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Chicken enchilada roll-ups stuffed with rice and beans

Chicken enchilada roll-ups you can make ahead and freeze. Easy zap in the microwave before you serve. #glutenfree

On the days when I'm really in the mood to cook, I love to put some meals "in the bank" -- in other words, into the freezer, for the days when I'm really not in the mood to cook. These chicken enchilada roll-ups start with one of those "in the bank" dishes, quick and easy black beans and rice, and end as an all-in-one meal you can defrost, zap in the microwave, and serve any day of the week with just a few minutes of work.

At this busy time of year, it's great to have a few easy meals on hand at the end of a long day of shopping, wrapping, cookie baking or tree trimming. If you've spent a lot of time sitting in traffic, or standing on check-out lines, you'll be glad of a bit of chicken-pounding therapy. And because I know you'll love the filling for these chicken enchilada roll-ups, I suggest that you make the full recipe of black beans and rice, and stash half in the freezer for future burritos or tacos, or a vegan main dish.

Chicken enchilada roll-ups, filled with black beans and rice. Make ahead and freeze. #glutenfree

Chicken enchilada roll-ups stuffed with rice and beans  {gluten-free}

From the pantry, you'll need: boneless chicken breasts, shredded cheese, black beans, long-grain white rice, garlic, cumin, sofrito, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Serves 8; can be multiplied. Make ahead and freeze.


Quick and easy black beans and rice (make 1/2 the recipe)
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves*
2 cups shredded cheese, Monterey Jack or Cheddar (I like low-fat four-cheese Mexican blend)
13-oz can mild red enchilada sauce (make sure to use gluten-free, if needed)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a straight-sided 9x13-inch casserole dish, and set aside.

Make the beans and rice (this can be done days ahead of time). Cool to room temperature, or refrigerate.

Trim the chicken breasts of visible fat and tendons. Working with one at a time, place each breast between two large sheets of parchment, wax paper, or plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet, or something else that's heavy (I use my rolling pin or a small frying pan), to pound the breast out to 1/4-inch thick. *If you buy thin-sliced chicken breasts at the market, you can skip this step, but you won't get the therapeutic benefits of pounding the chicken!

In a large bowl, mix together the beans and rice with 1-1/2 cups of the cheese.

Set out all of the flattened chicken breasts on a plate or countertop. Divide the beans and rice mixture evenly. Carefully roll each chicken breast around the filling, and secure it with a toothpick. (It will be messy. Don't worry.) Place the chicken rolls seam side down in the prepared casserole dish. Continue filling and rolling the chicken breasts until all are done.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over all of the chicken, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Then uncover the pan, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked to 160°F when tested with an instant-read thermometer.

Remove the pan from the oven, cover with the aluminum foil, and let sit for 10 minutes (the temperature will come up to 165°F, indicating the chicken is fully cooked).

Serve warm, with a bit of the sauce, or allow to cool completely, and freeze. These can be made way ahead, and pulled out of the refrigerator or freezer a few at a time for easy meals.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More make-ahead-and-freeze chicken dishes:
Slow cooker tandoori pulled chicken, from The Perfect Pantry
Grilled not-too-spicy jerk chicken, from The Perfect Pantry
Spinach and feta stuffed chicken breasts, from Skinnytaste
Chinese spring rolls with chicken, from Steamy Kitchen
Very Greek grilled chicken, from Kalyn's Kitchen

Easy, make-ahead-and-freeze chicken enchilada roll-ups. #glutenfree

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


What a creative idea for a freezer meal; sounds delicious!

Kalyn, I love to make a pan of these, and freeze them for individual dinners. What could be easier?

What a great idea this chicken with rice and beans recipe. I love the picture. I'm mouthwatering. This is absolutely a number one.

Chef, thanks!

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