Monday, April 25, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Sometimes I think casseroles get a bad rap. Sure, they don't always make the healthiest meal, but when you think about it, you can basically fit your carb, meat, and vegetable all in the same dish. Not a bad deal for a busy weeknight. It's also pretty great when it's a casserole full of your favorite Mexican flavors. Salsa verde, corn tortillas, chicken thighs and lots of cilantro, so good! And while these don't quite qualify as enchiladas, this might be the best flavored enchilada dish I've ever had! And as far as health is concerned, this is a Cooking Light casserole, so I've got you covered there too!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Cooking Light March 2011


Cooking spray
4 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chopped onion, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup salsa verde
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño pepper
9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded sharp cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, corn, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) to chicken; toss to combine.

3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup onion; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 garlic cloves; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to chicken mixture; stir to combine.

4. Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, remaining 3 garlic cloves, broth, salsa, 1/4 cup water, and jalapeño in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour mixture into a blender; add 2 tablespoons cilantro. Process until smooth (if you have an immersion blender, it comes in very handy for this part).

5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove tortillas from pan; repeat procedure with remaining tortillas. Cut tortillas into quarters.

6. Spread 1/2 cup salsa mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 12 tortilla quarters over salsa mixture. Spoon half of chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Pour remaining salsa mixture over tortillas; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Top with remaining cilantro.

Serves 4

Per Serving: 371 cal, 12g fat, 23g prot, 45g carb, 5g fiber,


Mary said...

This really looks and sounds delicious. I also love than an effort has been made to cut back on calories and make it healthier. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Natalie said...

mmm I love enchiladas, healthy or not! This looks great!

Gloria said...

look really nice!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

looks tasty

Ann said...

I'm all about a good casserole and this looks like a great one.

girlichef said...

Mmmm, you know I love this! Great flavors...good casserole ;)

Chris said...

I've done a version of this and liked it a lot.

Pam said...

Love this recipe - this is my kind of comfort food.

♥peachkins♥ said...

love it!

The Blonde Duck said...

I LOVE how it's not loaded with cream.

Barbara Bakes said...

Sounds like a casserole my family would love too.

Cassie said...

I love casseroles! Whenever my husband makes dinner he has three go-to dishes he's good at, and enchilada casserole is one of them. I should encourage him to try a chicken and white sauce one next time! said...

The stats are not bad on that dish at all! I could literally eat Mexican every day and never get sick of it. :D

Holly said...

Sounds delish!! I agree casseroles are awesome;) lol

Val said...

I'll be right over......... =)

Kim said...

I think enchiladas are one of my favorite things to eat. Love that this is a lightened up version that you don't have to feel guilty about. Looks great!

Cheryl said...

That looks good and I am trying to be better eating wise so I may have to make this, thanks for sharing!

Reeni said...

Casseroles do get a bad rap but I love them anyway! This looks super comforting and delicious!

Debbie said...

I can always eat Mexican! The dish looks delicious!

Joanne said...

I feel like when most people thing casseroles, they think sour cream and cream of "insert random food here" soup. But this is far from those casseroles of yore! Delicious.

Megan said...

I love cassaroles and love that I usually have enough leftovers for dinner the next night. This one looks great!

Lauren's Latest said...

I'm so with you on the casserole thing. Yeah, they aren't the healthiest, but you can make it ahead, everyone loves it and it's easy.