Enchiladas Verdes is one of my favorite dishes of ALL TIME! Tender shredded chicken wrapped in warm corn tortillas, smothered in tangy, spicy salsa verde and melted cheese...what's not to love?! Enchiladas with green sauce are delicious, and I believe in all things in moderation, which is why I never feel guilty when I'm occasionally out for a night of margaritas and Mexican food. But when I'm cooking at home, I like to turn restaurant calorie bombs into sensible weeknight meals.
One of the things that makes restaurant enchiladas so good (and packs on the calories) is that each corn tortilla is briefly dipped in hot oil before it's filled and rolled. It makes them super tasty, but truthfully, it's not necessary for a satisfying tray of enchiladas. To lighten up one of my faves, I skipped the oil-dipping step, and I also used WAY less cheese than restaurant versions. I did make a creamy sauce using a little sour cream, but tempered it with ripe avocado–just as creamy, but with less of the bad kind of fat and more of the good kind!
I also made my own salsa verde, and it's way easier than you'd think! Really, it's just two steps: roast the veggies, then give them a spin in the food processor. That's it! It tastes so much fresher and brighter than the jarred version, plus you can control the salt you add, which helps keep the sodium in check (another thing restaurant food is guilty of–tons of salt!).
You could of course add more cheese, or top these with sour cream, or drizzle your tortillas with a little olive oil before topping with sauce–it's all up to you, and that's the great thing about cooking at home.
This recipe is easy, healthy, and so filling! Plus it makes enough for about 4 people, or enough for leftovers if you're just feeding two people, like I am. Enjoy and happy cooking!
For the enchiladas:
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 container unsalted chicken broth
12-15 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 shallots, diced
2 large bunches spinach, chopped (or 2 containers baby spinach)
1/2 large sweet potato, small dice
1 can vegetarian refried beans
queso blanco or cotija cheese for topping
cilantro leaves for topping
fresh jalapeno slices for topping
lime wedges for serving
For the salsa verde:
2 lbs. tomatillos, husks removed -- larger ones quartered, smaller ones halved
1 jalapeno, halved
1 small onion, quartered
glug of olive oil
1 bunch cilantro, washed and stem ends removed
juice of two limes
For the avocado crema:
1 and 1/2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup sour cream
juice of one lime
pinch of salt
1. Poach the chicken: bring the chicken broth and the chicken breasts to a simmer. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool. Remove skin, and pull meat from bones. Shred it with your hands or two forks. Set meat aside and save broth for another use.
2. Make salsa verde: set oven to broil. In a heatproof pan, place onion, jalapeno, and tomatillos. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Broil for 10-15 minutes, until veggies are very tender and dark (almost black) in some places. Charring is good. Remove from oven and place in a food processor along with lime juice and cilantro. Process until smooth. Taste for seasoning, add salt if needed, and process again. Set aside.
3. Cook the spinach: heat oil in a large pan. Saute shallots, seasoning with sea salt, for about 5 minutes. Add spinach and saute until spinach is wilted. Drain any excess liquid from the spinach and set aside.
4. Cook the sweet potato: Wipe out the spinach pan and place the sweet potato cubes in the pan. Cover with 1 cup water. Turn heat to high and boil till tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and mix with the spinach.
5. Assemble the enchiladas: Preheat oven to 375. Use a spoon to spread a little refried beans on each tortilla. Top with the sweet potato/spinach mixture, then add a little shredded chicken. Roll up, then place each tortilla seam-side down in a baking dish. Repeat until your baking dish is full (or until you run out of ingredients). Pour the salsa verde over the enchiladas–be generous! Crumble some queso blanco over the top, then back for 15-20 minutes.
6. Make the avocado crema: wipe out the bowl of your food processor, then add the sour cream, avocado, and lime juice, plus a pinch of salt. Process until very smooth. Set aside.
7. When enchiladas come out of the oven, top with the avocado crema, more crumbled cheese, cilantro, and sliced jalapenos. Enjoy!