HOWARD L. PUCKETT
Yield
8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1 tablespoon salsa)

This hearty casserole features favorite Mexican flavors like chiles, cumin, coriander, and of course–lots of cheese! Serve with refried beans or Spanish rice for a complete meal.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet; let cool. Shred chicken with 2 forks; set aside.

Step 3

Recoat skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add shredded chicken, beer, red pepper, and tomatoes; cook 10 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Remove from heat. Reserve 1 tablespoon green onions and 1 tablespoon olives for garnish. Stir remaining green onions, remaining olives, and chiles into chicken mixture; set aside.

Step 4

Combine flour, salt, cumin, and coriander in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Place over medium heat; cook 7 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg whites, stirring constantly with whisk. Set aside.

Step 5

Place cheeses in a bowl; toss well. Set aside.

Step 6

Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in bottom of a 2 1/2-quart round casserole or soufflé dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortilla halves over sauce; top with 2 cups chicken mixture, 1/2 cup white sauce, and 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with sauce. Set remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture aside.

Step 7

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture, reserved green onions, and reserved olives; bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Step 8

NOTE: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time; cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight, then bake at 350º for 1 hours or until bubbly. Or freeze casserole, thaw in refrigerator 24 hours, then bake for 1 hour or until thoroughly heated.

Ratings & Reviews

FarmerD's Review

Lambent
March 09, 2014
I've made this a number of times from a Cooking Light recipe book, liking it very well (as have others to whom I've served it). Reading the other reviews, I'd have to agree that preparing it took a bit longer than we'd all like and kids are not as appreciative of it as are the grownups. Still, it's really good, so I will make it again and again. Just might need to remember it's better suited to when I have more prep. time available.

sharilou's Review

jmckelley
January 05, 2012
based on previous reviews, I changed the recipe some....used red chili sauce instead of the white sauce (and added the spices to the chicken mixture), used 1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of the breast meat, canned, diced tomatoes, sharp cheddar cheese only (and probably a bit more than what the recipe called for), and a dozen thick corn tortillas. Drank the beer. My husband and I both loved this recipe!!!! served with a simple salad.....this is definitely a do over

shahira's Review

Sherry
March 11, 2012
I have made it over the years and did need to add more flavor to the chicken: cumin, coriander and paprika. Can see subbing the tomatoes for a good fire roasted salsa. A great recipe for a light "bechamel sauce" (add nutmeg)

amarie76's Review

auntcy1
August 03, 2011
I've made this a few times and it always goes over pretty well. Though sometimes i think the chicken can be a little bland. I seem to always end up adding way more salt than I feel comfortable adding and it still comes out a little bland tasting. HOWEVER, everyone says they like it a lot. I do feel like it's expensive to make and kind of labor intensive, more of a Sunday afternoon type meal because it's always good to give it time to rest. I made it after work one evening and it was finally done around 8:45 p.m. and everyone was so hungry they ate it super hot and it didn't seem to go over as well. On a weeknight, I find it easier to buy everything the day before or have it ready to go right when I get home. This is one of those recipes, too, that is better the next day.

halflit's Review

BiteSize
May 09, 2011
Not sure how anyone could say it didn't have flavor --- it was terrific!!! i cooked the tomato mixture a little longer than the recipe called for, as it had alot of liquid. i also used more tortillas, because i used a 9 x 13 pan. it IS time consuming - next time i will probably make two since i'm going through the trouble, and freeze one. we really loved it!

EileenNJ's Review

nansmi
April 12, 2011
I've been making this for years--I also use skim milk. I think it's worth the time it takes since it tastes great!

tarabb's Review

tarabb
February 04, 2011
I have been making this recipe since it was first published in 2006. It is an awesome dish. A bit time consuming to make but overall well worth the time. Usually a weekend meal with leftovers for the week.

TheBeginner's Review

sharilou
November 27, 2010
replacing chicken with turkey.

nansmi's Review

Maverick23
April 05, 2010
I made this for my grandkids, and they didn't like it. The adults did, but it did come out a little bit runny. I would make again, but use maybe 10 or 12 tortillas and cook the sauce a bit longer. The tomato sauce did look a little runny, but I thought it would bake off. It's a bit on the bland side, so for the adults we just added hot salsa. I also used frozen chicken strips which I baked before and seasoned with Mrs. Dash spicy seasoning, so that saved some time.

BiteSize's Review

shahira
December 17, 2009
I did not like this recipe at all, but my boyfriend asked for seconds! This reminds me of slop my mom used to make. To me it tastes like a Mexican casserole from the 1950s. Nothing interesting. It took WAY too long to make. If you don't like casseroles than don't try this recipe.