Rosie’s Chicken Enchiladas with Zucchini & Serranos

green enchiladas Rosie

These chicken enchiladas with charred zucchini, serrano chiles, onions and garlic were sent in by Odalys Lorenzo, a college student whose family lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. They are from Acapulco, in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

Odalys wants the world to know about her aunt Rosie Valladares’ enchiladas. ”My Tia Rosie enjoys looking for and making new recipes to try out with her family,” she says. ”She takes what she finds and puts her own twist on them to make them more delicious as well as healthy.” 

So when Odalys saw that Familia Kitchen was hosting Your Family’s Favorite Enchiladas recipe contest celebrating this traditional treat (all entries, all versions welcome: red salsa! green salsa! mole!), she sat down with Rosie to ask her about the food story of her family-favorite recipe. (Odalys also encouraged her childhood friend and Chicago-area neighbor Michelle Vazquez to send in her mother Berta’s Michoacan-estilo enchiladas. Check them out!).

Odalys: I love your enchiladas. Why do you think enchiladas in general are so special in our Mexican cuisine?

Tia Rosie: Enchiladas are a family-favorite dish that has a very long and respectable history. They are one of the things people think of when they are asked about Mexican culture and its food—and for good reason. I think they’re amazing and delicious simply because they don’t have to be perfect or “look” perfect. Regardless of what you decide to top them with, they all still look beautiful and unique and taste amazing.

Tia Rosie Odalys
Chicago student Odalys Lorenzo submitted the family-famous enchiladas made by her Tia Rosie, shown here, to Familia Kitchen’s Your Favorite Enchiladas contest.

Odalys: Do you remember the first time you ate enchiladas?

Tia Rosie: I can’t say I remember the exact moment I had them for the very first time, but my earliest memory of eating enchiladas was when I was a little girl in Mexico. I was heading home after school and I remember smelling something spicy, but delicious, in the air as I neared my home. My mom gathered my siblings and I all around our small table in our kitchen to eat enchiladas. I remember wondering why they were so spicy, but I enjoyed chasing the flavor down with Mexican Coca-Cola. This is a memory I cherish, as it was one of the few times we got to eat dinner together as a family. 

Odalys: Who taught you to make these enchiladas?

Tia Rosie: This recipe, I actually came up with this recipe myself. I am very interested in cooking, as you know, and I always find new recipes to try. I learned the base of how to make enchiladas from my mom, but I began incorporating other recipes to create my own—and this one eventually become the family favorite. It took a lot of trial and error, but my kids were more than happy to try each and every recipe I made to find something we all liked.

Odalys: What do you think makes this recipe so extra good and better than all the others you tried?

Tia Rosie:
I think the main part that makes this recipe unique is the lack of tomatillos and the use of zucchinis. I can’t tell you exactly what made me want to try enchiladas with zucchinis, but they are a good alternative—a healthier one, I like to think. I always received great feedback from everyone who ate these, so it was a recipe that stuck around! I kept making it whenever anyone was craving enchiladas.

Odalys: How often do you make these enchiladas in your house?

Tia Rosie: This recipe is not set apart for specific occasions. It really is for whenever someone craves enchiladas. Although I do not make them as often as I think, I like to make enchiladas at least twice a month. My family loves them! I was skeptical at first since I did not think they would be a hit in our the family, but I was pleasantly surprised to see everyone love them so much.

Check out Tia Rosie’s Enchiladas with Chicken, Zucchini & Serrano Chiles!

Rosie’s Chicken Enchiladas with Zucchini and Serranos

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Tia Rosie Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Shredded Chicken
  • 2 2 boneless chicken breasts

  • 1/2 1/2 white onion, peeled

  • 1 Tbsp 1 chicken bouillon

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • For the Vegetable and Serranos Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp 1 vegetable

  • 4 small 4 zucchinis

  • 5 5 chiles serranos, stemmed and deseeded (according to your heat tolerance)

  • 3 3 onions, peeled

  • 3 cloves 3 garlic

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • For the Tortillas
  • 12 12 corn tortillas

  • 2 Tbsp 2 vegetable oil

  • 1 cup 1 Mexican-style cheese

  • For the Garnish
  • 1 cup 1 cotija cheese

  • 16 oz 16 Mexican crema

  • 1 cup 1 lettuce, shredded

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 white or red onion, diced


  • Cook and Shred the Chicken
  • Place the chicken in a medium-sized pot. Add water to cover.
  • Add salt, chicken bouillon, and the peeled ½ onion and bring the pot to a boil. In about 15 minutes, to check if chicken is cooked, take a fork and poke them. When the fork easily goes all the way through, the chicken is ready.
  • Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes and then shred, using two forks or your hands.
  • Make the Vegetables and Serranos Sauce
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped zucchini, serranos, onions and garlic and let them toast until they are lightly charred, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Place the vegetables and chiles in a blender and blend for about 3 minutes.
  • Prepare the Tortillas
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In another pan, warm the oil over medium-low heat. Lightly heat each tortilla, until it becomes soft and moldable.
  • While they’re still warm, spoon 2 to 3 Tbsp of shredded chicken into each tortilla and roll it up. You will do this for all 12 tortillas.
  • Putting It All Together
  • Once all the enchiladas are stuffed and rolled, place them in a medium-sized square baking dish, side by side.
  • Pour the vegetables and chile sauce over the enchiladas, and sprinkle a generous layer of the Mexican-style cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 350°.
  • Remove from the oven and let the enchiladas cool for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Plate the enchiladas—usually 2 per person. Top with a drizzle of crema, cotija cheese, shredded lettuce, and diced onion.


  • Tia Rosa recommends using La Chona Crema Natural for the Mexican crema.

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