So this isn't really an invention, just my version. There are a million recipes for enchilada casseroles out there. However, this is my recipe, since it is called Enchilada Casserole Lasagna Thingy Surprise, and you would be hard pressed to find a recipe on the Internet also called by this name. Don't recipes sound so intriguing if you tack a "surprise" onto the end? Yes, I think so, too.
I am sharing this with you people for two reasons. First of all, it's super easy and I think you will find it tasty. Second of all, I am afraid I'll forget how I made it, so if I write about it now maybe I can make it again!
Enchilada Casserole Lasagna Thingy Surprise
First thing in the morning OR the day before, make the crockpot salsa chicken. I kinda think I've posted that easy recipe before, but if not, all you need to do is take some chicken (for this I used the frozen chicken breasts in a bag that I purchased at Target). I used two of the breasts. Cover them with your favorite salsa (I used the green and medium red Herdez varieties). Set the crockpot on low and cook for 7 hours. Once the chicken is cool, you can use two forks to shred it up, and it will be incredibly easy to do. For this recipe I actually did mine the day before and shredded the chicken the next day, and that seemed to make it even easier. You can totally use more chicken if you want your casserole meatier, totally up to you.
With that shredded chicken (and at least the next day, the chicken had absorbed most of the salsa, so it wasn't really soupy at all, but it was still plenty moist; get it as salsa-y as you like, I don't think it will matter too much for this recipe) I mixed in about half a cup of chopped onion. The salsa already has onion, of course, but I had the onion, I like onion, and it sounded good to mix in there.
Oh, once you've got the chicken shredded you might as well turn your oven on. I started at 325 degrees, because I found an enchilada casserole recipe that used that temp, and it seemed to work well.
Okay, get a 13 x 9 pan (I used glass) and spray it up with cooking spray. Next pour some green enchilada sauce (I used Target brand) over the bottom. Just enough to cover the bottom, not sure I used the whole can. Next, tear up some corn tortillas (flour would work, I happen to like corn, and I think their sturdiness is good for a recipe like this). Like, I grabbed maybe 3 of them and ripped them... not into bite-sized pieces, but like into 6 or 8 pieces or so? Then I spread those pieces on top of the sauce so that the sauce was mostly covered.
Next spread a layer of chicken. It's a little tricky, because the salsa makes binds it up, so you kind of have to smoosh it around a bit, if that makes sense.
The next layer will be cheese, enough to cover the chicken. Use your favorite. I used mozzarella and the Target brand Mexican blend (yes, I got to Target A LOT), because that's what I had in my fridge. Next time I'd try a pepper jack (thanks for that suggestion, Ang!) and maybe a sharp white cheddar, because I like bite and I'm an I'm on a sharp white cheddar kick (TJ's has a good inexpensive white cheddar that's super yum).
On top of the cheese, more shredded tortillas, and then I poured Target brand red enchilada sauce over the top. I doctor up the sauce with just a little cinnamon and garlic powder. The cinnamon I think I got from a recipe I saw a long time ago for homemade enchilada sauce. I like what it adds to the sauce. Again, not too much, just a few shakes maybe. And as far as how much sauce, you're just wanting to make sure you cover all of the tortillas. I think ultimately I wound up using 2 1/2 cans total of sauce. So after the sauce, more chicken, and more cheese.
Lastly, because I'd run out of chicken, I did tortillas, sauce, and cheese. For the whole dish I wound up using 8 tortillas. It's not an exact science, obviously, since I'm giving you no measurements or anything. But all you're doing is acting like it's a lasagna, but instead of noodles you've got tortillas, and your meat and your sauce are separate, pretty much.
I threw it in the oven covered with foil and baked it for 30 minutes. Then I took off the foil, turned the heat up to 350, and before it even reached 350 just threw it back in for 10 minutes. When it was done it looked like that picture up there.
I wound up cooking it, putting it in the fridge, and then my dear friend, Sarah, took care of heating it up for me at Steph's house. I'm not sure at what temp or for how long, as I was busy drinking beer. But you know, probably like 325 for 20 minutes? That sounds about right. You won't even need to know that unless you wind up reheating, which isn't a bad idea, as you will have given the flavors more time to meld. I had this for breakfast this morning and I thought it was tastier than it was last night!
So give this a whirl and tell me how you like it. If you like enchiladas, I know you will like it, and this is even easier, so go make some right now!