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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 27, 2010
replacing chicken with turkey.

nansmi's Review

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

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.