Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Let’s talk casseroles, shall we? It seems like people either love ’em or hate ’em…and I for one love them.
You see, I’m sort of a one-pot dinner kind of gal, especially now that we’re back to school and busier than ever. And any dinner that I can get on the table quickly – while still maintaining lots of flavor – is tops in my book. Plus, I can usually sneak in some veggies that Doodle wouldn’t eat otherwise. 😉
We love enchiladas at my house, but I’m not a huge fan of rolling them up. This casserole is merely a simple, faster version of enchiladas – perfect for busy nights.
I love using a quick chicken marinade for many of our Mexican-themed dinners. You can make this ahead and have your chicken precooked and ready to go if you wish.
The marinade is simply this: the juice of two or three limes, some minced garlic, and a splash of red wine vinegar. That’s it! When you’re ready to cook your chicken, rub some homemade taco seasoning into it first. You’ll be surprised at the flavors in this chicken with just a few easy ingredients and not a lot of work.
For this recipe, I marinaded, precooked, and shredded my chicken ahead of time so I’d have my ingredients ready to go when I was ready to assemble the casserole. When I cook seasoned chicken like this, I typically sauté it in just a bit (1 or 2 tablespoons) Country Crock spread, cubing my chicken into 1-inch chucks so it cooks quickly.
County Crock spread has 70% less fat than butter per serving and 30% fewer calories. You know what that means?
I can add more cheese. 😉
The great thing about casseroles is that you can easily adjust them to your family’s tastes. We love refried black beans, so that’s what I used here. Want to up the veggie count? Add in some corn or peas or other veggie of your choosing. For casseroles, I often use a Mexican quesadilla cheese because it melts nicely – but any cheese will do: just pick your favorite!
Assembly is quick and easy: just layer tortillas, refried beans, cooked chicken, cheese and enchilada sauce. Pop your dish in the oven for 30 minutes and voilà- dinner is served!
What’s your favorite casserole dish?
- juice of 2-3 limes
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- splash of red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
- 1 pound boneless chicken (breasts or thighs)
- 8 small (soft taco size) flour tortillas
- 1 can refried beans
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I used quesadilla)
- 2 (10 ounce) cans red enchilada sauce
- Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and place in a large ziploc bag or a tupperware container with a lid. Squeeze the juice of the limes over the chicken, and add minced garlic and red wine vinegar. Toss to coat and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
- When you're ready to cook your chicken, melt 2 tablespoons County Crock spread in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Rub taco seasoning over chicken pieces and place chicken in pan. Cook chicken until browned, about 7-10 minutes. Remove chicken and shred.
- Preheat oven to 375. Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of enchilada sauce into the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Place 2 tortillas in the bottom of the dish, layering to cover the surface. Spread about ⅓ of the beans over the tortillas; sprinkle with ⅓ of the chicken, ½ cup cheese and ½ cups enchilada sauce. I repeated my layers 3 times, using the remaining enchilada sauce and ½ cup cheese on top.
- Cover dish with foil (I always spray mine with non-stick cooking spray) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired: black olives, cilantro, green onions, sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, etc.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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