Chicken "enchiladas" | Recipe Renovator | paleo, gluten-free, low-sodiumEnchilada-style cabbage wraps filled with shredded chicken breast, topped with cashew sour cream

I have just finished doing my first Whole30® paleo cleanse with some friends and I am feeling better than I have in a long while. So much better that I’m continuing on, doing my best to stick to the Whole30® tenets: no grains or legumes, no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar. I’ve also been experimenting with avoiding nightshades. (Nightshades can be inflammatory foods and I seem to be sensitive to them. Nightshades include white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers (all kinds), eggplant, and tomatillos). I made this recipe right before finding out about the problem I was having with nightshades. I also learned I’m sensitive to the protein in eggs and dairy, so I cut both out of my diet again.

These aren’t really enchiladas. I took the spirit of enchiladas and used Savoy cabbage leaves to replace the tortillas for a grain-free option. These are paleo and Whole30® compliant. They aren’t super pretty but they are delicious; even better on the second day!

I was inspired by a chicken enchiladas recipes in Cooking Light as well as their stuffed cabbage recipe. Savoy cabbage has a delicate flavor that doesn’t overpower the recipe. Plus, cabbage is used in Mexican food, so it seems to fit. The outer cabbage leaves are boiled for two minutes to soften them, then patted dry. The rest of the cabbage is finely sliced or chopped. Depending on the size of your head of cabbage, you may end up with extra cabbage for another dish.

Note that I suggest doubling the amount of cashew sour cream in the recipe below… If you double it, add half to the chicken mixture before rolling the enchiladas and leave half for dolloping. This will provide a creaminess to the filling that would normally be provided by cheese. You can buy store-bought salsa verde or make mine, just omit the avocado in mine for this recipe. Here’s a fun little video of me making salsa verde from Melissa’s Produce tomatillos and garlic, and frozen Hatch green chiles from The Hatch Chile Store.

Required FTC disclosure: I received produce from Melissa’s Produce and The Hatch Chile Store; I was not paid to write this post.

Suitable for:

low-sodium, paleo, gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets; omit cashew sour cream for migraine diet

Not for:

vegan or vegetarian diets
Chicken "enchiladas" | Recipe Renovator | paleo, gluten-free, low-sodium

You might also like:

Stuffed Savoy cabbage with tomato sauce from Cooking Light
20-minute chicken enchiladas from Cooking Light
Paleo chicken enchilada casserole from Paleo Leap
Chicken enchilada bake from PaleOMG (with eggs and optional goat cheese)

Chicken "enchiladas" | Recipe Renovator | paleo, gluten-free, low-sodium

Paleo chicken "enchiladas" with cashew sour cream

Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Latin America, Mexican
Servings 6 servings


Chicken "enchiladas"

  • 1 head cabbage (Savoy) any size
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (60 g) pepitas
  • 16 ounces chicken breast shredded, about 4 cups
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin) coconut oil, rendered bacon fat
  • 5 onions (green) scallions, spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 ounces cilantro (fresh coriander) 1/2 bunch
  • 4 cups salsa verde

Cashew sour cream

  • 1 cup cashews raw, (115 g) soaked in filtered water while making everything else
  • 1 lemons juiced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


Chicken enchiladas

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Carefully cut off the cabbage leaves close to the core, unpeeling them one at a time until you have 12. Drop the leaves in the boiling water and boil 2 minutes until softened. Remove with tongs and drain well.
  • Finely slice or chop the rest of the cabbage, discarding (composting) the core. Measure two cups for this recipe. Reserve any extra cabbage for another use.
  • Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over low heat for 10 minutes until golden brown. Turn off heat.
  • Heat 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or rendered bacon fat in a large cast-iron or non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Sauté the thinly sliced green onion, minced garlic cloves, and the two cups cabbage for ten minutes, until brown in spots and softened. Stir every few minutes.
  • Pat the cabbage leaves completely dry with clean kitchen towels.
  • Finely mince the cilantro, reserving some for garnish. If you hate the taste of cilantro, sub fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley to add herby freshness.
  • Stir the shredded chicken, cilantro, and toasted pumpkin seeds into the cabbage mixture. (If doubling the recipe for the cashew sour cream, blend it now and stir in half of the finished cashew cream with the chicken mixture.)
    Chicken enchiladas | Recipe Renovator
  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C/gas mark 4.
  • Place one cabbage leaf on a clean surface with the concave side up; spoon in 1/12th of the chicken mixture along the rib.
    Chicken enchiladas | Recipe Renovator
  • Roll away from you, making a tight roll. Place seam-side down in a sprayed 9" X 13" baking dish. You may have to put two of the rolls along the side if they don't all fit lengthwise.
  • Smother with salsa verde. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Serve with cashew sour cream.

Cashew sour cream

  • Soak the cashews in filtered water while prepping the recipe.
  • Drain and rinse the cashews.
  • Juice the lemon.
  • If using large-crystal sea salt, pulverize it in a mortar and pestle to distribute it more evenly.
  • Put the cashews, lemon juice, and salt in the blender. You'll need to add enough filtered water to get it to blend, adding one tbsp at a time. Stop blending when it's thick and creamy and the consistency of sour cream.