Chicken Fiesta Enchiladas by Mission Foods

I'm so fancy with the cilantro garnish, right?

I’m always looking for an excuse to cook something new, and my friend Chelley recently gave me a great reason to experiment with Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas. She came to visit over Labor Day, and I loved having her here for the long weekend. Really, she was coming to see our mutual friend’s adorable new baby, but she’s sweet and pretended to be interested in me and my not-so-adorable non-newborn-ness.

After frantically scrubbing our bathtub and pulling out the best blankets a girl sleeping on the couch could want, I e-mailed her a question. I asked her if she’d be willing to eat several new dishes I wanted to cook.

In other words, I asked her to be a guinea pig. Honestly, I don’t know why a teeny tiny pink baby was more of a draw than me.

Chelley was very gracious and said she’d eat whatever I fixed her, so I started planning the weekend’s menu. In the end, I only fixed two new dishes, but they were both good, AHEM, learning experiences. Up first: new and improved chicken enchiladas.

Chicken Fiesta Enchiladas by Mission Foods

Naked enchiladas. Sometimes it's so hard to decide what to wear...

I’ve made chicken enchiladas before, and at least two friends declared them delicious. But I wanted to try something different. I found a recipe on the Mission Foods website for Fiesta Chicken & Black Beans Enchiladas. And since I enjoy chicken, black beans and fiestas, I thought this sounded like a good fit.

{Side note: This was before I remembered that last month’s Mission Foods recipe was also for enchiladas. I promise more variety with the tortillas next month!}

If you’re wondering what compelled me to make these enchiladas – other than the promise of a fiesta – just read the description from the website: “These enchiladas will make your taste buds tango! A healthy spin on enchiladas that’s sure to satisfy.”

Seriously? Tango and healthy? Bring it on.

You will not be surprised to learn that I didn’t follow the recipe. You may also be less than shocked to find out that the process didn’t necessarily go as smoothly as I’d hoped.

{Another side note: Mission Foods and their 98% fat free tortillas are not to blame for my recipe rebellion. As has been previously demonstrated [Exhibit A: Chicken Quesadillas], I have this strange compulsion to tinker with perfectly good recipes for no good reason at all.}

Chicken Fiesta Enchiladas by Mission Foods

No more fancy cilantro. Turns out I don't love it as much as I thought.

Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas


  • 8 Mission Life Balance flour tortillas (or 98% fat-free)
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, diced (approximately 1 ½ cup)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 can diced green chilies (4 ounces)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup fat-free sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shred the [baked] chicken. Mix onion, pepper, beans, corn, chilies, cheese, sour cream and cilantro together. Spoon chicken and veggie mixture into eight tortillas, roll and place into 9×13 (sprayed) pan. Pour sauce (see below) on top and bake for 30 minutes.

Here’s where it gets tricky. The recipe calls for pouring red sauce and sprinkling shredded cheese on top. I, however, don’t like red sauce. So this is where things began to take a turn.

Chicken Fiesta Enchiladas by Mission Foods

Is it a dip or an enchilada filling? We decided it was delicious as BOTH.

I’m not saying a turn for the worse. Because for the record, Chelley loved the enchiladas – and we decided that the veggie, cheese and sour cream mixture could double as a dip. Bonus! But this is where my recipe differs from the original. (Never mind that I reduced the amount of cilantro by a WHOLE LOT. That is my personal preference and completely beside the point.)

I decided I would make a white cheese sauce for the top of the enchiladas. So I mixed butter, onions, heavy cream and grated Monterey jack cheese in a saucepan. It wasn’t bad. But it needs some work.

{Side note to self: When attempting something fancy like a roux or a béchamel or whatever it’s called when you actually make a cheese sauce instead of pouring it from a jar, don’t rely on memory of the Rachael Ray show. Look it up, for Pete’s sake.}

The final result? I learned that I like cilantro; I don’t love it. I learned that Pioneer Woman is right about grating cheese myself: it really is better. And I learned that either way you slice it, adding a bunch of veggies and healthy tortillas to my chicken enchiladas is a good thing! (I’m not saying it made me tango, but we did have quite the fiesta – both cooking it and eating it!)

Have you ever tried to make up a recipe on your own? Or do you tend to follow recipes and cook by the book?

This post is sponsored by Mission Foods, one of the largest producers of tortilla products and a dedicated supporter of Share Our Strength and its goal of ending childhood hunger in America through employee volunteerism and nationwide fundraising efforts. However, the experience and opinions are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

This post will be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Works for Me WednesdayFoodie Friday, Grocery Cart Challenge, Friday Firsts and Food on Fridays. It will also be linked to Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home Cooks.

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