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.
I have two favorite foods, pizza and enchiladas. If they were the only food available, I could eat them both every day and be happy. But when you follow a low carb diet, these are two types of foods that are notoriously full of carbs.
I’ve managed to make a delicious low carb pizza recipe, and now I’ve come up with a new homemade low carb chicken enchilada casserole recipe that will satisfy your cravings for enchiladas and Mexican food. Plus, this is a fantastic option for families that is easy, tastes great, and can easily fit a regular 14 or 28-day meal plan.
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 to make low carb chicken enchiladas
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 a low carb chicken enchilada casserole
For the low carb chicken enchilada casserole recipe, 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.
You could add black olives, use Monterey Jack cheese or even add black beans if you don’t mind some extra carbs. If you are simply avoiding sugar and grains, definitely add the beans!
Also, get some extra green onions, olives, and lettuce if you are feeling inspired and add it to your recipe. You can add pretty much add all the vegetables you want. You will also need a keto-friendly enchilada sauce (or you can do it yourself if you have a good recipe and time to spare).
- Cook the chicken
- Shred the chicken
- Combine all of the ingredients together and bake in a casserole dish
- Serve and try not to eat it all at once
Time saving quick tip
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.
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!
Choose 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.
A little tip:
If you ever need to convert your ingredients from other measurements, check out this free printable that can tell you how many cups in a quart and other cooking unit conversions. It presents in a graphical way making it super easy to understand (it’s in writing too in case you aren’t a visual person). I also have a calculator to figure out how many ounces are in a quart, pint, cup, and gallon.
So without further ado, below is the recipe. You won’t even miss the tortilla!
Grab the Recipe
Low Carb Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts trimmed & pounded if necessary
- Salt & pepper
- 1 1/2 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)
- 1/2 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.