In this Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas Recipe, sliced deli meat stands in for tortillas to roll up a savory cheesy chicken filling for a delicious low carb take on enchiladas! It's a great way to use rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey after Thanksgiving.
Like Indian food, I could eat Mexican or Tex-Mex at least a couple times a week and probably never get sick of it. There’s something about the combination of a slow-cooked complex-flavored sauces paired with the fresh bright flavors of cilantro or salsa fresca and a crumbly, salty cheese that I find irresistible.
Healthy Chicken Enchiladas
As I play with global flavors, I find that I try to make things a little healthier. Now, I realize healthy is a very subjective word when it comes to what we eat. What one person considers healthy enough for breakfast might seem absolutely ludicrous to someone else.
I think a large part of this comes from the fact that food affects people differently. For me, I noticed my body does better when I limit my carb intake and mostly avoid gluten (I feel more energetic and less bloated/lethargic). Personally, I’ll even go as far as to say that I do best on a low-carb/ketogenic eating plan, so that’s what I try focus on the majority of the time.
I cut down on the carbs in this Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas Recipe. Instead of soft tortillas, I used deli meat to roll up this ridiculously flavorful filling. I started off by sautéing poblano pepper, onion, and garlic, and then I add fresh cilantro and scallion to kick up the flavor. A combination of cream cheese and sharp cheddar are a perfect balance of creamy texture and sharp cheesy deliciousness.
What is Enchilada Sauce Made Of?
The real magic here is in the sauce. Enchilada sauce is usually made from chile powder and other spices, onion, garlic, tomato, and broth with something to thicken it (such as flour, or a corn product). Its flavor profile is similar to my recipe for Easy Roasted Tomato Chili Sauce! But I went a slightly different route here...
A while ago, I whipped up a batch of Kevin is Cooking’s Molé Negro and I haven’t looked back since.
Actually, I want to thank Kevin properly because he was kind enough to send me the dried chilies, Mexican chocolate, and piloncillo needed to make his recipe! The recipe is a slow-cooking thing of beauty (some things can’t be rushed, lol), and it makes a huge batch, which is perfect because I froze the sauce in one-cup portions so I can defrost a bag anytime I want authentic Mexican flavor.
If you’ve never had a real molé, you’re in for a treat if you make Kevin's recipe! The best thing I can compare it to is a slow-simmered Indian curry, but that’s just in the way the flavors are married so beautifully because it’s a completely different flavor profile! A little sweet, a little spicy, with complex layers and depth of flavor. Molé sauce is addictive in the best way possible.
What is the Best Enchilada Sauce?
I’ve also made this Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas Recipe using store-bought enchilada sauce, and it works pretty well. I always look for a gluten-free enchilada sauce when I buy it at the store. It was still a great meal, it just doesn't quite have that wow factor that this dish has when you use homemade molé.
Or if you don’t quite have the time to make that molé, but you have a little bit of extra time and want to do something a step above store-bought enchilada sauce, you could go with my Easy Roasted Tomato Chili Sauce!
What Type of Tortillas Are Used for Enchiladas?
Typically, enchiladas are made with corn tortillas. However, flour tortillas also work well.
To lower the carbs in this recipe, I used deli sliced turkey breast as the tortillas!
Freezer Friendly Chicken Enchiladas
This recipe yields two casserole dishes (about 8 servings). In the same amount of time it takes to whip up dinner for one night, you'll have it ready for a second night as well! Or stash it in the freezer for later.
To reheat this recipe, thaw it to room temperature. Cover the dish with foil and heat it in a 375F oven until warm throughout, about 20 minutes.
More Mexican and Tex-Mex Recipe Inspiration:
- Pico de Gallo (Mexican Salsa Fresca)
- Beef and Bean Burritos
- White Chicken Chili
- Turkey Taco Rice Salad Bowls with Creamy Tex-Mex Dressing
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith
Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
- 2 ½ cups enchilada sauce or homemade enchilada or molé sauce (see Notes), divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 poblano pepper chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 medium-large cloves garlic minced
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 2 cups cooked chopped chicken or turkey
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- 2 scallions green and white parts, thinly sliced
- 6 oz sharp white cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- 18 oz deli-sliced (medium-thickness) turkey or chicken I used 3 (6 oz/170 g) packages Applegate Farms Organic Smoked Turkey Breast slices
- Preheat oven to 375F; spread ½ cup enchilada sauce out in the bottom of each of two 2-quart casserole dishes.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add the poblano pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ½ cup enchilada sauce and cream cheese and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the creamy onion/poblano mixture into a large bowl and stir in the turkey, black pepper, cilantro, scallion, and ⅓ of the shredded white cheddar.
- Place about 3 tablespoons of the filling length-wise onto a slice of turkey breast and roll it up. Place it seam-side-down into the prepared casserole dish and repeat this process until you run out of filling or sliced turkey (you should have enough to fill up the 2 casserole dishes).
- Spread ½ cup enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas in each dish, and divide the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are warm throughout, about 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle on additional scallion and cilantro if desired, and serve.
- Net Carbs: 10g per serving
- If There’s Extra Filling: Put it in a gratin dish, drizzle a little enchilada sauce on top, and sprinkle on a little cheese and bake until bubbling and warm throughout. Or if there’s extra filling, but you’re out of enchilada sauce and/or cheese, use the extra filling inside an omelet or make it into a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Enchilada Sauce: I highly recommend Kevin is Cooking’s Molé Negro for this recipe. If you’re pressed for time you could use my Easy Roasted Tomato Chili Sauce, or if you’re really short on time you could use your favorite store-bought enchilada sauce.
- To Reheat This Recipe After Freezing: Thaw it to room temperature. Cover the dish with foil and heat it in a 375F oven until warm throughout, about 20 minutes.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on February 17, 2017; it was updated with more information on November 29, 2019.
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