If you love enchiladas but you hate the work it takes to make them, these mini green chicken enchilada pies are for you! They're like mini casseroles with all of the flavors and none of the work.
I used to make enchiladas very often when my kids were at home. They're a great way to feed a crowd, so it was worth the effort to make a huge pan. And left overs were always good for a quick lunch. But even back then, I always thought they were a lot of work - even if I used shortcuts like rotisserie chicken and shredded cheese.
There's all that mixing up the ingredients, rolling up the tortillas (hoping they don't break as you're rolling), remembering to place each one seam side down, etc...
And so much cheese!
I do love cheese, but let's face it, enchiladas tend to have a LOT of it.
So these single-serve mini green chicken enchilada pies are perfect for when you're craving a lighter, healthier version of enchiladas. And for when you don't want to mess around with rolling all those tortillas.
I do still like to make a lot of the green chicken filling. It freezes well, so you can have a quick dinner at a later time. Or, if you are feeding a group, each person can make their own mini green chicken enchilada pie.
You can also make up six mini enchilada pies at once, and freeze them individually for meals all month! The possibilities are endless :).
How to Make Mini Green Chicken Enchilada Pies
It's ridiculously easy because this recipe uses several shortcuts while still keeping things totally healthy:
- Let the crockpot do the work of cooking the boneless, skinless chicken breasts until they're tender and pull apart with a fork.
- Pour a jar of your favorite salsa verde (green salsa made with tomatillos, chiles, and cilantro) over the chicken breasts.
- Add a can of pinto beans (or black beans if you prefer)
- Layer corn tortillas with the cooked chicken and beans, and a light sprinkle of shredded cheese.
One thing I really think makes these mini green chicken enchilada pies is the pickled vegetables. They're not hard to make, and you can keep them in your fridge for weeks. For this recipe, I adapted my Mexican-Style Pickled Vegetables. I used just one carrot, a bunch of radishes, a jalapeno pepper, and a bunch of cilantro. For the brine, I used one cup of white vinegar, ½ cup of water, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of salt.
You can make the veggies when you put the chicken in the crockpot. They really just need about two hours (although more is better) to pickle.
The cool, crispy crunch of the vegetables really compliments the spicy salsa verde and richness of the cheese. Trust me - once you try these, you'll want to keep a jar in your fridge at all times!
Mini Green Chicken Enchilada Pies
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 16 ounces salsa verde jarred (about 1 ½ cups)
- 15 ounce can pinto beans drained, rinsed
- 8 corn tortillas small (6-inch)
- 2 cups shredded cheese Mexican blend
- optional garnishes: pickled vegetables, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, avocado
- Place the chicken breasts, salsa verde, and pinto beans in a crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours.
- When the chicken is cooked through, shred it using 2 forks to pull it apart.
- This step is optional but recommended: Lightly toast 8 corn tortillas in a pan over medium-high heat, or on a medium-heat grill
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of the sauce to the bottom of a mini casserole dish.
- Layer one tortilla, with about ½ cup of the chicken and pinto bean mixture, and about 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheese.
- Repeat the above step with another layer tortilla, chicken and bean mixture, and cheese.
- Place each casserole dish in the microwave for one minute to melt the cheese (or under the broiler on high heat for about one minute).
- Top with pickled vegetables, avocado slices, sour cream as desired.
What's your favorite Mexican food?