Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas
Will Budiaman


For the pico de gallo

  • tomato, diced finely
  • 1/2  onion, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup  cilantro, chopped
  • jalapeño, chopped finely
  • lime, juiced
  •   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the green sauce

  • 3/4 cups  shelled pepitas
  • 3/4 cups  water
  • 1/4 cup  cilantro
  • lime, juiced
  •   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the enchiladas

  • 2 teaspoons  canola oil
  • whole chicken legs, bone-in
  • 1/2 teaspoon  cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon  paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon  chili powder
  •   Salt, to taste
  • poblano pepper
  • 15 ounces  canned black or pinto beans
  • garlic clove, crushed
  • bay leaf
  • 1/2  onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2  lime, juiced
  • 12  corn tortillas

Here’s my twist on chicken enchiladas. Red sauce is great and all, but sometimes you just need a change. I topped my enchiladas with a cilantro-pepita dressing and pico de gallo, but you can definitely turn up the heat level with some serrano or habanero peppers. Pepitas are green pumpkin seeds often used in Mexican cooking and can be found in the specialty foods aisle of the grocery store (try asking for pine nuts, and they should be nearby).

Click here to see Cozy Comfort Food Recipes. 


For the pico de gallo

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For the green sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the pepitas onto a baking sheet in a single layer, and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool briefly. Keep the oven on.

Combine the toasted pepitas, water, cilantro, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until it forms a loose paste. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For the enchiladas

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in an ovenproof 10-inch sauté pan over high heat until shimmering. Season both sides of the chicken legs with the cayenne, paprika, chili powder, and salt. Brown both sides of the chicken, about 5 minutes total.

Meanwhile, char the poblano pepper directly over a high gas flame, allowing each side to char completely black before turning with tongs. Set aside to cool.

Place the chicken in the oven, and roast for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, add the beans, garlic clove, and bay leaf to a small pot, and set over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Drain the beans and discard the garlic and bay leaf. Set aside, and keep covered.

Once the poblano pepper has cooled, slice it in half lengthwise, and remove the stem and seeds. Slice the pepper into ¼-inch strips. Set aside.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and set the chicken aside on a work surface to cool. To the same pan, add the onion and cook over high heat until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Combine the onions, sliced peppers, and beans in a bowl. Pick apart the chicken meat from the bone and add to the mixture. Drizzle with the lime juice and mix well. Set aside, and keep covered.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, and heat the tortillas through, one by one, about 15 seconds on each side. Keep the tortillas covered. To assemble the enchiladas, take about 2 tablespoons of the filling and place it in the center of each tortilla. Roll the tortillas, and top with the sauce. If the filling has cooled to room temperature, place the assembled enchiladas back in the oven for about 10 minutes to warm through. Serve immediately topped with pico de gallo.


Calories per serving:

835 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Dairy Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 176g 270%
  • Carbs 273g 91%
  • Saturated 41g 203%
  • Fiber 59g 235%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 21g
  • Monounsaturated 68g
  • Polyunsaturated 49g
  • Protein 191g 382%
  • Cholesterol 640mg 213%
  • Sodium 6,468mg 269%
  • Calcium 761mg 76%
  • Magnesium 1,026mg 257%
  • Potassium 4,847mg 138%
  • Iron 25mg 137%
  • Zinc 24mg 162%
  • Phosphorus 3,588mg 513%
  • Vitamin A 432µg 48%
  • Vitamin C 212mg 354%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 86%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 2mg 94%
  • Niacin (B3) 44mg 222%
  • Vitamin B6 4mg 179%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 282µg 71%
  • Vitamin B12 4µg 64%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 8mg 40%
  • Vitamin K 125µg 156%
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