Crowdpleasing Enchilada Casserole

I hosted a group dinner last Sunday, and wanted something that would feed a crowd without breaking the bank or my back. Frittata, lasagna, breakfast for dinner — all were considered and discarded. The ease and delicious comfort of Mexican food came to mind and viola! Chicken Enchilada Casserole was born. I adapted this recipe from my favorite easy chef, Aviva Goldfarb, and her Six O’Clock Scramble cookbook.

Results? Total hit. Between 6 adults we finished the entire pan. Yes, we were also drinking and quite hungry. It sat for 90 minutes before we ate it and was still warm when it came time to serve – a plus in my hostessing simplicity book. You could easily make this vegetarian or pescatarian;  I’d add a layer of black or pinto beans next time too.

Ingredients:

2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz. reduced fat sour cream
8 oz. canned green chiles (or 1 cup salsa verde)
2 cups cheddar cheese
4 oz. queso fresco, divided
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1.5 -2 cups cooked chicken (I used precooked southwest strips)
18 small corn tortillas
2 TBS cumin
1 TBS lime juice
1 tsp chile powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, combine soup, sour cream, chiles, cumin, lime juice and chile powder. In a separate bowl, combine the cheddar, 2 oz queso fresco, scallions and chicken. Feel free to up the spice level with jalapenoes, salsa, vinegar or your other favorite flavors.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the soup mix in the bottom of the pan. Layer 6 corn tortillas, overlapping slightly. Top tortillas with 1/3 of chicken mixture. Continue layering soup mixture, tortillas, chicken mixture, soup, tortillas and chicken, ending with soup mixture. Unlike lasagna layers, everything doesn’t need to be covered and wet. There’ll be some dry tortillas and uncovered chicken – this is totally fine. Sprinkle remaining queso fresco and a shake of cumin and chile powder.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Allow it to cool and firm up a bit, then cut and serve with salsa, avocado and black beans, sour cream, scallsions — whatever pleases your palate.

 

 

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