Tortilla Chip Casserole

Didn’t someone once say that casseroles are boring?  I guess casseroles used to primarily consist of some kind of leftover meat, mixed vegetables, maybe a pasta, rice or potato and some kind of creamy condensed soup…yeah…boring.  I wouldn’t want to eat that.  Well, unless I’m really hungry.  This Tortilla Chip Casserole is unlike any other casserole you’ve had.  If you are making this for dinner for guests or family, don’t even bother telling them you made a casserole because you’ll have them dreaming of Taco Bell right away.  Instead, tell them you have made the most flavorful, cheesy knock-your-socks-off dish and leave it at that.

Black beans, chicken and tortilla chips are nestled between layers of a spicy, cheesy milk sauce, and topped with enchilada sauce and cheese before being baked until melted and gooey.  Cumin and coriander are added to the milk sauce giving warmth to the already-bold flavors going on in the dish and cream cheese is also melted in making the sauce thick and rich.  Roasted red peppers, which are tucked away in the middle of the layers, add more flavor but sort of disappear in the end result so leave them in or leave them out, it’s up to you.  The best way I can describe this dish to say it’s like eating your favorite Mexican dip for dinner.  It’s creamy, it’s cheesy, it’s hearty, it has chicken, it has chips, it has spice.  It’s everything wrapped up in one little casserole bow.  Don’t let the lengthy list of ingredients deter you:  this will be the best dish you’ve made in a long time.  And no one will be dreaming of Taco Bell.

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The ingredients:

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Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 6 minutes. Add garlic and flour; cook 2 minutes. ­Gradually add milk and stock, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and cream cheese.

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Spread 1/2 cup milk mixture over bottom of a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Layer beans, 1 1/2 cups chicken, and 2 ounces chips. Top with 1/2 cup milk mixture. Layer 1 1/2 cups chicken, bell pepper, and 2 ounces chips; top with 1 cup milk mixture and enchilada sauce.

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Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

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Sprinkle with green onions, if desired.  (I was in such a hurry to eat this, I completely forgot the green onions!)

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Red enchilada sauce

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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