Keto Chicken Enchiladas

Here, chicken mixed with cream cheese, grated cheese, and spices is wrapped in blanched cabbage leaves and blanketed in a slightly spicy, spectacular homemade enchilada sauce. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to two weeks. You can also substitute a keto-friendly store-bought enchilada sauce, such as Hatch brand (don’t forget to recalculate your macros), but trust us: the sauce is so special, it’s worth making. Make-ahead tip: You can cover and refrigerate stuffed cabbage leaves in the baking dish for up to 24 hours before cooking them (refrigerate the enchilada sauce separately in a covered container); to bake, add an extra 15 minutes to cooking time. Serving tip: wrap and freeze enchiladas in single servings, then defrost them for fast, delicious keto meals anytime.
Serves 6 One Serving: 1 enchilada

Ingredients List


  • 2 dried guajillo chiles, rinsed, seeds and stems removed
  • 1 dried ancho chile, rinsed, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp granulated Erythritol sweetener
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch ground cinammon
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided


  • 6 whole cabbage leaves, rinsed
  • 12 oz (about 3) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced very thin, white/light parts separated from darker green tops
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 8 Tbsp (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • cups (6 oz) shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
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  • Make the enchilada sauce: In a large bowl, cover the dried chiles with the hot water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the chiles soak for 20 minutes. 
  • Transfer 1/2 cup of the chili water and the chilis to a blender. Add 1/2 cup water and the tomato paste, cocoa powder, Erythritol, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, oregano, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Puree for 1 minute. Add the olive oil and puree until smooth, adding more water to achieve a pourable sauce consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then set aside
  • Make the enchiladas: Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Line a baking sheet with a clean dish towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Place 2 cabbage leaves at a time in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and transfer to the bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, transfer the leaves to the  towel-lined tray to drain. Continue with the remaining cabbage leaves. Set aside.
  • Season the chicken thighs all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the chicken thighs and cook until browned, turning once halfway through cooking, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
  • Lower the skillet heat to medium, add the butter, celery, white and light green parts of the scallion, and the garlic powder, ground cumin, onion powder, dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until celery softens a bit and the spices are fragrant, for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the green chiles and toss to combine. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cream cheese in small pieces, stirring so it melts in. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Finely chop the cooled chicken and add it and any residual juices into the skillet along with 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Stir to combine. 
  • Spread 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce into a 10-inch square or 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Working one at a time, spoon about ⅓ cup of the chicken mixture (enchilada filling)  into the center of a blanched, drained cabbage leaf. Roll up it up like a cigar, fold over the top and bottom edges toward the seam, then place it, seam side down into the baking dish Repeat with all the leaves and filling to the enchiladas are in one layer. Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. 
  • Bake, uncovered, in the oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, then return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the enchiladas stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with the dark green scallion slices and enjoy.


RecipeEric Lundy

PhotographyErin Ng

1 review

  1. 5 stars
    This was surprisingly delicious. It was hard for me to “wrap” my head around cabbage wrapped enchiladas but they were great. I had to make some modifications because I didn’t have all the ingredients at home. I replaced the dried chiles with about 1 to 1-1/2″ of Anchiote paste. The sauce turned out great. I also cored a whole head of cabbage and put it in boiling water for about 5-6 minutes until the leaves softened instead of blanching two at a time. Good family dish!


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