Main Dish Recipes

Stacked BBQ Chicken and Kale Enchiladas

One of my roommates in college is a Texan, and she was horrified when she discovered that I made enchiladas with flour tortillas. Apparently this is unbelievably unauthentic.

I’m sorry, but I just do not like corn tortillas. I prefer deliciously unauthentic flour tortillas. Unless someone in our family is struck down with a gluten intolerance, we will continue to be a strictly flour tortillas family, even in enchiladas.

I actually never liked enchiladas growing up, but I’ve since repented of my evil ways and now they are my go-to dish when I need to hide vegetables I don’t like. Or when I need to use up tons and tons of CSA stuff.

Kale is my vegetable nemesis (I know, I know, have I heard of kale chips? Yes. Bart told me never to make them again. And I agreed), but I actually ate multiple servings of this.

I also invited some friends over for dinner when I made this and the husband had three servings and then said, “I really want more, but I’m afraid I’m going to make myself sick.” I felt very proud.

I made these Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches the night before and then just used the leftover chicken for these enchiladas. Or, you could just shred some cooked chicken and marinate it in some BBQ sauce for a couple of hours beforehand.

And, after months of resisting, I finally switched to Natalie’s method of stacking enchilada ingredients (more like a lasagna) rather than rolling up the filling. I don’t find the rollign particularly tedious, but I was forced into it when I was making enchiladas a few weeks ago and discovered I had a total of three tortillas. People, I’m never going back – more room for veggies, quicker assembly, and no trying to eyeball how much filling to put in each tortilla. 

Stacked BBQ Chicken and Kale Enchiladas
(Adapted from Perry’s Plate)

Serves 8

Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
4 poblano or bell peppers, diced into 1/2-inch squares
2 bunches of kale or spinach (I used a mixture of the two), coarsely chopped (if you’re using kale, make sure to cut the stems out)
3-4 cups shredded BBQ chicken (I used this recipe)
6 flour tortillas, sliced into 1-strips
2 10-oz cans red enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar and Monterey Jack)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread the diced peppers on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 20-30 minutes, until some of the edges are brown. Reduce heat to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. When hot, add kale, stir to coat with oil, and then cover and let steam for about 3 minutes. If you’re using spinach too, add it at the end of the three minutes and let it all steam about 1 minute more, until it’s bright green and wilted.

In a 9×13 pan, spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Arrange two of the sliced tortillas over it. Spread half of the shredded chicken over it, then half of the kale/spinach, and then half of your peppers.

Cover with 1 cup of shredded cheese, then 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce (about 1 cup).

Arrange another two tortillas over this, then do the other half of the chicken, kale/spinach, and peppers. Sprinkle on another cup of cheese and enchilada sauce.

Finish with the last two tortillas, the remaining tortilla sauce, and the last cup of cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes, covered with foil, then remove foil and cook 10 minutes more, until the cheese on top is bubbling and slightly brown.

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  • Reply april April 10, 2013 at 11:42 am

    This looks delicious except the first words out of my son's mouth would be "does this have vegetables in it?"

    And then my other, less loquacious son, would say "I don't like this; all done"

    so I'll probably make it anyhow. I'm right there with you on corn tortillas! I'll eat them if fresh made and not at home but I do all my cooking with flour tortillas.

  • Reply Rhi April 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I never knew until recently that enchiladas HAD to have corn tortillas. My mom made them both ways growing up and I think they're both very tasty.

  • Reply Jennifer Lee April 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Assuming you like raisins and pine nuts (do you?), you might like this recipe with kale I love it, and I leave out the vermouth. But then, I actually really do like kale, so maybe I'm not a good person to ask. Anyway, I will definitely be trying YOUR recipe. Looks delicious!

  • Reply Amy Lee Scott April 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    This looks like everything good in the world combined into one fantastic dish. I will have to try the non-rolling method the next time I make enchiladas. And BBQ chicken. And kale. Love it!

  • Reply heidikins April 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Two things. 1) I like flour tortillas because they hold more goodness (also, I prefer rolling). 2) The one and only time I tried the stacked-lasagna method for enchiladas my flour tortillas ended up really mushy and gross. How does one combat this?


  • Reply Momma Miles April 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Flour tortillas are better.
    Rolling makes me want to poke my eyes out.
    Vegetables don't belong in the chip form.
    Unless of course they are potatoes and then only with BBQ sandwiches and potato salad.
    Now I am hungry.

  • Reply Elizabeth April 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I also hate kale chips AND corn tortillas! Therefore I shall forgive your lapse in judgment Re: The Tragedy Paper.

  • Reply Jodi April 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Funny:) I like corn tortillas fine, but I know I don't handle them right because I get incredibly frustrated with them always breaking on me. I do prefer flour though. I will have to try this, I'm always dumbfounded about how to use up leftover kale…I too made kale chips and it was the exact same story for us. And I do love Natalie's roasted stacked enchiladas!

  • Reply megan April 11, 2013 at 2:34 am

    These sound good, but I am liking corn tortillas more and more lately. I'd have to make 2 pans, though, or some people around here wouldn't eat them (flour are so much better to them just like you). I'll give them a try! Thanks!

  • Reply Lindsay April 11, 2013 at 5:12 am

    These look really good! I'm with you on the flour tortillas — but my husband served a mission in Mexico and will only let us buy the authentic corn ones. They just crumble so easily and have such a weird taste! I guess if you get the fresh ones they are MUCH better.

  • Reply Sami April 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Corn tortillas are much healthier than flour. Flour, while delicious, can be a lot harder on your waist line. I can understand the crumbling of store bought corn tortillas, but considering that Texas has HEB I should think you'd be able to get some fairly authentic corn tortillas, warm, that taste good. Trying making your own corn tortillas by using a brand called MaSa. It can be found in the flour and baking section. Just try find a tortilla press because a rolling pin will frustrate you. It's very easy with just hot water and a little salt, and so much better then store made.

  • Reply Sherry April 15, 2013 at 1:31 am

    The last few times I've made enchiladas I've done them more like a lasagna. So much easier.

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