If you're looking for Gluten Free Enchiladas or Dairy Free Enchiladas, this recipe is the best! Don't skip the Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce!
Living outside of Austin, I have a particular passion for bringing people the joys of Tex-Mex with a lighter, healthier flare. There's no denying that the flavorful cuisine my city is famous for is delicious, but I hate the bloated, weighed down feeling that can come after a Tex-Mex restaurant meal.
My gluten free enchiladas are the answer! You can easily turn these into dairy free enchiladas for an even lighter option. They're designed with the cheese optional. The key there is to commit to making the easy homemade enchilada sauce included in the recipe. You don't need cheese if you have a super fresh, flavorful sauce!
Many enchilada sauce recipes call for flour, but this one is totally grain free and gluten free. It also takes about five minutes to make and is totally delicious!
Gluten Free Enchiladas
For the Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce:
- 8 oz tomato sauce*
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 T cumin
- 1 T chili powder
- 1 T oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
For the Enchiladas:
- 1 red onion
- 1 # boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 oz green chiles*
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- 1 avocado
For the Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce:
- In a blender add the following: 8oz tomato sauce, ¼ cup water, 1T cumin, 1T chili powder, 1T oregano, ½ tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
For the Enchiladas:
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Finely chop and set aside ¾ chopped onion. Store ¼ for garnish.
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 1T olive oil, chopped chicken, chopped red onion, ¼ tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and 4 oz green chiles and sauté until chicken is fully cooked.
- In the center of corn tortilla, add ~2T chicken/chili mixture and 1T shredded cheese (optional). Roll tightly. Repeat 7 times.
- Spread ¼ cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.
- Place each enchilada seam side down on top of enchilada sauce.
- Top with remaining enchilada sauce and spread until they’re completely coated with sauce.
- Bake uncovered, ~20 mins.
- Slice one avocado. Garnish w/ remaining red onions and sliced avocado.
What is the nutrition like in these Gluten Free Enchiladas?
- Chicken: In addition to being packed with protein, chicken is a good source of iron, zinc, selenium and B vitamins.
- Onion: Did you know that the humble onion is actually packed with antioxidants? Onions also have vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and potassium.
- Chili Peppers: Contained in both the chili powder and can of green chiles in this recipe, chili peppers are very high in vitamin C and are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium and copper.
- Tomatoes: Packed with antioxidants, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of several kinds of cancer. Furthermore, they contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium. Bonus tip? Combining tomatoes with healthy fats like the avocado in this recipe boosts absorption of tomatoes' phytochemicals!
- Avocado: Loaded with nutrients like potassium, folate and healthy fats, avocados are good for your heart, your eye health, and even your mood. Moreover, they also benefit your brain, bone density and blood sugar levels.
- Garlic: Garlic has been used in homeopathic remedies for thousands of years and is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and some types of cancer.
- Cumin: Cumin is known for a variety of healthy benefits including aiding in indigestion. Cumin is also an excellent source of iron and antioxidants.
- Oregano: Like most herbs, oregano is a super healthy addition to your diet. In addition to being antibacterial, it contains antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin E, calcium and iron.
What are some tips for this easy homemade enchilada sauce?
My easy homemade enchilada sauce really is easy so you don't need too many tips! Here are a few things to keep in mind though:
- Tomato Sauce: Many canned tomato sauces have added sugar, lots of added salt and sometimes added Italian herbs. Look for the simplest tomato sauce you can find. Ideally, tomatoes will be the only ingredient!
- Spices: Remember that spices lose both their flavor and their nutritional benefits over time. Make sure you have fresh, high quality spices as they're really what flavors this simple enchilada sauce.
- Double and Freeze: While the sauce comes together quickly, I know it can be annoying to get the blender out and clean it. Make a double batch and freeze for the next time a Tex-Mex craving strikes!
Any tips for great dairy free enchiladas?
Yes! My #1 tip for making delicious dairy free enchiladas is don't skimp on the sauce. A pile of cheese can sort of cover up a canned sauce with lackluster flavor. Without the cheese though, you definitely want a delicious sauce that can hold its own. My easy homemade enchilada sauce really does take only a few minutes to make and it's SO worth it, especially with dairy free enchiladas.
I also recommend being generous with your avocado. Avocado is full of healthy fats and gives a nice richness to the dish.
Do these two things and you won't miss the cheese!
How can I turn this into a Paleo enchilada recipe?
Corn tortillas are a no-go for Paleo. So how can we turn these gluten free enchiladas into a Paleo version?
Zucchini! For our Paleo menus, we use this same delicious chicken and green chili filling, along with the enchilada sauce, all baked into zucchini boats.
All you do is cut 4 zucchini in half and scoop out the seeds to make a cavity. Next add 2T of the chicken filling, along with 1T optional shredded cheddar cheese to each zucchini half. Spread 1/4 enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 pan, place the filled zucchini boats on top and top with the remainder of the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with additional cheese if you like. Bake at 400F for ~20 minutes or until zucchini is soft and chicken is heated through. Top with diced red onion.
This Paleo version is also great for anyone looking for a lower carb enchilada option.
What are some other healthy Tex Mex-inspired recipes?
Living in Texas I have plenty of great Tex-Mex inspiration all around me! Our Tex-Mex recipes are always a hit with our subscribers as well. It's hard to go wrong with the bold flavors of the cuisine.
Here are a few of my favorite Tex-Mex inspired recipes we've created over the years:
Slow Cooker Chicken Verde: I love to eat this chicken bowl-style. It's great on top of rice, quinoa or cauli rice. Leftovers also make an excellent salad topping for lunch the next day! Instant pot instructions are included in the recipe as well.
Slow Cooker Green Chili Beef Burritos: Your house will smell SO good with this in the slow cooker all day! I love serving tacos/burritos buffet style. Offer lettuce wraps, corn tortillas and plenty of toppings and let everyone customize!
Turkey Taco Soup: This one is super popular with kids and adults alike! It has all of the beloved taco flavor, infused into a healthy soup. Plus everyone can top their soup individually with their own favorite toppings. What's not to love?