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Verdé Chicken Enchilada Bowls

An excellent choice for lunch or dinner; these fresh and flavorful verdé chicken enchilada bowls combine cilantro lime rice, tender shredded chicken, homemade verdé enchilada sauce, and your choice of toppings. Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free adaptable.

Verdé chicken enchilada bowl with a spoon.

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What’s to love about this recipe?

  • It’s easy! Because this dish is made from scratch it does take about an hour to whip up, but it’s really very simple and mostly hands-off.
  • It’s fresh! Rather than using canned enchilada sauce, these rice bowls include a homemade verdé enchilada sauce. This along with the optional addition of fresh veggies like radishes and onion and condiments like salsa and guacamole make these bowls oh so fresh.
  • It’s gluten-free and dairy-free adaptable! I’ve been trying to keep the gluten in my diet to a minimum lately because I just feel better that way. If you are too, you’ll be pleased to know that these enchilada bowls are gluten-free. With the omission of the cheese, they are also dairy-free.
Three verdé chicken enchilada bowls.

Ingredients + notes & substitutions

Ingredients for verdé enchilada bowls (see recipe card).
  • Tomatillos: Tomatillos are a husked fruit. They may look like tomatoes, but they actually are not. They do belong to the nightshade family, however. Choose tomatillos that have filled out their husk and are firm rather than mushy and shriveled. After removing the husks it is important to rinse them as they are often dirty and sticky.
  • White onion
  • Anaheim pepper: Hailing from California, Anaheim peppers are mild, fruity, and widely available. If for some reason you are unable to find an Anaheim a poblano pepper would be a suitable alternative.
  • Jalapeno or Serrano pepper: For some added heat you can add one of these peppers. On the Scoville scale, jalapenos sit at 2,500-8,000 and Serranos at 10,000-23,000.
  • Cilantro: For the verdé enchilada sauce and the cilantro lime rice. Plus more for garnishing if you choose.
  • Chicken broth: For the sauce and the rice. Could sub for vegetable broth or even water, but some of the flavor will be sacrificed.
  • Lime juice: Fresh is preferably, but bottled works too. One lime is plenty for both the sauce and the rice.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper: To season the chicken.
  • Ground cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Boneless chicken thighs: While you could use chicken breast or chicken tenderloins, chicken thighs are where it’s at – they are just so much more tender, juicy, and flavorful.
  • Long grain rice: Jasmine or Basmati.
  • Cheese: Queso fresco is my go-to. Alternately, Cotija, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack could be used. If you don’t do dairy, simply leave out the cheese altogether or opt for a dairy-free alternative.
  • Radishes: Personally, I love the addition of crunchy fresh sliced radishes, but they are optional.
  • Red onion: Diced white onion would work as well.
  • Other optional toppings: Suggestions include sliced or diced jalapeno, sliced avocado or guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and/or hot sauce.

How do you make verdé chicken enchilada bowls?

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the tomatillos, onion, Anaheim pepper, and jalapeno/Serrano (optional) in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the top half of the oven for 20 minutes or until the tops have begun to brown.
Roasted vegetables on a sheet pan.

2. Remove from the oven and transfer to a blender or a bowl with an immersion blender. Add the cilantro, broth or water, lime juice, olive oil, and salt and process until smooth. Set aside.

Verdé enchilada sauce in food processor bowl.

3. In a small bowl, combine the ground black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and salt then sprinkle it on all sides of the chicken.

4. Heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a small sauté pan or saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until browned.

Browned chicken in a sauce pan.

5. Pour in the verdé enchilada sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer.

6. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Once hot, add the rice. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid burning. The idea is to toast it just a little bit which brings out the nutty flavor.

7. Add the broth or water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

8. After 15 minutes, remove the rice from the heat and allow it to rest for five minutes with the lid on. It is important not to remove the lid at any point when cooking rice as this releases the steam.

9. Meanwhile, transfer the chicken to a cutting board, shred it using two forks, then transfer it back to the sauce.

Verdé chicken enchilada sauce in sauce pan.

10. After five minutes, stir the cilantro, lime juice, and salt into the rice.

Cilantro lime rice in a sauce pan.

10. To serve: Ladle the verdé chicken enchilada sauce atop the rice and garnish with cheese and your choice of toppings. Serve warm.

How to store

Store in an airtight container for up to four days.

Three verdé chicken enchilada bowls.
Close-up of chicken enchilada bowl.

More enchilada recipes:

  • Beef Enchilada Soup: This super simple beef enchilada soup brings the flavor you know and love, requires just a handful of ingredients, and takes only 25-minutes. Naturally gluten-free.
  • Green Goddess Enchiladas: Get your daily dose of greens from these green goddess enchiladas. Spinach, cheese, and onion enchiladas smothered in verdé sauce made from scratch, and heaped with sautéed broccoli and zucchini. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.

If you make these verdé chicken enchilada bowls I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Verdé chicken enchilada bowl with a spoon.

Verdé Chicken Enchilada Bowls

Yield: 4 bowls
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

An excellent choice for lunch or dinner; these fresh and flavorful verdé chicken enchilada bowls combine cilantro lime rice, tender shredded chicken, homemade verdé enchilada sauce, and your choice of toppings. Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free adaptable.

Ingredients

Verdé Enchilada Sauce ( can sub for two cups canned enchilada sauce)

  • 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, destemmed 
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, destemmed (optional) (see notes) 
  • 1/2 cup cilantro 
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

For the bowls

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs, chicken breast, or chicken tenderloins
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, Jasmine or Basmati
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Crumbled queso fresco, could sub for Cotija or shredded Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese 
  • 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Diced red onion (optional)
  • Other optional toppings: sliced/diced jalapeno, sliced avocado or guacamole, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce. 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the tomatillos, onion, Anaheim pepper, and jalapeno/serrano (optional) in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the top half of the oven for 20 minutes or until the tops have begun to brown.
  2. Remove from the oven and transfer to a blender or a bowl with an immersion blender. Add the cilantro, broth or water, lime juice, olive oil, and salt and process until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the ground black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and salt then sprinkle it on all sides of the chicken.
  4. Heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a small sauté pan or saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until browned.
  5. Pour in the verdé enchilada sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Once hot, add the rice. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid burning. The idea is to just toast it a little bit which brings out the nutty flavor.
  7. Add the broth or water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. After 15 minutes, remove the rice from the heat and allow to rest for five minutes with the lid on.
  9. Meanwhile, transfer the chicken to a cutting board, shred it using two forks, then transfer it back to the sauce.
  10. After five minutes, stir the cilantro, lime juice, and salt into the rice.
  11. To serve: Ladle the verdé chicken enchilada sauce atop rice and garnish with cheese and your choice of toppings. Serve warm.

Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to four days.

Notes

    • For some added heat you can add one of these peppers. On the Scoville scale, jalapenos sit at 2,500-8,000 and Serranos at 10,000-23,000.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 892Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 251mgSodium: 2102mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 68g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

Did you make this recipe?

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Norma

Sunday 28th of February 2021

Verde does not have an accent.

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