Cooking On A Budget: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Casserole


Left over chicken (or freshly poached) combined with an enchilada sauce makes a dreamy, savory and filling stuffed shell meal for your family. It just so happens I had a 1/2 box of shells left from when I made our Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Shells dinner a few nights ago. The chicken I used was from a large breast that I poached. The breast was almost one pound of meat.
Recipe made 15 fully packed shells, 3 per serving would be average. These are incredibly filling and the flavor is outstanding.
Total cost $11.73, feeding five portions for $2.34 per serving. You can knock off the cost of the chicken ($3.13) if you are using left over chicken and it brings the cost of the dish down to $8.60. It's a most economical dish and certainly a great way to use up left-over chicken.
  • 3 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 bag (8 oz.) shredded Mexican blend cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 15-18 jumbo shells
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. container sour cream
  • 4 oz. can green chopped chilies
  • 1/2 cup onion - small dice
  • 4 tbsp. butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • onion powder to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  1. Break apart the chicken and cut it up in very small pieces. Place the prepped chicken in a bowl.
  2. Dice the onions.
  3. Cook the shells per manufacturer's instructions. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon or spider and cool on a wire rack. Or, just use a colander.
  4. In a deep skillet, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add in the onion along with salt, pepper, onion powder and granulated garlic and cayenne  - all to taste. Saute until the onions are tender.
  5. Next to make the roux, add the flour to the pan and mix well to combine. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the raw taste is cooked out of the flour.
  6. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and using a whisk combine and cook over medium heat, whisking continually until the sauce has thickened, then pull the pan off the heat and add in the sour cream and whisk well to completely incorporate into the sauce.
  7. In a large bowl combine the chicken, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, the green chilies, chili powder, cumin and about one cup of the sauce. Mix well and get that chicken all coated nicely.
  8. Pack each shell with the mixture and place open side up in an oven proof casserole dish.
  9. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the shells spreading the sauce over them using a spatula and top with more cheese.
  10. Bake in a pre-heated 350° oven covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15-20 minutes or longer until the cheese is melted.

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