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Enjoy a Family Fiesta with Enchilada Casserole
red pepper, cutting, enchilada

Some weeknights just call for a family fiesta. I know there will be no complaints when Mexican food is on the menu! I appreciate meals with flavorful ingredients that do not involve a lot of prep time. This Enchilada Casserole recipe fits the bill. The ingredients are common items that I typically have on hand. This meal can be in the oven within 20 minutes with a little advance preparation.

Tasty and satisfying Enchilada Casserole uses butter, flour, milk, chicken broth, cooked chicken, red bell pepper, chopped green chiles, dried taco seasoning mix, Deli American Cheese, corn tortillas, and cilantro. Topping ingredients include sour cream, salsa and ripe olives.

enchilada ingredients, chicken, red pepper

The beauty of this casserole is that it can be tailored to your family’s taste. Substitute the chicken with ground turkey, ground beef, black beans or spicy sausage. Not a fan of green chiles? Leave them out…you’re in control!

I will share a tip that has revolutionized my dinner preparation. This seems so obvious, but I did not implement it until last year. I buy chicken and ground beef in bulk, cook it all at once, and freeze it into recipe-sized portions. This has saved me an enormous amount of time. I no longer pull frozen meat out at 6:00 that has to be cooked before it can be used in a recipe.

Enchilada Casserole calls for cooked chicken and mine was ready to go. If your chicken is not recipe-ready, simply place boneless chicken breasts on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Baking takes about 40 minutes at 350° F, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F and the juices run clear.

With the chicken ready to go, pre-heat the oven to 375° F and spray an 8-inch square pan or a 2-quart round casserole with non-stick cooking spray.
Chop the red bell pepper, slice the ripe olives, chop some cilantro and cut the tortillas in half. That is the extent of the prep work. The next steps move quickly, so it is a good idea to have everything measured, lined up and ready to go.

chop, red pepper, knife

Next, melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan until it sizzles.

buter, saucepan, melt

Add the flour. Cook the butter and flour over medium heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

butter, flour, roux

Add the milk and chicken broth. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. This will take about 4 to 6 minutes.

enchilada, filling, bubbling

Add the chicken, red pepper, chiles and taco seasoning and continue cooking about 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is heated through. Remove the pan from the heat.

enchilada, ingredients, saucepan

Now, it’s time to assemble the casserole. This involves a lot of stacking. Spread ¾ cup of the chicken mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan.

chicken, enchilada, layering

Arrange 4 tortilla halves over the chicken mixture.

tortilla, chicken, enchilada

Top with ¾ cup chicken mixture….

chicken, enchilada, casserole

then with 3 slices of cheese.

cheese, chicken, enchilada

Repeat the layering twice, beginning with the tortilla halves and ending with the cheese.

casserole, enchilada, layering

Bake the casserole for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. I would suggest watching it closely the last few minutes, because the cheese got a little toasty.

bake, enchilada, casserole

Sprinkle the casserole with cilantro. Serve with sour cream, salsa and ripe olives.

enchilada, casserole, cilantro

To round out our fiesta, I added a salad and a homemade Mexican rice dish. The Enchilada Casserole was just what we needed to add some delicious fun to our weeknight dinner. Give it a try for your next dinner, and make sure to come back and let me know how it turned out for you.

enchilada, dinner plate, table

Check back in a few days when Alex shows you how to make delicious quesadillas.

Tami is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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