Creamy Green Chile Enchiladas

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The first time I had salsa verde was a few quarters ago when a student brought in a recipe to sample as a part of a class presentation. I had always noticed those very funny-looking, kinda intimidating tomatillos in the produce section and had no idea what to do with them, how to prepare them, or what they even taste like.

I was missing out.

Tomatillos have a wonderfully unique, green tomato-like flavor and accent other flavors such as onion, garlic, and cilantro beautifully. The addition of poblanos was simply a plus.

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I was once told that enchiladas are the most difficult and time-consuming Mexican food to make. While that’s probably true if made traditional through-and-through, but I am rather fond of these quick to come together Creamy Green Chile Enchiladas. Essentially, you can make everything ahead of time – cook and shred chicken and simmer and blend salsa, store, and assemble and bake later.

Weeknight enchiladas? Sign me up!

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What makes these enchiladas unique, however, is the cream cheese. This is my first time having cream cheese in enchiladas and now….well, I’m leaning towards the opinion that cream cheese may make everything better. Though, I did cut back the cream cheese by half to keep things on the healthy side. Between the veggie-packed homemade salsa and the whole wheat tortillas, these enchiladas are loaded with fiber. Two enchiladas is a very generous portion for the calories.

You’ll leave the dinner table feeling like you just had one big cheat meal…but you didn’t 😉

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Creamy Green Chile Enchiladas slightly adapted from Gourmet: Day to Day

12 tomatillos, paper skin removed and cut in half
2 poblano peppers, quartered
1 head of garlic
1/2 large onion, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 oz 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
6 oz part-skim Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
10 whole wheat tortillas

Directions:

In a large skillet, combine tomatillos, poblano peppers, garlic cloves, and onion. Allow to dry roast over medium heat 3-5 minutes until tomatillos become very soft, garlic and onion begin to brown and peppers begin to blister.

Add peppers, tomatillos, garlic cloves, onions and cilantro to a food processor and process until smooth.

Add tomatillo sauce back to skillet. Season with salt and cumin. Season additionally to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer over medium low heat for 3-5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of tomatillo sauce. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Add shredded chicken to remaining sauce in skillet over medium low heat. Add cubes of cream cheese to sauce. Stir to blend.

To assemble, spray 9 x 13 pan with non stick cooking spray. Spread 1/4 cup of reserved sauce in bottom of pan. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of chicken mixture onto one side of the tortilla; roll to close. Lay seam side down in pan. Repeat process until all filling or tortillas are gone.

Top enchiladas with 1/4 cup remaining sauce. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Yield: 5 servings (2 enchiladas each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 501 calories; 15.4 g. fat; 67 mg. cholesterol; 653 mg. sodium; 58 g. carbohydrate; 6.2 g. fiber; 32.6 g. protein

Result: Creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor. These enchiladas are quite the treat without the guilt. As noted above, the chicken can be cooked and shredded ahead of time and the salsa can be made beforehand, as well. This meal comes together quickly and the enchiladas, much to my surprise reheated beautifully as leftovers for lunch. If you’ve never tried salsa verde – you must! Enjoy!

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Catch you tomorrow for a bit of a different post in celebration of a very special day (for me, anyways!).

Be well,

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31 Comments

  1. March 13, 2012 / 7:01 am

    I often opt for salsa verde in the restaurants. Not sure why, but I rarely even think about it. Maybe because I get so much red salsa at home…

    Again, another mexican dish- you know you have my heart…. lol

  2. March 13, 2012 / 9:06 am

    yay! I am SO glad you liked them! Your photos are stunning as usual. I need you to come live with me. First as my live in nutritionist who slaps my hand when I reach for the butter and second as my food photographer.

    I pay with cookies…err I mean carrots.

  3. March 13, 2012 / 10:09 am

    It’s funny, I never think of tomatillos in the winter, yet my store sells them all the time! Looks delicious as usual – great photos as usual!!

  4. March 13, 2012 / 10:28 am

    I think tomatillos are adorable and delicious!

  5. March 13, 2012 / 10:39 am

    I love tomatillo salsa!

    I have a black bean enchilada recipe that uses cream cheese – so tasty!

  6. March 13, 2012 / 11:41 am

    Wow, I love the addition of cream cheese! I KNOW I would just love these!
    Enchiladas are seriously one of my top 5 favorite foods.

  7. March 13, 2012 / 12:49 pm

    Looks great — just like some I had at a restaurant a few weeks ago (but I’m sure MUCH better for me!).

    Love the new logo/website redesign, too! 🙂

  8. March 13, 2012 / 1:35 pm

    Those look and sound terrific. I totally agree, cream cheese makes everything better! I am a huge fan of salsa verde and I’ve been on a Mexican kick lately. I forsee these enchiladas on our menu very soon, maybe even next week!

  9. Erin
    March 13, 2012 / 2:20 pm

    I’ve never tried tomatillas, but I want to! This looks like a great recipe!

  10. March 13, 2012 / 3:17 pm

    These look great, Nicole!

  11. March 13, 2012 / 4:57 pm

    I love salsa verde. Its so delicious. And the fact that these have cream cheese – I’m sold. 🙂

  12. Tammy
    March 14, 2012 / 12:51 pm

    These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them. I was wondering if you think I could replace the cream cheese with greek yogurt? I am definitely going to try your recipe…I have just seen so many recipes replacing cream cheese and sour cream, etc..with greek yogurt. Was just curious?

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      March 14, 2012 / 12:53 pm

      Thanks, Tammy! And that’s a great question! Why didn’t I think of that?! I think it would work well, but I would not use nonfat…go with a 2% Greek yogurt. Fat free dairy products and heat tend to curdle. If you try it before me, let me know how it goes! 🙂

  13. March 15, 2012 / 1:55 am

    Yes, cream cheese is DEFINITELY one of three things that make everything better (the other two being butter and bacon). 🙂 These sound totally drool worthy! I need to discover tomatillos for myself–it’s high past time.

  14. March 15, 2012 / 12:05 pm

    I think that I would absolutely love this! Love any kind of enchiladas. If only I could get my kiddo to eat salsa verde…. She has an aversion to anything green whether it tastes good or not unfortunately. I guess I could leave it off hers! 🙂

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  16. May 1, 2012 / 3:12 pm

    Oh my gosh these look delicioso!

  17. May 4, 2012 / 5:27 pm

    what kind of tortillas did you use? I have some 100 calorie La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortillas in the fridge. Will using these change the calorie count? Thanks!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      May 5, 2012 / 6:50 am

      The tortillas I used were about 60 calories each, so I would add 40 calories per enchilada for the correct calorie stats 🙂

  18. Debbie
    June 10, 2013 / 10:29 pm

    My boyfriend and I are both trying to eat healthy and I was craving some Mexican food so I decided on this recipe for dinner. He was a little scared as he had never seen (let alone eaten!) a tomatillo. This recipe was DELISH! I knew it was a keeper when he ate the leftovers for lunch the next day–something that he rarely ever does. Thanks, Nicole!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      June 11, 2013 / 6:51 am

      Debbie, I’m so glad these were a hit! 🙂

  19. Alison
    April 9, 2015 / 9:52 pm

    I’m sorry, but poblanos are NOT green chiles.

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