Low Carb Enchiladas with Zucchini
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Thin slices of zucchini replace tortillas in this easy recipe for Low Carb Enchiladas. Topped with pepper jack cheese, filled with taco seasoned ground beef & smothered in a delicious red sauce, you won’t even miss the tortillas in this scrumptious recipe! It’s perfect for those on a gluten free or keto diet.
Today’s post is sponsored by my friends at the California Beef Council!
I’ve been on a serious Mexican low carb kick lately, turning all of my favorite Mexican foods into low carb recipes. It all started with The Ultimate Low Carb Nachos, then Cheesy Taco Meatballs and Cauliflower Nachos. Now I’m adding enchiladas to my low carb Mexican menu!
Instead of corn tortillas, traditionally used to make enchiladas, I used thinly sliced zucchini. I layered the zucchini with taco seasoned ground beef, red enchilada sauce and pepper jack cheese. All of the enchilada flavor is there and it’s SO DELICIOUS, but only 17 carbs per serving! This is half of the carbs in traditional enchiladas.
This recipe is not just for those on a low carb diet. It’s also great for those that are gluten free or simply wanting to eat a little healthier. Zucchini is lower in carbs and calories than tortillas. It also provides a significant amount of vitamins C and B6!
It’s so easy to layer up this low carb enchilada recipe and have it on the table in less than 45 minutes!
Table of contents
How to make it
- Thinly slice zucchini. Remove the ends from two large zucchinis. Use a sharp knife or mandoline to thinly slice the zucchinis lengthwise. Place half of the zucchini slices in a layer on the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
- Cook the ground beef. Add olive oil to a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Add diced onions and bell peppers. Sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add one pound of ground beef and cook through, 6-7 minutes. Drain any grease from the skillet.
- Season the ground beef. Add 2 tablespoons taco seasoning and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to the ground beef. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Assemble the enchiladas. Spread the ground beef in an even layer over the sliced zucchini in the baking dish. Top with the other half of zucchini slices. Pour 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce evenly over the zucchini. Top with 2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese.
- Bake the enchiladas. Place in a 350°F preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Top the enchiladas. After removing the enchiladas from the oven, feel free to add toppings, if you’d like. I topped mine with sliced jalapeños, chopped fresh cilantro and sliced avocado. You could also add sour cream or hot sauce.
How many carbs are in red enchilada sauce?
This will vary based on the sauce you use. Homemade or store bought sauce can be used for this recipe. My homemade red enchilada sauce is 24 carbs per cup. I’ve also used Sprouts brand red enchilada sauce for this recipe, which is 15 carbs per cup.
This recipe is very saucy! I love my sauce, but if you’re trying to cut carbs, you can cut down on the sauce. Add 1/2 cup sauce to the ground beef. And cut down on the sauce on top by either 1/2 cup or 1 cup.
Another option is to make your own low carb enchilada sauce. The easiest way to do this is by combining 1/2 cup chicken broth with 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce. While it will make the sauce slightly thinner, it will still work just fine for this recipe.
Tomato paste and diced tomatoes are the main source of carbs in an enchilada sauce. Using less tomatoes and adding in chicken broth instead, will result in a low carb enchilada sauce.
Can I make them ahead of time?
Yes, follow steps 1-12 in the recipe card below, then cover and refrigerate the enchiladas until ready to bake and serve. These low carb enchiladas can be made in advance and stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator before baking.
How to reheat them
For leftover enchiladas, reheat them in the microwave or oven. In the oven, heat them covered with foil in an oven safe dish at 350°F for 15 minutes. In the microwave, heat the enchiladas on a microwave safe plate for 2 minutes.
Are they spicy?
These enchiladas are not spicy. If you’d like to add some spice, here are a few recipe variations you can make to spice it up!
- Saute diced jalapenos or serrano peppers with the onions and bell peppers.
- Add two tablespoons sriracha to the enchilada sauce.
- Top the enchiladas with sliced jalapenos before or after baking them.
- Drizzle your favorite hot sauce on top after the enchiladas come out of the oven.
What sides should I serve with them?
More easy Mexican recipes with ground beef
- Mexican Meatloaf – a fun twist on a classic dish, I love this flavorful spin on meatloaf!
- Taco Ring – a family favorite that’s so easy to make! Kids and adults will both love this dish. I should know, I’ve been eating it since I was a kid and still love it as an adult!
- Taco Soup – this simple slow cooker recipe is always a crowd pleaser! It’s so easy to toss together in the morning. The best part is, when you come home in the evening, dinner is ready!
- 20 Minute Enchilada Pasta – keep the enchilada goodness going with this deliciously simple pasta recipe! It’s made in one pot with just a few ingredients, making it a great easy weeknight meal.
- Taco Croissants – for a fun twist on Taco Tuesday, try these tacos wrapped in crescent rolls instead of tortillas!
For even more delicious beef recipes, visit CalBeef.org.
Don’t forget to pin this low carb enchilada goodness for later! Made it and loved it? Be sure to rate it 5 stars below! ↓
Low Carb Enchiladas
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce
- Avocado, sliced
- Cilantro, chopped
- Jalapenos, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the onion and bell pepper, saute for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and cook through.
- Drain any grease, then add the taco seasoning and ½ cup red enchilada sauce.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Slice the zucchinis lengthwise into thin slices.
- Place half of the zucchini slices in a layer on the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking dish.
- Top with the ground beef mixture.
- Place the remaining zucchini slices on top of the beef.
- Top with the remaining 1 ½ cups sauce and 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top with the optional toppings of your choice.
- Nutritional information provided does not include the optional toppings.
- Want to spice up these enchiladas? Sauté diced jalapeños or serrano peppers with the onions and bell peppers. Or add 2 tablespoons sriracha or hot sauce to the enchilada sauce.
- These low carb enchiladas can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before baking and eating.
- These low carb enchiladas serve 4 and contain 17 carbs per serving.
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