Enchilada Chicken Bake
with zucchini / bell peppers / cauliflower rice
For this casserole-style meal, bake chicken and vegetables together in a homemade enchilada sauce. This gives the flavors time to develop and allows the meal come together hands off. Serve it all over cauliflower rice to soak up the sauce.
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Bell peppers, any color - 2, diced
- Zucchini - 1 lb, cubed
- Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 4
- Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts separate
- Limes - 1, wedges
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Cumin, ground - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Chili powder - 2 tsp
- Cumin, ground - 2 tsp
- Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
- Tomato paste - 7 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 2 cups
- Cauliflower florets - 12 oz
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Garlic / Bell peppers / Zucchini - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make enchilada sauce - Combine oil (portion for the sauce), chili powder, cumin (portion for the sauce), oregano, and garlic powder in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until spices are fragrant. Whisk in tomato paste and stock. Simmer for 5 minutes to let the flavors come together. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. (Note: The sauce should be thin. Don’t let it simmer too long and over-reduce.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cauliflower rice - Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook rice in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in butter. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Saute cauliflower in heated butter for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chicken - Tenderize with a fork. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Green onions / Limes - Prep as directed.
- Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees. If you want to transfer the chicken to a square baker, brush the inside of the baker with some oil. (You can also bake everything in the same skillet you use to sear the chicken and vegetables.)
- Heat a 12” / 30 cm skillet with first portion of oil (for chicken bake) over medium heat. Add chicken and sear on both sides until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (The chicken shouldn’t be cooked all the way through, it will finish in the oven.) Transfer chicken to prepared baking dish or set aside (if planning to cook it in the skillet).
- To heated skillet, add second portion of oil (for chicken bake) and then zucchini, bell peppers, and white parts of green onions. Saute until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin (portion for chicken bake), and some salt. Saute until fragrant, for 2 minutes more.
- Remove skillet from heat and combine vegetables with sauce (do this in the baking dish or skillet, depending on which you plan to use for baking). Nestle chicken in vegetables and sauce.
- Transfer chicken to the oven and bake until chicken is cooked through (165F / 74C) and sauce is bubbling, 12 to 18 minutes.
- If cauliflower rice was made ahead, reheat in the oven.
- Serve chicken and sauce over cauliflower rice. Top with green parts of green onions and serve with lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!
Always a favorite! Even did the prep this time so came together really quickly. Added guacamole because we had it1 Helpful
Delicious, easy, one pan. What more is there to say. Great weeknight meal.0 Helpful
I doubled the sauce added, and zested the lime into sour cream and served that instead of yogurt. It was pretty tasty!0 Helpful
What kind of enchiladas don’t have soft tortilla? Lol loved this recipe and def added 1 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp chili powder.0 Helpful
The tortillas are pretty soggy, which I'm not a fan of. Maybe I should have used stale tortillas. I used flour and if I make it again I'll probably pick corn so they hold up better. Really good flavour and super simple to make. I'll def make this again.0 Helpful
The recipe as is would have been bland so I added a red pepper, two poblano peppers and only one zucchini (our family finds zucchinis to have no flavor and too soggy unless roasted). Next time I'll remove the tortillas (not a good texture) from inside and top with tortilla chips only to add salt and an additional texture.0 Helpful
Really easy to make and deliciosu0 Helpful