Lighter Chicken Enchiladas | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


I love Mexican food and I love enchiladas.  However, I don’t eat enchiladas very often because OMG, that fat and the cheese and the FAT.

Until now.

For a brief while, I had a free membership to Cook’s Illustrated.  During that time, I printed out as many recipes as I had time to.  This is one of them.  I printed it out last April and I just got around to making it about a month ago.  Let me just say that I should have not waited so long because it was awesome. Sure, it was a little labor intensive by my standards and there was a time or two where I thought that I just might never make this again, BUT once I tasted the end result, I was SOLD.

I will make this again and I have already thought of some ways to shave the time down. Lighter Chicken Enchiladas


  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • salt
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts), trimmed of excess fat
  • ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces 50 percent light cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges (for serving)


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the onion, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside to cool. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Toss together the shredded chicken, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of the cheddar, the jalapenos, and cilantro, and season with salt an pepper taste.
  4. Stack the tortillas on a microwave safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40 to 60 seconds. Spread the warm tortillas out over a clean work surface. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them seam-side down in a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.
  5. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with vegetable oil spray. Pour 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas to coat them thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes longer. Serve, passing the remaining 1 cup sauce.


Calories 350, Fat 10g, Sat Fat 4.5g

(source: Cook’s Illustrated)


  • I left out the jalapenos as I was serving this to my kids.  For that same reason, I served the cilantro on the side- I didn’t want to hear their protests about there being “green things” in their food- HA!
  • I decreased the amount of chili powder to 2 tablespoons for the kids as well.

Serve with Spanish rice and a salad with homemade salad dressing (both are my original recipes and so good for you!).

So tell me, does this sound like something you would like to give a try?  You won’t be sorry-promise!

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I’m a runner, on my way to becoming a marathoner. I am 42 years old and have found a peaceful acceptance of my body. Through running, I have discovered who I am, besides a mom to three kids and a wife to one. I truly enjoy sharing my love of fitness with others while empowering and motivating women to conquer their fear of the unknown. In my spare time, I manage the Run with the Sisterhood Facebook page, work here and there for Zooma Women’s Race Series, and work part-time at our local YMCA.