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White Chicken Enchilada Skillet Recipe

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Introduction and Recipe Overview

Introduction

Skillet meals have become a mainstay in kitchens around the world, celebrated for their simplicity, convenience, and the minimal cleanup they require. Among the myriad of skillet recipes, enchiladas stand out as a particularly beloved dish, thanks to their rich flavors, versatile ingredients, and comforting qualities. The popularity of enchiladas spans various cultures and cuisines, often leading to innovative takes on the traditional recipe.

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About White Chicken Enchilada Skillet

The White Chicken Enchilada Skillet is a delightful twist on the classic enchilada, transforming it into a one-pan meal that maintains all the creamy, cheesy goodness of the original. Unlike traditional enchiladas, which are rolled and baked in a sauce, this skillet version deconstructs the elements into a single pan for a quick and easy meal that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for convenience. Originating from the need to simplify meal prep without compromising on taste, this dish incorporates a white sauce typically made from a roux, chicken broth, and sour cream or cheese, diverging from the more common red or green enchilada sauces. This variation stands apart with its creamy texture and mild yet flavorful sauce, making it a comforting meal suitable for any day of the week.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Main Ingredients

The key ingredients for a White Chicken Enchilada Skillet include:

  • Chicken Breast: Cubed or shredded, this provides the primary protein.
  • All-Purpose Flour & Butter: These form the base of the roux for the white sauce.
  • Chicken Stock: Adds depth and richness to the sauce.
  • Green Chiles: Introduce a mild heat and distinct flavor.
  • Corn Tortillas: Chopped or torn, they add texture and embody the essence of enchiladas.
  • Monterey Jack Cheese: Melts beautifully, offering creaminess and a slight tang.
  • Sour Cream: Enhances the sauce with its cool, tangy creaminess.

Substitutions

To accommodate dietary restrictions or personal preferences, consider these swaps:

  • Gluten-Free Flour: For a gluten-free version, substitute the all-purpose flour with any gluten-free flour blend.
  • Vegetable Stock: Vegetarians can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
  • Dairy-Free Cheese and Sour Cream: There are many non-dairy alternatives available that can substitute for Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: For a quicker prep, use shredded rotisserie chicken instead of raw chicken breast.

These substitutions ensure that the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet can be enjoyed by a wide audience, regardless of dietary restrictions or preferences.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Preparation Steps

  1. Prep the Ingredients: Begin by dicing the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces for even cooking. Measure out all other ingredients so they’re ready to use.
  2. Make the Roux: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, then whisk in flour until the mixture becomes golden and bubbly, forming the base of your sauce.
  3. Add Liquids: Slowly incorporate the chicken stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Allow the mixture to thicken slightly.
  4. Season: Stir in the diced green chiles, adding a layer of flavor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook the Chicken: Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, ensuring they’re submerged in the sauce. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink inside.
  6. Final Touches: Mix in torn corn tortillas, allowing them to soften in the sauce. Stir in the sour cream and half of the shredded cheese until well combined.
  7. Serve: Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and let sit off the heat until the cheese melts. Garnish with fresh cilantro and diced avocado.

Cooking Tips and Tricks

  • For Moist Chicken: Avoid overcooking the chicken by cutting it into uniform pieces and cooking just until no longer pink.
  • Creamy Sauce: Maintain a low heat when adding sour cream to prevent curdling, ensuring a smooth, creamy sauce.
  • Thickening the Sauce: If the sauce is too thin, let it simmer a bit longer. If too thick, add a splash more chicken stock.

Nutritional Information

The White Chicken Enchilada Skillet is rich in protein thanks to the chicken and cheese, providing essential nutrients for muscle repair and growth. However, it’s also important to be mindful of the calorie and fat content, primarily from the cheese and sour cream. This dish offers a good balance of carbohydrates from the corn tortillas, making it a fulfilling meal. For a healthier version, opt for low-fat dairy options and increase the green chiles and spices for flavor without added calories.

Serving and Presentation

Serving Suggestions

Serve the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet directly from the pan for a rustic, family-style presentation. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and diced avocado to add freshness and a pop of color.

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Pairing Ideas

  • Sides: A side of cilantro-lime rice or a simple green salad complements the creamy, spicy flavors of the dish.
  • Drinks: Pair with a cold lager or a tangy margarita to cut through the richness of the sauce.

This dish’s versatility in serving and pairing makes it a delightful choice for both casual family dinners and more formal gatherings, ensuring everyone leaves the table satisfied.

Variations of the Recipe

Creative Twists

The White Chicken Enchilada Skillet is adaptable to a wide range of tastes and dietary needs. For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with a mix of beans, corn, and zucchini to keep the dish hearty but meat-free. If you’re looking to explore different proteins, shredded pork or beef are excellent alternatives that maintain the dish’s rich flavors. For a lighter option, consider using turkey or even a mix of seafood for a unique take on the classic.

Spicy and Non-Spicy Versions

To adjust the spice level to suit various tastes, play with the amount and type of chiles used. For those who enjoy a milder dish, reduce the green chiles or use a milder variety, such as Anaheim peppers. Conversely, for a spicier version, add diced jalapeños or a dash of cayenne pepper to the sauce. The flexibility in seasoning allows everyone to enjoy this dish, regardless of their heat preference.

FAQs

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

  • Yes, the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet can be prepped in advance. Assemble the dish without the final cheese topping, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, add the cheese and heat until bubbling. This make-ahead approach is perfect for busy schedules, ensuring a delicious meal is just minutes away​.

Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas?

  • While corn tortillas are traditional for enchiladas, flour tortillas can be used as a substitute in this skillet version. Flour tortillas will result in a softer texture and a slightly different flavor profile. It’s a matter of personal preference, so feel free to use what you have on hand or prefer taste-wise​.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the White Chicken Enchilada Skillet is a versatile, delicious dish that simplifies traditional enchiladas into a one-pan meal perfect for any night of the week. With options for customization, it’s a recipe that can be tailored to suit any taste or dietary requirement. Whether you’re craving something creamy and comforting or spicy and flavorful, this dish has you covered. So why not give it a try and bring a bit of culinary creativity to your dinner table tonight?

White Chicken Enchilada Skillet Recipe

A White Chicken Enchilada Skillet is a creamy, comforting dish that combines the flavors of traditional enchiladas with the ease of a one-pan meal. It features tender chicken, a rich white sauce, and is typically served with a variety of toppings.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6 Serves
Calories 600 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Skillet
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can 4 oz diced green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 corn tortillas cut into strips
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Optional garnishes: diced avocado chopped cilantro, lime wedges

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and brown it.
  • Stir in chicken broth, sour cream, green chiles, cumin, and garlic powder to form the sauce.
  • Add tortilla strips and half of the cheese; stir until well combined.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted.
  • Garnish as desired before serving.

Notes

  • For a lighter version, substitute sour cream with Greek yogurt and use a low-fat cheese.
  • Easily make this dish vegetarian by substituting the chicken with beans or quinoa.
  • Adjust the heat level by adding more or less green chiles, or include diced jalapeños for extra spice.
This conceptual recipe is a starting point to inspire your cooking. For exact measurements, variations, and additional tips, please refer to professional cooking resources.
Keyword Creamy Enchilada, Mexican Cuisine, One-Pan Dinner, Skillet Meal, White Chicken Enchilada

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