Enchilasagna

What’s the saying? “Fast, good, cheap… pick two.” But I still like to go for the trifecta where I can, and this recipe nails it! I first had green chili enchiladas at a friend’s wedding, and didn’t stop pestering her until she gave me the recipe. I altered it a bit (because I’m lazy!) and now you can have it, too…

Green Chili Enchilasagna

1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1-2 T olive oil
1 tsp. cumin, ground
1 tsp. salt
1-2 cups leftover chicken, shredded (a great use for the rest of that rotisserie bird, but not a good place for canned chicken. If you MUST, poach and shred a couple of breasts, but I much prefer leftover roasted chicken for this kind of hearty dish)
Small can of mild green chilis
8 oz. brick of cream cheese
1 large (28 oz.) can of green chili enchilada sauce
2-3 cups shredded quesadilla cheese (like Supremo Queso Chihuahua)
1 doz. fresh corn tortillas

Optional add-ins: cup of frozen corn, can of drained black beans, a chopped jalapeño, a diced zucchini, a can of drained black olives, a couple cloves of crushed garlic, a can of diced tomatoes, substitute pulled pork for the chicken… whatever sounds good to you! Enchiladas are less of a recipe than a technique. Feel free to be creative and try something offbeat!

Spray a 9″x13″ baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.

Sauté onions and bell pepper in olive oil in a large skillet until soft. Add cumin and salt, stir. (Now would be a good time to incorporate any of the suggested add-ins, if you like, or just keep it simple.) Add chopped chicken and canned green chilis, and heat through. Add the entire brick of cream cheese, cover with the hot mixture, turn heat to low and let melt. Once it’s all gooey, turn off the heat and mix well.

Open your can of sauce and get a small ladle. Ladle a few spoonfuls of sauce into the baking pan and tip to let the sauce more or less cover the bottom.

Now it’s assembly time! Lay four corn tortillas to cover the bottom (I usually lay out three and break up the fourth to cover the open spaces, but don’t stress if it’s not a perfect layer). Scoop half the warm chicken mixture on top of the tortillas and spread. Sprinkle half of your quesadilla cheese over the meat. Pour about a third of your can of sauce over the cheese. Lay out four more tortillas, then the other half of the meat mixture, the rest of the cheese, and another third of the sauce. Lay out the final four tortillas, and pour the rest of the sauce over the top (try to make sure all of the tortillas get at least a little sauce on them).

Bake for half an hour, remove and let cool for about 10 minutes. I like to serve this with cilantro lime rice, shredded lettuce tossed with lime juice and salt and olive oil, sour cream, and some pickled jalapeños. (Please comment if you want instructions for any of those things, as well!)

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Enchilasagna

  1. Louise (of Halflab)

    I made this for dinner tonight, and it was a hit. Thanks! Looking forward to the leftovers…

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