Using zucchini ribbons makes this keto chicken enchilada casserole affordable, simple, and packed with extra veggies! Keto enchiladas are kid-friendly too – try adding extra dabs of sour cream!
WHY THIS KETO CHICKEN ENCHILADAS RECIPE WORKS
- keto and gluten-free with a paleo and grain-free option (just skip the corn)! – This recipe is made using zucchini ribbons in place of tortillas and grains, making this dish vegetable heavy, not to mention delicious for a keto diet.
- super simple to make– Can we say HELLO to an easy dinner recipe that is family-friendly too! Please note the lengthy time is just waiting for it to finish baking, not actually making it. Layer this low carb keto enchilada casserole with enchilada sauce, zucchini, cooked veggies, meat and cheese. You can also roll up the zucchini to look more like traditional enchiladas. From my experience, layering the ingredients is so much easier.
- inexpensive, no costly keto tortillas to purchase – using zucchini ribbons is what makes this dish budget friendly without high-priced ingredients.
- family-friendly and a great way to get kids to eat vegetables! – I have to say my kids love this without any extra spicy stuff. Search for mild enchilada sauce and skip the jalapeno and chili pepper toppings. Kids also love it with lots of avocado slices and sour cream cream blended in or on top.
WHAT GOES INTO THIS RECIPE
This keto enchiladas casserole consists of vegetables, chicken, cheese, and fresh toppings.
- Zucchini ribbons are used to make enchiladas keto by adding ribbons in layers. Zucchini can also be filled and rolled to resemble enchiladas visually as an alternative to layering like a lasagna or casserole. You will need 1-2 large zucchini for this keto enchilada recipe and to cut the zucchini into ribbons I suggest this peeler.
- The filling is made of avocado oil or olive oil (for sauteing), onion (purple or white), poblano pepper, sweet bell pepper (red, orange or yellow for a dash of sweetness), corn (only a tiny bit since it does have carbs but it adds a bit of texture and sweet), cooked chicken (shredded is best, but I have also made it with canned chicken that is drained and shredded), cilantro, enchilada sauce and cheese (extra sharp cheddar tastes extra creamy but you can also use dairy-free cheddar).
- The toppings are avocado slices, fresh cilantro, salsa, onion (purple, white or green), Roma tomatoes, jalapeno slices, red chili pepper slices, and sour cream. Use or add in addition your favorites!
HOW TO MAKE THIS KETO RECIPE
STEP 1. First cut the zucchini into ribbons using this peeler or a similar one then set the zucchini ribbons aside while you make the filling.
STEP 2. Make the filing by sauteing the oil, onion, peppers, corn (optional), and chicken ingredients. After that cooks, add the chicken just to heat slightly since it is already cooked.
STEP 3. In a 9×13-inch baking dish make the keto enchiladas casserole – layer it with enchilada sauce then zucchini ribbons.
STEP 4. Add a layer of cheese (about 1/3 of it).
STEP 5. After the layer of cheese and a layer of the vegetable chicken filling (about 1/3 of it). Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro.
STEP 6. Repeat the layers until all of the ingredients are used. You may have some zucchini left that could not be turned into ribbons. Any leftovers can be saved for another meal chopped and sauteed or use them to make these banana zucchini muffins.
STEP 7. After the layers are complete, pour the rest of the (gluten-free) enchilada sauce on top and cheese. Bake for 1 hour uncovered or until there is no visible water puddles when cut.
STEP 8. Top with avocado, fresh cilantro, peppers, onions and all your favorite toppings before serving right away.
FAQS AND EXPERT TIPS
Since zucchini is made of mostly water the recipe needs to cook for a while to release the liquid. Cook these low carb chicken enchiladas for 60 minutes and uncovered to evaporate the liquid. If it looks like it is starting to burn on the edges, cover it a gently with foil. You can make a tent so the steam releases from the top or sides.
Any chicken works such as a rotisserie, chicken breast, chicken thigh, or canned chicken breast that is drained. Our family prefers it shredded as it provides wonderful consistency.
Add extra creaminess such as sour cream and use mild enchilada sauce to make this appealing to kids. I have one child that doesn't like cheese and one that does. For the one that doesn't I make a section for him that has no cheese and for both add loads of sour cream mixed in (plus that makes it extra keto!).
Cooking the vegetables and filling first adds delicious flavor of sauteed vegetables and brings out their natural flavors even more than just baking. It also removes most of the water to make this keto enchiladas recipe bake without becoming to liquid.
Turn these keto enchiladas into roll-ups by adding the filling inside each zucchini ribbon and roll them up. Place them side-by-side on the casserole dish and bake the same. This just adds more time to the preparing step and seems more tedious. Making the casserole lasagna style gets this healthy dinner on the table faster.
Extra sharp cheddar cheese is fantastic and melts well with a creamy satisfying flavor. I highly suggest that first for anyone without a dairy issue. I personally don't eat regular cheese except for goat, feta dairy-free cheese so I make my section of the casserole with vegan shredded cheese. But any cheese will work such as a Mexican taco blend and regular cheddar.
If this happens, cover it gently in foil to tent the casserole, making sure there are openings on the side or at the top to release liquid and steam as it finishes cooking.
If you make this Keto Chicken Enchiladas Casserole from DelightfulMomFood I would love to see your creations! Follow along with me on INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE and TWITTER for more recipe inspiration! And don't forget to rate the recipe in the recipe area and leave a comment below!
Keto Enchiladas Casserole
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 zucchini large, ends removed and cut into ribbons or very thin slices
- 2 cups yellow, orange, or red bell pepper stem and core removed and and diced
- 1/2 cup corn (I use from a can and drained)
- 1/2 cup onion diced, purple or white onion
- 1/2 cup poblano pepper stem and core removed and diced (about 1 pepper)
- 4 cups cooked chicken shredded, or from a can with the water drained
- 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce make sure it is gluten-free and grain-free, use mild for kids
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese this kind tastes best, but you can also use Mexican blend, taco blend, or dairy-free cheddar
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro chopped, divided
Keto Enchilada Toppings
- 1 avocado
- Roma tomatoes diced
- sour cream
- onion diced
- jalapeno peppers slices
- red chili pepper slices
Prepare the Zucchini and Enchilada Filling
- Using a peeler, cut the ends off of a zucchini. Cut it in half horizontal and using a peeler peel down from the center to form ribbons. Set aside while you make the filling. Or slice the zucchini into very fine strips.
- In a large pot or saute pan heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the corn, onion, bell pepper and poblano pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, mixing as it cooks to prevent burning. Add the chicken and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Layer the Keto Chicken Enchiladas Casserole
- In a 9×13-inch baking dish add 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and use a spoon to spread it out evenly to the bottom of the dish. Layer the zucchini ribbons on the bottom.
- Then layer with a 1/3 of the cheese, 1/3 of the vegetable and chicken mixture, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Repeat the layers with zucchini, cheese and vegetable chicken mixture until you have a bit of cheese remaining for the last topping. On the last layer add zucchini ribbon and pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 1 hour or until the liquid from the zucchini is mostly evaporated. If it looks like it is burning but there is much liquid, tent with foil so there is an opening on the sides and top to release liquid. Garish with your favorite keto toppings.