Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

I bought a huge bag of tortilla chips and realized that if I didn't do something quickly, I was going to eat the whole thing. Dinner to the rescue. This casserole is one of those clean-out-the-fridge type dishes, so it varies depending on what I have to get rid of. It's so easy to make, I think even Eric could do it, but I'm not daring enough to let him. I got the recipe idea from Hilarie (see original recipe below mine), but it has changed a lot since then. Normally I use corn tortillas, but I actually like the chips better because they're a little lighter.

This dish was way too ugly to take a picture of, but my tastiest dishes are usually the most unphotogenic. Eric is so familiar with this family trait (my mother has the same talent for making tasty-ugly food) that he gets suspicious if I make something that looks really attractive. He had no fears of that tonight, since what I put on his plate looked basically like the inside of a burrito.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

1 lb. chicken (cut into small pieces) or ground chicken thigh
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 orange or green pepper (chopped)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 small onion (chopped)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4-1/2 bag corn tortilla chips or corn tortillas
olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tbsp almond milk
vegetable broth
1 tomato (cut into small pieces)

sour cream (optional)
cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown the chicken in a little olive oil. Stir in the tomato paste and gradually add in about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Stir in the cumin, peppers and onions. Cook on low heat while preparing the black beans.

Plop the black beans into a saucepan and smoosh to the sides with a spoon so that the mixture gets mushy. Add a little olive oil, a few teaspoons of chicken or veggie broth and the cilantro. Lower the heat and let it thicken, adding more chicken broth if necessary.

Make sure both mixtures are moist so that the casserole isn't too dry.

Crush the tortilla chips and add a layer to the bottom of a round casserole dish. Add a layer of the chicken, a layer of crushed tortilla chips, a layer of black beans. Keep adding layers until you run out of black beans and chicken.

Here's the part where you can add the cheese if you like. I didn't, but when I did before it added a nice crust to the top. If you add the cheese, don't cover the dish when you put it in the oven.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle the tomatoes on top before serving.

Here is Hilarie's recipe. As you can tell immediately, it's a little different from mine, since hers serves 12 and requires a few things that I can't eat. Eric remembers how much she used to cook to satisfy four teenage boys who were always hungry.

Viva La Chicken Tortilla Casserole

(from Hilarie Wasserman via Charlotte Spellens)

one pound grated cheddar cheese
4 packages boneless chicken breasts

1 package of Lipton dry onion soup

1 can of green chili salsa

1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cream of mushroom soup(OK to use 2 cans of the same flavor)

2 cups of evaporated canned milk

1 cup sour cream

1 onion grated

1 green pepper chopped
1/4 cup of chicken stock or chicken bouillon

1 dozen corn tortillas


1.  Wash the chicken breast.  Season with 1 package of Lipton dry onion soup.

2.  Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet. Cover the whole baking sheet with foil.  Bake for 1 hour. 

3.  Microwave Method instead of oven method.
Bake the chicken breast in the microwave oven for approximately 10 minutes on full power.  Be sure to cover the chicken breast. Check the chicken breast about halfway through to be sure they aren’t drying out or cooking unevenly. The cooking time may differ depending on the wattage of your microwave.

4.  When the chicken breasts are cooked completely, slice them into strips.

5.  Mix the following-Use a blender if you have one:
  green chili salsa, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 2 cups of evaporated milk, 1 cup of sour cream.

Putting the casserole together:

1.  Use a 9 by 13 baking dish. Spray with cooking spray.

2.  Cover the bottom of the dish with the 1/4 cup of chicken broth or water.

3.  Tear each corn tortillas into three or four pieces. Arrange the tortillas to cover the bottom of the pan.

4.  Cover the tortillas with a layer of the sliced chicken.

5.  Cover with a layer of the cream soup mixture.

6.  Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the soup mix.
  Repeat steps 3, 4, 5, and 6 until the casserole dish is filled with all the mixtures.

7.  Cover the top of the casserole with more grated cheese.
 Let sit for 24 hours so the flavors mix.

8.  Cover the entire casserole top with foil.
9.  Bake at 300˚ for 1 and one half hour.
Serves 12

1 comment:

  1. Great couple of recipes, now which one will I try first. Love a casserole that helps me clean out the fridge :)
    Thanks so much for sharing them both.