Saturday, August 24, 2013

Easy Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

If you're cooking for a crowd filled with people who love Mexican food, check out this next recipe I "accidentally" created using kitchen staples.

Easy Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

 

Let's face it - this pan of cheesy chicken goodness came out of the oven looking more like lasagna than enchiladas.

To make a long story short, I really wanted  lasagna during my last night at home in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, we didn't have the ingredients on hand, so I went to my "default" meal flavor -  Mexican. However, it doesn't seem as though I could get the idea of Italian food out of my head.


This Mexican lasagna could also be called baked chicken fajitas due to the choice of wrap, nontraditional sauce and added fillings.


For one thing, I think flour tortillas taste boring, so I used sprouted whole-grain tortillas for this recipe. Secondly, I'm not a huge fan of soggy tortillas, so I combined taco sauce with cream cheese to make my own thick enchilada sauce. These baked wraps also contain a heaping pile of veggies and beans you wouldn't normally find in enchiladas.


I guess I could have named this recipe "Baked Chicken Fajita Lasagna with Veggies, Beans and a Cream Cheese Enchilada Sauce." However, something tells me this title is a bit too complicated.

I think I'll stick with my original title. "Easy Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas" it is.

Easy Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas


Serves four to six persons


Difficulty: If you can stir-fry veggies and wrap a tortilla, you can make this recipe.


Total Preparation and Cook Time: 45 to 60 minutes 


Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (You may omit this ingredient if you want the enchiladas to be very mild.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • One large green bell pepper, cut into small strips
  • One small onion, diced (Any type will work. I used red onion.)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (I used Publix Neufchatel.)
  • One 8-ounce jar of taco sauce (I used Old El Paso.)
  • 8 taco-sized tortillas (I used Ezekiel 4:9's sprouted whole-grain version.)
  • One 15-ounce can of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Three slices provolone cheese
  • Shredded lettuce on the side (This is optional. I used romaine, but feel free to use what you have on hand.)
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)

Steps:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place chicken in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook chicken for about 12 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, heat oil on in a large skillet at medium-high heat. 
  4. Add pepper strips, diced onion and all spices. Cook for about 10 minutes or until peppers are golden brown and onions are translucent.
  5. Remove veggies from the pan and set aside. 
  6. Drain water from the pot of chicken. Using a fork and knife, shred the chicken. Set aside in a separate bowl.
  7. Place taco sauce and cream cheese in the pot. Heat on a medium-low setting and stir until cream cheese has melted and no chunks remain.
  8. Evenly spread half of the sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9-by-13 inch baking pan.
  9. Place one tortilla on a small plate or cutting board. Add one small handful of chicken, about two spoonfuls of beans and a small handful of veggies to the center of the tortilla. 
  10. Roll the tortilla as best you can. Flip the tortilla over so the edges are facing downward. Place it in the pan.
  11. Repeat the previous step until you have filled and added eight tortillas to the pan. 
  12. Spread the remaining sauce mixture on top of the tortillas.
  13. Tear provolone slices into small strips and place on top of the tortillas.
  14. Bake the enchiladas uncovered for 20 minutes. 
  15. Turn oven on the broil setting and cook for an additional four to five minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbling on top of the tortillas.
  16. Remove from oven and allow to cool for five minutes before serving.
P.S. The ingredient and steps lists may seem long, but I promise the recipe is very easy to make and will impress a crowd! 

My parents lived in California and had their fair share of traditional Mexican food while living close to the border. They said the enchiladas tasted authentic, even though I added my own twist. 

Enjoy! :)

Related HGG Posts:

Easy Beef Enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo



Taco Tuesday



Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos and Spicy Cilantro Salsa



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