I love enchiladas. They’re the perfect combination of two comfort foods (at least for me) – anything TexMex and casseroles. This version satisfies my need for comfort food while still sneaking in a full serving of vegetables.
Since I can make this version with pantry staples (frozen spinach, canned corn, canned chicken in a pinch) it deserves some love. Did I mention it’s all real food? I’ve even made these with black beans and some mushrooms in place of the chicken. Still yummy. Still guilt free. I can get these on the table in just over thirty minutes too!
Winner winner chicken dinner.
If I’m not feeling motivated, I skip right past the boring part where I’m supposed to roll up the enchiladas and just make a casserole. Quartered corn tortillas layered with all that goodness? Yes, thank you.
The filling makes more than enough for one pan of enchiladas, at least until my boys are willing to eat them. But hey, the extra filling turns into quesadillas in a snap. Can you say bonus meal???
It also freezes well, just in case you were wondering.
Spinach Corn Enchilada Recipe
Here are my ingredients. Chopped onion, frozen spinach, canned corn, corn tortillas, green salsa, leftover chicken, and some seasonings. What isn’t pictured? Vegetable oil, salt, monterrey jack cheese, and some plain yogurt or sour cream.
- What kind of green salsa? It was the cheapest one on the shelf. The primary ingredient is tomatillos, and there’s nothing unnatural in there.
- Where’s the can of enchilada sauce? Have you actually READ the ingredients of canned enchilada sauce?!? I did, and now I have a hard time using it anymore.
- What kind of seasonings? You need cumin (comiso) to make these taste right. I didn’t have any chili powder, so I used adobo seasoning instead. It’s a blend of garlic, onion, black pepper, Mexican oregano, cumin and cayenne red pepper. I love the stuff in a big pot of pinto beans, and it works well with chicken or pork. It makes great guacamole too! Oh, and you need a little salt too. If I’d used my normal chili powder, I would have used some additional garlic powder.
Start by making the enchilada filling. Put a little vegetable or olive oil in a skillet and saute the onions until they get nice and golden. I added the teaspoon of salt and a bit of black pepper to the onions.
Add in the drained corn and the teaspoon of cumin, the teaspoon of chili powder (or adobo in my case) and (optional) 1/2 tsp garlic powder. If you are hesitant about it being too hot, use half the amount of seasonings I list. When you have all the filling assembled, taste it. Then adjust the seasonings as you see fit.
Then add the thawed, well drained frozen spinach. My package yielded 3 cups. You could probably double the volume of spinach to make them more spinach-y (and healthier, and lower in calories…).
Then add the 1/3 cup of green salsa. My version isn’t very hot — more of a tangy garden flavor than hot. Smell before using yours — if it smells too hot, then use less salsa. The sweetness of the corn will balance out the heat of the salsa nicely, so don’t be afraid.
Then add the chicken and TASTE the filling. Adjust seasonings before you go any further.
Now it’s time to fill and roll the enchiladas. I want to start by showing you my secret… use a small bread pan (the kind that makes gift loaves). It holds two enchiladas, and it holds them perfectly. See? The tortillas are the same size as the pan.
You also need some grated monterrey jack cheese. I used half of a block (4 ounces total) to make four enchiladas. That was MORE than enough cheese.
If you have fresh tortillas, you should be able to fold them without any preparation. Test one to see. If it breaks where you try to bend it, you need to prep the tortillas. I pop them in between two plates (one up, one down) and microwave for a minute to get them soft. Other methods would be to dip them in boiling water (or stock) or enchilada sauce… or you can pop them on a hot griddle for about twenty seconds. Pick your favorite and go with it.
For each enchilada-to-be, you need 1/3 a cup of the spinach mixture and about 2 tablespoons of cheese (a big pinch of it). The cheese inside works as glue to keep it closed. Don’t skip the cheese, please?
Put the filling in the middle…
… and the cheese on top.
Fold the tortilla in thirds, first one way…
… and then the other.
Then nestle them into your pan. If they crack a little, don’t get upset. By the time the sauce covers them, you’ll never be able to tell. Honest.
Now it’s time to make your enchilada sauce. This is equal parts of green salsa, cheese, and sour cream (or plain yogurt. I used yogurt because i was out of sour cream). I used 1/3 cup of each, and it was a generous topping for 4 enchiladas.
Then top the enchiladas with their enchilada sauce. If you want them to look pretty, add a little bit of extra green enchilada sauce on top of this layer (and then more cheese if you want). The mixture isn’t very pretty to look at, but it sure does taste good!
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (assuming the filling was warm to start with). The rest of dinner was very simple…
Refried beans and fruit.
These are very filling! Hubs and I both are satisfied with just ONE enchilada each. The kids are happy with bean and cheese tacos (again).
Spinach Corn Enchilada Recipe
- 1 can of corn, well drained
- 1 package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (mine yielded 3 cups, but you could use twice as much if you wanted to)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp (kosher) salt
- dash of (freshly ground) black pepper
- 1½ cups cooked chopped chicken (approximate amount, use what you have)
- corn tortillas
- 1 tsp vegetable (or olive) oil
- 4 ounces grated monterrey jack cheese (for 4 enchiladas, scale accordingly)
- ⅓ cup green salsa (for filling)
- ⅓ cup green salsa (for topping, makes 4 enchiladas, scale accordingly)
- ⅓ cup of sour cream or plain yogurt (for topping, makes 4 enchiladas, scale accordingly)
- Create the filling: saute the onions until golden brown. add the corn, spinach, seasonings, ⅓ cup salsa, and chicken. taste.
- Fill and roll the tortillas, add some cheese, and put them in a pan
- Make the sauce: equal parts sour cream, salsa, and cheese
- Bake until cheese is bubbly – about 20 minutes at 350.