Enchiladas were in my dinner blind spot until a year or so ago when I randomly decided that they would be the perfect way to use up some leftover roast chicken. And in my typical go big or go home style, we have probably eaten them just about once a week since then. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Warm, cheesy, comforting, and easy to prepare with basic pantry staples, these Easy Chicken, Kale & Goat Cheese Enchiladas are sure to become a weekly fixture on your menu too.
I can’t take credit for this brilliant and wholesome combination of ingredients. It’s the brainchild of a woman named Dina, whom I met on Facebook. Yes, yes, I totally met her on Facebook, and as I’ve said before there is no shame in making friends on the Internet, people! Who has the time to make friends the old fashioned way? Right?
Dina started a parent recipe exchange group on Facebook, of which I am an enthusiastic (perhaps overly so) member. Parents (moms, if we are being totally honest) post questions like “What can I make with a pound of ground chicken? Other than chili and spaghetti sauce?” And then others chime in with “Stuffed peppers!!” and “Tacos?“, along with links to epicurious.com and the like. It’s what passes for entertainment and adult interaction these days, and as a bonus I get lots of new dinner ideas and fodder for this blog.
Like these enchiladas. About a year ago I turned to the Parent Recipe Exchange moms for a “good chicken enchilada recipe” to use up some leftover chicken. Which is a bit weird, frankly, because I don’t think I’d ever eaten an enchilada in my life let alone cooked a batch myself. I’m not sure from what random place this request came (though I was very pregnant, and that might have had something to do with it). I digress. Dina responded with her favourite spinach-goat cheese-chicken combo, and I have since made it about 467 times, refining the recipe in the process.
What I love about this recipe (aside from EVERYTHING) is that you can make it in the morning (or before you go to bed even), pop it into the fridge and then bake it for 20 or 30 minutes when you get home in the evening.
The recipe is pretty forgiving and flexible, too. If you don’t have kale, a box of baby spinach makes a worthy substitute. Goat cheese can be swapped for something else creamy (I’ve made it with black pepper Boursin), and black beans could probably stand in for chicken. I like the tang of a tomatillo salsa, but a red salsa would do the trick, I’m sure. Finally, someone will definitely ask if flour tortillas can be used in place of corn ones, and I expect they could, although I find the corn versions are generally quite a bit cleaner than the flour ones (read the loooong list of ingredients on the back of a bag of garden-variety flour tortillas and you will see what I mean!).
Finally, my usual plea: if you try this recipe, please report back in the comments below telling me what worked, didn’t worked, tasted great, tasted gross, etc. I will love ya for it.
- 1 142 gram / 5 ounce box baby kale (or 1 small bunch lacinato kale, finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 10 small corn tortillas
- 1 approx 450 ml (16 ounce) jar tomatillo salsa
- 1 small (approx 113 grams / 4 ounces) package plain goat cheese
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 cup grated old cheddar cheese
- Small handful finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Sour cream, sliced avocado and diced tomatoes to serve (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 and grease a large baking dish (about 9 x 13 inches).
- Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the kale until it is just wilted. Set aside.
- Dump about ⅔ of the salsa onto a large plate or very shallow bowl.
- Dip each tortilla into the salsa, coating it well on both sides (the idea is to soften the tortilla so it doesn't break easily when you roll it up). Spoon in some chicken and cooked kale, and then crumble over some goat cheese. Roll it up and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with all of the other tortillas. Dump the remaining salsa (as well as any leftover salsa from the shallow bowl) on top of the rolled enchiladas and sprinkle the cheese overtop. Bake at 375 for about 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
- Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve with sour cream, sliced avocado and diced tomatoes.