A perfect Fall kale salad that you’ll actually be excited about!
Hands down my favorite weeknight recipe! So easy, decadent and crazy versatile. You can’t go wrong with chicken and black beans but the added twist of butternut squash takes it to a new level!
Enchiladas have become one of my go-to dinner recipes and are usually made at least once a week in my household. It’s the greatest meal prep dinner that last for several days and never gets disappointing. It’s such a comfort that can be lean and bulked up with nutrients or completely heavy and decadent, depending on what you’re truly craving.
For me I love trying new variations of this recipe. I’ve definitely landed on chicken and black bean enchiladas as my favorite but there are tons of other options. The best part about this recipe is I keep it light with vegetables, light cheese and light tortillas that save you on calories but you’ll never lose the flavor. Smothered in sauce, you really can’t go wrong with this dish.
I think this has been one of my favorite recipes to make for as long as I got into cooking. Whenever my brother comes to visit he typically request some sort of enchilada variation. This started in the early years of life when we always had chicken, corn and black beans and tortillas around and we loved anything with sauce and melted cheese. Now it’s become a staple that I’m just not willing to shake.
This is perfect for a make ahead meal too. If you want to make the whole baked dish, covered in sauce, loaded with cheese – go for it! This holds up in the fridge covered for several days and is fantastic reheated. If you want to make it a day or two in advance you most certainly can. I love making this in the beginning of the week and I know lunch and dinner is set for 4-5 days with something balanced and delicious.
Let’s talk filling! There are endless options for how you want to stuff your enchilada tortillas. Chicken and black bean is a light option but don’t hesitate to get creative like adding butternut squash and other neutral vegetables. Ground turkey, pork or even a lean beef are great protein choices. I also can imagine a chorizo and squash variation would be perfect for those cozy fall months. Black beans, pinto beans or even a smear of refried beans all add fiber, protein and a heartiness to the dish that makes it feel more filling without killing your calorie count. And – I think you know that I would never skimp on veggies. This is where I love using up leftover zucchini, yellow squash, onions, peppers, butternut squash and even spinach. Adding vegetables definitely makes this a “feel good”, yet, indulgent dish that the whole family will love.
Give yourself a break! No one is claiming these enchiladas as “authentic”. If you want to find a recipe that’s more of an original Mexican-style enchilada, this probably isn’t it. I’m just looking to make something that is versitle but tasty for a lighter recipe. I definitely think that is what is accomplished here. Use tortillas that you like, for example, I love low carb tortillas since they’re high in fiber, low in calories and still taste great and hold up well. I’m also not going to say that a nice, homemade enchilada sauce isn’t preferred but you can get away with store bought here and save yourself the time and not skimp on flavor and spice. Don’t over complicate this recipe, it’s meant to nourish you and make your life easy.
Remember, this recipe may look indulgent, and it most certainly can be if you add whatever it is you want. This recipe in particular adds tons of vegetables, lean protein, light cheese and tortillas that make it feel like a guilty pleasure but it also somewhat of a healthy meal prep option.
Go crazy on the toppings! You want to make this your own so add things like avocado, onions, tomatoes, pico, guacamole, jalapeños, sour cream/Greek yogurt, cilantro or extra hot sauce.
Chicken, Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5-2 pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 12 ounces butternut squash cubed
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- ½ medium-large onion yellow or red, diced
- ½ medium-large zucchini diced
- 4-6 medium-large baby bella mushrooms diced
- 1 15 oz. can black beans drained, rinsed
- 2-3 cups fresh spinach chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- additional seasonings for flavor optional
- 8 8" tortillas low carb/high fiber
- 1 28 ounce can red enchilada sauce
- 2 cups light cheddar or Mexican cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- On a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle sheet with olive oil and place chicken, butternut squash and season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and smoked paprika.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and butternut squash is tender.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil to medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Add onions, peppers, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and smoked paprika and sauté for about 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent. Add in chopped zucchini and sauté for another 4-5 minutes until zucchini is tender. Add in spinach and toss. Remove from heat as the spinach will wilt down fast. Season with a bit more salt and pepper at the end if needed.
- Remove the chicken/butternut squash from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes before chopping up the chicken. Add chicken, butternut squash, sautéed vegetables all to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse black beans and add to the bowl.
- Season with any additional seasonings like salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic or paprika. Mix well.
- Spray a 13×9” casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and then evenly smear about ½ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish.
- For assembly, lay a single tortilla down and about 1-2 tablespoons of cheese in the center of the tortilla. Add a large scoop of the chicken/vegetable mixture in the center and then roll the enchiladas. Carefully transfer each enchilada, one by one, to the casserole dish so they are all lined up and seam side down.
- Cover the enchiladas as evenly as possible with the rest of the enchilada sauce and evenly sprinkle cheese on top.
- Bake for about 25-35 minutes until the cheese melts and the ends start to bubble. Remove and serve warm.
- Top with avocado, cilantro, sour cream/Greek yogurt, tomatoes, olives, onions or jalapeños.