Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Big Chicken Avocado Ranch Enchilada

Here it is everyone. The past three recipe posts have all led up to this… THE BIG ENCHILADA.

The Big Chicken Avocado Ranch Enchilada 
(if you want to be specific)

This enchilada is the result of what happens when I can’t decide on one recipe for dinner. It was my turn to prepare the Sunday meal for the extended family and I knew I wanted to do enchiladas but I couldn’t decide which recipe. There were too many delicious looking options.  To solve my problem I decided to take what looked like the best elements of each of the recipes I was looking at, combine it with what I knew I already loved and voila!!...wait that’s French….what’s voila in Spanish? Anyway…The Big Chicken Avocado Ranch Enchilada was born.

There are two variations of this recipe. There is the, “hunker down and get cozy in your kitchen” version which includes every element made from scratch. And then there’s the, “I’ve just gotto get this goodness in me!” version (thank you Brian Regan) which includes some store bought substitutions that move the dish along at a much more rapid pace. Oh! But just so you know…if you do opt for the, “hunker down in your kitchen” version, Most of the elements can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge, then assembled just before cooking – so even that version isn’t too terrible. Both versions render a truly spectacular, Mexican delight!

In the interest of keeping your interest, I’m going to assume that you already have a jar of salsa in your fridge, taco seasoning in your spice cupboard, flour tortillas in your pantry and red enchilada sauce in either your fridge or canned in your pantry. The rest of the “from scratch” can be found within the recipe. 

The Big Chicken Avocado Ranch Enchilada


2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese (peppered if you like it spicy)
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
2 cans red enchilada sauce (or 2 cups homemade)
1 recipe salsa chicken (recipe included)
1 recipe creamy avocado ranch dressing, divided (recipe included)

4-6 BLSL chicken breast halves
1 package (2 heaping Tablespoons) taco seasoning
1-2 cups salsa

1 avocado
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup mayo
½ cup sour cream
1 package dry ranch dressing mix (1 oz.)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels and arrange in prepared baking dish. Dust ½ of taco seasoning on top of chicken breasts, flip them over and dust the other side with remaining. Distribute 1 to 2 cups of salsa over the tops of the chicken so that the chicken is covered.
  3. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until chicken is done and juices run clear. When chicken is done and cooled, shred or dice the chicken. remove it from the oven and let it cool a bit.
  4. Once cooled, shred the chicken with the salsa but NOT the extra juices. (At this point the chicken can be stored in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to prepare the enchiladas. If storing in the freezer don’t forget to thaw the chicken before you need it.)
  1. In a blender combine all ingredients for the avocado sauce until creamy and smooth. Store covered in the fridge.
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and spray a 9x13” baking dish with cooking oil.
  2. Combine shredded Monterey jack and Mexican cheeses in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place shredded salsa chicken into a medium-mixing bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the Avocado Ranch Dressing and pour the remaining over the shredded salsa chicken. Stir to combine. (If you like lime rice and black beans IN your enchilada rather than on the side, mix them in at this time)
  4. Take one tortilla and spread a little less than 1 tbsp of the reserved avocado ranch dressing over the tortilla in an even layer. Add the chicken mixture (about 2/3 cup) to the center of the tortilla then sprinkle generously with the mixed shredded cheeses. Roll up the tortilla, leaving the ends open, and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining chicken filling and tortillas (you may need to use a second baking dish for overflow).
  5. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place enchiladas in the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 400. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the red enchilada sauce over the top, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and cover the dish with foil and bake for another 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve over Lime Rice with a side of black beans and corn (if you didn’t include them in the enchilada) with sliced avocado, olives and sour cream as garnish.
Source: Inspired by The Benchilada from Annie’s Eats, Firecracker Chicken Wraps from Longhorn Steakhouse and every other red enchilada dish I’ve ever eaten. J



Jill said...

Sounds delish. I might just have to try these.

Spicegirl said... I wish I wasn't working tonight because I gotta get some of this goodness in me.

Apron Appeal said...

Spicegirl...just bake the chicken tonight make enough for your dinner tonight (eat it over rice with an avocado) and extra for your enchilada tomorrow then tomorrow all you have to do it throw it together.

Becky said...

Gwen, these are brilliant! My family loved them and the missionaries scarfed them. (And
there was plenty of food!) I LOVE the idea of getting them toasted before putting on the enchiladada sauce! I can't believe I've never thought of that before! Yum, they were great!

Apron Appeal said...

Becky...I haven't made these for the missionaries yet. Usually I use them to test my recipes so far they haven't complained, the only problem is, I forget to get pictures of it and they eat it all so I can't get pictures later. I'm so happy your family liked them.

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Congratulations! This post was one of the top 5 viewed posts on Food Frenzy for April 2012.

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I too sometimes get confused with too many delicious usually happens.

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