I had no idea what to say today.

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti I howsweeteats.com

Last night I turned to Mr. How Sweet and asked him what the heck I should talk about with this enchilada spaghetti. The enchilada spaghetti that he didn’t get to eat… because he had to go away for work. And the enchilada spaghetti that I made for my brother… and myself. And the enchilada spaghetti that I didn’t save for him.

You know, because enchiladas are his FAVORITEST FOOD EVER.


So he said, “how about you tell all of your invisible internet friends how obsessed you are with watching the horrendous remake of 90210 every week? Because I’m just thrilled that I’m sitting here with a sandwich for dinner, looking at those pictures of a pasta that I didn’t get to eat and watching this terrible trash that is supposed to be passed off as acting.”

Well then… okay. Someone had bitter beans for breakfast.

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti I howsweeteats.com

Then he said, “Or! Maybe you should talk about how we went to the Pizza Hut buffet for lunch and how you secretly love the Pizza Hut buffet because it is soooo good. I’m sure you don’t want THAT little secret to get out!”

Hmmm. Even better. I didn’t know my secret Pizza Hut buffet love was a secret. Happy anniversary to us!

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti I howsweeteats.com

Anyhoo… enchiladas are a little special here. Not because I make them nearly once a week (I do) and not because they ooze with cheese (they do) and not because they are the perfect excuse for millions of margaritas (they are.. trust me) but because they are the first meal I made for us as a couple a trillion years ago. Or you know… five years ago. Same thing.


But you know me. I get bored so easily. I ruin classics. I trash them up. I crave some sort of familiarity with a big plate of change. If it weren’t for me my husband would be eating PLAIN ground turkey with PLAIN egg whites and PLAIN whole wheat angel hair every.single.night. I’m not kidding. No… seriously, I am not kidding.

Guess I have to make this tonight for him so he stops whining.

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti I howsweeteats.com

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti

serves 2-4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1/2 pound of dry whole wheat spaghetti

1 10-ounce can of red enchilada sauce

3/4 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese

cilantro for topping

Boil water for pasta and prepare pasta according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions, peppers, salt and pepper and let cook until vegetables are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, then stir in chicken, cumin, cayenne, paprika and chili powder, along with the can of enchilada sauce. Turn the heat down to low, drain the cooked pasta, then add pasta to the skillet too. Fold in cheese and mix thoroughly to combine. Toss with a set of kitchen tongs until everything is mixed, then serve with a bunch of fresh cilantro.

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti I howsweeteats.com

Cookies. Tomorrow. Be there. Or uh… here.

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169 Responses to “Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti.”

  1. #
    Kim @ Eat What You've Got — October 13, 2011 @ 6:46 am

    That looks delicious! Have you ever made your own enchilada sauce? If so, do you have a good recipe you could share???


    • Jessica — October 13th, 2011 @ 6:49 am

      I never have!


      • Molly — October 13th, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

        I did when I made this recipe last night and it was so easy!
        I had some down time at work yesterday so I checked to see what your recipe was for the day and then knew that I had to make it theminuteIgothome. I cubed up my chicken and sauted it with onion garlic and peppers so I didn’t have to take extra time to cook it and then shred it, plus it absorbed the flavors from the very beginning! My husband and I both loved this; Thank You!
        I couldn’t bring myself to buy enchilada sauce since I was pretty sure I must have everything in my pantry to make it so I looked at some recipes and mushedthemtogether to form a pretty good version!
        2 Tbl Olive Oil
        1 1/2 Tbl flour
        3 Tbl Chili Powder
        1/4 tsp Cumin
        1/2 tsp Cocoa Powder
        1 tsp Oregano
        1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
        1/2 tsp Onion Powder -> Heat oil then add rest of ingredients and mix until they form a paste
        8 oz Tomato Sauce -> Add and stir for a few minutes until very thick
        2 C Water -> Add and then reduce heat and let simmer to desired thickness
        Thought you might be interested since you make these once a week :-)

      • Judy — October 27th, 2013 @ 7:53 am

        I don’t think I’ve been here before
        I’m not American so I have 2 questions
        What are enchiladas
        And when you all talk about tomato sauce what do you mean. To me tomato sauce is ketchup.

      • Adri — December 12th, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

        Judy, tomato sauce is tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce without mushrooms, onions, etc. Ketchup is completely different.

        Molly’s recipe is bang on! The cocoa powder is what makes it authentic; most people leave it out :-(

  2. #
    Cristy — October 13, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    Mmmmmmm……that looks sooooooooooooooo good. That said, hurry up, tomorrow! I have yet to meet a cookie I didn’t like. And a pumpkin chocolate chip one?? Hm. Haven’t met that one yet. Looking forward to making their acquaintance. :)


  3. #
    Stefanie — October 13, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    I love your blog! Your writing style is so funny and honest. I have to admit my husband is also addicted to the Pizza Hut buffet, no shame. It’s a good deal! We love spicy food over here so I am definitely going to test this out for dinner next week!


  4. #
    Leslie — October 13, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    Oh my! This sounds delicious. Just printed it up. Thank you!


  5. #
    Brenda — October 13, 2011 @ 11:55 am

    This recipe looks soooo yummy! My husband is such a picky eater, but this looks right up his alley. He loves chicken enchiladas and spaghetti…. so to combine the two is just genius! Can’t wait to make this and hear his praises.

    I look forward to reading your blog every day. You make me laugh and I have to immediately share what you said with my husband, as he wonders what I’m laughing about. We both love your style of writing. So honest and true, you give hope to all of us who are still learning. Thank you for that and keep it up!


  6. #
    Joyce — October 13, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

    You always put a smile on my face Jessica, and I love your food too. Lucky Mr. How Sweet !


  7. #
    Amy — October 13, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

    This looks SO good! Thank you for the great ideas. I too “crave some sort of familiarity with a big plate of change”!! And I enjoy the 91020 remake as my trashy TV indulgence and have to watch on nights my hubs works late so as not to inflict this sort of scorn.

    How do you think this would be with a smaller pasta like shells? I have a two-year old and she plus spaghetti make for one very messy meal :)


    • Jessica — October 13th, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

      I think it would be awesome with shells!


  8. #
    Holly — October 13, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    Genius! I can’t wait to try this out!


  9. #
    Stephanie — October 13, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    If only you had posted this recipe last week! I roasted an eight-pound chicken Monday and shredded the meat for enchiladas on Monday and chicken tortilla soup on Wednesday. Definitely would’ve saved some chicken to make this tomorrow!

    Then again, I’ll have it for next time!


  10. #
    Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen — October 13, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    I made this last night and added blackbeans. So tasty! Such a fun spin on boring spaghetti.Someone was a little heavy handed with the cayenne, so I stirred in a little Greek yogurt so it wouldn’t burn my mouth off. Want to come be my personal chef? Thanks :-)


  11. #
    nicole {sweet peony} — October 13, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    mmm this looks really yummy! i’m always struggling to find new recipes for dinner that are easy & moderately healthy… i’ll give this one a try. thanks!


  12. #
    Lauren A. @ Newest Obsession — October 13, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    wow. i cannot wait to make this! enchiladas are my all time favorite food.


    • Lauren A. @ Newest Obsession — December 9th, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

      WOW. I made this tonight, added black beans, chicken sausage, and avocado. Totally satisfied my craving for Mexican. Thanks!


  13. #
    CouponClippingCook — October 14, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    Great idea to make enchilada sauce with the spaghetti. Using whole wheat pasta is perfect too with all of the mexican flavors going on. I’m actually craving this for breakfast right now.


  14. #
    Leigh — October 14, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

    WOW! this is AMAZING! I am a serious pasta lover…and always looking for non-italian versions to interest my boyfriend…and this worked! I used enchilada sauce from my favorite mexican restaurant because I usually don’t like using canned. I will be making this again very soon because we’ve already fought over and eaten the leftovers…16 hours later! I think it tastes even better the next day, which I never though I’d ever say!

    Thanks for this!!!


  15. #
    Kate — October 14, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    I made this last night for dinner and it was a hit! I used medium enchilada sauce – a compromise between the spicy my husband and I would like and the mild the kids like. And it was so GREAT! I am putting this on my list of faves. Thank you. :)


  16. #
    Geny — October 15, 2011 @ 1:13 am

    I totally watch that trashy 90210 remake every week and my husband thinks I’m crazy….AND I won’t like them on FB cause I am a tiny bit embarrassed that I watch it:)!


  17. #
    Nat - The Precious Things — October 15, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    Ha! The last pic is the best!


  18. #
    Cassie — October 16, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    This looks so delicious!!!


  19. #
    Valerie — October 17, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    I made this for dinner the other night. Fantastical fireworks on my taste buds! Definitely a keeper :)


  20. #
    stephanie @cookinfanatic — October 19, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    Made this bad boy last night but with ground beef, fusilli and feta. Ummm phenomenal!! Now I need to get some chicken so I can try the real version lol.



  21. #
    Lacey — October 20, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    I made this two nights ago and it was one of the BEST dinners I’ve had! Thanks so much for sharing this :)


  22. #
    Angela — October 20, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

    This is the first “new” dish I’ve tried in ages, mainly because it was very appealing both in ingredients and simplicity and turned out absolutely deliciously. I added some jalapeños for some more kick. I like that it’s pretty hard to go wrong with it and this has now been added to my repertoire. There wasn’t much left as the person I cooked it for had THIRDS.


  23. #
    Hayley — October 27, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

    Jessica, this dish is AMAZING. Made it last night for my family and we basically cried around the dinner table at your genius powers in combining foods and how freakin’ delicious it was. I even suggested it to go with some sopapilla cheesecake bars I made on my blog–check it out! Thanks for the great recipe!


  24. #
    Joy — December 15, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

    this looks amazing!! i wanna try it out sooo bad.


  25. #
    Kelly — January 26, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    We made this for dinner last night…it was really good! My husband added salsa to his and said it was good that way as well.
    Today for lunch I took the small amount that was left from last night, added shredded lettuce, cucumbers, wedged tomato and ranch yogurt dressing. I think that the salad was equally as good as the dinner…maybe a little yummier:)


  26. #
    Angela — March 19, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

    Just made for dinner and it was sooooo good. I have to say I was hesitant at first but being an enchilada lover and reading your words I had to try it and so glad I did!!!!!! YUM!


  27. #
    Cassidy Christian — February 11, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

    I am making this recipe for my husband tonight and cannot wait! I am in love with your blog and have made several of your recipes. We LOVE your healthy sesame chicken! I am from New Mexico so anything mexican makes me very happy!


  28. #
    Elly — February 20, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

    I made this and it was amazing! So easy to make but full of flavor. Gonna make it tonight for dinner again!


  29. #
    FoodGeekGraze — August 12, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

    my tummy and pinterest brought me here… did not expect to laugh as much as i did at this husband-enchilada write-up. thank you x2



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