Guess what I’m having for dinner tonight? Spinach Corn Enchiladas.
These are a healthy rendition of enchiladas. I used leftover chicken, frozen spinach, canned corn, onions, and green salsa for the filling. If I’m out of chicken, I just use black beans instead. Or eggs. This totally works as a fancy breakfast taco if that floats your boat.
There’s enough filling for a dozen enchiladas, so you can freeze and use in a future dinner of enchiladas or quesadillas.
Here’s what you need to make spinach corn enchiladas.
I bet you have everything you need in the pantry.
Chopped onion, frozen spinach, canned corn, corn tortillas, green salsa, leftover chicken, some seasonings, cooking oil, monterrey jack cheese, and some plain yogurt or sour cream.
- What kind of green salsa (salsa verde)? It was the cheapest one on the shelf. The primary ingredient is tomatillos. 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. I can make my own, but this was faster.
- What kind of seasonings? You need cumin (comiso) to make these taste right. It works with adobo seasoning or taco seasoning or chili powder. Use what you have.
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.
Next, 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. It holds two enchiladas, and it holds them perfectly. See? The tortillas are the same size as the pan.
Given that my kids won’t touch these enchiladas, one bread pan makes enough for dinner.
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. You choose.
(I just saw this cool idea to use egg whites to make really thin pancakes and use them as tortillas. I can’t wait to try 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). Put the filling in the middle…
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 my homemade yogurt because I was out of sour cream for this batch and it was awesome). I used 1/3 cup of each, and it was a generous topping for 4 enchiladas.
(See? No canned enchilada sauce. No canned creamy soup. No guilt.)
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. I added some Spanish style rice and pinto beans.
- 1 can of corn, well drained
- 1 package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 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)
- canned black beans (optional - use in place of or in addition to the chicken)
- 4 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)
- This makes enough filing for a dozen enchiladas. Make four of them now and freeze the rest of the filling for another meal of enchiladas or quesadillas.
- Create the filling: saute the onions until golden brown. add the corn, spinach, seasonings, ⅓ cup salsa, and chicken. taste.
- Roll the tortillas, add some cheese, and put them in a pan
- Make the sauce: equal parts sour cream, salsa, and cheese. Add sauce to the top of the enchiladas.
- Bake. eat. repeat. (350 for about 30 minutes)