Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is a favorite at our house. It is sooooo easy to make a second one to freeze that I went ahead and listed amounts for two 9×12 casseroles. This freezes beautifully and is also great as leftovers. Even if your family will only eat half a 9×12 dish at a meal, remember that you can serve it again in a day or two.

4 lbs boneless chicken
2 T. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic
3 cups corn
1 minced onion
4 c. pureed tomato
2 packets of taco seasoning
20 flour tortillas
5 cups grated cheddar

Start by chopping 4 lbs of chicken. I used boneless thighs that cost $1.19/lb. Cook that in a large skillet on medium high with a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil. Don’t stir the meat until it gets a nice lovely brown color on one side. Then stir and cook the rest of the way. Once the meat is mostly cooked, add 4 cloves of garlic, 3 cups of corn, and one minced onion. Continue to cook a few minutes til onions are soft.

Now you are going to need about 4 cups of pureed tomato. You can puree fresh whole tomatoes in the blender, or if you’d rather just use regular tomato sauce, you’ll need about 3 cups of tomato sauce mixed with a cup of water. Once you’ve done that, pour 1/2 cup of sauce into each of two casserole pans and spread it around to coat the whole bottom of each pan. At that point you should still have three cups of sauce remaining.

Dump the rest of the tomatoes into your skillet full of cooking chicken (I told you that skillet needed to be large, right? Add 2 packets of taco seasoning and let it simmer for a few minutes.

While that mixture simmers, put a double layer of flour tortilla into the bottom of each of your casserole pans. Tear the tortillas as needed to make them fully cover the bottom of each pan. Once your chicken has simmered for a few minutes, layer 1/4 of the mixture into each of the two casserole dishes. Sprinkle each dish with about a cup of grated cheddar cheese, then put on another layer of flour tortillas. (20 tortillas should be plenty for two casserole dishes.) Divide the remaining chicken mix between the two dishes, and top each dish with 1 or 1-1/2 more cups of cheese.

You’ve just made two meals and spent probably only five extra minutes for that second meal. Cover one casserole tightly with foil and freeze for up to 6 months. Cook the other casserole at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream and more salsa if you wish.

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  1. YUM!!! We are going to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds yummy, as does peanut chicken. Special diets and severe food allergies are such a bummer– can’t use either recipe! My whole repetoire was turned upside- down by these several years ago, and has never recovered. Oh, well.

    Anyway, good idea here, and congratulations on your impending stardom tomorrow! ; )

  3. Hi! Thanks for the wonderful recipes. You’re a terrific mom and economist. I had 5 children and am now a working 79 year-old struggling financially. Also, keen on nutrition, mostly vegetables, fruits, salmon and organic chicken..some organic beef when I can afford it. I wish I didn’t have to work so hard to cut your recipes down to single portions. Also, do not have a large freezer or refrigerator. But I will keep watching and enjoying your ideas and encouraging you to carry on no matter how tires you get. Thanks again and blessings to you. JP

  4. I made these last week. Even my dh who is not so mexican loving, enjoyed them. Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. Shawna James says:

    I just got the cookbook, very excited about changing my attitude and perspectives about cooking for my family, but one dumb question…….I see the use of lemon-lime soda used several times, and was wondering what a reasonably tasty substitution would be, maybe lime juice and chicken broth, or saki, or I am not sure. I just never have the stuff around unless I am making punch for the church, or someone is sick. I always have lime juice, so was wondering what you thought about as a substitution, from a good cookin’ perspective. Thanks!

  6. This sounds great. I don’t have enough pans to freeze one for later, so I think I might make one layered and then cut the tortillas into strips and mix everything together and put it in a freezer bag for the second one. I’m thinking you’d just have to thaw it, pour it into a pan and bake. 🙂

  7. Shawna,
    Yes, lime juice would be good. Usually the lemon lime soda is used as a meat tenderizer, but certainly a mixture of lime juice and chicken broth would work too.

    Denise, That sounds like a good idea. Or you could also line a casserole dish with plastic wrap, lay the casserole ingredients in the pan, and freeze. Once it is frozen, remove the ingredients from the pan, plastic wrap and all. Wrap well and stick back in the freezer. Then when it comes time to bake, remove the plastic wrap from the frozen casserole ‘brick’ and set the casserole back in the pan to bake.

  8. My family also loves this, we’ve had the same recipe and have used it many times it over the years, occasionally we add salsa and extra chili powder in place of taco seasoning and some of the tomatoes, or a combination of tomato and jalapenos or ancho chiles. It is also good with tomatillos (instead of tomatoes) when those are overrunning the garden. And if we need to stretch it we can add black beans or pinto beans in with the chicken.

    I think I’ll put this on the menu for this week, thanks for the reminder!

  9. This was excellent. Thank you. Made it last night and added some green chiles. I froze the extra container in preparation for our new baby! He’s due in less than a month and is our first. Anyway, since that has nothing to do with the post, on with my question. How long will it take to thaw and do you just thaw it in the fridge before baking it? THANKS!

  10. I know this post was from awhile ago, but I made this recipe from your book today! It was AWESOME and the entire family gobbled it up! I have my 2nd one in the freezer for when baby arrives. I posted a link on my blog for others to enjoy too!

  11. We love to make enchiladas with leftover turkey. This sounds like a great recipe – probably much more authentic than my current one. I’ll give it a try after Thanksgiving!