Chicken Enchilada Casserole

My younger daughter is constantly telling me that I am the best cook ever – yet she hardly likes what I serve for dinner.  The one ingredient that definitely excites her though is sour cream.  The other week I picked her up from pre-school and she told me about the great lunch her “cooker” made – Chicken Enchiladas.  I was pretty shocked that she liked them, until she told me about the bowl of sour cream that was served on the side…

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light not too long afterwards, and I decided I had to see if I could compete with her pre-school cook.  This time though, I was not going to serve it with the bowl of sour cream – I felt like that was cheating.  I could serve dirt with a bowl of sour cream on the side – and she would rave about the meal.

Turns out the cream cheese in the recipe was all she needed – she didn’t rave about it, but she ate it – I will take that as a victory.  The enchiladas were delicious – nice and creamy, and a wonderful flavor.  The best part was that the recipe made so much, I was able to freeze some for another meal.  So, if you have young kids that like sour cream, here is a great recipe to try.  I won’t promise anything, but if my picky eaters ate it, there is a good chance yours will too.

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 4-6

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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5 thoughts on “Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  1. I make a version of this but I like the looks of this one better, so I definitely will try it. Thanks for posting!

  2. If your daughter is in pre-school and she is eating this…wow. My friend has a 7yr old who wont eat anything she eats so good work.

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