Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas – $5 Dinner Challenge

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on January 2, 2012

I made these enchilada gems for my husband and his dude friends…just before Christmas. We hosted a guys night and I made 2 pans of these for the guys to snack on. (And I may have had a few…in the name of quality control!)

The recipe is written for 2 pans…but you could easily half the recipe to make it for just 1 pan.

And before you go all “these can’t be real enchiladas…they don’t use corn tortillas”…calm down. I realize that these don’t use corn tortillas. I don’t like enchiladas that are “cream sauce” based, or “green sauce” based that are made with corn tortillas. For some reason they don’t mix well or taste good to me. So I apologize to all you “enchilada purists”. And I encourage you to give the flour tortillas a try in your next “green or cream sauce” enchiladas!

Freezer Friendly: These would also freeze nicely either before or after they are baked. Thaw completely before baking at 350 for 30 minutes to reheat. Make in a disposable foil baking pan for easy delivery to those in need of a meal!

Fixins for the spinach sauce for inside the enchiladas.

Rolled up.

Sauce-ified. Cheese-ified.

Ready for the oven.

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Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

Yield – 2 9×13 pans, or 14 to 16 servings

Preparation Time – 20 minutes

Cooking Time – 30 to 40 minutes


  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 16 oz. container sour cream
  • 2 10 oz. boxes frozen spinach, cooked and well drained
  • 4 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
  • 2 Tbsp minced onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 18 to 20 soft taco size flour tortillas
  • 2 10 oz. cans green chile enchilada sauce



  • Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 2 9×13 glass baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, sour cream, spinach, 1 cup of the pepper jack cheese, minced onion and garlic, cumin and some salt and pepper.
  • Spoon the mixture into each of the tortillas. Roll, and place the tortillas seam side down in the baking dish. (I can generally fit 8 to 10 enchiladas in a pan, depending on how full they are and how tight they are rolled.) Fill both pans.
  • Then pour 1 can of the green enchilada sauce over the top of 1 pan, and repeat with the other can. Sprinkle the remaining 3 cups of pepper jack cheese over the 2 pans.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and begins to golden, and sauce is bubbling.

See more $5 Dinners Popular Recipes here

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra January 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Just call them burritos and you won’t be hassled. :)


Nancy @Real Food Allergy Free January 3, 2012 at 12:34 am

These look awesome!


TheGourmetCoffeeGuy January 3, 2012 at 12:51 am

Very tasty recipe. Like a lot the fact that they freeze well and help plan meals ahead of time. Will try it for sure. Thank you for sharing.


Denise January 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

Can’t wait to try this!


Twinkle January 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I’m going to try it this week. Lately I’ve been making enchiladas in a casserole style. Layer some sauce, tortillas, 1/2 filling mixture, more tortillas 2nd 1/2 of mixture, more tortillas then end with the cheese and sauce if you use it. It makes it so fast to prepare, instead of rolling them individually. Can’t wait to try this recipe with the layering technique. Thanks for the recipe!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm

As I was making this…I was thinking a “quesadilla bake” would be another way to do it…great minds, thinking alike :) Enjoy!



Mel @ Trailing After God January 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Yum, can’t wait to try these! They’re in tortillas which makes them enchiladas in my book :)


Karen January 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I served these tonight. They were fabulous. My family loved them – and they were so easy.


Tiffany January 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm

These are dinner tonight, but the store was out of Pepperjack!! So I just got “fiesta blend” which is probably better anyway since my 1 & 2 year old will be eating it too :)

I never would of thought of spinach in enchiladas, but it’s a great way to get veggies into the kids (and husband) haha


marie January 12, 2012 at 10:23 am

Just made them, awesome. I didn’t have cumin, so added chili powder, and only had Italian blend shredded cheese. My green chili sauce was kinda spicy so it made up for it. Husband inhaled them, and said spinach is good:)


Brenda Burnside January 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

how can I join?


deb January 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

My husband is very sensitive to sour cream, is there something I could sub for it? Cottage cheese maybe?


The Prudent Homemaker February 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Yogurt works well in place of sour cream if he can have that.


Judi January 20, 2012 at 12:20 am

These look awesome but the cost would be way more than $5.00.
3 cups of chicken, 16 oz of sour cream, 2 boxes of spinach, 2 cans of ench sauce, 4 cups of cheese, all for $5.00??? Where are you shopping???


The Prudent Homemaker February 16, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Maybe since this makes 2 pans she is figuring the cost out over 2 meals.


Barbara January 22, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hey Judi!
I’m with you and just posted the exact same thing. Most of these supposed $5 recipes are NOT doable or anywhere near realistic.


Mara June 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm

These are free recipes and she is kind enough to post them for you to enjoy. The $5 is an average, as she mention she made them for a special occasion and had to feed a bunch of guys, of course she wasn’t going to stay within budget. If the recipe isn’t within your budget then just don’t make it, but please be greatful and polite. I made these and they came out perfect, I probably spent $12 total and fed 4 adults and 2 pre-teens. Try eating out with $12.


Melissa February 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Made these tonight – oh my goodness.. Delicious! My husband said these are the best enchiladas he has ever had! Yum! Looking forward to eating leftovers tomorrow! Thank you! :)


mtw February 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Easy and the whole family loved them!


Issie Cooper March 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Gotta try it!


D March 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

These look so good. How much of the feeling did you put in each one?


aub March 18, 2012 at 11:27 pm

These were awesome! Must say I was a little weirded out by the flour tortillas but they worked wonderfully. Not to mention these were super easy! I steamed fresh spinach instead because I had it on hand. Definitely making again soon :)


Sarah March 20, 2012 at 11:53 am

I am so excited to make these! I found these on Pinterest and subsequently factored out the recipe for MyFitnessPal. If you cut the recipe in half so it only makes one pan, one enchilada is 303 calories (using light sour cream). :)


Kellie March 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Made these tonight and they are really delicious! I was worried about if my 2 yo would eat it but he scarfed it down. Even with the pepperjack cheese it wasn’t very spicy at all. I used whole wheat tortillas and they were really good. I have been looking for ways to get my little guy to eat more veggies and this was perfect. Thanks for sharing!


Jennifer March 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I love these but the on the ones I froze, the tortillas seemed a little soggy. So, the next time I just froze the filling and will put it in tortillas, roll and bake tonight. I think it will be just as good as the first time.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom March 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Good to know…thanks for sharing your experience!



Jennifer August 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I’ve made these twice now. The first time I made one batch, which of course fed us twice. The second time I doubled everything and froze three. It doesn’t take much more time to double. It is a favorite in our house (except for the boy that is super picky about many things…texture issues… but he did figure out how to eat the chicken and spinach and cheese and pick around the onions). Thanks for such a delicious recipe!


Krista Bilbrey September 1, 2012 at 12:02 am

These were awesome! I love that there is spinach in them, which you never see with Mexican food. You can’t even taste it! I used fresh Spinach, added green bell pepper and used whole wheat tortillas and it still tasted fantastic. I’m usually not a big fan of green sauce, but I liked this. Thank you!


Heather December 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I agree with you about the tortillas! These look great, can’t wait to make them!


marie December 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm

This has been on our menu at least monthly since we tried them!!


daniel January 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm

This looks so good. I am going to make this tonight for dinner.


Barbara January 22, 2013 at 10:20 am

Hey Erin…
I’m just curious… Where do you grocery shop that you can get ALL those ingredients called for, for $5??? I am an extremely economical shopper and even if buying exclusively at ALDI, which is as no frills as supermarkets come, the first 4 ingredients on your list will cost a minimum of $5. I don’t generally comment, but too many of these supposed $5 meals are NOT even close to $5. Please be realistic and honest with your readers. Some people on a budget may count on sites like this to help feed their families.


Nana February 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I will make mine with corn, love ‘um. Can also make a stack instead of layer or roll. Old El Paso hand also added fried egg on top the number of eggs depended on how hot the stack was. Very hot and spicey maybe two eggs.


Laura April 13, 2013 at 8:16 pm

So, if I make half this recipe, will it be under $5? Or maybe 1/4 recipe since that would be more like four servings? I’m a mom of three and my partner and I are trying to improve our situation. Because of this our income just reached a level where we lost food stamps. We started making an additional $100 a month and lost $600 a month from food stamps, so it’s really like we’re making $500 less a month! Therefore, our food budget is extremely important to us. I was really excited to find your blog, but I’m finding some of these recipes very difficult to pull off for $5, even with coupons. Help?


Natasha July 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I don’t think she means $5.00 per recipe. She probably means five dollars per serving? If you divide that it’s way under 5.00


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