Monday, February 23, 2009

Spinach Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This recipe came about after I tasted a similar dish in a local restaurant, except theirs was not a casserole, but actually rolled into enchiladas. I was also influenced greatly by a friend's recipe for spinach dip. And a different recipe I have for chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce. I sort of combined the spinach dip with some chicken for filling and used the sour cream sauce from the other recipe. And I layered it like lasagna to save time instead of rolling it up, but you can always roll it up into enchiladas if your prefer.

Spinach Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 pkg corn tortillas
6 or 7 cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach
2 cans rotel (I use mild)
16 oz cream cheese (I use Philadelphia, reduced fat), softened
2 Tb canola oil
2 small cloves garlic, pressed or diced, or garlic powder (1 tsp for each clove of fresh garlic)
salt to taste
1 tsp cumin
3 Tb flour
16 oz sour cream (I buy reduced fat or fat free)
14-16 oz chicken stock
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican blend cheese

Filling: Thaw spinach in glass dish in microwave. Drain any liquid. Set aside.
Chop, dice, or shred chicken to desired consistency. Set aside.
Puree 2 cans rotel tomatoes. Mix rotel, chicken, spinach, and cream cheese. Add salt, a little garlic powder or diced fresh garlic, and a little cumin to taste. Mix well. Set aside.

Sauce: In a stock pot, heat oil. Saute fresh garlic. Add 1/2 tsp cumin and flour. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Flour should be mixed well with oil and mixture should be bubbly. Add chicken stock. Continue to simmer and stir until mixture starts to thicken. Add sour cream and stir until well mixed. Remove from heat.

Layer as follows:

*for corn tortilla layer, I cut tortillas in half or in strips and overlap a little to completely cover a layer. I also dip tortillas in sauce just before layering.
**for each layer of sauce, I use 1/3 - 1/2 cup for a 6x9 size casserole or 2/3-1 cup for a 9x13 size.

corn tortillas
chicken/spinach filling
corn tortillas
chicken/spinach filling
corn tortillas

Yield: two 9x13 casseroles or four 6x9 casseroles. Sauce can be estimated by adding up the ounces of ingredients to get an idea of yield of sauce. 8 ounces = 1 cup, so the above makes about 4 cups of sauce. I use about 2 cups of sauce for a 9x13 casserole and 1 cup for a 6x9.

I usually bake one immediately and then freeze the rest. For freshly made casseroles, bake for 30 minutes, covered by a tent of aluminum foil, then 10 minutes uncovered at 350 degrees. For frozen, bake for 1 hour, covered by at tent of aluminum foil, then 10-15 minutes uncovered at 350 degrees. You may need to add 15-20 minutes to the frozen bake time for 9x13 sized casseroles.

I usually bake most casseroles at 350 degrees for the times listed above. If I have someplace to go, I sometimes reduce the temperature to 275 or 300 and extend the baking time so it won't overbake while I am gone. With the foil on top to hold moisture in, the baking time is a bit more flexible at lower temperatures, meaning that you can bake it for longer than necessary without burning it.

My 5 yr old and 22 month old will both eat this. My husband loves it too. I hope your family enjoys it.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm... that sounds so good! Another one I will try!