Enchilada Casserole Update – Even Better

I shared Jan’s much requested Enchilada Casserole recipe here last fall. But when I tried to make it, it just wasn’t quite right. It was delicious, but Jan’s was still better. So I went back to the source and picked up a couple of tips (and secrets). So I’m updating the recipe and adding pictures. I actually remembered to get the camera out when I was making it the other day.

Here’s the new version of the recipe. If you haven’t tried it – put it on your grocery list. Your family will thank you! The batch in the photos is a double batch. It reheats wonderfully.

Jan’s Enchilada Casserole

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion (chopped)

1 small can green chilis (chopped)

1 can medium-flavor enchilada sauce

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 soup can of milk

1/2 bag tortilla chips (crushed)

Grated mild cheese (cheddar or Colby Jack)

1/8 to ¼ teaspoon chili powder

1/8 to ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Brown ground beef with onion. Drain grease. Add in and stir together: enchilada sauce, green chilis, soups, and milk.

In a large casserole dish or Dutch oven, layer tortilla chips, meat mixture, then cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350 until heated through. Time needed will depend on size of dish and depth of layers. Generally takes at least 45 minutes. It’s good to get the casserole bubbly hot and the cheese browning.

Notes: Can be made with a large can of green chilis. Recipe can be doubled for large groups.

We don’t usually use brand-names in recipes, so feel free to use any brands you like, but we prefer Old El Paso Medium Enchilada Sauce and Doritos chips in this dish.

Casserole reheats nicely in the microwave.

This casserole is not very spicy. For more heat, add some diced jalapeños or some hot pepper sauce.

If you love quick and easy Mexican food, check out 25 Quick & Easy Quesadilla Recipes. It’s full of delicious ideas and only 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, or Kobo.

 

25 Quick & Easy Quesadillas Featured at Parlezmoiblog!

Lakehouse Publishing’s Ann Chambers and her cookbook 25 Quick and Easy Quesadilla Recipes was featured Saturday at author Kathleeen Valentine’s Parlezmoiblog! You can see the post here: http://www.parlezmoiblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/25-quick-easy-quesadilla-recipes-by-ann.html#links

If you don’t want to click thru, here’s the post:

25 Quick & Easy Quesadilla Recipes by Ann Chambers

This week I am beginning a new feature on this blog. Every Saturday I’ll feature a guest blogger who is the author of a book on cooking, crafting, home & garden, or wellness. I’m very pleased to start this series with a post from the fabulous Ann Chambers:
I’ve been making cheese quesadillas for years for my sons. They became a staple around my house because it was quick, hot, and simple food that my children loved. Then my children grew up and moved out and quesadillas slid off the menu plan.
 
To keep the mess to a minimum, I tend to pre-cook filling items that need it in the heavy skillet I use for cooking the quesadillas. I dump the filling ingredients into a dishwasher safe leftover container so I can just slap the lid on it and toss it into the refrigerator if I don’t use it all.
In the meantime, I had slowly gained weight. Last summer I realized that I weighed more than I did when I had my full-term twins! Something had to give and I discovered the HCG diet. For those who don’t know, the HCG diet is a very low calorie diet that is combined with special drops or shots for rapid weight loss. The diet is super strict. After the HCG diet, participants must follow a low-carbohydrate diet for a few weeks as transition. I didn’t know anything about low carb. After a couple of bacon-and-cheese filled days, I had to learn a little about it. I love bacon a ridiculous amount, but even I can’t live on it forever.
 
A plate of hot, fresh quesadillas with homemade salsa for dipping.
And that’s when I thought of quesadillas! The hard part of low carb is the restriction on breads. But “carb-balanced” tortillas are available in any grocery store or market these days. So I put quesadillas back on the menu – but not just boring old cheese ones. I started experimenting and came up with lots of different flavors.
You can put anything in a quesadilla – it doesn’t have to be Mexican food. I created several tasty Italian flavor quesadillas. Then Greek. Then assorted American flavors.
The basic structure of a quesadilla requires 2 tortillas for the exterior plus cheese to melt and hold the quesadilla together. And whatever fillings and spices you care to add. It’s kind of a blank slate. I experimented with assorted cheeses, meats, thin sliced vegetables, spices and more. A few of the recipes were shared by friends. It’s an extremely flexible food once you stop thinking of it as a Mexican appetizer.
The quesadillas deliver hot and delicious dinners in short order with only one dirty skillet and a cutting board in the kitchen. It’s an awesome addition to my list of quick items for a week night meal. By using the smallest tortillas, I can easily cook each person his very own quesadilla with just what he likes in it. Don’t like onions? No problem. One wants mushrooms but the next won’t eat them? Okay.
I credit the frequent quesadilla dinners with part of ease I’ve had in keeping off the weight. I think a low-carb night or two is a great addition to the food selection at my house.
When I put the book together, I included my 25 favorite quesadillas and then added a few sauces that go with them. I made sure to include my favorite homemade salsa and guacamole because almost nothing beats great salsa. It’s naturally low in calories and basically fat free yet so delicious.
It’s my hope that the quesadillas can help other busy moms add quick and delicious options to their weekly menus. I’m still so very glad I did.
About the Author:
Ann Chambers is a journalist, author, and long-time foodie. She worked in a variety of restaurants as a teen and college student, developing an interest in food and cooking. Semi-retired after 20 years working full time as a reporter, editor, and researcher, she is now busy experimenting in the kitchen and tending the garden. Over the past year she has compiled 6 new e-cookbooks, including 25 Quic