{recipe} Easy, Cheesy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Several people have asked me for this recipe, and in the past I have demurred, because I didn’t want them to know my secret: that it’s so easy and requires essentially no cooking skills. It almost feels like you’re cheating when you serve this for dinner. But I can’t keep it under wraps any longer.

enchilada

Why do I love this recipe so much? There are many reasons to love it, including but not limited to, 1) it’s super easy to put together; 2) it doesn’t require even one tiny amount of chopping; 3) the sum of the parts is so much greater than the whole; 4) it seems to be universally loved; and 5) it’s covered in loads of gooey melted cheese.

enchilada 2

It’s great when served with sliced avocados or fresh guacamole on the side. I usually make a salad and that’s it – dinner is done. I guess the secret is out.

Recipe: Easy, Cheesy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole
serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • garlic salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 18 small soft corn tortillas (6 inch size)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 28 oz can green enchilada sauce (I prefer Las Palmas brand, medium spicy)
  • 16 oz shredded cheese (I use the Mexican blend but mild cheddar or Monterey jack will work too)
  • 8 oz (1 cup) sour cream

METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of foil or parchment. Cut chicken breasts into large chunks and sprinkle with garlic salt and cayenne pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool a bit and then shred with your hands or with 2 forks. Note: You can also use rotisserie chicken without the skin and bones – just shred it with your hands, or 2 forks.
  • Using tongs and the flame of a gas stove, lightly char the tortillas. (If you do not have a gas stove, you can char them briefly under the broiler.) Set aside. Note: you can also skip this step if pressed for time – just rip the tortillas in quarters instead of leaving them whole.
  • Pour about one fourth of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Arrange 6 tortillas in the sauce. Distribute half of the chicken and half of the black beans on top. Sprinkle with one third of the cheese and dot with half of the sour cream. Pour one fourth of the enchilada sauce over the top.
  • Repeat: Arrange 6 tortillas in the sauce. Distribute half of the chicken and half of the black beans on top. Sprinkle with one third of the cheese and dot with half of the sour cream. Pour one fourth of the enchilada sauce over the top.
  • Pour remaining enchilada sauce into a dish or bowl. Add remaining 6 tortillas and coat completely with the sauce. Arrange sauced tortillas on top of the casserole. Pour any remaining sauce over. Sprinkle with remaining one third of the cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and broil the top for a few minutes to char the cheese a bit. Let sit 10-20 minutes before serving.

 

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