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February 24, 2013

Chicken tortilla casserole recipe

Chicken tortilla casserole: make ahead and freeze.

Most of the time, I'm not the person who encourages you to open a bunch of cans and call it cooking. Today, I'm that person. Some regional ingredients, like the enchilada sauce and roasted green chiles in this chicken tortilla casserole, are hard to find in my part of the world in any other form, and if that's your situation, you have my permission to reach for your can opener. Although I call this a tortilla casserole, the recipe only calls for two tortillas -- oat bran tortillas, which are low in calories and carbs. Swap in your favorite whole grain tortillas, but don't omit them; they keep everything else from collapsing before the casserole cooks through. For an easy worknight dinner, use a rotisserie chicken or any leftover cooked chicken. You can prep the chicken-and-bean filling a few days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Then, when you're ready to serve the casserole, assemble the layers with tortillas and cheese, and bake. Serve with traditional tortilla toppings like chunks of avocado and sour cream on the side.

Chicken tortilla casserole, on The Perfect Pantry.

Chicken tortilla casserole

From the pantry, you'll need: onion, canned green chiles, canned chopped tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, canned black beans, shredded cheese, green Tabasco or other hot sauce, cooking spray.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

4 cups shredded cooked chicken (I use a small rotisserie chicken)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
4 oz can roasted green chiles
10 oz can green or red enchilada sauce (I use Casa Fiesta all-natural, from the supermarket)
16 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
29-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
Green (or red) Tabasco, to taste
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
2 oat bran tortillas (8-inch burrito size) or other whole grain tortillas
8 oz cheese (I use store-bought low-fat Mexican four-cheese blend)
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a deep casserole dish (I used an Anchor Hocking 12-cup glass casserole that I first saw on Kalyn's Kitchen) with cooking spray, and set aside.

Shred the chicken and set it aside.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over low-medium heat, and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the green chiles, enchilada sauce, chopped tomato, cumin and chili powder. Stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the black beans, reserved shredded chicken, green Tabasco (or other hot sauce) and salt. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking, until the liquid is reduced by a third. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes (can be made ahead up to this point and refrigerated).

To assemble the casserole, scatter 3 Tbsp of the chicken-bean sauce on the bottom of the casserole. Top with 1 tortilla. Then, spread half of the sauce evenly over the the tortilla, and top it with half of the cheese. Set the second tortilla on top, and follow with the remaining sauce, and then the remaining cheese.

Cover the pan and bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Then, uncover, and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned.

Serve hot. Can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Chicken, black bean, avocado and cheese quesadillas
Black bean and brown rice burrito
Mexican tortilla and lime soup
Tex-Mex turkey lasagne
Mexicali meatloaf

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Cheesy chicken and black bean burritos, from Noble Pig
Burritos blancos, from Budget Bytes
Spicy bean burritos, from Annie's Eats
Breakfast burrito pizza, from Poor Girl Eats Well
BBQ chicken quesadillas, from Gaga in the Kitchen

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post.

Comments

This looks like an excellent recipe! Can't wait to try it soon. Thank you!

Lydia,
This casserole looks right up my family's alley. Though the Tabasco to taste will have to be my daughter's taste, since my spouse and son really dump it on. Which is why there's Tabasco next to the salt and pepper grinders (on a pretty Polish pottery plate, of course) at the table.

Thanks!

There are many times that canned ingredients are a lifesaver. I have a couple of go to recipes like this which are so good, no one would ever know.

I love tortilla casseroles ~ So much easier than making individual enchiladas :-)

Claire, it is! We loved it.

Kirsten, this dish doesn't need to be spicy, though the enchilada sauce and green chiles do give it a warm kick. Leave the extra hot sauce out altogether if you have someone in the family who likes it milder.

TW, this is one of those dishes that justifies having some cans of good ingredients in the pantry.

CJ, absolutely! It comes together with very little effort.

This is absolutely my kind of food! And don't you love that casserole dish?

Kalyn, I discovered this dish on your blog and I've had such fun cooking in it!

This dish looks to be right up my alley, Lydia. Just need to some to make some gluten-free adjustments and those are easy in this case. :-) Happy Sunday!

Shirley

So if I don't have that casserole dish what standard size would I use? 9x13, 11x7?? 9x9?
thanks,
susan

Shirley, corn tortillas and a check to make sure the enchilada sauce you use is gluten-free will do the trick, I think.

Susan, any of those size pans will work. The square pans are probably the best fit for the tortillas, but just cut the tortillas to fit in whatever size pan you have.

A great play on lasagne, that's what first came to my mind when I saw the photograph. Delicious, hearty and satisfying. Now I am craving a slice.

I love your suggestions for making it healthier!

All of the above! But, how much cheese?

Susan, good catch! 8 ounces of shredded low-fat cheese. I'm repairing the recipe right now!

Foodwanderings, it's definitely a kind of Mexican lasagne. Hope you like it.

Mireya, there's so much punch in this casserole that you can easily use low-fat and whole-grain ingredients without any loss of flavor.

Perfect "busy night dinner" - yum - thanks

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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