Lighter Chicken Enchiladas


In these Lighter Chicken Enchiladas cooked shredded chicken is mixed with a light chipotle sauce, stuffed into tortillas, topped with muenster cheese and baked until melty and delicious! Yields 8 enchiladas or 4 servings (2 each).


I’ve never met an enchilada I didn’t like.

Stuffed and baked tortillas topped with sauce and cheese? What’s not to love?

I’m a little particular about my enchiladas, preferring homemade enchilada red sauce (shocker right?) over store-bought. If you haven’t made your own enchilada sauce YOU MUST! I have a quick version and a more from scratch version. But what I love about this particular enchilada recipe is that it doesn’t have a red sauce at all! Yes, enchiladas without a red sauce! Instead the sauce is made by sautéing onions, peepers, garlic, cumin and chipotles. You make a quick and simple roux stir in some broth which makes for a lighter creamy and broth-like sauce.


Who’s not a sucker for those crispy tortilla edges, I aim for a crispy end piece every. single. time.

To Make These Lighter Chicken Enchiladas You Will Need:

  • shredded cooked chickenUse either leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie.
  • extra light olive oilOr use avocado oil.
  • red bell pepperAdds a pop of color and touch of sweet flavor.
  • yellow onionLends delicious onion flavor.
  • garlicLends distinct punchy flavor.
  • butterUse unsalted butter to control the saltiness of the dish.
  • unbleached all-purpose flourNeeded to thicken the sauce.
  • chipotles in adobo sauceLends smoky and spicy flavor.
  • low-sodium chicken brothThis is used for making the sauce.
  • kosher saltEnhances the flavors of the dish.
  • freshly ground black pepperLends distinct bite and flavor.
  • soft flour tortillasUse regular, low-carb or whole wheat.
  • Muenster cheeseA delicious mild melty cheese that’s perfect for enchiladas or nachos.

Make the Sauce:

Start by spraying a 9×13 baking dish with olive oil spray, then set it off to the side. Heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add in 1 cup finely dice onion and 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper. Cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Once the peppers and onions are soft and translucent, add in the teaspoon of cumin and 3 cloves minced garlic.

Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Next add in a 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted, then stir in the 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour.

Stir until a wet paste forms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add in the minced chipotles and 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, more or less to taste.

Stir in 1-3/4 cups of chicken broth. Increase the heat to medium-high, stirring occasionally for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Taste and season with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste) and a few turns of black pepper, about 1/8 teaspoon give or take.

Make The Enchiladas:

Take 3/4 cup of the sauce and it to the shredded chicken, tossing to combine.


Spread a 1/2 cup or so of the sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Spoon some of the chicken mixture down one side of a tortilla.

Tuck, roll and repeat.

Line them up, seam side down, in the baking dish.

Pour all of the remaining sauce over top of the rolled enchiladas.

Use a spoon to smooth it out over top.

Lastly, grate about 1 cup or more (you decide!) of Muenster cheese and then sprinkle it over top.

Finally slide the pan of lighter chicken enchiladas onto the middle rack of your preheated 400° oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden in spots.


With enchiladas, sometimes I cover with foil and sometimes I don’t. For some reason, with this recipe, I never cover it. The cheese melts and turns golden brown and where the cheese touches the pan, it gets super crispy.

Allow these lighter chicken enchiladas to cool for a minute while you finish prepping some easy toppings.


Optional Toppings For Enchiladas:

  • sour cream
  • avocado
  • hot sauce
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • chopped tomatoes
  • raw onion
  • sliced fresh jalapeños.


These lighter chicken enchiladas are definitely a family favorite in our house and I hope they are in yours too!


Enjoy! And if you give this Lighter Chicken Enchiladas recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!