This is a long recipe, but very worth it! Definitely use corn tortillas, and I highly recommend making your own enchilada sauce (recipe below), but you can also buy it and save a bit of time. I found this in, ‘The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Dinnertime’, by Ree Drummond and when I saw her make it on her show, she served it with her Fiesta Tomato Salad. I also froze some of the leftover casserole and it reheated beautifully – enjoy!
Mexican Tortilla Casserole
3 T. olive AND 3 c. fresh diced tomatoes
1 large onion, diced AND 3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 t. chili powder AND 1 t. kosher salt
2 t. EACH paprika AND cumin
2 to 4 chicken breasts, cubed AND 1 c. water
1 can (398 mL/15 oz) EACH pinto beans AND kidney beans – both rinsed and drained
1 bottle (455 mL/16 oz) salsa verde AND 12 small corn tortillas
3/4 c. uncooked rice – cooked! this should leave you with 2 to 3 cups of rice
1 can (341 mL/12 oz) corn, drained AND 4 c. grated cheddar-jack cheese
2 c. red enchilada sauce (or use recipe below)
sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro for serving
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and add in the tomatoes, onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the onion has softened. Add in 2 teaspoons of the chili powder, and 1 teaspoon each of the paprika and cumin and stir for a couple of minutes until the spices are well blended, then scrape the whole mix into a bowl and set it aside. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and cook the chicken until it’s no longer pink – as it’s cooking, add in the last 2 teaspoons of chili power and 1 teaspoon each of paprika and cumin, as well as the salt. Cook and stir until the chicken is a nice golden brown and cooked through. Add in the water and stir and bring to a boil – you’re aiming to reduce the ‘sauce’ by half and this will take a few minutes. Stir in the beans, take the skillet off the heat and set it aside.
To assemble the casserole, lightly grease a large 9 x 13 lasagna pan, and pour about half of the bottle of salsa verde across the bottom, then overlap 6 of the tortillas so that the bottom is covered. Spoon on all of the rice, then evenly spread on the tomato mixture, then sprinkle on the corn, then all of the chicken and bean mixture. Sprinkle on half of the cheese, then pour on half of the enchilada sauce, then layer on the last 6 tortillas, then pour on the last of the salsa verde and enchilada sauce and then cover the top with the last of the cheese. This is where the casserole can be wrapped well and frozen! But if you’re baking it straight away, preheat the oven to 375, cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then take off the foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until it’s heated through and bubbling – you may need to bake it a little longer if it was frozen and thawed, simply because it would probably be cold. This is tastiest with a salad (and a margarita!!).
2 T. canola oil AND 1 T. minced garlic
1/4 c. EACH finely chopped onion AND red pepper
2 t. chili powder AND 1 t. cumin
1/4 t. EACH cayenne, kosher salt AND black pepper
1 T. flour AND 2 c. strong chicken broth
1 can (398 mL/15 oz) tomato sauce
Heat the oil in a medium pot and cook the garlic, onion and red pepper for a couple of minutes until softened, then add in the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for a couple more minutes until the spices darken. Sprinkle in the flour, stir until there is no white showing, then add in about a half cup of the broth, cooking and stirring until it thickens a bit. Add in the tomato sauce and the rest of the broth and then bring the whole mix to a boil while stirring, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook the sauce until it has reduced by a third and is nice and thick – this will take at least 5 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool a bit and then use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until it’s completely smooth – this will keep for a few days in the fridge and also freezes beautifully!
- Category: Make-ahead, Mexican, One-pot Meal