Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce are the perfect weeknight meal idea to celebrate the fall season by incorporating pumpkin into your dinner routine.
Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
Every fall when pumpkin season rolls around, I find myself gravitating toward using it primarily for baking desserts. But it's so great in savory dishes as well, which is why I have been trying to use pumpkin to make dinner at least a few times each Fall like last year's cheesy tortellini and chicken pumpkin alfredo bake.
It's also fun to serve something pumpkin-centered on Halloween night before the kids go out trick-or-treating so they get something good in their bellies before filling up on candy!
This year I decided to use real pumpkin puree to make a creamy, wonderful pumpkin enchilada sauce. It's richer than a typical enchilada sauce, with a little maple syrup and cinnamon for warmth along with the more traditional enchilada seasonings for a cozy Fall feel. It made some mighty delicious chicken enchiladas, especially after I topped the rolled tortillas with plenty of Cabot Pepper Jack cheese on top!
While I often use Monterey Jack cheese when making enchiladas because it melts so beautifully, I love the extra kick from the spices in Pepper Jack and think they go especially well with the pumpkin flavor in this dish.
Chicken enchiladas are one of my go-to weeknight dinner options because they are so easy to make that you hardly need a recipe once you have the sauce.
I like to change up my fillings, sometimes adding in a can of black beans or using corn tortillas in place of flour tortillas, so they are always a little different.
And they are a great way of using up leftover cooked chicken from other dinners. Any time I can repurpose leftovers into a totally new meal makes me happy because it means less work and my family doesn't feel like they are eating the same thing night after night.
I will even grab a rotisserie chicken when I'm at the store to use for enchiladas as an easy time-saver for busy nights.
I think enchiladas taste best when they get a hit of fresh, crisp green onions and chopped cilantro on top to brighten them up. Slice some creamy avocado and serve with sour cream on the side and you've got a Fall dinner that your whole family will enjoy!
How to make Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
- Make the pumpkin enchilada sauce by first mincing garlic and jalapeno, then pulsing them in a food processor with a bunch of spices, pumpkin puree, chicken broth and greek yogurt for a creamy, wonderfully unique enchilada sauce.
- Shred some pre-cooked chicken and add it to a large bowl with sauteed onions, peppers, some of the shredded Pepper Jack cheese, and diced green chili peppers. Stir to combine.
- Fill warm flour or corn tortillas with the chicken filling and place them seam side down in an oven-safe dish with one cup of the pumpkin enchilada sauce spread on the bottom. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining shredded Pepper Jack cheese.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are hot all the way through. Top with chopped cilantro, diced green chilies, and sliced avocado.
If you want more pumpkin recipe inspiration (who wouldn't?!) keep scrolling past the recipe!
More Weeknight Dinner Recipes Your Family Will Love
- Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Casserole
- Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas
- One Pot Bruschetta Chicken Pasta
- Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet
- Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
- Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
- The BEST Stuffed Peppers
- Tex-Mex Doritos Taco Salad
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Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno seeds and stems removed, then finely diced
- 1 ½ Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch of ground ginger
- 1 ½ cup chicken broth
- ¾ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- ½ large sweet onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 can diced green chilies
- 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 ½ cups grated pepperjack cheese divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 flour or corn tortillas
- 2 green onions chopped
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 avocado sliced
- Make the sauce by pulsing the jalapeno and garlic in a food processor or blender to mince, then adding the remaining sauce ingredients and processing to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the onion and bell pepper. Season with a little salt and pepper and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the green chilies during the last minute.
- In a large bowl, combine the sauteed onions and peppers with the cooked, shredded chicken and ½ cup of the pepperjack cheese. Season with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well.
- Warm the tortillas for 45 seconds in the microwave until warm and pliable, then fill each tortilla with chicken mixture and roll them up. Spread 1 cup of the pumpkin enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish, then place the rolled tortillas in the sauce, seam side down. Cover with the remaining sauce and cheese, then bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are hot.
- Sprinkle with the green onions, chopped cilantro, and avocado, and serve.