Healthy Chicken Enchiladas



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These healthy chicken enchiladas are packed with flavor and nutritious ingredients! The homemade enchilada sauce is the star of this recipe.

I don’t know what it is but I love Mexican food. Maybe it’s the spice or just the overall flavor profile but I love the cuisine! I have a vegetarian enchilada bake but hadn’t shared a straight forward enchilada recipe… until now. I love this recipe and hope it becomes a staple with your families!

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Two chicken enchiladas on a plate.

A lot of people might consider Mexican food unhealthy, but the truth of the matter is within every cuisine there are healthy options! Sure, you can order or make the heaviest, creamiest dish but you could also make some simple swaps to lower the calories and up the nutrition profile. These chicken enchiladas are the perfect example!

Chicken enchilada filling in a skillet.

Ingredients for Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

  • Whole wheat flour tortillas
  • Homemade red enchilada sauce – this is the star of the recipe in my opinion!
  • Shredded Chicken – I use my slow cooker shredded chicken recipe
  • Vegetables – corn, black beans, yellow onion, garlic and cilantro
  • Cheese – I use low-fat, shredded Mexican cheese
  • Spices – chili powder, cumin, salt
  • Toppings – scallions, cilantro and jalapeños
Two cheesy chicken enchiladas on a plate.

Prepping and Storing Enchiladas

There are a couple of different ways you can prep these enchiladas ahead of time. One big time saver is making the homemade enchilada sauce ahead of time! You can freeze it if you make it more than one week in advance, otherwise just store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use. You can also prep the entire meal ahead of time and then bake it when you’re ready.

Baking casserole dish with cheesy chicken enchiladas topped with jalapeño.

To store, use an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to five days. I don’t think I would freeze the leftovers because the cheese gets a little wonky, but if that doesn’t bother you, you can absolutely try it!

How to Serve Enchiladas

When serving these enchiladas I usually have a few topping options on hand including fresh cilantro, green onions, jalapeños, sour cream or Greek yogurt, salsa, hot sauce and guacamole or fresh avocado. You don’t need all of these. Pick your favorite toppings and use those!

These chicken enchiladas are a meal on their own, but it’s always fun to have a few sides… especially if you’re hosting. Here are some options:

Two chicken enchiladas on a plate topped with cheese and cilantro.

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4.36 from 228 votes

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

These healthy chicken enchiladas are packed with flavor and nutritious ingredients! The homemade enchilada sauce is the star of this recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8


Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers, diced (from canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon of adobo sauce from can
  • 1 16 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper

Chicken & Veggies

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken, about 2 breasts
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, from above


  • 8 7-inch whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided
  • green onions and fresh cilantro, for topping
  • jalapeños, for topping (optional)
  • plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, optional
  • sliced avocado, optional


  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil and sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomato sauce, oregano, chili powder, cumin, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. This will help thicken the sauce. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F degrees.
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add chicken, corn, black beans, cilantro, chili powder, cumin and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to the skillet. Stir to combine and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Fill each tortillas with 1/4- 1/3 cup of the chicken and black bean mixture, a sprinkle of cheese and roll it up.
  • Place rolled tortilla into the baking dish, seam side down. Once all the tortillas are filled, cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle remaining shredded cheese over top.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are warm throughout. Serve enchiladas with your toppings of choice: green onions, fresh cilantro, jalapeños, sliced avocado and Greek yogurt and/or sour cream.



Serving: 1enchilada without toppings | Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 753mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: healthy chicken enchiladas
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating




    1. Hey Vera,
      You should be just fine to prep the dish and then freeze it before baking. Just make sure to store the enchiladas in an airtight container covered to prevent any freezer burn. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  3. 5 stars
    These enchiladas are absolutely incredible! So worth the time making them. I’m already looking forward to my leftovers!

    One quick question- best method for reheating? I know enchiladas are notorious for falling apart or drying out at reheating. Thanks!

    1. Woo!! So glad you loved this recipe, Caitlin. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it! For reheating, I typically like to reheat them in my toaster oven or regular oven for a few minutes. You could also reheat in the microwave if you’re short on time!

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I love all of her recipes because they are not too difficult and have clean ingredients.

    1. Yay! So glad you loved this recipe, Chelsy. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    1. Yay! I am so glad you are enjoying this recipe, Ashley! Thank you so much for your review & star rating, I really appreciate it!

  5. In this recipe, do you mean two full chicken breasts, or two halves? I’m thinking it’s probably two halves, given the quantity of the chicken neeed. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lara – I depends on how big your chicken breasts are. I would say a 1lb maybe 1.5lb package of chicken breast would work. Again, it really just depends on the size of the chicken breasts. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    These enchiladas are better than any enchiladas from a Mexican restaurant. The sauce has incredible depth of flavor and the enchiladas itself is easy to make. On top of all that, they’re a lot healthier too!

    1. WOO! I am excited to hear that you are absolutely loving this recipe, Kim. Thank you so much for coming back and sharing this review + star rating, it means so much to me!

  7. 5 stars
    Literally these are delicious and so quick to make. If you think this looks complicated, still give it a try. These are amazing!

  8. 5 stars
    Very easy to make and delicious! Cut back on the adobo if you are sensitive to spice (my kids 😊) we loved these and will make again!

    1. YUM! I am excited to hear that this recipe is a hit for you and your family. Thank you for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  9. 5 stars
    Look no further, these are the BEST enchiladas, my husband and I both loved them. Added bonus is that the recipe is simple, healthy and most ingredients are already in the pantry. The enchilada sauce is amazing.

    1. Excellent! I am so glad you found this recipe and you and your husband are loving it, Danielle. Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I appreciate it!

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