I will forever be grateful that my sister-in-law gave me the Vera Bradley cookbook: Cooking with Friends because within it holds one of those recipes I can just return to over and over again: Mama’s Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. They are SO easy and SO SO delicious!
My modifications to the recipe: I use lean ground beef instead of chicken. It’s just what my husband liked better after the first time I made it, and I haven’t changed it since. I also add seasonings to spice it up a bit: chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Last but not least, I like to add chopped zucchini to the filling mixture for texture and for an extra veggie!
One of the best things about this recipe is that you can make it into enchiladas OR quesadillas and they both turn out incredible! For this post, I made quesadillas, but keep scrolling down for the enchilada instructions.
Okay, now for the quesadillas. You will need: lean ground beef, 1 onion (diced), 2 garlic cloves (minced), 2 4-oz cans of diced chilis, 1 zucchini (diced), reduced fat cream cheese, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper, GF tortillas, and Mexican cheese.
First, brown your ground beef, then drain. Using the same skillet, cook onion, garlic, and chilis for 1 minute, add salt and pepper, and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until onion is clear.
Add in cream cheese and stir until completely melted.
Add ground beef back to skillet, then season with seasonings to taste.
Place about 1/2 cup of filling onto tortilla. My favorite GF tortilla brand is Rudi’s, but you could also use corn tortillas.
Sprinkle with a little cheese, top with second tortilla.
I like to use my handy-dandy quesadilla maker for these (one of those wedding presents you don’t think you’ll use, but turns out you love it!). Just cook for about 5 minutes and they’re ready to go! Serve with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole and you have a yummy Mexican dinner, lunch, or appetizer!
To make enchiladas: Make filling as described above. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill tortilla with filling and place seam side down in 9×13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of Mexican cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of half and half (I use fat free, it works great) and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving or you’ll scorch your mouth…believe me!
Full Recipe (without pictures)
- Lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 4-oz cans of diced chilis
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 t chili powder
- 1 t cumin
- 1/2 t onion powder
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- GF tortillas
- 1/2 C half and half
- 1/2 C Mexican cheese
- If making enchiladas, preheat oven to 375 degrees, spray 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray
- Brown ground beef, drain
- Sautee onion, garlic, and chilis for 1 minute, add s & p, continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes or until onion is clear
- Add cream cheese and cook until completely melted
- Add ground beef back in, stir
- Add seasonings, stir
- For quesadillas: spoon about 1/2 C filling onto tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, top with second tortilla, cook for about 5 minutes or until tortilla is crispy. Let sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
- For enchiladas: spoon about 1/2 C filling onto tortilla, roll, and place seam side down into 9×13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese, drizzle with half and half. Bake for 45 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.