Chicken Enchilada Bowls with Cheesy Polenta

I first made this dish a few months ago and with the first bite knew I’d hit the jackpot.

Chicken Enchilada Bowls with Cheesy Polenta | Hugs ‘n KitchenI could dive into a bowl of this cheesy polenta.  It is truly fantastic.  The polenta (essentially coarse ground corn grits) slow cook with chicken or veggie broth until they’re deliciously creamy and thick.  Then before serving you melt in some butter and white cheddar cheese.  Cheesy, creamy, dreamy perfection.

Chicken Enchilada Bowls with Cheesy Polenta | Hugs ‘n KitchenThe polenta is topped with the most flavorful chicken that is slow-simmered and shredded in kicked-up enchilada sauce.

Chicken Enchilada Bowls with Cheesy Polenta | Hugs ‘n KitchenAdd some sautéed peppers and onions, mashed avocado, salty queso fresco and crushed tortilla chips – and you are in for a serious treat.  I dare you to try and not lick your bowl clean!

Chicken Enchilada Bowls with Cheesy Polenta | Hugs ‘n KitchenWe ate stuffed ourselves silly on this and barely had any leftovers, but if you divide this out in regular human-sized portions you will have enough for 4-6 servings.

The combination of flavors and textures, and that polenta.  Oh, that incredible polenta… this dish can’t be beat.

Plus, for such a flavorful sauce and meal, it all comes together so quickly, too.  In less than 45 minutes you can have this epic meal on your table.  Perfect to warm you up on a chilly night, or a fantastic comforting meal for any night of the week.Chicken Enchilada Bowls with Cheesy Polenta | Hugs ‘n KitchenI promise you are going to love (and devour) this incredible bowl of yumminess.

Wishing you a fantastic week ahead!

Chicken Enchilada Bowls with Cheesy Polenta | Hugs ‘n KitchenChicken Enchilada Bowls with Cheesy Polenta | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

Chicken Enchilada Bowls with Cheesy Polenta

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • YIELDS 4-6 servings


  • For the Enchilada Chicken:
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 lbs. chicken cutlets (or breasts sliced in half to the size of cutlets! They cook faster this way)
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, drained
  • For the Cheesy Polenta:
  • 2 cups chicken or veggie broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-4 Tablespoons butter
  • For Topping:
  • 1 large avocado, mashed (or guac)
  • 4 oz queso fresco cheese, crumbled
  • to taste fresh cilantro, chopped
  • to taste crushed tortilla chips


For the Veggies:

  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. When the skillet is hot (but not smoking) add the onions and bell peppers.  Cook the peppers, stirring frequently, until they are just softened.
  3. Remove from the skillet and set aside on a plate covered with foil to keep warm

For the Chicken:

  1. Add another tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet.
  2. Add the chicken and brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. Once the chicken is browned, add the enchilada sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic and onion powder and stir to combine.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let the chicken simmer in the sauce for 15 minutes or until cooked through and shreds easily.
  6. When the chicken is done cooking remove pan from the heat and shred the chicken with 2 forks right into the sauce.
  7. Toss in the black beans until warmed through.

For the Polenta:

  1. While the chicken is simmering, prepare the polenta.
  2. Bring the chicken broth and milk to a boil in a medium size saucepan.
  3. Lower heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta.
  4. Cook, stirring frequently, until polenta is soft and thick, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Keep warm and just before serving stir in the cheddar cheese and butter.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. If you want to loosen up the polenta add a little more milk or butter until it reaches the desired consistency.

To Prepare Bowls:

  1. Add a healthy scoop of polenta to each bowl.
  2. Top with the warm sautéed peppers and onions.
  3. Top with the shredded chicken and some extra enchilada sauce.
  4. Top with a dollop of mashed avocado or guac, crumbled queso fresco, chopped fresh cilantro and crushed tortilla chips.

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

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