Healthier Green Enchiladas
Juicy rotisserie chicken, hearty black beans, crispy sweet potatoes all wrapped up in a soft tortilla and topped with saucy tomatillo salsa are a fresh and healthy twist on traditional enchiladas that won’t disappoint.
I’m pretty sure I could eat some form of Mexican food every single day. Mexican is usually on the menu in our house at least once a week and for good reason, the flavors are amazing. Whether it’s a tortilla soup (hello soup season!), as a snack because chips and salsa never get old, or for dinner (tacos or fajitas anyone?) we work it in somehow. And if the week is feeling particularly boring and lacking Mexican flavor, there is always scrambled eggs with salsa!
I’ve been making a few different variations of enchiladas over the years, but have happily settled on this version for awhile now. First of all, let’s talk about why you need these enchiladas in your life. They make great leftovers, can easily serve a crowd, you can prep ahead the ingredients, and they are much healthier than enchiladas you will find at your local Mexican joint which are covered in cheese, greasy meat and who knows what is all in that sauce.
Speaking of sauce, I like to use Salsa Verde as enchilada sauce. The kind from Trader Joe’s to be exact. Reason being, it’s cheap, delicious, and I can appreciate the simple ingredient label. After inspecting the ingredients of canned enchilada sauce I was completely let down and wanted to turn to other options. I have made my own sauce before which is a great option, but when in a pinch I default to Salsa Verde from TJ’s.
I would have to say that 9 times out of 10 I usually prep the ingredients for these enchiladas ahead of time so I can easily assemble + bake them without much effort on a week night.
My prep-ahead means pulling off all the meat from a rotisserie chicken. Another option would be to boil chicken breasts and shred it. Next up is peeling, dicing, and cooking the sweet potato cubes over high heat on the stove top.
Pro-tip for cooking sweet potatoes stove-top style: Pre-heat your skillet over medium-high heat with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add cubed potatoes and a few tablespoons of water, cover with lid and cook until the liquid is evaporated stirring occasionally. The purpose of this is to speed up the cooking time of the potatoes so they are partially cooked from being steamed/boiled in a little water. Then add olive oil and crank up the heat and add your spices. Stir minimally as the longer the potatoes sit in one place the better crisping you will get.
Once the sweet potatoes are done, add the chicken, rinsed black beans, fresh cilantro, jar of salsa verde and more spices. Stir everything together and remove from heat. Let cool before putting in the fridge for later assembly if you are going the prep-ahead route or assemble your enchiladas right away.
If you are assembling right away, simply scoop the mixture into your favorite tortilla, roll up it up and place seam side down in a greased glass baking dish. Pour a second jar of salsa verde on top and bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil and finish baking for 10 minutes or until edges of tortillas are to your desired doneness.
Notice anything missing from this recipe that you usually find in most American? CHEESE. Yep, there is no cheese to be found here. I made these several times adding cheese to the inner mixture before rolling them up and then topping with more cheese. The thing is, I didn’t think the cheese really made much of a difference. I thought there was plenty of flavor for the tastebuds that cheese was an unneeded component to this one so I decided to leave it out and haven’t looked back. I don’t think you’ll miss it. Save the cheese for pizzzzza instead. 🙂
Well it’s a beautiful Sunday here in Iowa so I’m going to get out and enjoy it before winter sets in, eek!
- 1 Rotisserie chicken OR 3 chicken breasts
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 jars salsa verde
- 10 tortilla shells
- 1 bundle fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp crushed garlic (the kind in a jar is perfect)
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp cumin (or more if you like it spicy)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/2Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- Pull chicken off the bone and shred into small pieces with two forks or your hands. If you are using boiled chicken breasts, pull chicken into small pieces once cooked through.
- Peel and cube sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes
- Drain and rinse black beans
- Dice Cilantro
- Heat large skillet to high heat. Add sweet potatoes and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Cover with lid and let cook until sweet potatoes start to soften.
- Remove lid and add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and crushed garlic. Add all dried spices (everything except cilantro). Flip potatoes periodically, but don't over stir so the potatoes have a chance to get crispy.
- When the potatoes are done add chicken, beans, cilantro, and 1 jar of salsa verde. Remove from heat and stir together. Add more spices as necessary to your taste preferences.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
- Grease a 9x13 glass dish
- Add mixture to individual tortillas and roll leaving ends open. Place seam side down in the glass dish until all of the chicken mixture is used.
- Top enchiladas with second jar of salsa verde.
- Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for 10-15 additional minutes until ends of tortillas are slightly browned and crispy.