I was short on time last night so I pulled out this old tried and true enchilada casserole recipe. Instead of taking the time to roll individual enchiladas everything is layered, lasagna style. If the prospect of rolling enchiladas intimidates you this is the perfect substitute. It tastes like restaurant enchiladas with out all the work! I have tweaked this recipe over time and added a few things to spice it up. You can control the heat by the type of enchilada sauce you choose, red, green, mild, medium or hot! It doesn’t look as pretty as rolled enchiladas but the taste more than makes up for it.
Last night I made just half a recipe but with regret. I should have made the whole thing or two separate pans and froze half. Since I have a new freezer I now have room to freeze some meals ahead of time, I just need to remember that. We will be fighting over the one left over serving today! This is a hearty casserole packed with protein so they guys in my house find it very satisfying. There is nothing “light” about the taste so it would be a company worthy dish as well.
I was in a hurry to take a photo while I still had some natural light left (it gets dark so early right now) so I forgot to sprinkle the green onions on top. For side dishes last night I mixed a can or drained corn with a can of drained, rinsed black beans and added about 1/3 cup salsa and 1/2 teaspoon cumin before heating them up.
You could add beans or corn to the casserole layers too if you desire.
The rice is a frozen item from Trader Joe’s called Chimichuri Rice. It has tons of flavor using South American flavors and heats up in just minutes in the microwave. I usually keep two bags of it in the freezer.
Did I mention I was short on time last night? With a few simple items I keep on hand, like canned corn, beans, frozen rice, tortillas, enchilada sauce, chicken breast and pre – shredded cheese. I was still able to put together a filling, flavorful meal in a short amount of time. When you have a little more time on your hands you should try my recipe for rolled Chicken Enchiladas as those are a family favorite around here! Use the categories on the side bar to check out my other Mexican dishes.
Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chiles, divided
- 1 3/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced*
- 1 cup evaporated skim milk (This comes in a can in the baking aisle at the grocery store)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese ( I use Trader Joe’s Mexican Blend)
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) tub-style light cream cheese
- 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce, mild, medium, green or red
- 2 – 3 teaspoons ground cumin*
- 1- 2 teaspoons chili powder*
- 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese (Mexican Blend)
- 1 ounce tortilla chips, crushed (about 6 chips)
Optional Garnishes; low fat sour cream, cilantro, green onions, black olives, shredded lettuce*
* My additions to the original recipe
- Combine broth and 1 can of chiles in a large skillet; bring to a boil. Add chicken; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning chicken once. Remove chicken from cooking liquid, reserving cooking liquid; cool chicken. Dice chicken or shred meat with two forks, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 can of chiles, garlic and onion; sauté 3 minutes or until soft. Add reserved cooking liquid, milk, Monterey Jack, cream cheese, cumin, chili powder and enchilada sauce; stir well. Stir in shredded chicken; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place 4 tortillas in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers twice, ending with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and chips. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Top with garnishes if desired.
Yield: 8 servings
(not including optional garnishes)
CALORIES 369 (28% from fat); FAT 11.4g (sat 5g,mono 3.8g,poly 1.4g); IRON 2.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 79mg; CALCIUM 360mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.3g; SODIUM 479mg; PROTEIN 35.6g; FIBER 3g
Old WWP 8 / WWPP 9
Adapted from Cooking Light, DECEMBER 1998
The Mexican food cravings have struck again! I seem to go in cycles with that. I find spicy food to be very filling and satisfying. More Mexican food is on the menu for tonight! I found a new recipe I want to try on the guys that uses beef for a change. Since I have limes, fresh cilantro and tortillas in stock I want to make good use of them. I hate for food to go to waste! If the new recipe is a success I will post about it!
Leave a comment and join the fun!
What kind of food do you crave?