These easy gluten free enchiladas are ready in twenty minutes and made with simple and inexpensive corn tortillas and chicken. The perfect college weeknight meal!
Having now become a college veteran (basically I’m an expert after being here two months), I’ve realized that there are several very specific types of hunger in college (or really in life in general):
1. Real hunger. “I’ve just been in class or running between classes for the past 6 hours and I’M DYING HERE.”
2. Bored hunger. “I am so SICK of writing this paper on the process of photosynthesis. I think I need a snack. Yep. I’m definitely desperately hungry.”
3. Tired and sad hunger. “Today, I had a really hard test that I failed, my car broke down on the way to class, I have no friends, and I WILL NEVER STAY UP UNTIL 3 AM AGAIN.”
Exhibit C, folks:
So college is hard, people. Life is hard. But what makes it harder? Constantly eating terrible food. In all three modes of hunger, it is highly possible that you’ll go for the easiest thing at hand. Aka, the ice cream in the freezer door. In one particularly tragic episode, I came home after a long day, sat on the counter eating all the remaining ice cream, and then proceeded drown my sorrows with a bag of my roommate’s chips. Don’t make the same mistake (your roommate won’t be happy).
The only real solution here has been fast food. Not restaurants, because even fast food restaurants are woefully expensive and sadly very glutenous. I mean fast, easy-to-make food. And a schedule. I know the idea of a schedule sounds absolutely horrible, but I feel SO MUCH BETTER now that I’m maintaining a consistency in what and when I eat. The other part of this equation? These super-fast gluten free enchiladas. They are cheesy and comforting and you can make them last for two or three meals. Better yet, they take only 20-30 minutes to make. I generally make foods that take slightly longer like this in the evening when I’m just chilling and doing homework and not really planning on doing anything social (which is really rare because, you know, I have such a rockin social life).
Why do they take 20-30 minutes? Well, it depends whether you have leftover chicken or if you need to cook it (you can also use canned chicken, #LifeOfACheapskate). I happened to have leftover chicken in the fridge, so I kind of planned these gluten free enchiladas around that. You could also totally use leftover beef (ground beef, roast, who cares) in this recipe.
So. Let’s go make some seriously awesome gluten free enchiladas.
1 chicken breast, cooked or uncooked (ormeat picked from wings, thighs, legs, you name it)
About ½ of a shallot, chopped (see notes)
1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
1 white mushroom, washed and sliced (if you don’t like mushrooms, leave it out)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (any grocery store Italian seasoning mix will do)
About ¼ cup of your favorite salsa (spicy/not spicy, whatever you like)
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt.
8 oz canned plain tomato sauce OR ¾ cup of some of pre-made spaghetti sauce (see notes)
½ of a red or green bell pepper, chopped (put other half back in fridge in a bag and use within 1-3 days)
About 10 olives, sliced
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
About 6 small gluten-free corn tortillas (I used Guerrero but anything GF will work)
First: If you’re using uncooked chicken, throw it in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil on medium heat and cover or put it on the grill if you have one. Grill/fry for about 10-15 minutes, until internal temperature is around 170 degrees F. It’s better if the chicken is overcooked rather than undercooked…it can get a little dried out because the sauce will moisturize it.
While chicken is frying, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a round or square dish or pan that is roughly 9X9 inches (this doesn’t have to be an exact science. Don’t get a ruler out or anything). Grease with olive oil.
If your chicken is already cooked, slice into chunks or strips and set aside.
If you’re cooking chicken, throw the shallot, garlic, and mushroom in with the chicken during the last five minutes of cooking and stir occasionally. If you’re using pre-cooked chicken, quickly fry the shallot, garlic, and mushroom in a frying pan with butter or olive oil until softened and slightly caramelized (about 4 minutes on medium-high heat).
In a bowl, combine the shallot/garlic/mushroom, seasoning, salsa, water, salt, and tomato sauce. Stir it all together and then set aside about a quarter of the sauce to spread on top of enchiladas later.
Mix the chicken, pepper, olives, and about half of the cheese into the remaining three quarters of the sauce.
Spoon mixture into the center of tortillas, roll up, and place in pan.
Spread tops of tortillas with remaining ¼ of sauce, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning (optional).
Bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese on top is completely melted.
Enjoy! Put leftovers in a plastic container or on a plate covered with saran wrap, then reheat later!
1. Shallots. Buying shallot onions instead of whole regular onions is an awesome way to cook for 1 person but still get some great flavor. Shallots are more portion-sized, taste really good, and also aren’t quite as zingy. Aka, they don’t make you cry as much.
2. Spaghetti Sauce. I’ve found that it is SO handy to buy a jar of pre-made pasta sauce and just use that whenever I am making pizza, pasta, enchiladas, or really anything that calls for tomato sauce. The sauce is already flavored with some great seasonings, and you can just keep the opened jar in the refrigerator as you use it. I’ve found that I pretty much always use it all before it goes bad, but do be aware that it will only last in the fridge for 1 to 1 ½ weeks.