Camping Comfort Food–Low-Carb Zucchini Chicken Enchiladas

zucchini enchiladas
You want to eat these incredible zucchini enchiladas, I’m promising you.

Hi! Welcome to the second entry in Camping Comfort Food. You can find the first one, One Pot Camping Mac n’ Cheese, by clicking here. This week’s recipe is amazing! It’s extremely low-carb, because it uses zucchini strips instead of tortillas. Generally to my way of thinking, you can’t put “low-carb” and “comfort food” in the same sentence unless you’re talking about total opposites, but this one’s different. It’s simple enough to prepare (though messy but we’ll get to that) and loaded with yummy flavor! The chicken enchilada filling is rolled up in overlapping zucchini strips, and topped with cheese, then baked. We also give an alternate recipe, using the same ingredients as a casserole.  Make it at home and take it to the camp site, or make it and bake it in a Dutch oven. Either way, the moment you taste it, you’ll see why it’s listed under comfort food. Not even kidding a little bit.

Zucchini Enchiladas
  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 3 cups (375 ml or 24 oz.) red enchilada sauce (reserve 1 cup)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 cups (8 oz. or 200 gr.) shredded Montery Jack cheese
  • 2 cups sour cream or Balkan-style plain yogurt (topping)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (topping)
  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced (optional, for topping)

Before Starting:

  1. If you are making this at the campsite, splurge on a bag of pre-shredded cheese. It makes things so much easier, and you can use the rest of it to top baked potatoes or chili, mix into dips, or blend in with eggs. Try not to think of the price.
  2. If you are having trouble rolling up the three strips of overlapping
    Zucchini strips
    Overlap all three strips or lay two side-by-side and the third in the center. Makes rolling easier.

    zucchini, instead of overlapping one after the other, lay two strips side by side and the third strip over the center. This keeps the strips from separating quite as much, and you’re covering it with cheese anyway.

  3. Rolling the strips gives you the distinct impression you’re eating enchiladas. But if you use the casserole method mentioned below, you don’t suffer at all in the taste department!
A Brief Note About Enchiladas And Dutch Ovens:
  1. Enchiladas only use enchilada sauce, onions, Mexican cheese and corn tortillas.  But feel free to experiment, since you’re already changing the tortillas out for zucchini. A shredded cheese mix is wonderful, and I promise you, no matter how many people turn over in their graves, aged cheddar and/or mozzarella is spectacular on it.
  2. If you are making this at the camp site (enchiladas or casserole style), make sure your baking pan fits inside your Dutch oven. If you intend to cook it directly in the oven without a pan, make certain your oven
    zucchini enchilada mix in pan
    Lay zucchini in pan, then spread chicken enchilada mix over top.

    doesn’t have too much heat underneath. Have 24 briquettes–16 on top and 8 on the bottom, baking pan or no. This will give you an inside heat of about 375°F for about 15-45 minutes, depending on the outdoor temperature, wind, etc. Fifteen minutes is probably fine, since the enchiladas are cooked except for the zucchini, and that vegetable is lovely and mild even when it’s raw, so just heated through is nearly perfect. It cooks great, too, so cooking it longer won’t ruin it by any means.

  3. These are wonderful with avocado slices! Peel and slice the avocado, placing it on one side of the dish or directly on top of the enchiladas or casserole, just before serving.
Make it:

Fry finely chopped onion in some butter or coconut oil or other fat. Once the onion is translucent, add the cooked, shredded chicken. Stir until blended and then add all but the reserved cup of the enchilada sauce. Stir, simmering, for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Wash zucchini thoroughly, then cut off ends. Slice lengthwise in half if zucchini is 6″ or more in diameter. Using a Y-vegetable peeler, a mandolin slicer, or vegetable peeler capable of peeling wide vegetables, peel long strips of zucchini until the zucchini is used up.

On a clean surface, overlap three strips of zucchini. Place a tablespoonful or so of chicken mixture on the end of the three overlapping strips, and carefully roll up. The mix has a tendency to fall out either side; just keep shoving it in and roll, then place the rolled zucchini enchilada in a pan or directly in your dutch oven. Place coals on top and on bottom, and wait at least 15 minutes before checking. When enchiladas or casserole is hot and steaming, remove, drizzle with sour cream or Balkan-style plain yogurt and cilantro, and serve.

Or You Can Make It This Way:
Enchilada casserole
Top enchilada chicken mix with another layer of zucchini, then pour enchilada sauce over all. Finish by adding a layer of shredded cheese and bake.

Casserole Style:  Take a 13″ x 9″ (or two 8×8″ pans if fitting into a Dutch oven) casserole dish, grease, and lay 1/4″ zucchini strips in the bottom. Spread chicken mixture evenly over strips. Top with more zucchini slices. Pour enchilada sauce over and finish by spreading a layer of shredded cheese on top. Bake in a 375°F oven or Dutch oven using instructions for enchilada style, for at least fifteen minutes. Top with sour cream or yogurt and fresh cilantro, and serve. Serves 4-8.

I really hope you like this recipe; I love it, and it has become a regular meal at my house. For me, it’s low on gluten and super healthy, for my family, it just plain tastes delicious. Let me know if you tried it, what changes you made if any, and if you liked it as much as we do!

 

 

 

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