Chef John Reed’s Healthier Enchiladas

Even with a pandemic, summer has still made its presence well-known! Here in Chicago the sun is shining, the grass is green–it’s beautiful! Of course, if you are going out, please remember to wear your mask! I recently picked up more fabric masks at Target and they’re very comfy. They even have a pocket for a filter!

With all this nice weather, we have to throw in some healthy recipes too, right? Well I have a fantastic review for you all.

Today we are reviewing a recipe perfect for your enchilada craving with a VERY healthy twist! This recipe comes to us courtesy of Chef John Reed and you can find it right -> here!

Chef John Reeds Healthier Enchiladas
Chef John Reed’s Healthier Enchiladas

What’s The Healthy Secret?

Zucchini! I’ll be honest with you all that about a year ago I had reviewed a recipe that used zucchini as a substitute for noodles and I was very displeased with the result. After doing some more reading and getting some questions answered by other cooks, I decided to give it another try. This was my second attempt at working with zucchini as a replacement for a carb.

It was absolutely worth it!

I will mention a couple of things about the zucchini usage in this recipe. Pay close attention to the directions because you will absolutely need about 6 slices of zucchini per enchilada to accommodate the filling.

I would also recommend working as quickly as possible when you are assembling your enchiladas. Zucchini has a tendency to get really soft and mushy and you absolutely don’t want that. If you assemble quickly and get them in the oven, you’ll be golden.

My experience with this recipe was great with the only exception of the zucchini’s I was able to get at the store. They weren’t very large, so I had to make do with what I had access too. Still turned out delicious, but just as a note for you all when you’re out shopping for the perfect zucchini.

Homemade and Delicious Fillings!

When you read this recipe, you’ll notice that it is not my typical choice for a recipe as it does take longer to make. You can absolutely take some shortcuts, like using a rotisserie chicken, canned enchilada sauce, and green chili beans. Sure, but I think it’s worth knowing how to make something like this from scratch. You can even switch it up and make traditional enchiladas with tortillas.

I wouldn’t qualify this as a weeknight dinner to make after work, but definitely a nice weekend dinner to share with friends and family. Everything can be done in stages, like baking the chicken to the point it just falls off the bone (yum!), and even the green chili filling.

Don’t let a recipe ever intimidate you. That’s something that I’ve certainly had to get over myself.

Do These Hold Up As Tasty Enchiladas?

Grey's take on Chef John Reed's Enchiladas
Grey’s Take on Chef John Reed’s Healthier Enchiladas

Absolutely! As I previously mentioned, my enchiladas did come a little loose due to the width of the enchilada slices I had, so keep that in mind when rolling yours. Maybe even add a few more if needed. Overall, however, this recipe really embraced the spice and sauce that you’d find in a traditional enchilada. By making the fillings yourself, you know exactly what goes into them. Absolutely no preservatives or anything you’d potentially find in a canned sauce that’s meant to last a long time.

Grey’s Grade 5/5

This is definitely a recipe I’d love to try again, perhaps with a different method for the zucchini. It’s all trial and error, and the most important thing you can do is not to give up.

If you have some extra time, definitely give this recipe a try. I know my kitchen was smelling crazy delicious for hours! My apologies to all the noses in the hall that had to suffer the mouth watering aromas!

Also feel free to check out more of Chef John’s recipes on his website. I have my eye on a few more, so I’ll be sure to report back! You can also catch Chef John live on Twitch Tuesday – Friday at 10 AM MT. He also has a Baking Channel on Youtube!

As always, happy nomming!

Check Out My Reviews!


  1. We know them as courgettes in the UK but like your first commenter, I’ve never had much luck with noodles. I have blended them into pasta sauce before (hidden veg) but these enchiladas look yummy, I’ll have to try them now! Lisa

    • I certainly don’t feel so alone with the “zoodles” now haha! (: Yes! I sure hope you enjoyed them just as much as we did!

  2. These sound delicious! I also haven’t had success with zucchini noodles, but this sounds so good and worth a try!

    • I absolutely agree! I think the trick is definitely how quickly you work with them! And if you’re using them in a stir-fry…you literally have a few minutes. I made a steak stir-fry last week with zucchini noodles and it took 3 minutes max!

      Thank you so much for your comment 🙂

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