Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Experience a delightful explosion of flavors with this flavorful verde chicken enchilada casserole recipe. This dish is layered with corn tortillas, a vibrant green enchilada sauce, chicken, and heaps of cheese, delivering a comfort food that's sure to satisfy your Mexican food cravings. The casserole is a great way to use up leftover chicken and is perfect for feeding a crowd or for when you need a hearty meal on a busy weeknight.

Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

The ingredients for this recipe are quite straightforward and should be easy to find at any supermarket. However, a key ingredient that sets this dish apart is the green enchilada sauce which gives the casserole its vibrant color and unique tangy flavor. You may not typically have this in your pantry but can usually find it in the Mexican aisle of your local supermarket. Another important ingredient is the poblano, a mild chili pepper that gives the dish a subtle heat without being overwhelmingly spicy.

Ingredients Needed for the Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Olive oil: It's used for sautéing the vegetables. Its mild flavor doesn't overpower the other ingredients.

White onion: It adds a mild and slightly sweet flavor to the casserole.

Poblano: This chili pepper is mild in heat and adds a unique flavor to the dish.

Beans: They provide a good source of protein and fiber. You can use canned beans for convenience.

Whole kernel corn: This adds a sweet and slightly crunchy texture to the casserole.

Baby spinach: It adds a touch of green and extra nutrients to the dish.

Chicken: The primary protein in this casserole. You can use leftover roasted or grilled chicken.

Green enchilada sauce: This gives the dish its vibrant color and tangy flavor.

Corn tortillas: They form the layers in the casserole providing structure to the dish.

Monterrey Jack cheese: This cheese melts well and has a mild flavor that complements the other ingredients.

One reader, Jennica Butterfield says:

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This verde chicken enchilada casserole recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are incredible, and it's so easy to make. The combination of green enchilada sauce, tender chicken, and gooey cheese is simply irresistible. It's a hit with my family every time!

Jennica Butterfield

Techniques for Crafting the Perfect Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole

How to sauté the onion and poblano: Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and poblano and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, or until softened.

How to assemble the casserole layers: Start by pouring about ½ cup of the enchilada sauce in the baking dish, and spread it until the bottom of the dish is evenly coated. Then, top with a layer of about 8 tortilla halves, so that the entire dish is covered. Continue to layer the chicken mixture and cheese, followed by another layer of tortillas, until all the ingredients are used.

How to bake the casserole: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the cheese is thoroughly melted.

How to serve the casserole: Remove the casserole from the oven and serve it warm, garnished with your desired toppings.

How To Make Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole

A delightful recipe for scrumptious chicken enchilada casserole that’ll sure to win the hearts of your loved ones! This simple dish truly is a must-try.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1tbspolive oil
  • 1white onionmedium, peeled and diced
  • 1poblanolarge, (or green bell pepper, cored and diced)
  • 30ozbeansrinsed and drained
  • 8ozwhole kernel corndrained
  • 2handfulsfresh baby spinach
  • 3cupschickencooked, shredded or diced
  • 3cupsgreen enchilada sauce(or salsa verde)
  • 12corn tortillashalved
  • 3cupsMonterrey Jack cheeseshredded, (or Mexican blend cheese)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mist a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and pepper and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, or until softened.  Stir in the beans, corn, spinach, chicken, and 2 cups enchilada sauce, and stir until evenly combined.  Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Pour about ½ cup of the remaining enchilada sauce in the baking dish, and spread until the bottom of the dish is evenly coated. Top with a layer of about 8 tortilla halves, so that the entire dish is covered.

  4. Top evenly with ⅓ of the chicken mixture, followed by ⅓ of the cheese.  Repeat with another layer of tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Followed by a final layer of tortillas, chicken mixture, the remaining ½ cup of enchilada sauce, and cheese.

  5. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, then bake for 20 minutes.

  6. Remove pan and remove aluminum foil. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes, until the cheese is thoroughly melted.

  7. Remove from the oven and serve warm, garnished with your desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

 

Suggested Toppings: Fresh cilantro, Red onion, Green onion, Avocado

 

Nutrition

  • Calories: 327.04kcal
  • Fat: 17.49g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.17g
  • Trans Fat: 0.04g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 6.15g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.06g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.39g
  • Fiber: 5.01g
  • Sugar: 8.31g
  • Protein: 18.99g
  • Cholesterol: 55.62mg
  • Sodium: 761.19mg
  • Calcium: 298.68mg
  • Potassium: 354.47mg
  • Iron: 2.07mg
  • Vitamin A: 107.17µg
  • Vitamin C: 12.52mg

Mastering the Art of Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole: Technique Tip

When making the verde chicken enchilada casserole, it's important to layer the ingredients evenly. This ensures that every bite is filled with a balance of flavors from the chicken, beans, corn, spinach, and cheese. Also, when sautéing the onion and poblano, make sure they are softened but not browned, to keep their flavors fresh and vibrant. Lastly, don't rush the baking process. The casserole needs time to bake so that the flavors can meld together and the cheese can melt to a perfect gooey consistency.

Time-Saving Tips for Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all the ingredients the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use rotisserie chicken: Save time by using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken instead of cooking and shredding the chicken yourself.

Layer ingredients: Layer the tortillas and filling in the casserole dish in one go to save time on assembly.

Double batch: Make a double batch and freeze one for later to save time on future meal prep.

Use pre-shredded cheese: Opt for pre-shredded cheese to skip the time-consuming shredding process.

Substitute Ingredients For Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • white onion - Substitute with yellow onion: Yellow onions have a slightly stronger flavor than white onions, but they can be used as a substitute in this recipe without significantly altering the taste.

  • poblano - Substitute with anaheim pepper: Anaheim peppers have a similar mild heat and flavor profile to poblanos, making them a good substitute in this recipe.

  • beans - Substitute with black beans: Black beans can be used as a substitute for the specified beans, adding a rich, earthy flavor to the dish.

  • whole kernel corn - Substitute with frozen corn: Frozen corn can be used as a substitute for whole kernel corn, providing a similar sweet and crunchy texture.

  • baby spinach - Substitute with kale: Kale can be used as a substitute for baby spinach, adding a hearty and nutritious element to the dish.

  • chicken - Substitute with shredded turkey: Shredded turkey can be used as a substitute for chicken, providing a similar protein-rich component to the casserole.

  • green enchilada sauce - Substitute with tomatillo salsa: Tomatillo salsa can be used as a substitute for green enchilada sauce, offering a tangy and flavorful base for the casserole.

  • corn tortillas - Substitute with flour tortillas: Flour tortillas can be used as a substitute for corn tortillas, providing a softer and milder flavor to the casserole.

  • monterrey jack cheese - Substitute with pepper jack cheese: Pepper jack cheese can be used as a substitute for monterey jack cheese, adding a spicy kick to the casserole.

Presenting Your Enchilada Casserole

  1. Elevate the layers: Assemble the casserole with precision, ensuring each layer is evenly distributed and visually appealing.
  2. Garnish with finesse: Add a final touch of sophistication by garnishing with freshly chopped cilantro and a drizzle of crema for a pop of color and flavor.
  3. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Skillfully drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce over the top layer, creating an elegant and appetizing presentation.
  4. Utilize symmetry: Arrange the tortillas and cheese in a symmetrical pattern, creating a visually pleasing and balanced dish.
  5. Emphasize the green hue: Highlight the vibrant green color of the enchilada sauce by ensuring it is evenly spread and visually prominent throughout the casserole.
  6. Create a refined border: Use a spatula to create a clean and defined border around the edges of the casserole, enhancing its visual appeal and professional presentation.
  7. Precision slicing: When serving, ensure each portion is sliced with precision, presenting a visually appealing and appetizing plate.

Essential Tools for Making Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  • Oven: An essential appliance for baking and roasting dishes.
  • 9x13-inch baking dish: A standard size baking dish used for casseroles and other baked dishes.
  • Sauté pan: A wide, flat-bottomed pan with relatively tall sides, used for sautéing, searing, and frying.
  • Aluminum foil: Used to cover dishes while baking to prevent excessive browning or drying out of the dish.
  • Cooking spray: A non-stick cooking spray used to grease baking dishes and pans.
  • Mixing spoon: A long-handled spoon used for stirring and mixing ingredients.
  • Food processor: A versatile kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Essential tools for accurately measuring ingredients in cooking and baking.

Storing and Freezing Your Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  • Let the verde chicken enchilada casserole cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • To store in the refrigerator, cover the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze the casserole:
    • Wrap the cooled casserole dish securely with plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. This double layer will help prevent freezer burn.
    • Label the dish with the name of the recipe and the date it was prepared.
    • Place the wrapped casserole in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 2-3 months.
  • To reheat the refrigerated casserole, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the plastic wrap or foil, and bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.
  • If reheating a frozen casserole, you can either:
    • Thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as directed above for a refrigerated casserole.
    • Bake the frozen casserole directly from the freezer. Remove the plastic wrap, but keep the foil on. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 45 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the casserole is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • If you want to freeze individual portions, cut the cooled casserole into serving-sized pieces and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap and foil before freezing. This way, you can reheat only the number of servings you need.

Reheating Your Leftover Enchilada Casserole

  • The best way to reheat leftover verde chicken enchilada casserole is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil to prevent the top from burning and to keep the moisture in.
  • Place the covered casserole in the preheated oven and reheat for about 20-30 minutes, or until it's heated through. The exact time will depend on the size of your casserole and how cold it was when you started.
  • If you prefer a crispy top on your reheated casserole, remove the foil for the last 5-10 minutes of reheating. This will allow the cheese to melt and bubble, and the edges to crisp up slightly.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave. Place a serving of the casserole on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 1-2 minutes, or until it's heated through. The time will vary depending on the strength of your microwave and the size of the portion.
  • If you find that the casserole is a bit dry after reheating, you can add a splash of chicken broth or water to the dish before reheating. This will help to moisten the tortillas and prevent them from becoming too dry or tough.
  • Lastly, if you have any leftover toppings, such as sour cream, salsa, or guacamole, you can add them to the reheated casserole for an extra burst of flavor and freshness.

Fascinating Fact About Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Green enchilada sauce is made with tomatillos, green chilies, and cilantro, giving it a vibrant green color and a tangy, slightly spicy flavor.

Budget-Friendly: Is This Enchilada Casserole Economical?

This verde chicken enchilada casserole recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The combination of affordable ingredients such as beans, corn, chicken, and spinach makes it a budget-friendly option. The use of green enchilada sauce and Monterey Jack cheese adds a flavorful touch without breaking the bank. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20, making it a reasonable choice for a delicious and satisfying meal. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Is This Enchilada Casserole Healthy?

This verde chicken enchilada casserole recipe has some healthy elements, but it also contains ingredients that may not be considered the most nutritious choices. Let's break it down:

Healthy aspects:

  • The recipe includes vegetables like onion, poblano pepper, and spinach, which provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Beans and corn add additional fiber and nutrients to the dish.
  • Chicken is a lean protein source.

Less healthy aspects:

  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of cheese (3 cups), which is high in saturated fat and calories.
  • Corn tortillas, while gluten-free, are still processed and may have a high glycemic index, potentially affecting blood sugar levels.
  • The green enchilada sauce may contain added sodium, depending on the brand or recipe used.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of cheese used, or opt for a lower-fat cheese like part-skim mozzarella or reduced-fat Monterey Jack.
  • Use whole-grain or sprouted corn tortillas to increase the fiber content and provide a slower release of energy.
  • Choose a low-sodium enchilada sauce, or make your own using fresh ingredients to control the sodium levels.
  • Increase the amount of vegetables in the recipe, such as adding more spinach, bell peppers, or zucchini, to boost the nutrient density of the dish.
  • Use a combination of black beans and pinto beans to provide a variety of nutrients and fiber.
  • Opt for organic, free-range chicken to ensure a higher quality protein source.
  • Serve the casserole with a side salad or additional steamed vegetables to balance out the meal.

Editor's Take: Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe Review

This verde chicken enchilada casserole recipe is a delightful twist on traditional enchiladas. The combination of tender chicken, flavorful poblano peppers, and creamy monterey jack cheese creates a harmonious blend of flavors. The addition of spinach and corn adds a refreshing touch, while the green enchilada sauce infuses the dish with a vibrant, tangy flavor. The layering of tortillas and cheese creates a satisfying texture, and the final result is a comforting and satisfying casserole that is perfect for a family dinner or a gathering with friends.

Why trust this Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe:

This verde chicken enchilada casserole recipe is a trusted favorite, featuring fresh and wholesome ingredients. The combination of poblano peppers, beans, and corn creates a flavorful and nutritious filling. The use of green enchilada sauce adds a zesty and vibrant touch to the dish. With layers of monterrey jack cheese and corn tortillas, this casserole promises a satisfying and indulgent experience. The recipe's clear instructions and simple preparation make it accessible for all home cooks, ensuring a delicious and comforting meal every time.

Share your thoughts on the Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum.
FAQ:
Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas?
Yes, you can use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. The flavor and texture will be slightly different, but it will still work well in the recipe.
Can I make this dish ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking?
Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. Just be sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. When you're ready to bake, simply remove it from the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then bake as directed.
Can I use a different type of cheese?
Certainly! You can use a different type of cheese if you prefer. Cheddar, pepper jack, or a Mexican cheese blend would all work well in this recipe.
Can I make this recipe vegetarian?
Yes, you can easily make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using vegetable broth or water instead of chicken broth. You can also add more vegetables or beans to make up for the absence of meat.
How can I make this dish spicier?
If you prefer a spicier dish, you can add diced jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the filling. You can also use a spicier variety of green enchilada sauce or add a drizzle of hot sauce before serving. Adjust the heat level to your preference.

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