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Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bowls

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my affection for food in bowls, so it’s about time to bring that around again. Most of my favorite foods fit perfectly in bowls: soups and stews, chilis, salads, rice and pasta dishes. There’s just something about a meal tucked in a bowl that’s cozy and filling, and encourages hovering over. Like today’s cheesy chicken enchilada bowls.

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bowls |

The lovely thing about food in bowls is that I get to play with traditional recipes, deconstructing them into their component parts and then rebuilding them into something bowl-friendly, but equally delectable.

Enchiladas — already an easy weeknight meal — become even more gosh-I’m-dog-tired doable (20 minutes to the table if you have leftover rice on hand). By foregoing the tortilla wrap for individual enchiladas and substituting rice for structure, you have a one-skillet meal with all of the happy Mexican flavors and absolutely no hassle or time in the oven: chop, saute, and serve. Tada! Chicken enchilada bowls!

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bowls |

If you really miss the tortilla wrap, you could lightly toast strips of corn tortillas in a skillet (or in the oven), and sprinkle them on top. (Mmmm, crispy corn tortilla strips….).

Cheesy chicken enchilada bowls make a quick-and-easy weeknight meal for brrrr-chilly December evenings – fast and filling!

BTW, if you missed it, check out my Avgolemono Turkey Soup from this past weekend. (I had made some changes to the RSS email and forgot to unpause the daily mailing when I was finished, so subscribers were not notified about the post. D’oh!)

Karen xo


Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bowls

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 4 generous servings
Author: Karen Gibson


for the rice

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked rice* I use a blend of wild rice and brown rice

for the chicken dish

  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper minced
  • 10 ounces cooked chicken shredded
  • 1 can 15 oz black beans, drained
  • 1 can 10 oz your favorite enchilada sauce (or Mexican cooking sauce)
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • sour cream for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 cups shredded quesadilla cheese or other melty cheese, like fontina


for the rice

  • In a 2 quart sauce pan set the water to boil. Add the rice, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove from heat - keep the lid on - and let rest for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

for the chicken dish

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium until shimmering. Add the onions, bell peppers, and jalapeños and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and beans and mix well. Stir in the sauce, along with a big squeeze of lime. Reduce heat to low and let the ingredients simmer for 5 minutes.
  • To serve, spoon rice into bowls, followed by the chicken mixture. Top with sour cream, cilantro, and cheese.


*3-4 cups of cooked rice, if using leftover rice (yay!)
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.

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Recipe Rating

Thalia @ butter and brioche

Friday 5th of December 2014

Craving one of these cheesy enchilada bowls right now, they look great. Perfect for dinner tonight too as I have all the ingredients on hand!


Friday 5th of December 2014

Wow these bowls look insanely delicious! I wanna make this for dinner next week! Pinned!

Carol at Wild Goose Tea

Friday 5th of December 2014

You did a get job deconstructing and reconstructing as far as I am concerned. All the flavors, a different presentation, plus the option to tailor it to individuals-----awesome.