Swap the tortillas for thinly sliced zucchini, and try this low carb keto friendly Zucchini Enchiladas. They're made w/ shredded chicken and sure to impress!
This recipe for zucchini enchiladas is a perfect weeknight meal that the whole family will love! Made with “zucchini tortillas,” shredded chicken, enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. It’s low carb, gluten-free, paleo-friendly and keto-friendly!
Zucchini season is almost here! If you’re looking for some zucchini recipe ideas or ways to swap bread and pasta for zucchini, you’ve gotta try this zucchini enchiladas recipe! It’s a Mexican inspired dinner recipe that is packed with protein, flavor and nutrition! Honestly, you may not even miss the tortillas! Just sayin…
What are the health benefits of zucchini?
Zucchinis are a great vegetable to incorporate into your diet. The benefits include:
- Lowering blood sugar levels
- Boosts energy
- Aids with weight-loss and weight management
- Improves digestion
- Contributes to a healthy heart
- Low carb, low in calories and nutrient rich
How to make zucchini enchiladas
There are three parts to making this recipe. First you’ll prepare the chicken filling. Next you’ll prepare the zucchini so they can be used in place of the tortillas. Finally, you’ll roll the zucchini with the mixture and bake.
Preparing the chicken mixture
Start with 3 cups of shredded chicken. You can use chicken breast, chicken thighs or even ground chicken or ground turkey. What works well is using leftover rotisserie chicken. I also like to boil some chicken breasts with water and bay leaves for 30 minutes and then shred the chicken while it’s warm.
Regardless what chicken meat you use, you’ll want to mix the chicken with sauteed onions, garlic and spices. Then add some store-bought or homemade enchilada sauce on top and mix everything together.
Preparing the zucchini
To prepare the zucchini enchiladas, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to peel thin wide strips of zucchini. You’ll want to save the narrow strips on the outside of the zucchini for another recipe. Only use the wide parts for best results. Then stack three strips on top of each other, (slightly overlapping), place the chicken mixture towards one end and tuck and roll.
Putting it together
The recipe will yield about 24 rolls total, and you will have some leftover zucchini slices, scraps and bits. You can chop those up to use in a zucchini bread of frittata. Then just arrange the zucchini enchiladas in the baking dish and add some enchilada sauce on top.
Add some shredded cheese on top and bake in the oven until the cheese melts. And then it’s ready!
When they come out of the oven, hit the zucchini enchiladas with some fresh cilantro, some sliced jalapenos if you like some heat and even some sliced avocados for a creamy touch. I would recommend serving these as soon as possible while they’re warm and the cheese is melted because who could resist that cheese pull?!
You can also leave condiments on the side, and everyone can add whatever condiments they prefer on top of their zucchini enchiladas. Sour cream and salsa give it a nice touch!
Tips for making zucchini enchiladas
- Press the zucchini slices between paper towels to remove excess moisture. This may not be necessary for the zucchini you use, but if you notice that it has a lot of moisture, be sure to dab it dry. This will avoid any soggy zucchini situation.
- Use a vegetable Y-peeler to make the zucchini strips thin and wide. It might help to halve the zucchini lengthwise before starting. And if you have a mandolin slicer, that might actually be even easier and faster. I relied on my cheap handy dandy Y-peeler.
- Test a couple strips to ensure you have the right thickness. If it’s your first time making these, you may want to roll a couple strips with the chicken filling to make sure they don’t break. If they break, that’s a sign that you need to slice them thinner.
- Be careful not to overstuff the zucchini rolls. You want to use 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture and not more than that so they’re easy to roll and won’t burst open in the oven.
- Do not freeze the zucchini enchiladas. Zucchini has a very high moisture content, so it doesn’t respond well to freezing. When frozen, it accumulates ice crystals, which leads to sad and soggy zucchini. You can freeze the chicken mixture though!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are enchiladas?
Enchiladas are Mexican, and they consist of rolled tortillas that contain a filling and then are baked in a spicy sauce. My recipe replaces the tortillas to make this dish healthier and low carb.
How can you tell if a zucchini is good to eat?
When choosing your zucchinis, pick ones that are firm with a shiny skin. When you cut one open, they should appear slightly yellow, greenish or white and have a buttery texture.
Can you make zucchini enchiladas ahead of time?
You can prepare the dish a few hours ahead of time, but not too long or the zucchini will get soft. You can slice the zucchini slices up to a day in advance and store them in the fridge with layers of paper towels between them so they don’t release too much moisture from being stacked on top of each other. Store any leftovers in an airtight container, they will last about 2-3 in the fridge, but the zucchini will start getting soft after the first day.
I’m so impressed by how zucchini plays such a cool low-carb role as a pasta substitute and now as a tortilla substitute. It’s a great way to cut back on carbs and a wonderful recipe for anyone who’s on a gluten-free diet, ketogenic diet or low-carb diet. They are light and healthy, quick and easy, and packed with flavor that’s perfect for a crowd!
And if you want more ideas for cooking with low carb zucchini recipes, try my Stuffed Zucchini Boats!
For more Mexican inspired recipes:
For more low carb zucchini ideas:
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Zucchini Enchiladas recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
- 2-3 zucchinis large
- 2 cups Mexican blend cheese shredded
- Cilantro, jalapenos, avocados for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions and cook until they soften. Add garlic, cumin and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cooked shredded chicken and 1 cup enchilada sauce, and stir until coated.
- On a cutting board, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to peel thin slices of zucchini. Each zucchini should yield about 10 wide slices. Save the ends that are hard to peel for another use.
- Lay out 3 slices, slightly overlapping, and top with a spoonful of chicken mixture. Roll up and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini and chicken mixture. It should yield about 24 total rolls.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the zucchini enchiladas and top with shredded cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro, jalapenos and avocados, and serve immediately.
- Instead of shredded chicken, you can also use ground beef, ground turkey or even just prepared beans or tofu.
- If you don't have cumin or chili powder, you can add other Mexican spices included paprika, garlic powder, onion powder or oregano.
- I use the vegetable Y-peeler to create thin wide strips of zucchini. It's an inexpensive tool that has lots of other uses in the kitchen, like peeling carrots or peeling beets, for example.
- I love using the Staub ceramic dish to make theses zucchini enchiladas. They gently retain heat and won't absorb moisture, which is ideal for baking zucchini that can often have excess moisture. Plus, they go from oven-to-table so beautifully!