Quick Fix: Easy-to-make enchiladas topped with spicy sauce

Linda Gassenheimer
Tribune News Service

These Tex-Mex style enchiladas take less than five minutes to make using a microwave oven. They’re filled with chicken and refried beans and topped with a spicy tomato sauce. Corn tortillas are the typical tortilla used for enchiladas. I like to use whole wheat flour tortillas for their nutty flavor and ease in rolling up the enchiladas.

Esquites or fried corn is a typical Mexican side dish. Using frozen diced onion and green peppers and frozen corn kernels, it takes only minutes to prepare.

Helpful Hints:

— You can use any type of pasta or marinara sauce.

— You can use shredded Mexican-style cheese instead of Monterey Jack.

Chicken enchiladas with esquites (sauteed corn).

— A quick way to defrost the onion, green bell pepper and corn is to place them in a sieve and run hot tap water over them.

— If you do not have a microwave, enchiladas can be cooked in the oven or under a broiler. Instructions are in the method of the recipe.


— Prepare enchiladas.

— Saute the esquites.

— Heat enchiladas in microwave oven.

Shopping List:

To buy: 1 package 6-inch whole wheat flour tortillas, 1/2 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 can non-fat refried beans, 1 small bottle/can low-sodium tomato sauce, 1 small package reduced-fat shredded, Monterey Jack cheese, 1 small bunch cilantro, 1 package frozen diced onion, 1 package frozen diced green bell pepper, 1 small package frozen corn kernels and 1 small bottle hot pepper sauce.

Staples: canola oil, salt and black peppercorns.

Chicken enchiladas

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

4 6-inch whole wheat flour tortillas

1/2 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/2 cup canned nonfat canned refried beans

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup low-sodium, tomato sauce

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded, Monterey Jack cheese

Place tortillas on a countertop. Slice chicken into thin strips (about 1/2-inch wide). Divide slices among the 4 tortillas. Spread refried beans over the chicken and sprinkle cilantro on top. Roll up tortillas and place in a microwave-safe dish just big enough to hold them, seam side down. Mix tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce together and spoon over tortillas. Cover with another dish or plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Cover again and microwave 1 minute. Divide between 2 plates.

Oven or broiler method:

Enchiladas can be placed in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 10 minutes to warm through or under a broiler for 5 minutes.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 486 calories (25% from fat), 13.6 g fat (5.5 g saturated, 2.5 g monounsaturated), 123 mg cholesterol, 48.9 g protein, 45.5 g carbohydrates, 8.5 g fiber, 767 mg sodium.

Esquites (fried corn)

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 cup frozen diced onion, defrosted

1 cup frozen diced green bell pepper, defrosted

1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted

Several drops hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, green peppers and corn. Saute 5 to 6 minutes. Add, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 141 calories (7% from fat), 5.2 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 3.3 g protein, 23.7 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, 7 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, "The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook." Listen to Linda on and all major podcast sites. Email her at