Easy Spinach Chicken Enchiladas

Posted on Posted in Family, Recipes
My Good Helpers
My good helpers in the kitchen.

One of my favorite things to do with my girls is cook.  Our oldest daughter is an excellent helper in the kitchen and always likes to help.  Our youngest daughter is usually content to sit in her chair and watch.  This is a great time to teach my girls things that my Mom taught me.  We usually put on some music and have fun.  (Last night we were listening to Toots & the Maytals, Bahamas, and Mumford & Sons.)

A favorite recipe of ours is spinach chicken enchiladas.  I found the original version of this recipe at 5dollardinners.com and have modified it for things that we usually have around the house.  I like this recipe because it is fun to make with the girls, budget friendly, freezes well and pretty forgiving if you need to make adjustments to the recipe.

The first thing you need to do is cook some chicken.  You will need enough to get 3 cups of shredded chicken.  Usually 2 large chicken breasts will give you enough chicken to accomplish this, but you might throw a third breast in there to make sure you have enough.  A bit of extra chicken in your enchiladas won’t hurt anything, or you can always make chicken salad if you have some extra left over.

Did you know there is a super simple way to shred chicken?  Recently on lifehacker.com I learned that you can toss hot chicken breasts into the bowl of your stand mixer and shred them with the beater attachment.  My wife and I bought a Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer as a Christmas present to ourselves…so I finally got to try this out.  It works sooooo well!  What used to take me 5-10 minutes took less than 1 minute for the stand mixer to accomplish.  I was so impressed that I even made a video…

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Shredded Chicken
Mixer shredded chicken.

As you can see the Kitchenaid mixer made short work of the chicken.  I was making 8 batches of enchiladas to give to co-workers as Christmas presents, so this trick saved me a ton of time.

Once your chicken is ready, toss 3 cups of the shredded chicken into a mixing bowl along with 1 cup of cheese, 16oz of sour cream, 2 bricks of frozen spinach (cooked and drained), 1/4 cup of onion, 1 tbsp of minced garlic, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Mix all that up by hand.  Our older daughter loves to help measure things and stir the ingredients.  This is a great chance to talk about fractions and measurements.

Once everything is mixed up it is time to prep your pan and the oven.  Spray the bottom of your pan with a quick shot of cooking oil.  Not too much or your enchiladas will fry and get hard on the bottom.  Your oven needs to be set at 350.

Enchilada rolling
Small hands at work helping with dinner.

It is time to roll the enchiladas.  This is great fun for little hands.  You can be pretty generous with the filling because I always wind up with enough for about 20 enchiladas, even though the recipe is supposed to make 16-18.  Load up one end of your tortilla with the filling, roll it up and place it in the pan.  I can usually get 8-9 enchiladas in a pan.  You should have enough to make 2 pans of 8-9 enchiladas each.

Grab the enchilada sauce, pour one can on each pan of enchiladas.  Concentrate on getting the tops of all the enchiladas covered, especially the ends, to prevent them from getting tough in the oven.  Finished EnchiladasTake the remaining 3 cups of cheese and divide it among the 2 pans, covering the enchiladas.  I like to use colby jack cheese but you can use pepperjack if you like a bit more zip.  Place the pans in the oven for 30 minutes.

If all goes well you should have 2 tasty pans of enchiladas.  We love to make these at home and have one to eat and freeze one.  Sometimes we also use this recipe to make dinner for our family and have another pan to share with someone who is sick or shut-in.  This is also a great recipe to take to potlucks.  Feel free to print out the recipe card below and give it a try!

Spinach Chicken Enchilada Recipe
Click image to open and print.

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