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Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas

These red sauce-topped enchiladas are stuffed with spiced chicken and Monterrey jack cheese, plus a special secret ingredient that makes them extra creamy and delicious!

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas ~ you'll never guess the secret ingredient! | {Five Heart Home}I have made this recipe no less than eleventy billion times. And every time, regardless of who tries them, they are a huge hit. But what most people never realize is that these cheesy, creamy chicken enchiladas are made extra special by a secret ingredient. Promise you’ll stick around if I tell you what it is?

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas ~ you'll never guess the secret ingredient! | {Five Heart Home}Cottage cheese. That’s right…cottage cheese. Now I know it sounds weird, and I realize that it doesn’t exactly scream authentic Mexican cuisine, but I promise y’all, it makes these chicken enchiladas totally scrumptious. I swear I would not share this recipe if it wasn’t going to go over well. Have I steered you wrong yet? So as strange as it may sound, I urge you to try this one!

You know how you can use cottage cheese in place of ricotta when you make lasagna? Well, that’s pretty much the premise here. The cottage cheese not only lends creaminess to the dish, but it’s also a cool contrast to the spices used to season the chicken. And its flavor is neutral enough that you can get away with using a good dollop of it per enchilada, whereas that much sour cream might end up tasting a bit too, well, sour.

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas ~ you'll never guess the secret ingredient! | {Five Heart Home}Corn tortillas are stuffed with shredded chicken, grated Monterrey jack, and seasoned cottage cheese, then topped with a red sauce and more cheese. I’m telling you, the final results will make you shout ¡Olé!  The textures, the spices, the creamy, chicken-stuffed filling and the gooey cheese tying it all together…yum.  One bite and you’ll totally understand why my family would have no complaints if these enchiladas showed up on our dinner menu once a week.

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas ~ you'll never guess the secret ingredient! | {Five Heart Home}Now, a few things worth mentioning…

These chicken enchiladas are equally tasty when made with turkey. So with a certain holiday coming up, if you find yourself with excess leftover turkey the next day, this is a great recipe to use it up!

Make sure you buy small-curd cottage cheese, which blends right in with the other filling ingredients. Large-curd cottage cheese would still work and would even taste the same, but the texture might stand out a little more.

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas ~ you'll never guess the secret ingredient! | {Five Heart Home}You can buy a can of enchilada sauce to use with this recipe, but I have yet to find a brand that is without questionable ingredients, so I prefer to quickly whip up my own pseudo-enchilada sauce out of tomato sauce or puree. Plenty of enchilada sauce is key to enchiladas that stay moist and tortillas that don’t crack. And along those lines, if you haven’t made your own homemade taco seasoning yet, I urge you to try that, too!

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas ~ you'll never guess the secret ingredient! | {Five Heart Home}Finally, I find that this recipe typically makes more than 12 enchiladas. You want to generously fill each tortilla, but you don’t want it so stuffed that it won’t roll closed or it splits open when you try to roll it. I have made this recipe many times by cramming as many enchiladas into a 9- by 13-inch dish as I can fit, even turning a few of them perpendicular down the sides of the dish. But that doesn’t make for the prettiest presentation and it’s not always easy to get the enchiladas out of the dish without breaking them.

So don’t be lazy and impatient like me. What I would recommend instead is fitting about nine enchiladas down the center of a 9- by 13-inch dish, and then fit five or so more in an 8- by 8-inch dish. If there is any leftover chicken or cottage cheese after that, just dollop it in the empty corners before covering the whole shebang with the remaining red sauce and shredded cheese.

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas ~ you'll never guess the secret ingredient! | {Five Heart Home}So despite the odd-sounding, unexpected ingredient, have I convinced you to try this recipe? I promise that I’m not one piñata short of a fiesta…these enchiladas really are utterly delectable. Once you taste them, I think you’ll be happy to add them to your recipe box, too!

Before I get on with the recipe, I wanted to mention that starting this evening, I am a new co-host for the Moonlight & Mason Jars link party!

Moonlight&MasonJarsFeaturedYou may remember that I guest hosted a few weeks back, and I’m very honored to now be joining these talented ladies on a permanent basis! The party goes live every Wednesday at 5 p.m. and it’s a great place to peruse lots of fabulous recipes, fun DIY projects and crafts, and an abundance of seasonal inspiration. If you’re a blogger, I’d be thrilled to have you link up! And even if you’re not a blogger, I hope to see you there checking out some of the fun links!

Now go make some chicken enchiladas! ;)

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas

These red sauce-topped enchiladas are stuffed with spiced chicken and Monterrey jack cheese, plus a special secret ingredient that makes them extra creamy and delicious!

Ingredients

    For the enchilada sauce:
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 package taco seasoning, or 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream OR plain yogurt OR Greek yogurt
  • 16 ounces small-curd cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 to 14 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, oregano, and optional hot pepper sauce. Mix until well combined and set aside.
  2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook minced garlic until just golden, stirring constantly. Mix in green chiles and shredded chicken. Sprinkle with taco seasoning, pour in water, and saute for a few minutes or until water is absorbed and seasoning is evenly distributed. Remove from heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together sour cream, cottage cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. (If you wish to prevent your enchiladas from being overcrowded, be prepared to use an additional 8- by 8-inch pan as well.) Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Place corn tortillas on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave to make them pliable. Moisten each tortilla with enchilada sauce (on both sides) and wipe off any excess. Spread a spoonful of chicken mixture, cottage cheese mixture, and shredded cheese down the center of each tortilla. Roll the tortilla around the filling and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Top with a spoonful of sauce to prevent the tortilla from splitting while you prepare the rest of the enchiladas.
  6. When all of the enchiladas are in the dish(es), dollop any remaining chicken and/or cottage cheese along the edges or in the corners of the dishes. Evenly pour the rest of the red sauce over the enchiladas, gently spreading it with the back of a spoon, if necessary. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top of the sauce. Bake for 30 minutes of until golden and bubbly.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

I use leftover chicken if I have it, but otherwise, I poach 3 chicken breasts, which yields approximately 4 cups of shredded chicken.

If you prefer, you may use a 19-ounce can of store bought enchilada sauce in lieu of seasoning your own tomato sauce.

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Adapted from AllRecipes.

Other Mexican food favorites…

(Click on title below photo to be taken to recipe)

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos (or Mexican Pulled Pork) ~ perfect for taco night or Cinco de Mayo | FiveHeartHome.comSlow Cooker Carnitas Tacos {Mexican Pulled Pork}

Cheddar and Sour Cream Queso ~ instead of processed cheese, this creamy dip boasts loads of flavor from all natural ingredients | {Five Heart Home}Cheddar & Sour Cream Queso

Slow Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Tacos ~ let your crock pot do all of the work on your next taco night! | FiveHeartHome.comSlow Cooker Chicken & Black Bean Tacos

Fresh Pineapple Margaritas ~ made with fresh lime juice and pineapple purée, these are perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo | FiveHeartHome.comFresh Pineapple Margaritas

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack | FiveHeartHome.comSpinach & Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado & Pepper Jack

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

 

 

This post may be linked up to Live Laugh Rowe, Mandy’s Recipe Box, House of Rose, 4 Little Fergusons, Lil’ Luna, Uncommon Designs, SNAP Creativity, and these fabulous parties!

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Wow I love this recipe!! The use of cottage cheese is so surprising but makes sense totally. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Pinned for later :). And I am adding your party to my weekly parties!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Zainab! I know cottage cheese in these sounds so strange and I was worried about how the recipe might go over, but as good as it turns out, I just had to share. Thanks so much for the pin and I’m very excited that you’re going to be linking up with us each week…YAY! :)

  2. Debbie Caraballo says:

    Anything with “enchilada” in the title, I’m all for it! I’ve always made my chicken enchiladas all white, but I believe I’m going to have to try these – they look and sound scrumptious. Thanks for another winner!
    Deb

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m with you, Deb…can’t go wrong with anything in the enchilada family! :) I love white chicken enchiladas as well, but these are yummy in a different way. My hubby’s favorite type of chicken enchiladas are green and I actually have yet to make those…guess I better get cracking. ;) Hope your week is going well!

  3. I love mexican food and this looks fabulous, much better than the current enchillada recipe I have. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I found your blog by accident and am sooo glad I did! I made this dish for dinner tonight AND your pumpkin bread. AMAZING! I am a believer and will be back often! Love when I find cooking blogs for “normal” girls, that have “normal” ingredients, found in their home. Again thank you, love it!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Your sweet comment made my night, Kirston! I love to hear that people are enjoying the recipes that I share here. I’m so glad you found some keepers and I can’t wait to have you back to look around some more. Happy Friday and have a great weekend! :)

  5. Yet another one of your recipes that I pinned immediately after seeing the very first photo. These look SO yummy! I fell in love with Mexican food when we lived in Arizona right on the border with Mexico a few years ago, and I am always in search of yummy recipes! Thank you SO much for sharing, Samantha!

    ~Abby =)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are so sweet, Abby…thank you for the compliment and the pin! I love Mexican food, too! I hope this recipe is a fond reminder of your days in Arizona… ;) Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

  6. Love cottage cheese! These look delicious. They will be on my table soon. Found your blog thru Sunflower Supper. You have some great recipes–can’t wait to get to know you!.This recipe is pinned.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Cindy! I’m glad you found me. :) Enjoy looking around and thanks so much for the pin! Have a great weekend!

  7. Oh boy, these look really good. I love enchiladas too!! Yum. Stopping over from Dessert Now, Dinner Later.

  8. This looks like the most perfect and easy kind of meal to make for the fam. Love how you talked about those questionable ingredients in some canned sauce…so true. Just WHY do they have to do that?! Love this recipe! Pinning and sharing…bcz everyone needs a good enchilada recipe to go to! (=

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Gloria…this is definitely the go-to enchilada recipe around my house! And I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s paranoid about certain canned food ingredients when I can’t pronounce them… ;) I appreciate your sweet comment and the pin…hope you have a wonderful week!

  9. My mom always used cottage cheese in her lasagna, so it’s not too strange to see that you’re using it in the delicious looking enchiladas!! Great recipe!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Jocelyn…that’s the way my mom always made her lasagna, too! I appreciate you stopping by…have a great week and stay warm! :)

  10. These look fantastic! Thanks for sharing, Samantha! Pinned ;)

  11. Looks so YUMMY! I would love for you to stop by and add your link to Check Me Out Saturdays on A Vision to Remember

  12. These enchiladas sound awesome! I have a good creamy (white/green sauce) chicken enchilada recipe but have been looking for forever for a yummy red sauce enchilada recipe. Love that it has cottage cheese in it! Pinning to my dinner ideas board to try soon!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Jen! I’m going to have to get your green chicken enchilada recipe because that’s my hubby’s favorite kind. :) I appreciate the kind words and the pin…hope you enjoy these when you try them!

  13. These look incredible! Funny that I came across this because I was just telling my husband last night that I need to make some chicken enchiladas!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Stephanie…sounds like perfect timing to me! I hope these make all of your chicken enchilada dreams come true… ;)

  14. cottage cheese…that is very interesting. we love enchiladas, i will have to give this a try

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Let me know what you think, Heather! I know it sounds weird, but it tastes nothing like cottage cheese in the final dish. :)

  15. Made these for dinner last night. I pretty much followed the recipe, but made the red chile sauce from scratch, using a container of frozen red chile. This dish was a huge hit! I crammed an 11X13 pan FULL of these yummy guys, and five people, including an eight year old girl, cleaned it up, down to the bone! I love the cottage cheese/sour cream mix; and no one in my family seemed to notice anything unusual. Thank you so much, Samantha, for sharing this wonderful recipe; I hope to make it often. (Mmmm, this could be good with shredded beef too!)
    Ann

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m so glad to hear that these were a hit with your famiy, Ann! I totally agree that they’d be tasty with shredded beef instead of chicken, or even pulled pork I think! Thanks for taking the time to comment…hope you’re having a great week. :)

  16. Another nice recipe. Thanks so much.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank YOU for always taking the time to say thank you, Liz! :) Hope you’re having a great week!

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