Thursday, December 3, 2015

Easy Enchilada Casserole

Baby, it's cold outside.  Well, sort of.  Although the winter solstice doesn't officially begin until December 21st, it's beginning to feel cooler down here in Texas. Finally. The low this morning was actually in the upper thirties. Woohoo! I can finally wear my puffy vest and scarf.  I know that's probably laughable to friends living in the north.  But, hey, I'll take what I can get.  

What kind of food do you like to eat when the temp drops and the weather man announces a freeze warning?  Comfort food?  Yep, me too.  I crave something warm, hearty and Mexican.  For me that translates into enchiladas.  Any kind of enchiladas - beef, chicken, or spinach.  As much as I love to eat them, I'm definitely not a fan of the messy, tedious and time-consuming process of rolling each individual enchilada.  I came up with a simplified version of enchiladas which has the same great flavor without all the work - Easy Enchilada Casserole.

I've got two versions - Easy Beef Enchilada Casserole 

and Green Chili Chicken Enchilada Casserole.  

The only difference in ingredients is the meat and enchilada sauce.  For demonstration purposes (and dinner tonight), I made the Green Chili Chicken Enchilada Casserole earlier today.  But my boys are begging to order pizza because it's Thursday Night Football and we did have the Easy Beef Enchilada Casserole last weekend.  Ugh!  I guess I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow. 

This is the Las Palmas enchilada sauce that I found at my local Target.  It doesn't really matter what brand but be careful to check the "heat" level because canned enchilada sauce can be very hot.  It will usually indicate mild, medium, or hot on the can.  Check the label.  I prefer mild to medium.

First things first, lightly toast the corn tortillas in nonstick skillet.  This is probably the most time-consuming part of recipe but don't skip it.  The tortillas taste better when toasted. Set aside.

Cook your meat in a large nonstick skillet adding taco seasoning and enchilada sauce.  I'm thinking I should have diced my chicken a little smaller but haven't cooked the casserole yet so I'll let you know.  

Lastly, assemble your casserole by layering sauce, tortillas, meat, cheese, and more sauce.

Repeat layer one more time then top with tortillas, sauce, and cheese.  You can cover and refrigerate before cooking later.  It's a great make ahead recipe.  You can also bake it immediately.  

With only a few ingredients (that you may already have on hand), this meal comes together quick for a busy weeknight meal.  You can have it ready to pop in the oven when you get home from a busy day at work or after a long day on the ski slopes.  

It's hearty, hot, and muy delicioso!

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