You know what is housewife hell? A dishwasher that doesn’t work. Yup, I’ve been living in a world of hand-washed dishes the past year-and-a-half. We live in a military community which means military housing. Pros – great neighbors, playgrounds galore, no yard work. Con – appliances we don’t own and cannot replace. Regardless of your kitchen snafus, this one-pot quinoa and chicken enchilada skillet with avocado cream will replace your standard taco dinner.
After my sixth attempt to bug the housing office about my dishwasher, I caved and bought an Ikea dying rack, knowing hand washing would be the only way to have clean dishes until we move on to the next home.
Gaaaah I know I sound like a total brat. I promise I’m not spoiled. I just yearn for one day without having to wash dishes. ONE DAY PEOPLE!
The point of this story is that one-pot dinners rock my world. The fewer dishes to wash the better. Throwing everything in one glorious pan for an extra-glorious dinner makes me feel a little like Superwoman. Making an efficient, super healthy meal in under 30 minutes with minimal use of dishes? Yeah, sometimes I rock my own world. Rarely, but it does happen from time to time.
Even Superwoman would pat herself on the back for a job well done with this one-pot quinoa and chicken enchilada skillet because it’s a cinch to make, it’s super healthy, and the avocado cilantro cream smothered on top will make you wonder why you ever needed tons of cheese and sour cream on your old calorie-loaded enchiladas.
Want a meatless meal? Omit the chicken and you’ll still get a healthy dose of protein and fiber from the quinoa and black beans. And since this enchilada skillet is dairy-free, it’s even a win for my vegan friends. I promise, you will never miss the cheese! The saucy, traditional flavor of enchiladas combined with the light, refreshing punch of cilantro, lime, and avocado will have you licking the bottom of the pan (after it’s cooled of course. Superwoman would never be so ditzy).
To start, heat a large cast iron skillet or pan on the stovetop over medium/high heat. Melt one tablespoon coconut oil then add four large chicken tenders or 2-3 medium chicken breasts to the skillet. Sear 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip to cook 4-5 minutes on the other. Next, add one cup enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup water, 3/4 cup quinoa, one sliced green pepper, and the spices to the pan.
Crank the heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to keep the mixture at a simmer. Cover the pan and let cook around 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, place one large avocado, 1/3 cup cilantro, juice of one lime, 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, and salt to a blender or food processor and blend until well combined.
After 12 minutes, check the quinoa mixture. Once most of the liquid is gone and quinoa is soft, add the black beans and lime juice. Take off the heat to cool slightly.
Pour the avocado cream on top of the quinoa skillet mixture and spread evenly. Garnish with more cilantro and serve immediately.
Time Saver Tip
Pressed for time? Make the quinoa and chicken enchilada mixture ahead of time and let cool to room temperature before covering and storing in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve, preheat your oven to 250 degrees and place the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until warmed throughout. While you are waiting for it to warm up, make the cream sauce.Print
One-Pot Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Skillet with Avocado Cream
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 4 large chicken tenders or 2–3 medium chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- juice of 1/2 lime
Avocado Cream Sauce
- 1 large avocado
- 1/2 cup almond or lite coconut milk
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat coconut oil in large cast iron skillet or pan on the stovetop over medium/high heat
- Add chicken tenders or breasts to the skillet. Sear 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip to cook 4-5 minutes on the other
- Add enchilada sauce, water, quinoa, sliced green pepper, and spices to the skillet
- Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer and cover the mixture for about 12 minutes
- Meanwhile, place one large avocado, 1/3 cup cilantro, juice of one lime, 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, and salt to a blender or food processor and blend until well combined
- Once most of the liquid is gone and quinoa is soft (after about 12 minutes), add the black beans and lime juice
- Take pan off the heat and let cool slightly before adding the avocado cream sauce to the top
- Serve immediately
Disclaimer: Please note that there may be some affiliate links on this page and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. However, all opinions are my own. Thank you for your support.
This looks delicious! I’m with you, the fewer pots and pans the better. I’m going to trust you on this one and toss the cheese and just go with the cream. It makes me nervous but go big or go home, right?s
I love you Jennifer – that’s totally my view on most things. YES go big and NO you will not miss the cheese!! Let me know what you thought 🙂
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
So I didn’t have a dishwasher in my house growing up, then we got one when I was like 13, but really..I like washing dishes more! Right now I’ve banned anyone from using it! Hahaha! I don’t mind washing the dishes!
You are welcome to come to my house ANYTIME to wash dishes Rebecca 😉 I’m not a huge fan of hand washing (as you can tell) BUT it does save water so I guess there is a silver lining!
Blair @ The Seasoned Mom says
That’s definitely my nightmare — no dishwasher!! 🙂
Even with a dishwasher, though, I love one-dish meals because they save so much time and effort. This Mexican-inspired version looks awesome, and I love that you’ve used quinoa in it. I need to try this!!
So true! Work smarter, not harder, right?! Thanks Blair.
Kayleigh @ Sugar in My Texas Tea says
This looks yummy! We love quinoa in this house. How do you think it would taste without the enchilada sauce? I think my little can everything but that.
Hi Kayleigh. My one-year-old ate this up because I used a very mild enchilada sauce. But if you still don’t think it would sit well with your little person, you could definitely try it subbing the enchilada sauce for tomato sauce. I would probably half the tomato sauce (do 1/2 cup) and 1 cup of water.The tomato sauce is a little thicker than enchilada sauce and too much might have an overpowering tomato flavor. You could doctor the sauce up with some dried herbs and spices to your liking. Or you could simply sub all the liquid ingredients for chicken stock. You will definitely need a liquid component in order for the quinoa to cook and get nice and fluffy. Endless possibilities! Let me know what you try!
Ros Emely@stressfreemommies says
Wow this looks soo delicous Chrissa! The avocado cream just took it to another delicious level! Thanks for sharing. Oh and I don’t mind washing the dishes..I have a dish washer in my apartment and I don’t even use it!
You are a saint Ros! It does save water but it’s so time consuming! I hope you and the kiddos enjoy this!
Taylor@Food Faith Fitness says
What an amazing dish!
It’s definitely yummy nummy!
Shann Eva says
Yum! Enchiladas are my favorite, but I needed a healthier way to make them. This is perfect.
Glad this dish finds you well Shann! Enjoy.
What a warm lovely dinner! Looks so yummy!
Thanks Leah. It’s a winner in my house!
Sue Mocker, Hope Consultant, Seattle, WA says
Chrissa, this recipe sounds fabulous. My husband and I love using our cast iron skillet, and I am with you, the less dishes to wash the better. This recipe will be a great one for my family as there are many great items for people who have food allergies and want to eat healthy. Thank you for this wonderful new recipe for my family.
HI Sue – thanks for the kind words! I am obsessed with my cast iron skillet (now that I’ve got the hang of it). This dinner is a total win for those with food allergies. Glad you stumbled upon this and thanks for stopping by!
Liz @ The Clean Eating Couple says
Looks AMAZING!! Seriously want to just take a bite out of this right now!
It IS amazing Liz! And super easy (which makes it that much more awesome).
I know what I’m making for dinner this week! Looks delicious. I love minimizing dishes!!
Robbie will love it too. Mr. Physical Kitchness approved!
This looks so tasty! I can’t wait to try this at home!
Enjoy Deborah! One-dish at-home meals. Pretty much my life!
Kate @KateMovingForward says
Looks delicious! That avacado cream sauce is calling my name! Pinning!
The avocado cream sauce is ADDICTING! I had a little leftover and basically ate it straight from the container (with the help of my pointer finger) 😉
Joscelyn | Wifemamafoodie says
Yep, I can already tell my family will love this meal! One dish too? Yeah, that’s a mom’s dream dinner, haha! Can’t wait to try it!!
YES! 1. A dinner the kids will like 2. HEALTHY 3. One dish. What’s not to love?!
Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says
This looks super yummy! Love that it’s dairy free since we don’t eat meat and dairy together. I feel for you not having a dishwasher. Don’t know how I would survive given how many dishes we go through!!
You totally get it! Man, food blogging = TONS of dishes. Enjoy this dairy-free enchilada skillet!
Lindsey Bomgren says
Hey girl! I just wanted to say that I adore your blog — so stinking adorable! Where do you live? If you are ever in the MN area let me know, I’d love to connect! I run a blog with similar interests and I too and a barre instructor…I feel like we could chat for hours over a cup of coffee :)!
And thanks for the great recipe — love your step-by-step pics!
SHUT YOUR FACE!!!!! Ok so glad we connected – we must meet up (I’ll be there over the Christmas holiday!) Would love to take one of your classes girl. Let’s keep in touch. LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog too – it totally resonates with me! xo
Made this last evening and it’s definitely on the dinner “rotation” everybody loved it!! I especially did, less prep dishes to do!!
So glad you liked it!! YAY!
Carly @ Fitliving blog says
Yummy! This looks delicious. I, too, am a fan of one pot wonders… even with a dishwasher! I can totally feel your hand washing pain, though, because the house I lived in before my current one didn’t even have a dishwasher! And our brand new dishwasher broke when we moved into our current house and ended up spending a good 6 months hand washing dishes because we didn’t want to buy a new one. Ugh. Never again!
It’s not even like I totally mind hand washing the dishes, but it takes SO MUCH TIME. And literally, I get maybe 2 hours a day to myself when my son naps, so every second is precious! Ugh. Mom probs.
I didn’t have a dishwasher for four years, and I definitely thank my lucky stars that we have one now. Dishwasher or no, however, one-pot meals are seriously the best
It’s definitely a first world luxury we take for granted! I agree though, one-pot meals = the bomb.
This sounds like a very tasty dish! Bonus that it’s only one dish to wash…who wants to hand wash a million pots & pans? I always tell my husband I married him for his dish-washing skills. 😉
Awwww good man!!!! My hubby HATES doing dishes but doesn’t mind vacuuming or cleaning the bathrooms so I guess I’ll keep him 😉
Huge quinoa fan here and I’m absolutely in love with any Southwest-flavored dish. Plus, that top layer of avocado cream…genius. Can’t wait to try this recipe!
Enjoy Krista! I mean, anything titled ‘avocado cream”? Mmmm yeah….
GiGi Eats says
I want to BATHE in this avocado cream!
Bath, enjoy, smother it all over ‘yo face!!!
I loooove me a one pot wonder. I am so lazy when it comes to cleaning up. Like it seriously stresses me out!! This looks so yummy *pinned*!
Thanks Christina! I hate cleaning up too. It feels like dinner can be a mad frenzy sometimes, so the easier the meal (and cleanup) the better. Love the pin love too! 🙂
Jess @hellotofit says
Chrissa, this dish looks AMAZING! I love the use of coconut cream for the creaminess of the avocado sauce. Anddd that fact that it’s one-pot makes it a winner in my book! pinned this for future making 🙂
Thanks girl! Yeeeeeeah at avocado cream sauce, I pretty much dream about it. Many nights, many good dreams. And re-pins, I dream about those too 😉 xo
Pragati // Simple Medicine says
you had me at one pot… HOLY YUM! Pinning this for later!
THANKS! One-pot might also be a code word for ‘lazy’ and I’m ok with that!! 😉
Rachel Agranove says
OH MY you had me at avocado cream…this looks AMAZING!!
I know, it’s kind of like, if you DON’T like avocado cream, I’m not sure we can be friends…Thanks Rachel!
Jill Roberts says
This one pot quinoa and chicken enchilada skillet recipe is incredibly delicious and really easy to make. My husband said it was was better than any butter chicken he has ever eaten before our vegan life. Thx for sharing!
That’s awesome! So great to hear Jill. Thanks for the comment!