If you’re only using pumpkin to make copycat Pumpkin Spice Lattes or pumpkin pies and cakes, then you’re seriously missing out. Those things are amazing, don’t get me wrong, but these Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas will absolutely blow your mind. If you’ve never had pumpkin outside of sweet drinks and desserts, you might be surprised to find out that this winter squash is not actually sweet!
The first time I ate plain pumpkin, I was blown away. I really expected it to taste super sweet (like a sweet potato). As it turns out, it’s only slightly sweet, with a mild flavor that’s similar to butternut squash or acorn squash. That means you can use pumpkin for savory dishes, like this Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas recipe.
There’s something seriously fantastic about the combination of these ingredients. The chicken gets a boost of flavor from the homemade, creamy pumpkin enchilada sauce, and the sweet potatoes bring some sweetness to the dish. And, because no enchilada recipe is complete without some spice, we added diced green chiles to kick things up a notch. You end up with flavorful chicken wrapped up in corn tortillas and smothered in a slightly-spicy, slightly-smoky sauce. Say no more!
Choose Your Pumpkin Puree Wisely
First of all, make sure you pick up a can of 100 percent pumpkin puree. You definitely don’t want a pumpkin-spiced puree, otherwise your enchiladas might taste a little funny! In addition to adding spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, cans of pumpkin pie puree also have a ton of added sugar. Since our enchilada sauce isn’t supposed to be sweet, you don’t need any of those extra calories!
Once you’ve found your can of real pumpkin puree, take a peek at the ingredients list. The only thing that should be listed there is pumpkin. If there’s anything else on that list at all, put down the can and look for something else. It’s definitely a bonus if the pumpkin used is organic, too, because organic foods have less toxins than conventional foods.
If you’re looking for the best brand of canned pumpkin for your Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas, Cook’s Illustrated did a taste test a few years back. Libby’s 100% Pure Organic Pumpkin was the clear winner because of its smooth consistency and prominent pumpkin flavor. Since it has clean ingredients and it’s made from organic pumpkins, it gets our seal of approval!
What’s With The Cinnamon?
You might notice we snuck in a secret ingredient in these Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas: cinnamon. Even though cinnamon is mostly used in sweet recipes like cakes, pies, and muffins, it’s actually a traditional Mexican ingredient. Adding a pinch of cinnamon to this dish isn’t enough to make it taste sweet, but it’s just enough to deepen the flavors of the other spices.
Now that you know our secret, you can start adding a pinch of cinnamon to your favorite Mexican recipes. Your friends and family will wonder how you coaxed so much flavor out of your food! You can tell them your secret, or you can keep it to yourself–we won’t judge.
Yield: 8 Servings | Serving Size: 1 enchilada | Calories: 308 | Total Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 22 g | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 5 g | Protein: 24 g | Cholesterol: 63 mg | Sodium 265 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5
- 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (we like Libby's)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chicken broth or water, plus additional as needed
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cups (cooked) shredded chicken breast
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican Style Cheese, reduced-fat
- 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chicken broth, and Greek yogurt. Stir until the mixture is well combined and has the consistency of a runny enchilada sauce. Add additional broth or water as needed.
- Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the diced sweet potato in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Microwave until it’s fork tender, about 3-5 minutes.
- In another bowl, combine the cooked sweet potato, shredded chicken, diced green chilies, and half of the cheese. Add 1/2 cup of the pumpkin enchilada sauce and toss to coat.
- Evenly distribute the chicken mixture over the center of the 8 corn tortillas. Roll the tortillas and place them seam-side down in the prepared casserole dish.
- Pour the remaining pumpkin enchilada sauce over the top of the rolled enchiladas and top it with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the enchilada sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle the cilantro on top before serving.
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