Honey Lime Chicken Enchilada Casserole

So, I’ve spent all day trying to think of a funny and/or creative into to this post.  And I’ve miserably failed so far. I think I’m going to claim writer’s block and have some chocolate to make myself feel better.

Despite the lack of introduction for this post, but this dish is just so good that I had to share it anyway. I originally found this recipe for Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas over at The Well-Fed Newlyweds and Big Man and I absolutely loved it! The flavors are so bright and unique and it’s a nice change from normal enchiladas with red sauce. I love how the sweet honey and gooey cheese balance the zing from the lime juice and chili powder. However, rolling the individual enchiladas was a little time consuming (and messy) and I was never able to serve them out of the pan without at least one unrolling so I decided to just make a casserole version instead. It’s layers of yumminess! After playing around with the ingredient amounts and casserole assembly, I finally came up with the perfect way to get these awesome flavors into an easy to make and serve form. That leaves just enough time to stir up a batch of margaritas to enjoy as well!

Honey Lime Chicken Enchilada Casserole (Adapted from The Well-Fed Newlyweds)

4 tbs. honey
3-1/2 tbs. lime juice (I use those little green plastic “juice grenades” you keep in the fridge, but you can use real limes)
2/3 tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1-1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I just roast chicken breasts in the oven, but you could also shred a rotisserie chicken to make it even easier)
6-7 flour tortillas, snack size (6 inch diameter)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10 oz. green enchilada sauce
3/4 cup half and half

In a bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic powder. Add in the shredded chicken and stir thoroughly to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To assemble the casserole, first cut the tortillas in half. Then, remove the chicken from the marinade and stir the enchilada sauce and half and half into the remaining marinade. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8×8 square with cooking spray (or lightly grease). Add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce mixture and turn the pan so the sauce coats the bottom. Layer in 4 tortillas halves, with the cut sides against the pan walls and the curved sides toward the middle, as shown. If desired, you can add another tortillas half at the center to cover the gap.

Distribute half of the shredded chicken over the tortillas. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese, and spoon 1/3 of the sauce mixture evenly over the top.

Repeat with another layer of tortillas, the rest of the chicken, and another 1/3 of the cheese and sauce.

Add the last layer of tortillas. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. Let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting to make serving easier.

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