Every so often you find a low-carb recipe that makes you think: How is that even possible?
Chicken enchiladas are a great example. Traditional recipes are made using corn tortillas, which immediately sends the "carb meter" in your head through the roof. If you're on a low-carb diet, eating a bunch of corn tortillas just isn't going to cut it.
So, how do you make a traditional Mexican comfort dish fit for a diet like paleo, keto, or Whole30?
Well, our recipe starts by using low-carb tortillas. But we also significantly increase the protein and fat by using ingredients like chicken thighs, sour cream, and two types of full-fat cheese.
The end result might not look exactly like the chicken enchiladas you'll find at a restaurant (or in the frozen food section)—but we promise all the same flavors and textures you love are in this dish.
And with only 8 grams of net carbs per serving, we're pretty sure you'll be okay with one small visual compromise.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken thighs
- FBOMB Olive Oil
- Sour cream
- Monterey Jack cheese
- Cream cheese
- Picante or ranchero sauce
- Chili powder
- Hot sauce
- Lime juice
- Low-carb tortillas (optional)
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There's really two places you're going to find chicken enchiladas if you aren't making them yourself: at a Mexican restaurant or in the frozen food section.
Tasty (or convenient) as either option might be, store-bought or traditional Mexican enchilada recipes are simply not going to cut it on a low-carb diet.
- Between 30 and 44 grams of carbs per enchilada (more than half of a day's worth on keto)
- Only 14 grams of protein (about half what this recipe has)
- Preservatives to ensure they last (for frozen enchiladas)
In other words, the nutrition facts are not great. You might knock yourself out of ketosis by eating just one enchilada, depending on where you get it.
But that's exactly why you're going to love our version of this Mexican comfort food classic. We use protein-and-fat packed ingredients to give this keto recipe a more ideal low-carb macronutrient split.
And if you're really counting carbs, you can completely omit the biggest culprit on the list (low-carb tortillas) to drop the number even more.
3 Health Benefits of This Recipe
Besides the low number of carbs, here are some of the other health benefits you'll enjoy with this low-carb chicken enchilada recipe:
- Fresh lime juice does a lot of good for your body: The addition of an entire lime really adds a dimension of flavor to these chicken enchiladas. It also offers some great health benefits, too. Limes are packed with vitamin C (great for your immune system), antioxidants, and bioactive compounds that have been found in studies to ward off inflammation in the body [*].
- Fresh garlic is packed with antioxidants: 4 cloves of fresh garlic help pack flavor into these enchiladas, while also giving your health a real boost. Many studies have shown that garlic is very good for human health, as it can reduce inflammation, lower blood markers like cholesterol, and ward off diseases like cancer due to its antioxidant properties [*].
- Chicken thighs are the perfect keto protein: Many enchilada recipes call for pulled chicken breast meat, which is usually more than 90% protein and contains very little fat. By using chicken thighs, you're balancing out the fat-to-protein ratio while filling your body with B vitamins, which are more abundant in the darker cuts of poultry [*][*].
Other Low-Carb Comfort Dishes You Might Like
Keto Chicken Enchiladas
- Yield: 8
- Serving size: ½ cup (no tortilla)
- Prep time: 20 minutes
- Cook time: 1 hour
- 3 packets (6 tablespoons) FBOMB Olive Oil, divided
- 4 chicken thighs
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Dash of hot sauce
- Juice from one lime
- 5 scallions, sliced thinly
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 ounces (½ cup) cream cheese
- 32 ounces (4 cups) picante or ranchero sauce
- 4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 8 low-carb tortillas (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss the chicken with 3 tablespoons of FBOMB Olive Oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Lay on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached. Allow chicken to cool enough to handle and then either pull apart to shred or chop with a knife.
- Meanwhile, heat the rest of the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onion and garlic at medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until it becomes soft and translucent.
- Add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and continue stirring for one more minute. Remove from heat and add the sautéed onion to the chicken in a large bowl.
- Add the hot sauce, lime juice, scallions, sour cream, cream cheese, two cups of the picante/ranchero sauce, and two cups of the Monterey Jack cheese. Mix together thoroughly.
- Spray a shallow 13 x 9-inch baking dish with pan spray. Spread one cup of picante/ranchero sauce on the bottom of the pan. Spoon the chicken mixture into the tortillas (if using), roll and set in the pan seam side down. Top with the last cup of sauce and remaining cheese (use more cheese if desired). If not using tortillas, simply layer all the ingredients like a casserole.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes until heated all the way through and golden brown on top.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
- Fat: 47g
- Protein: 26g
- Total Carbohydrates: 12g
- Fiber: 4g
- Sugar Alcohol: 0g
- Net Carbohydrates: 8g
- Fat: 76%
- Protein: 18%
- Carbohydrates: 6%