With all the plates that we juggle in this life, it’s never a bad time for a fiesta that can lift the spirits and spice things up a bit! Great food is such a fun way to travel the globe when you crave a new experience, but not all of us have the time or extra resources to hop a plane to the sunny sands of Mexico. So…we thought why not bring those exotic flavors right to your home for a festive staycation? Trying new things in the kitchen truly can be a fun adventure, but we feel it’s also comforting to know that a recipe has certain tried and true ingredients that you can count on to deliver a home run every single time.
Cheese – who doesn’t love it and how delicious it really becomes when it’s all melted and gooey? You will find yummy, golden Mexican cheese both on top and mixed inside these enchiladas, and rich cream cheese mixed with hearty chicken that’s seasoned with warm spices and cool lime juice. It doesn’t take a lot of chicken either- just three shredded cups! We also love how the Latin flavors of this recipe talk to your tongue without being too spicy. The cool sensation of the fresh lime juice really balances the flavors of cumin and chile powder and canned green chiles pack a mild, but flavorful punch that can still stand out in a crowd.
Rolling enchiladas is pretty quick once you get the hang of it! After stuffing them and rolling them about the width of a cigar, you just nestle those babies right next to each other in a baking dish. You can even assemble them the day before you plan to eat them and chill them overnight, or freeze them for a day when you’re in a pinch for dinner. It’s also an easy recipe to double down on when you need to feed a crowd. How’s that for convenience?
When we made the sauce, we were quick to discover that this definitely needs to be the last step in order to insure that it stays smooth and fluid to pour over the enchiladas. It’s rich and creamy, just the way we like it, and those little green chiles and chicken broth add layers of even more flavor. Top that with a sprinkling of cheese that becomes brown and bubbly- it makes our mouths water all over again just thinking about it! This dish is truly a fiesta- a celebration of super fun flavors that can take you to a happy place any day of the week.
Cream Cheese Enchiladas
30-40 minutes to prepare serves 6-8
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8-10 flour tortillas
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature, divided [1/2 and 1/2]
1-2 (4 oz.) cans green chiles
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups Mexican blend cheese, grated, divided [1 cup; 1 cup]
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh cilantro, garnish, optional
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Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
In a mixing bowl, stir together 1/2 cream cheese, chicken, 1 cup cheese, lime juice, cumin and chili powder, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Take 1 tortilla and fill with 2-3 tablespoons chicken mixture, then place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
Season with salt and pepper, then gradually whisk in chicken broth and green chiles. Stir in remaining 1/2 cream cheese and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until thickened.
Remove from heat and pour green chile sauce over enchiladas.
Top with remaining cheese.
Place baking dish in oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until cheese and filling are melted and bubbly.
Optional: broil for 3-5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let it rest and set for 10-12 minutes
Garnish with fresh cilantro, optional