this recipe. I should have read more of the comments before making this. Like other people said, the sauce is bland and the chicken just tastes like spicy chicken. Will not be making this again. Next time I will just stick to allrecipes.,com
  • lglevene
    12 FEB, 2013
    For a lighter recipe, this was very good! I had leftover turkey and wanted to make enchiladas but almost every other recipe involved excessive cheese and cream. The chipotles in this recipe give it so much flavor that you really don't miss all the fat. I would give an option in this recipe for precooked chicken/turkey. I tried to follow the recipe and use between 18 to 24 oz. but I think even 12 oz. was too much. Also a 8" square baking dish was way too small. I used a 7 x 11 dish instead.