This low carb chicken enchilada casserole recipe will be loved by everyone, but the absence of tortillas makes it perfect for low carb or keto diets. You could serve tortillas on the side for those who are dining who don't follow a low carb diet.
Low carb, low fat, and DELICIOUS
This recipe is based on the America's test kitchen chicken enchiladas recipe. They test their recipes 30-70 times and have at-home testers that make sure the recipes are easy to follow and understand. So you know their recipes are foolproof.
But here's the catch...
Their recipe isn't keto-friendly or low carb. So, I took their recipe and modified it to improve the homemade Mexican flavor and take out our not so beloved carbs. Making this perfect for anyone on a low carb or ketogenic diet.
What you need
This is a fairly simple recipe that has a lot of versatility. You can almost consider this a base recipe and change it up to your taste.
Let’s make a list of what you need to buy at the farmers market (if possible, since produce is a lot fresher there and it is great to support local farmers. If not, any supermarket will do in a pinch). If you can find fresh green chiles (the hot kind), use these to elevate the dish. If you can’t find fresh hot chiles or you rather use canned ones, you can. Grab a whole bunch of cilantro, chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken, avocados, tomato, and your favorite Mexican cheese.
If you are not familiar with the Mexican cheeses, here is a list of the most popular ones, according to their melting properties.
- Oaxaca: 10 points melting, 10+ elasticity
- Manchego: 10 points melting, 9 points elasticity
- Monterrey Jack: 9 points melting, 7 points elasticity
Remember, cheese is "all ok" for keto diets, so it is good to keep some of your favorites handy for quick low carb recipes like this one.
How to make
I removed the tortillas and added some extra cheese. You can add additional ingredients depending on what you like in your enchiladas, like avocado, green onions, lettuce, tomato, whatever your little heart desires.
- Cook the chicken
- Shred the chicken
Shred the cheese and place it in the bottom of the casserole dish. Remember, the order DOES affect the final dish. Now add your shredded chicken and peppers and your pre-cooked vegetables. Add the low carb enchilada sauce to cover. Top everything with lots of your favorite cheese. You can add it shredded or cut slices and distribute them evenly.
Set it in the oven at low temperature and covered with aluminum foil for about 10 min. Remove foil to melt and brown cheese a bit for another 3 to 5 min. and voila. Mexican keto plate of the day! Be careful when removing from the oven.
Now slice some avocados, green onions, and chopped cilantro to garnish.
Once on the table, add a small bowl of sour cream to pour over your enchiladas. A delicious addition!
This recipe is pretty quick and easy to cook, though it does require a bit of prep time for the chicken. You can save a bit of time by using shredded rotisserie chicken for step 3 of the recipe. It will save you quite a bit of time.
How does this help?
If you use already cooked chicken, you can essentially eliminate step 3, but you may want to bake the dish a bit longer since you will be using cold chicken.
If you got your chicken fresh from the market, cook it thoroughly in the enchilada sauce. If you bought any extra vegetables to add, cook them slightly, and set apart.
Choosing the right low carb enchilada sauce
The key to the carb content in this recipe is the enchilada sauce you choose.
That is where the carbs are coming from. Some may also have sugar as well, so read those labels. The carbs in enchilada sauce come from added sugar. If you can't find something locally without added sugar, you might want to make your own. And if you're in a pinch, the Simply Organic Red Enchilada sauce available in prime pantry is a life savor.
So without further ado, below is the recipe. You won't even miss the tortilla!
Low Carb Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 1 lb. boneless - skinless chicken breasts trimmed & pounded if necessary
- Salt & pepper
- 1 ½ cups of enchilada sauce - store bought or from scratch
- 1 cup finely crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
- 1 can (4 oz) green chiles (chopped)
- ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
- Olive oil spray - or you can use olive oil in a little bowl with a brush
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Lime wedges - optional
- Sour cream - optional
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
- Combine the chicken and enchilada sauce in a medium saucepan & simmer for 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat. Then flip the chicken over, cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until chicken reaches 160-165 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove chicken from pan and shred into bite-sized pieces. Combine shredded chicken, the enchilada sauce, queso fresco, chiles and cilantro in a bowl. Add salt and pepper if desired.
- Spray a square casserole dish with olive oil (or use a brush) and coat the entire bottom and sides.
- Evenly spread 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on the bottom of the dish. Add the chicken mixture, then add the other cup of cheddar cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Serve with optional lime wedges and optional sour cream.