Believe it or not, we don’t just eat desserts around here, much to my kids’ dismay. While we love Tex-Mex, these enchiladas are a crowd-pleaser for those who don’t necessarily share that sentiment. They’re filled with chicken, corn, spinach and cheese. The enchilada sauce is not very spicy, provided you remove all of the seeds in the pods. Most of my kids look forward to eating these, even with the green stuff! Still working on the youngest… Ironically he would eat handfuls of plain spinach years ago after friends showed him a Popeye video. Now he scoffs at the idea.
The great thing about these chicken enchiladas is that they come together quick with a rotisserie chicken. If you need to get it on the table even more quickly, skip the homemade sauce. I really like the Frontera Red Enchilada Sauce or the Simply Organic Red Enchilada Sauce.
I will try to make your grocery store trip much easier by sharing that dried New Mexico chiles are also called California chiles. Why do they have two names? I don’t know. But I do know I looked for New Mexico chiles to no avail. Then I went back with my newfound knowledge and found California chiles without a problem.
The recipe will make more sauce than you need. Do yourself a favor and freeze it for one of those crazy nights when it’s 5:30pm, and you forgot you need to feed a small army. Because every day. These people in the house expect to eat every.single.day. And guess what? The tweens/teens can totally make these.
Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 dried New Mexico red chiles, stems removed, seeded and torn (also called California chiles)
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 cups tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste (~½ to 1 tbsp)
- Chili powder to taste (optional for extra heat)
For the enchiladas:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 9 oz fresh spinach leaves
- 1½ cups cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, divided
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Sauté chiles, onion, and garlic for the sauce in ¼ cup olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook until chiles and onion soften, about 5 minutes, then add tomatoes. Simmer 2 minutes, stir in broth, sugar, salt, and optional chili powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes. Cool briefly, then puree in a blender.
Sauté spinach for the enchiladas in 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, corn, 1 cup cheese, and cream. Simmer 3-5 minutes and season with salt.
To assemble, pour ½ cup sauce in the prepared baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup filling and roll up. Place enchiladas in the dish, seam side down, then top with 1-2 cups sauce, leaving the edges dry. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and tortillas begin to brown on the edges.