Chicken, quinoa, black beans and peppers tossed in red enchilada sauce and baked to perfection with bubbly, melted cheese. This simple, delicious meal comes together in a cinch and is sure to be a family favorite.
I have something to confess.
As of last week, I had NEVER made traditional enchiladas before. I did make a vegan black bean version when I was doing a week-long vegan “challenge” (maybe only challenging for me… I missed eggs and Greek yogurt like whoa), but that was my first and only go-around. Enchiladas are something I typically never order at Mexican restaurants because there is usually just too MUCH cheese (yes, that can happen), and yet they don’t feel substantial enough for a whole meal. I’d much rather order a few different tacos with a side of chips and guac. And then just steal a few bites of whatever cheesy goodness Adam has on his plate.
But despite my unfamiliarity with the dish, I finally took the plunge last week on Taco Tuesday (obviously), and made traditional homemade enchiladas.
Take about GAME CHANGERS. I must have asked myself 100 times why in the world it took me that long to make them.
But in typical dietitian fashion, I wanted to create a version with a little more nutritious “oomph”, so it only made sense to add my favorite grain to the equation. KEE-NO-WAH. Aka, my little goddess grain.
Let me tell you the BEST part about this recipe. Besides how ridiculously flavorful it is. And besides that beautiful layer of oooey, gooey melted cheese involved (gah!). And besides the fact that this meal has LOADS of protein and fiber.
The VERY best part about this recipe is the fact that EVERY ingredient is just tossed in the baking pan. No pre-baking, sautéing, boiling or cooking of any sort required. The only leg work you have to do is a little slicing and dicing. That’s IT. Could this be any more ideal for busy weeknights?This dish is great to make at the start of the week so you can warm up leftovers for quick lunches or dinners throughout the week. Enjoy it with a side salad, piled high with guac or scramble some eggs in it for breakfast (highly recommend!). I topped ours with a drizzle of Greek yogurt, loads of cilantro, greens onions and some fresh lime juice.
Either way, you’ll be having enchilada quinoa out the wazoo for days and you’ll be SO happy about. Trust me. I’m basically a professional now. If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
Easy Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper diced
- 1 15 ounce black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-1.25 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup red enchilada sauce homemade or store bought
- 2/3 cup 2% milk Mexican style shredded cheese
- Toppings: 3 tbsp 2% fat plain Greek yogurt 1 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup sliced green onion, Juice of 1 lime
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add quinoa to baking dish, spreading evenly to coat the whole bottom of the pan. Next, add diced peppers, black beans and cubed chicken, layering one ingredient over another and spreading out evenly.
- In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together chicken broth and enchilada sauce. Pour over contents in baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top and bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and add toppings of choice. I like to mix my Greek yogurt with 1-2 tbsp of water, a squirt of lime juice and a pinch of sea salt. This adds flavor and thins it out so you can easily drizzle it over enchilada bake. Add cilantro and sliced green onion and dig in!
Have you ever made homemade enchiladas?
What’s your favorite thing to order a Mexican restaurant?
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out some of my other favorite Mexican-inspired meals:
Healthy Loaded Chicken Nachos