, , , , ,

Earlier this year, we were crazy busy because we were putting our house on the market. Now, we’re even busier because we’ve sold our house – and because we have to be out of the house by the end of the month! So it’s a casserole kind of week. You know the kind where you only have time to make one dish? And that dish has to be a good one because you don’t have time to fix it if it isn’t? For those kind of weeks, the chicken chilaquiles casserole is our go-to. Filled with spicy salsa verde, hearty chicken and melted cheese – it’s the perfect meal for a night when you’re too busy to even think about cooking.

Chicken Chilaquiles Cooking Light
At Blended Kitchen, we are huge fans of Mexican food. Bring on the heat, bring on the salsa, bring on the cheese – we love it all! So when Cindy spotted these chicken chilaquiles in Cooking Light, we knew we had to try them. This casserole makes four huge servings of chilaquiles, but you’ll probably want to make double (don’t worry – you can freeze it for another busy night or keep it in the fridge for about a week if you don’t eat it all at once!)

The original recipe calls for tomatillos, which are impossible to find in our local grocery stores. So we found something with tomatillos in it that adds just the right amount of spice to the dish – salsa verde. We get our salsa verde from Trader Joe’s, and we make sure to buy extra so that we can top off the chilaquiles with it when we pull them out of the oven.

This looks like a lot to deal with, but the casserole comes together easily on a busy night.

Start by shredding a rotisserie chicken into bite-sized pieces. It’s best to shred the chicken when the chicken is still warm – it will come off the bone and shred easier than if it were cold.

Next, chop up the green onions.

Combine the shredded chicken and green onions with a quarter cup of monterey jack cheese.

Add parmesan cheese to the mix.

Spice it up with some chili powder.

Mix the spices into the chicken and cheese mixture, making sure to coat all chicken evenly.

Heat the tortillas according to the directions on the tortilla package.

While tortillas are heating, measure out milk for the sauce that will bind the casserole together.

Measure out the chopped cilantro. We like to buy ours already chopped from Dierbergs – it just makes it easier (especially on a busy night!)

Measure a quarter cup to add to the chilaquiles sauce.

Combine milk and chopped cilantro in a food processor. Add salsa verde to the processor as well.

Add some more heat with green chilies. We use Chi-Chi’s fiesta green chilies, but you can use any brand you like. Sometimes we add more green chilies to bulk up the sauce a little more.

Add the green chilies to the sauce mixture and blend together until everything is well combined.

Measure one third cup of the sauce mixture and spread out in the bottom of the casserole dish. Make sure the sauce completely covers the dish.

Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with tortillas. The recipe calls for a total of 12 six-inch tortillas, but we’ve found that 12 is too many. To make the dish more diet lifestyle change friendly, we use about nine tortillas.

Add a layer of shredded chicken to the casserole, then cover with another layer of tortillas. Repeat.

Top the second layer of chicken with tortillas and cover with the remaining salsa mixture.

Sprinkle a quarter cup of monterey jack cheese on top of the salsa covered casserole.

Now it’s ready for the oven! Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

When cheese is all gooey and melty, it’s time to dig in.

It doesn’t look pretty, but it tastes like heaven.

Lindsey likes to cover her chilaquiles in hot salsa. Cindy likes hers with pico de gallo and a dollop of sour cream. No matter what you top it with, be prepared to become addicted to this casserole – it is simply delicioso!

Here’s the recipe:
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers, divided
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jar salsa verde
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (or 9, if you choose to cut down the number of tortillas like we do)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine chicken, green onions, 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, Parmesan, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Place milk and next 3 ingredients (through chiles) in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Pour 1/3 cup salsa verde mixture into bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 corn tortillas in dish, and top with half of chicken mixture. Repeat layer with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture, ending with tortillas.

Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups salsa verde mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Next week: Anything can happen at Blended Kitchen – be prepared!

Nom. nom. nom.