The Speckled Palate
September 17, 2014

Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas

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Looking for a simple dinner to throw together for a weeknight meal? Look no further than my Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas, which are a family favorite.

Overhead image of Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas on a plate with fresh sauce


An incredibly simple dish… but it can so easily be messed up.

Trust me: I would know. I’ve had more than my fair share of kitchen fails involving enchiladas, and when I first discovered the recipe these enchiladas are adapted from, I fell in love.

Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas // The Speckled Palate

Not only is this enchilada recipe delicious, but it’s is versatile, too!

You’ve got a surplus of zucchini? Double the recipe.
Not feeling like chicken? Skip it, double the zucchini and call it a day.

We’ve made this recipe with and without the chicken, double the zucchini, double the pepper, double the sauce… and every time, it’s been delightful. But this rendition? It’s our favorite.

Process shot of making of the enchiladas

These Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas paired with a red enchilada sauce — kept on the side until it’s time to serve, which I’m sure is blasphemous to some folks, but we like our tortillas to get crispy before drowning them in sauce — are a winner of a weeknight or weekend dinner!

Here’s how you can make your own…

Pinterest image of Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas, featuring a side shot of the enchiladas, covered in sauce

Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas
Yield: 10 servings

Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Looking for a simple dinner to throw together for a weeknight meal? Look no further than my Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas, which are a family favorite.



  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, (about 1 ½ cups), finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, (about 1 ½ cups), finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 zucchini, (about 2 cups), grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 chicken breasts, baked and shredded
  • 2 cups pepperjack cheese, grated
  • Cayenne and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 20 tortillas, (corn or flour)

Enchilada Sauce

  • 10 tomatoes, medium-sized, chopped
  • 1 red jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup red onion, roughly chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


  1. Before you make the enchiladas and enchilada sauce, make sure your chicken is cooked through, cooled and shredded. Set is aside when done.
  2. Make the enchilada sauce: Place all ingredients -- the tomatoes, jalapeño, red onion, garlic, salt and cumin -- in a large saucepan.
  3. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then lower the heat and cover partially. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the ingredients into the food processor, and puree. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to make it extra smooth, then set aside.
  5. Make the enchilada filling: Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the onion, green bell pepper,, garlic and salt to the pan, cooking until the onion is soft. (Be sure to watch this, as you don't want the onion to brown.)
  7. Add the zucchini and the remaining seasonings -- cumin, basil and oregano -- to the skillet, stirring into the onion. Cook until the zucchini is tender.
  8. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the shredded chicken. Add the grated pepperjack cheese and any additional seasonings, stirring until incorporated.
  9. Allow the filling a few moments to cool before filling the tortillas.
  10. Make the enchiladas: Grease a large baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  11. Dollop 2-3 tablespoons of filling into the tortillas. Carefully roll the enchiladas, and transfer to the greased baking dish. Repeat until all the filling has been used.
  12. Transfer the finished enchiladas into the oven, and bake until the tortillas have crisped up. (This should take 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.)
  13. Once the enchiladas are crispy and heated through, serve on individual plates and spoon the enchilada filling on top of the final enchiladas. Enjoy immediately!


Recipe adapted from The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook.

This recipe is freezer friendly. Freeze any leftover enchiladas (or an entire serving) in an aluminum or ceramic baking dish with the sauce frozen separately. Seal the enchiladas with plastic wrap and foil, and it can stay in the freezer for up to 3 months. (I dare you to let it hang out this long!)

When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap but leave on the foil and transfer directly to a 350°F oven. Bake covered for 40 minutes, then crank the heat up to 375°F, uncover, and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the enchiladas crisp up. While the enchiladas are baking, defrost the tomato sauce in the microwave, and when the enchiladas are heated through, dollop as much tomato sauce as you'd like over your final dish.

Nutrition Information:


20 enchiladas

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 264 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 21mg Sodium: 612mg Carbohydrates: 33g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 12g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
Are you an enchilada fan?


  1. Madison | Wetherills Say I Do

    These look incredible! I love me some enchiladas. I love the idea of using zucchini, I think that would add a good crunch! Also, your plates are gorgeous!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Madison! These are some of our favorites, and I don’t say that lightly! The zucchini adds such a nice lightness to the recipe, too. And thank you — the plates were a wedding present, and I adore them!

  2. Erica @ The Crumby Cupcake

    These would be perfect for my quick “I don’t have time to make dinner” dinner tonight!The addition of zucchini sounds delish, too. And that sauce!! My goodness, I love sauces. Pinned!

    • Erin

      Absolutely, Erica! This is one of my favorites for the “I don’t have time to make dinner” category, though it takes a bit more time than you’d expect to get everything together. (Or maybe that’s because I piddle in the kitchen, singing and talking and being all over the place instead of simply focused on the task at hand.)

      I love sauces, too! Let me know if you make this — would love to know what y’all think of it!

  3. Natalie

    My stomach is rumbling just looking at this pictures! I’m always looking for ways to sneak veggies into our food, and since my little one loves anything Mexican, I’m sure this would be a hit at our house!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Natalie! Like you, I’m always looking for ways to sneak veggies into our food, and this is a major hit! It’s so versatile, and every time I’ve made it, we hardly have any leftovers — and there are just two of us!

  4. Mary Hill

    Looks fabulous and from scratch too! Can you use canned tomato sauce?

    • Erin

      Thanks so much, Mary! I haven’t tried this recipe with canned tomato sauce, so I can’t speak to how it would taste. If you give it a try, I’d love to know what you think!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Jess! This recipe is one of our weeknight favorites, hands down!

  5. Tiffany

    I have never actually tried zucchini but this looks really great and easy to make. Thanks for sharing!

    • Erin

      Hold the phone, Tiffany! You’ve never tried zucchini?! Girl, we gotta fix this! It’s one of my favorite veggies, and it’s so easy to pop into various dishes… and it’s delicious! Thanks for stopping by, and let me know if you try it out. I’d love to know what you think!

  6. Juventa

    These look awesome! A great use for extra zucchini in your garden:)

    • Erin

      Thanks so much, David! They’re a favorite of ours! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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