Half Calorie Chicken Enchiladas


January 2nd…the most dreaded day of the year. Christmas is over, it’s time to go back to work, and you know you have to do something about the holidays that have collected around your midsection. It’s time for healthy recipes and cutting back, but after all the splurging your palate has grown accustomed to good flavor. Did you know that a traditional chicken enchilada recipe can have up to 1,000 calories a serving?! Say what?!?! Lucky for you, these Half Calorie Chicken Enchiladas have all the intense flavor of a Mexican restaurant with only 374 calories per serving. The trick is in the seasonings, so let me show you how to make it:

Start with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Peel off the skin and pull off as much of the meat as possible.

Shred up both chicken breasts so that you have about 3 cups total. Using the breast meat helps save a lot of calories. As for the rest of the shredded chicken, save it in a container for another healthy recipe like 30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup. You will also need to chop up a medium sized onion.

Now here’s where all the flavor comes in. Put the onion and 1 cup of unsalted chicken broth in a large saucepan. Pour in a 15 oz can of unsalted tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon of flour. Use a whisk to mix this together. Now add in the following seasonings:

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Bring all of these ingredients to a boil over medium to high heat and then let it thicken for about 2 minutes.

*Want your enchiladas extra spicy? Add in a diced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce or a jalapeno.*

Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of sauce. This will be your topping for the chicken enchiladas. Leave the rest of the sauce in your pot on the stove.

Add in your shredded chicken breast (about 3 cups worth) and a can of unsalted, rinsed, and drained black beans. Stir it around to heat it for about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Wrap 12 corn tortillas in some damp paper towels and microwave them for 25-30 seconds. This is an important step because it makes the corn tortillas more flexible without breaking apart. Using corn tortillas is another way to save calories. You may prefer flour tortillas like I do, but they have a lot more calories.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken enchilada mixture into each tortilla and roll it up.

Place the chicken enchiladas seam side down in a large glass pan that you sprayed with cooking spray.

Pour on the sauce you reserved and press it down in between each enchilada. Sprinkle on 3/4 cup of Colby Jack cheese.

Put in the dish in the broiler and broil for 3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and browned. If you don’t have a broiler, bake the chicken enchiladas at 350 degrees until the cheese melts. That will probably be about 10 minutes. When that is done, top the chicken enchiladas with a diced tomato and some chopped cilantro.

Most throw on a dollop of sour cream, but I opted for a handful of chips with Homemade Cilantro-Lime Salsa. Salsa is another great way to add a lot of flavor without all the calories.

Isn’t it great to know that you can make something healthy and delicious in 20 minutes? My family goes nuts over these! For two chicken enchiladas you consume only 374 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 35 carbs. And that accounts for a tablespoon of sour cream with it! For more healthy and quick family meals, check out my 30 Minute Chicken and Black Bean Fajitas, Creamy Fettuccine and Vegetable Primavera, and 20 Minute Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice. Also, check out my 30 Minute Meal Madness Board on Pinterest.

Oh! One more thing! These Half Calorie Chicken Enchiladas freeze really well if you want to make a couple batches. Simply thaw them overnight in the fridge and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. They make a great gift for a new mommy, sick friend, or new neighbor. Happy cooking y’all!

Half Calorie Chicken Enchiladas

Heidi Davison
These Chicken Enchiladas have all the flavor of an authentic Mexican restaurant but only half the calories. This is an easy 20 minute dinner.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 374 kcal


  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 15 oz can unsalted tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 cups 15 oz shredded chicken breast
  • 15 oz can unsalted black beans drained and rinsed
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 3/4 cup Colby Jack cheese
  • Cooking Spray
  • Optional toppings: tomatoes cilantro, jalapeno, sour cream


  • Preheat broiler or oven to 350 degrees.
  • Shred chicken breast from rotisserie chicken and chop onion.
  • Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir with a whisk.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil and then let thicken 2 minutes.
  • Reserve 1 1/2 cups of sauce.
  • Add chicken and beans to the pot and heat through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Spoon 1/3 cup of chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll up.
  • Place chicken enchiladas seam side down in a large glass pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Pour reserved enchilada sauce over the top and press in between tortillas.
  • Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Broil for 2-3 minutes or bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Top with tomatoes, cilantro, and sour cream.
  • Optional: Add chopped jalapeno or chipotle in adobo sauce into enchilada sauce for a spicy kick.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light magazine



Related in Category

Chicken Dishes

Chicken Dishes

Chicken Dishes, Entrees

Chicken Dishes

  • 4 stars
    I would like to know how much protein and sodium is in the half calorie chicken enchiladas. I am on a strict diet for chronic kidney disease. Thank you.

  • 5 stars
    I made this tonight for my family and am so glad we tried it! To cut down on spiciness, I omitted the red pepper flakes, and because we are dairy-free, I took out the cheese. Other than that, I did everything exactly the same. It was flavorful, filling, and delicious! I’m definitely going to try making this again to freeze for when my second is born in September, so thank you for not only a delicious recipe but one that’s versatile as well!

    • You are SO welcome Rachel! I’m glad you found a recipe that you can use to make life a little easier when the second little man comes. I hope labor goes smoothly!

  • Tried this recipe tonight, it was delicious! Followed the recipe and topped with tomato, cilantro and avocado. My husband and four year old loved it!

    • I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it, Jadie!

  • Christina says:

    5 stars
    This was easy to make, simply divine to eat, and quick clean up. A hit at my house.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it; thanks for reporting back!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}