Chicken Enchilada Cabbage Rolls

I’m a sucker for enchiladas. They call to me even in the heat of summer, some recollection of traveling to Mexico and enjoying them in the sweltering heat as a kid. The rich layers of flavor, always a crowd pleaser. I never had any trouble getting my own children to eat enchiladas. However, as I’ve gotten older, I look to lighten many of my favorite dishes and add in more vegetables than in the past. While these enchiladas are not traditional, they are delightful. This delectable dish comes from Isabel Eats. Isabel tells a lovely story about this dish and and what inspired her to come up with this low carb veggie enchilada version. Head on over to her blog to read the full story.

Picture by Isabel Eats

1 large head of cabbage
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced white onion, about 1/4 large white onion
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small bite sized pieces (or pre-cooked shredded chicken)
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 batch red enchilada sauce (or 2 cups store-bought enchilada sauce)
optional toppings: chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, avocados

To prepare the cabbage rolls
1. Fill a large pot with hot water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. While water is coming to a boil, remove 10-12 whole cabbage leaves from a raw head of cabbage and rinse under cold water.
2. Place 1-2 cabbage leaves in the boiling water and blanch for 1 minute. Remove from boiling water and transfer to a large bowl full of ice water. Remove from ice water after 30 seconds or when cool enough to handle. Continue until all the cabbage leaves have been blanched.

To prepare the chicken filling
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add diced chicken, green chiles, onion powder, garlic powder, ancho chili powder, cumin and salt. Saute for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble the enchiladas
1. Lay out the blanched cabbage leaves and spread some of the chicken mixture in the middle. Top with 2 tablespoons of cheese, roll them up, fold in the edges and place seam down in a large baking dish. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
2. Pour the enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas and bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Garnish with cilantro, diced tomatoes and avocados if desired. Remove from oven and serve immediately.