Are you tired of the same old chicken recipe? Do you need a quick and easy meal that will please everyone in your family or party? Look no further than this Chicken Enchilada Copycat Recipe! Packed with flavor, this dish is sure to become a staple in your meal rotation.
Inspired by the popular “Hamburger Helper” concept, but using chicken instead of beef, this recipe provides a perfect meal for those who typically opt for chicken over red meat. And for those who follow a gluten-free diet, this recipe is a perfect option as well.
In this article, we’ll guide you through every step of the process, from listing the ingredients to providing tips for perfect results. Whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress. So let’s get started on creating this cheesy and satisfying dish!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Have you been on the hunt for a meal that is as delightful to taste as it is easy to prepare? Look no further! My Chicken Enchilada Copycat Recipe, also known as Chicken Helper, is sure to be your new go-to dish for any occasion.
First and foremost, this recipe is versatile and can be customized to fit any dietary needs or preferences. For those who avoid gluten, simply substitute the wheat-based ingredients with brown rice, which binds the flavors together just as well. If you prefer a sugar-free diet, feel free to replace the tablespoon of sugar with a natural sweetener like stevia.
One thing for certain is that you can rely on this meal to be packed with bold flavors that will make your taste buds dance with joy. From the combination of cumin and cayenne pepper to the richness of cheddar cheese, each bite offers a lovingly layered taste that brings warmth and comfort to any setting.
This dish also offers an ideal balance of protein and carbohydrates, meaning it will keep you full without leaving you feeling sluggish or weighed down. It’s perfect for a weekday night dinner or a weekend gathering with friends and family because it can be prepared in advanced and reheated easily while still retaining its flavor and texture.
In conclusion, my Chicken Enchilada Copycat Recipe is not only mouth-wateringly delicious but also quick and easy to prepare with everyday pantry staples. You’ll love how quickly it can become an essential part of your weekly meal plan!
Here is a comprehensive list of ingredients needed to make this delicious copycat recipe that will definitely impress your guests.
Meat and Beans
- 1 pound chicken breasts, diced
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups cooked rice
- (optional) brown rice instead of white rice for a healthier option
Vegetables and Herbs
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Spices and Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- (optional) sugar or stevia for added sweetness
Make sure you have all these ingredients ready before starting the cooking process. Feel free to adjust the amounts according to your preference.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have gathered all the ingredients, let us start preparing this Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Copycat Recipe. We guarantee that after tasting this recipe, you won’t need to order food from a restaurant again. This calls for an instant pot or a casserole dish depending on your preference.
Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Recipe
- In a bowl, mix chicken breasts, black beans, rice, diced tomatoes, 1 cup of enchilada sauce, and cornstarch.
- Set the instant pot to sauté on medium-high heat and add olive oil.
- Add some diced onions and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Pour the chicken mixture into the instant pot along with 1/2 cup of water and stir everything to combine.
- Close the lid of the instant pot and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure using the manual setting.
- Once done, release all the pressure manually and carefully open the lid.
- Fluff up the mixture with a fork and serve with some shredded cheese over it.
Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe
- Preheat your oven at 375°F and lightly grease a casserole dish with cooking spray.
- In a bowl mix chicken breasts, black beans, rice, diced tomatoes, 1 cup of enchilada sauce, and cornstarch.
- Spread half of this mixture into your prepared casserole dish.
- Sprinkle your favorite type of shredded cheese over it liberally. Repeat by adding in layering with the other half of the chicken mixture to create another layer of cheesy goodness. Finally, sprinkle some more shredded cheese on top.
- Bake in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
It’s that easy! You can now enjoy this delightful cheesy chicken enchilada copycat recipe.
Substitutions and Variations
One of the best things about cooking is that you can get creative and make a recipe your own by adding, removing or substituting ingredients. This chicken enchilada copycat recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations to inspire your own twist:
– Meat Substitutions: If you’re not in the mood for chicken, try substituting with cooked ground beef or turkey, shredded pork or even tofu.
– Rice Substitutions: You can swap brown rice for white rice, quinoa or any other grain of choice based on your preference.
– Cheese Variations: This recipe calls for cheddar cheese, but you can easily use a combination of different cheeses such as Monterey Jack, Colby Jack or pepper jack cheese for added kick.
– Sauce Variations: If you want to mix it up, try using green enchilada sauce instead of red enchilada sauce. You can also combine both sauces for added flavor.
– Veggie Additions: Add extra veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, spinach or mushrooms to the filling mix if you want to sneak in more nutrients.
– Gluten-free options: If you or someone at your party have gluten-free dietary requirement, switch regular pasta out for gluten-free pasta instead.
Whatever substitutions and variations you choose to make, this copycat chicken enchilada recipe will still turn out delicious every time.
Serving and Pairing
This Chicken Enchilada Copycat recipe serves a crowd, and it’s perfect for big family gatherings or potlucks. This hearty dish can be paired with various side dishes, such as cilantro lime rice or roasted vegetables. The meal is flavorful and satisfying on its own, but adding some guacamole, tomato salsa, or sour cream on top never hurts.
For those on a gluten-free diet, consider serving this dish over brown rice instead of pasta to ensure that your guests with dietary restrictions can enjoy the meal as well.
This cheesy chicken enchilada recipe pairs perfectly with Mexican beer, Margaritas, or a glass of red wine. For non-alcoholic options, try serving it with homemade lemonade or iced tea for a refreshing summer beverage.
Overall, this crowd-pleasing meal is versatile in its ability to be paired with various sides and beverages to make any gathering a delicious success.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
When it comes to hosting parties or preparing meals in advance, we want dishes that we can make ahead of time with minimal fuss when the guests arrive. That’s where make-ahead dishes come in handy, and this Chicken Enchilada Copycat Recipe is no exception.
One way to make this meal a breeze is to prepare it ahead of time and store it in your fridge. Simply follow the recipe instructions up to the point where you would bake your chicken enchilada copycat dish. Instead of baking, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before reheating.
When you’re ready to serve, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the refrigerated chicken enchilada copycat for 25-30 minutes or until warmed through. If the rice seems too dry after storing, add a tablespoon of water before reheating.
If you have leftovers after your fiesta, storing them correctly will help keep them fresh for longer. Store leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge for up to three days.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to reheat your leftovers, use a microwave-safe dish and reheat on high for two minutes. Don’t forget to stir halfway through!
Whether you’re making this recipe ahead of time or reheating leftovers, you can rest easy knowing that this meal will be perfect every time.
Tips for Perfect Results
Cooking can be an art form, and like any masterpiece, it needs the right techniques and tools to achieve perfection. Here are some tips that can help you make the perfect chicken enchilada copycat recipe every time.
Firstly, for a cheesy chicken enchilada with a creamy texture, use milk instead of water when cooking your rice. Milk adds more flavour and richness to the dish than water does. I normally use whole milk, but feel free to experiment with skim or low-fat milk. If you replace milk with water, the taste will not be as rich.
Secondly, if you want to add more fibre and protein to your dish, throw in some black beans into the skillet along with the chicken. Black beans are an excellent source of nutrition and complement the overall flavour of this dish.
Thirdly, to make your dish gluten-free or healthier in general, switch rice for brown rice instead. Brown rice is full of vitamins and minerals that have been removed from white rice during processing. Brown rice is also less refined and has more fiber than white rice.
Fourthly, when making the enchilada sauce from tomato paste, add cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Cornstarch gives the sauce a glossy finish and smooth consistency.
Finally, don’t forget about seasoning! Use spices like cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper for an extra burst of flavour. Cayenne pepper can also be added for some heat; alternatively, stevia or sugar can be added for sweetness. Adjust seasonings according to your personal preferences.
By following these tips above, you will create a hearty meal perfect for serving your friends and family for any occasion!
In conclusion, this Chicken Enchilada Copycat recipe is a versatile and delicious meal that can be enjoyed by anyone. With its easy-to-find ingredients and simple preparation process, it’s a meal perfect for busy weeknights or special occasions.
Whether you’re feeding a large family or just looking for a quick dinner solution for yourself, this recipe is guaranteed to please. So why not swap out your usual beef or pasta options and try something new?
Don’t hesitate to experiment with different substitutions and variations to make the recipe your own. And remember, food is all about enjoying the experience and sharing it with others.
So go ahead and give this Chicken Enchilada Copycat recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you!
Chicken Helper : Chicken Enchilada Copycat Recipe
- 1 1/2-2 lbs chicken breasts
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained (optional)
- 2 cups dry rice, cooked
- 4 ounces tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons margarine
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar or 1 tablespoon stevia
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- Dice and brown chicken breast in butter until cooked. Cook rice. Add sauce, black beans and tomato paste to pan of cooked chicken. Simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in grated cheese. Ladle chicken and sauce over rice and top with additional shredded cheese and sour cream as desired. (You may alternatively stir rice into sauce and combine right away.).
- Rice: combine 2 cups white rice and 3 cups water, bring to a light boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium - low. Simmer covered 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!