Are you feeling adventurous? Of course you are. It’s after Christmas and we are revving up for the New Year. It is time for those New Year’s resolutions…such as trying new veggies!!!!
Drum roll please……….First up is Kobucha Squash!
This amazing and delightful winter squash looks like a green pumpkin and is actually referred to as a Japanese pumpkin. It is often used in Thai curry and is quite flavorful. In fact, I think it tastes better than butternut squash and WAY better than regular orange pumpkin.
*GASP* Yah you heard me. I’ve just found the better pumpkin replacement. Get on it, friends. It even packs a lower calorie count than butternut squash with only 40 calories in a single cup compared to 60 calories per cup for butternut squash. It also has half the carbs of butternut squash (7 grams versus 16 grams). This puppy is WAY healthier than sweet potatoes too!
Once you cut into this green pumpkin, you are greeted with bright orange flesh which provides a fabulous dose of beta-carotene and vitamin A! The Kobucha contains plenty of other awesome attributes such as being loaded with fiber, iron, vitamin C, and some B vitamins. Can I get an AMEN!
Well-stocked grocery stores or farmers markets will have Kobucha Squash. If you are unable to locate this awesome gem of a veg, you can substitute the Kobucha Squash for Butternut Squash. If you don’t have butternut squash, you also could use sweet potatoes.
Now lets talk about this Green Chili Chicken and Kobucha Squash Enchilada Casserole. They are literally the best enchiladas I have EVER made. Literally. The roasted Kobucha Squash help make these comforting and creamy without being doused in tons of cheese. Also, I like making this dish more lasagna style with layers of tortillas, filling, cheese, and sauce instead of nice and neat rolled up enchiladas. To me, it is much easier and just as super tasty.
These enchiladas do take some prep time. However, most of the steps can be done ahead of time. You can marinate the chicken up to one day ahead of time. The Kobucha Squash can be carved and cubed several days in advance, placed in a container, and refrigerated. (Note – I recommend microwaving the Kobucha Squash for 2 minutes to make it easier to carve up.) You can even roast the chicken, shred it, and refrigerate it in advance too. To be honest, this whole casserole can be assembled up to one day in advance and cooked the next day, making it the perfect dish for entertaining or for an easy weeknight meal.
I hope you enjoy this amazingly flavorful, delicious, and nutritious dish. And give yourself a big pat on the back for branching out and trying a new veggie!
Green Chili Chicken and Kobacha Squash Enchiladas (Gluten Free)
- 1.5 lbs chicken thighs or chicken breast (preferably organic)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- juice of 1 lime (about 4 tablespoons)
- 3 cups cubed Kobucha squash (butternut squash or sweet potatoes could be substituted)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 4 oz canned diced green chilis
- 16 oz gluten-free tomatillo salsa verde
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 8 to 10 gluten-free corn tortillas, cut into quarter sections
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Place chicken thighs in a medium bowl. Combine coriander, cumin, chile powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add half of spice mixture to chicken and reserve the other half. Add half of lime juice to chicken. Toss chicken with spices and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
- Place cubed kobucha squash and diced onion in a separate large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Stir in remaining spice mixture. Place cubed winter squash as a single layer on rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Stir vegetables and place back in oven to cook for an additional 25 minutes. At this time, add chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. Remove both the roasted squash and baked chicken from oven. Turn down the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using two forks, shred baked chicken. Place shredded chicken, roasted squash and onions, juice of half a lime, 1/4 cup diced cilantro, canned green chilis, and 1/3 cup salsa verde in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Spray or grease an 8X11 baking dish. Place 1/3 cup salsa verde in bottom of baking dish. place 10 to 12 quarter sections of tortillas in bottom of dish on top of salsa verde in a single layer, slightly overlapping each other. Spoon out half of shredded chicken mixture and smooth over the tortillas. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of salsa verde and 1/2 cup cheese on top. Layer with 10 more tortilla wedges. Spread out remaining chicken filling on top of tortilla wedges. Top with remaining tortilla wedges. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheese and remaining salsa verde.
- Place baking dish into preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve with extra salsa verde, chopped cilantro, and greek yogurt.
- For dairy free version, do not use cheese.
- For vegetarian version, replace chicken with 2 cups cooked black beans.
- These enchiladas can be prepared up to 1 day ahead of time through step 5. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to cook, remove from refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before placing in middle rack of preheated oven. Cook for at least 30 minutes.