CHICKEN TORTILLA CASSEROLE

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CHICKEN TORTILLA CASSEROLE

This recipe is a keeper!  It has lovely rich flavors and is very easy to make. It is layered twice with tortillas, vegetables and beans, chicken, enchilada sauce and plenty of cheese. Don't let the list of ingredients put you off.  You can use commercial Taco seasoning (I made my own) and commercial Red Enchilada Sauce (I made my own). I live far from grocery stores most of the month and sometimes I just have to improvise.  You can use Mexican Blend cheese instead of the separate cheeses.  Again, I just used what I had on hand.  If you don't have Red Enchilada Sauce and you don't want to make your own, you can just use a large can of tomato sauce instead and add in a few of the spices that I used in my recipe for Red Enchilada Sauce.


I was very conservative with the amount of Enchilada sauce - you can use 1/2 cup more or even double the amount if you have the carb allowance.  You can use any leftover enchilada sauce for individual enchiladas that you make at a later date or you can freeze the sauce.   The more you use the more ooey gooey the meal will be, which is a good thing.


I was also conservative in the number of tortillas that I used, but that was not a problem, in my opinion.  It worked just fine.


If you prefer to use homemade shredded chicken which is often superior in casseroles like this, you can use chicken breasts cooked in a slow-cooker.   See the Helpful Hints below the recipe instructions.  However, a rotisserie chicken, diced is what I used.  Typically, one rotisserie chicken is all one needs - it makes about 4 cups diced chicken, which is what this recipe calls for.


I even make my own chicken stock in a slow-cooker.  It is so easy.  Again, check the Helpful Hints below.  However, you can use commercial chicken stock for convenience.


You can use your favorite tortillas in this recipe; however, keep in mind I did the nutritional analysis with the zero net carb Mission tortillas.  If you are not counting carbs, but just eating low-carb in general, then you can use your favorite tortillas.   


Soy beans may be used instead of black beans.  They are lower in carbs.  I drained and rinsed my black beans which does help cut carbs some.  I actually think half a can of black beans is plenty for this recipe.  You can freeze the remainder for another day.


If spice is your thing, you can swap the bell peppers for some spicier varieties.  I am a spice chicken, so this plenty spicy enough for my spice sensitive palate.


I used a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  This size dish is super useful for casserole recipes, and this one is no exception.


You can serve the meal with salsa and sour cream, guacamole or simply sliced avocado and chopped green onions.  Any of those ideas would be great - even a bit of chopped cilantro on top of the sour cream, if you like cilantro.


Chicken enchiladas are a popular meal for weeknights.  You could serve this meal with a lovely salad, if desired.






INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)

4 bell peppers, diced

15 oz can black beans, OR soy beans (425 g)

  (use half a can, OR whole, if desired)

1 tbsp Taco Seasoning (See recipe below, OR

  Use commercial Taco Seasoning)

6 low-carb tortillas (Mission Zero Net Carbs)

4 cups chopped chicken (1 L)

  (use a rotisserie chicken)

1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (250 mL)

1 cup grated Sharp Cheddar cheese (250 mL)

1 cup enchilada sauce (250 mL)

  (can use 1/2 cup (125 mL) more)

Garnishes:

1/4 cup green onions, chopped (60 mL)

Sliced avocado

Sour Cream

Taco Seasoning: (Can use store-bought)

1 tbsp chili powder (15 mL)

2 tsp ground cumin (10 mL)

1 tsp salt (5 mL)

1 tsp dried parsley (5 mL)

1 tsp black pepper (5 mL)

1/2 tsp turmeric (2 mL)

1/2 tsp oregano (2 mL)

1/2 tsp onion powder (2 mL)

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (1 mL)

1/4 tsp garlic powder (1 mL)

Red Enchilada Sauce (Can use store-bought – makes 21/2 cups):

3 tbsp chili powder (45 mL)

2 tsp cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder (10 mL)

1 tsp onion powder (5 mL)

1/2 tsp cumin (2 mL)

1/2 tsp sweetener (2 mL)

1/4 tsp oregano (1 mL)

11/4 cups chicken, OR vegetable stock* (300 mL)

  (see recipe below in Helpful Hints, if desired)

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, blended (411 g)


INSTRUCTIONS: 

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). 

 

In large frying pan, heat oil and add peppers.  Cook until peppers have softened.  Drain and rinse the black beans, OR soy beans.  Use as much as desired.  Stir the beans into the peppers.  Stir in Taco Seasoning.

 

In 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) casserole dish layer 2 tortillas and cut the 3rd in half to fit the bottom of the dish.  Next add half the bean mixture, then half the chicken, half the enchilada sauce and half the cheese.  Repeat once more finishing up with a nice, thick layer of the cheeses (i.e. add a bit more, if desired).  Bake uncovered 20 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before garnishing with chopped green onions and avocado slices. Enjoy!  Great served with sour cream.

 

Taco Seasoning:  In small bowl, whisk together chili powder, cumin, salt, parsley, black pepper, turmeric, oregano, onion powder, red pepper flakes and garlic powder.

 

Red Enchilada Sauce:  In saucepan, combine chili powder, cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder, onion powder, cumin, sweetener and oregano.  Slowly stir in chicken, OR vegetable stock.  Then stir in the tomato sauce.  Bring to the boil and cook until slightly thickened.


Helpful Hints: To make shredded chicken: In slow-cooker, place chicken breasts and cover with chicken stock.  Cook on high 4 hours or until the chicken shreds easily with 2 forks.  Three large chicken breasts made 6 cups (1.5 L) shredded chicken.   Use leftover chicken stock for soup.  (Please note - there is another method - stovetop, however, feel free to use cubed roasted rotisserie chicken - that's fine as well).

To make homemade chicken stock, place rotisserie chicken carcass in slow-cooker.  Add water to cover.  Add 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, 1 tsp parsley (1 mL), 1/2  tsp (2 mL) thyme (optional) and 1/tsp (2 mL) black pepper. Optionally add some cut up onion and 1 chopped carrot. Place slow-cooker on low and cook overnight.  Strain and either refrigerate or freeze the chicken stock in an airtight container.  This chicken stock makes a wonderful base for soups and gravies.


Yield:  9 servings

1 serving

299.0 calories

28.8 g protein

14.5 g fat

7.7 g fiber

9.4 g net carbs


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