The Whole Enchilada - Green

The Whole Enchilada - Green

Healthier version of traditional chicken enchiladas with homemade cream verde sauce. Gluten-free, low-lactose, soy-free, and low-FODMAP.

By, variation of Emeril Lagasse’s easy (red) enchilada sauce

My sister is a generous person; when she has a friend in need of an easy freezer-to-table dinner, her go-to is a traditional chicken enchilada in a white cream sauce. Whereas its creaminess is soothing, it is not the healthiest of freezer meals, made with flour, lots of dairy, and processed cream of everything soups. Here, I have revised it to be lighter and still comforting. And, it is easy on the tummy (no onion, no garlic, low-lactose or lactose-free dairy products, no gluten). Let’s give dinners that do more good.

Masa flour is very fine corn flour. In this recipe, it is used as a thickener for the roux. The brand I like is Maseca masa corn flour, which is gluten-free.


For Enchilada Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil (olive, grapeseed, or canola)
  • 1 Tbsp masa flour (I use Maseca masa corn flour)
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 cups Onion-Free Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup fresh green salsa, strained of water (I use Wrights of Texas fresh green salsa medium – gluten-free and onion-free)
  • ¼ cup lactose-free sour cream
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ kosher tsp salt
For Enchiladas
  • 2 boneless, with skin on, chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup fresh, chopped cilantro
  • 2 sprigs fresh, chopped thyme
  • 6 ounces (½ a jar) roasted red peppers chopped (I use Jeff’s Naturals and Delallo)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh green salsa (I use Wrights of Texas fresh green salsa medium – gluten-free and onion-free)
  • 12 six-inch diameter corn tortillas (I use Margarita’s stone ground corn vegan tortillas)
  • 2 ½ cups Enchilada Sauce
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (I use Rumiano Family organic)


    For Enchilada Sauce
  1. In large pot, add oil; heat on stovetop at medium-high heat until just glistening. Immediately add masa flour, and whisk mixture constantly. Allow mixture to cook for one minute in order to remove the flour flavor.
  2. Add ground white pepper and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  3. Immediately add to the mixture chicken stock, fresh green salsa, sour cream, oregano, cumin, and salt. Mix well. Adjust heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken at this point. The sauce should be a pale green color and texture of a tasty gravy with a few bits of salsa. Take a wooden spoon, stir the sauce, and run your finger along the back of the spoon to form a thick line. If the line holds and looks like ski tracks in the dark snow, then you have done the job well!
  4. For Enchiladas
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Place chicken breasts onto sheet pan. Sprinkle salt on chicken. Roast in oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until chicken meat springs back when pressed with finger.
  7. While chicken is roasting, this is a good time to make Enchilada Sauce.
  8. Remove pan from oven and allow chicken to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  9. Remove skin from chicken (discard), and cut ¾ of the chicken into small, ¼-inch dice pieces; shred the remaining ¼ of chicken. Place chicken into medium bowl. Set aside.
  10. In small bowl, add cumin, oregano, cilantro, thyme, chopped red peppers, and fresh green salsa. Mix well with fork. Add the fresh seasonings mixture to the reserved chicken. Combine well. Set aside.
  11. Place tortillas onto microwave-safe plate. Wrap in damp paper towels. Microwave for 1 minute or until tortillas have softened. Discard towels. Set aside.
  12. Into a 9 X 13 inch casserole dish, add one ladle-full of Enchilada Sauce. Using spatula, spread sauce evenly along the bottom of dish. Set aside.
  13. Into medium bowl, pour remaining Enchilada Sauce. Set aside.
  14. Onto counter, line out the following plates/bowls in this order: tortillas, Enchilada Sauce, chicken-seasonings mixture, and prepped casserole dish.
  15. Assemble enchiladas by taking one tortilla, dip tortilla into Enchilada Sauce (coating both sides), wipe off excess, spoon 2 Tbsp chicken-seasonings mixture into the middle of tortilla (spread lengthwise so it is a little chicken log), wrap both ends of tortilla around chicken filling to form enchilada, place enchilada into casserole dish with seam side down. Repeat for remaining tortillas. Press enchiladas tightly into casserole dish in a neat, even pattern of 2 rows of 6 enchiladas per row.
  16. Once all enchiladas have been assembled, top with an even layer of remaining Enchilada Sauce. Top with an even layer of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
  17. Place casserole dish into oven and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cheese should be golden and melted. Serve immediately.


  • Serve with a fresh salad of shredded cabbage and sliced avocado.
  • Store baked enchiladas in storage container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. These reheat well.
  • Store unbaked enchiladas in freezer container, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then in foil for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight before baking. Bake an additional 10 – 15 minutes. If there is no time to defrost, no worries: place foil over casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes, then remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted and enchiladas are sizzling.
  • If you cannot find Wrights of Texas fresh green salsa medium, then simply make your own green salsa in the food processor using this amazing green salsa recipe. I would eliminate the onion, as the Wrights’ jar does not list onion as an ingredient.
  • Enchilada Sauce yields 2½ cups which is enough for one dish of The Whole Enchilada. However, my sister prefers more sauce, so feel free to double the Enchilada Sauce.