Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas #SundaySupper

Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas - lacocinadeleslie.com

It taken me a while this year, thanks to my recent obsession with sweet potatoes, but pumpkin has finally made an appearance in my Cocina.  I just couldn't resist a rather large calabaza de castilla (pumpkin) I saw at el mercado (the market) a couple of weeks ago.  As soon as I got that baby home, I cut it up, set aside the seeds to make Pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), and put it on the stove to cook.  I ended up with about 12 cups of pumpkin puree to do with as my heart desired.  And my heart has been desiring all kinds of yummy pumpkin dishes ever since.

Aside from making my usual favorites like pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie, I have been stirring pumpkin puree into just about everything; smoothies, tres leches cake (stay tuned for that recipe), Arroz con Leche (rice pudding), and even enchilada sauce.  Yes, enchilada sauce!  And it was AMAZING!  It knocked all of our socks off.  My hubby said it's the best enchilada sauce I've ever made.  We loved the pumpkin enchiladas so much, I've already made them twice this month. And they'll probably make another appearance at our table before the month is through.

The pumpkin adds a luxurious velvety texture to the sauce, and the spices (cinnamon, clove, cumin, and paprika) add a hearty robust flavor to the spicy and smoky dried chilies.  And the color is absolutely gorgeous!


Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Cilantro
  • 3 dried ancho chilies
  • 1 dried guajillo chile
  • 1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 12 to 16 flour tortillas
  • Queso fresco, crumbled
  • Thinly sliced red onion, for garnish
  • Mexican crema

Cook the chicken breasts with half of the onion, the garlic clove, a couple sprigs of cilantro, salt, and enough water to completely cover the chicken.  Once the chicken is completely cooked, remove from heat and let cool slightly; shred or chop the chicken.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce.  Bring the dried chilies to a boil in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies.  In a blender, puree the chilies with the water they were cooked in and the pumpkin puree until smooth.  Pour the pureed sauce into the same saucepan the chilies were cooked in.  If the sauce is too thick, add a little water, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired consistency.  Season the sauce with salt, ground cinnamon, paprika, ground cumin, ground cloves, salt and black pepper, adding more spices (if necessary) to fit your taste; set aside.

Finely chop the remaining half of onion.  Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped onion and saute for about 1 minute.  Stir in the shredded chicken, 1 cup of the Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce, and the 1 cup of chicken broth.  Cook until heated through.

Now to make the enchiladas.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Ladle 1/3 cup of the Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce into an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish.  Heat the flour tortillas until soft and pliable.  Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the chicken down the center of each tortilla and 1 to 2 tablespoons of queso fresco.  Roll tortilla up like a burrito and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Top first layer of enchiladas with half of the Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce and about 1/2 cup of crumbled queso fresco.  Repeat with a second layer of enchiladas.

Bake enchiladas in oven for about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven. Top enchiladas with Mexican crema and garnish with sliced red onion and finely chopped cilantro.  Serve with Refried Beans and Mexican Rice. Enjoy!


For more delicious Winter Squash recipes, check out what my #SundaySupper friends have cooked up this week...

Breakfasts and Breads

Appetizers, Starters, and Condiments

Soups, Sandwiches, and Salads

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Side Dishes


Wine Pairing Recommendations for Squashin' Winter #SundaySupper from Enofylz Wine Blog

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  1. I recently discovered calabaza too. I can see it being the puree for these wonderful enchiladas.

  2. Your a girl after my own heart! I could eat this till the cows come home! I love it!!

  3. My husband loves enchiladas and could eat them every day! He will really enjoy this recipe!

  4. Ooooooh.....arroz con leche with calabaza - yes! I'm so doing that this week. And these enchiladas sound fantastic, too. Sigh. I want it all.

  5. The Spanish word for pumpkin is calabaza de castilla?! That may rival pamplemousse (French for grapefruit) as my favourite foreign language word for a fruit.

    Anyway, adding pumpkin to enchiladas sounds pretty interesting, I bet it'd be delicious! After seeing all these Sunday Supper recipes, I'm going to have to go and buy about a dozen or so from the supermarket...

  6. What a great take on the theme, thanks for sharing!

  7. Oooh, I adore enchiladas and your pumpkin-chicken version is gorgeous! I know they must taste as wonderful as they look!

  8. Ahh I have been wanting to make black bean and squash enchiladas, now I could top it with pumpkin enchilada sauce too. Yummy!

  9. Great idea, love the combination of flavors!! I could totally dive right into this meal.

  10. What a wonderful way to use pumpkin! Your enchiladas look fantastic!

  11. To me, this looks like one of the best recipes in the entire collection!

  12. Hi Waegook Tom!

    Calabaza is the Spanish word that we use to refer to any kind of pumpkin or squash. Calabaza de Castilla is Mexican variety of pumpkin that is very similar to the big orange pumpkins found in the US.

    I think "pamplemousse" may be my new favorite word! :)

    Thank you so much for stopping by to comment.

  13. I know you are going to LOVE arroz con leche with calabaza! Thanks for hosting this lil' party this week! So much fun! :)

  14. Hi Dorothy!

    Wow!!! I'm blushing! Thank you so much for such a sweet compliment. :)

  15. No hay nada mejor que enchiladas casera, de verdad que estas se ven deliciosa y faciles de hacer, te aseguro que pronto las pondre en practica.

  16. The pumpkin is such a fun twist on a regular enchilada recipe. And yours look gorgeous. Mine never come out so pretty. :D

  17. I love that you added pumpkin to the enchilada recipe... so creative! And they look amazing!

  18. I love your twist on the classic enchilada! Pumpkin seems to be pretty versatile and easy to adapt to just about everything you can think of. Great ingredient

  19. I love it when I find recipes that are spins on classic dishes. I think the idea of squash in enchiladas sounds so fun

  20. These look absolutely heavenly! I love that you're using the puree from your pumpkin in so many different dishes!

  21. Oh my!I love your enchilada sauce and drooling just by looking at your pics and the ingredients!!I need these in my life so bad!!

  22. I never tried pumpkin and chicken together, interesting Leslie!