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Creamy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Casserole: A Flavorful Family Favorite

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Creamy Chicken Enchilada Casserole is a beloved dish that combines the comforting flavors of chicken, cheese, and creamy sauce, all baked together to perfection. This recipe is ideal for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion where you want a hearty and satisfying meal that everyone will love. With layers of tender chicken, creamy sauce, tortillas, and cheese, it’s sure to become a regular on your dinner rotation.

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Ingredients

For the Casserole:

  • 12 pieces of gluten-free or corn tortillas
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (approximately 4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapenos, chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup Cream of Chicken Soup (see notes for healthier option)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp regular or smoked paprika powder
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp milk (or more, based on the thickness of the condensed soup)

For Garnish:

  • Diced tomatoes or pico de gallo
  • Avocado chunks
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro

Instructions

1. Preheat and Prepare

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish lightly.
  2. Prepare Chicken: Cook the chicken breasts until fully done, then shred them into bite-sized pieces. You can boil, bake, or use a rotisserie chicken for convenience.
  3. Prepare Tortillas: Warm corn tortillas slightly to make them pliable. If using gluten-free tortillas, ensure they are soft and easy to roll.

2. Make Creamy Sauce

  1. Mix Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, combine the Cream of Chicken Soup, sour cream or Greek yogurt, milk, onion powder (or chopped onion), garlic powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix until smooth.

3. Assemble Casserole

  1. Layering: Spread a thin layer of the creamy sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  2. Create Layers:
    • Layer half of the tortillas over the sauce, slightly overlapping if needed.
    • Spread half of the shredded chicken over the tortillas.
    • Sprinkle half of the pickled jalapenos evenly over the chicken.
    • Sprinkle half of each cheese (Mozzarella and Cheddar) over the jalapenos and chicken.
    • Pour half of the remaining creamy sauce evenly over the cheese layer.
  3. Repeat Layers: Repeat the layers with the remaining tortillas, chicken, jalapenos, cheeses, and creamy sauce.

4. Bake and Serve

  1. Cover and Bake: Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  2. Garnish and Serve: Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Garnish with diced tomatoes or pico de gallo, avocado chunks, and chopped parsley or cilantro.

Cook Notes

  • Healthier Option: Opt for a reduced-fat or low-sodium version of Cream of Chicken Soup, or make a homemade substitute using a roux of butter and flour cooked with chicken broth and seasonings.
  • Make-Ahead: Prepare the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, until ready to bake. Increase the baking time slightly if baking from cold.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Variations

Vegetarian Option:

  • Substitute shredded rotisserie-style jackfruit or extra-firm tofu for chicken. Add sautéed bell peppers and onions for added flavor.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Replace tortillas with thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant layers. Use a low-carb cream substitute or sour cream alternative.

Spicy Twist:

  • Increase jalapenos or add diced green chilies to the creamy sauce. Top with sliced jalapenos for extra heat.

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Casserole is not only a delicious and comforting dish but also versatile enough to accommodate various dietary preferences. Whether served for a family dinner or a gathering with friends, its layers of creamy sauce, tender chicken, and melted cheese are sure to satisfy. Experiment with different toppings and variations to make it your own signature dish. Enjoy the hearty flavors and comforting warmth of this casserole, perfect for any occasion!

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This detailed recipe for Creamy Chicken Enchilada Casserole provides both practical cooking instructions and creative variations to cater to different tastes and dietary needs, ensuring it’s informative and engaging for readers

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