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Chicken Enchilada Casserole is cheesy and hearty, but actually fairly light!

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Raise your hand if you’re getting just a teeny, tiny bit excited for Fall.

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**Looks left, looks right…slowly raises hand**

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Shhhh! I know! I feel like I’m cheating on summer too!

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I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been loving down the season’s new BBQ recipes, fruity drinks, and outdoor adventures

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but I’m kiiiiind of getting pumped for cozy bowls of Chili, Apple Crisp – make that Caramel Apple Crisp Pasta Bakes, and oodles of Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies.

(Oh, and FOOTBALL!!!)

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(Which means TAILGATING!!!)

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Plus, there’s this neighborhood tree that’s totally shoving it in my face.

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I swear, every summer before the other trees on the street have even fully finished sprouting their Spring leaves, this baby’s already turning yellow. I mean look – it’s not even August yet, and it’s already got a patch of red!

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It kind of makes me paranoid, and is a constant reminder of the looming season that shall not be named.

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But it also kind of gets me excited to make Fall’s finest food – make that food group. Casseroles.

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Yep, I take that too-quickly-turning-tree as a sign that it’s perfectly acceptable to whip up a thick & cheesy dish during the dog days of summer.

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Tonight – Chicken Enchilada Casserole!

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Despite the name, this recipe is actually fairly light, and extremely delicioso. It starts by simmering chicken breasts in a mixture of green chilies and low-sodium chicken broth. When the chicken is cooked, it’s shredded and the cooking liquid is reserved.

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Next, shallots are sautéed with more green chilies until softened, then the kitchen sink gets added in.

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Enchilada sauce, evaporated skim milk, cream cheese, the reserved cooking liquid and a mountain of shredded cheese!

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Which is promptly melted into a luscious, bubbly sauce. Which, I imagine, would make for a pretty terrific chip dip. Personally, I wouldn’t know…

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Next the shredded chicken is added into the sauce and everything is mixed up.

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Finally, layers of corn tortillas and the cheesy chicken mixture are layered high…

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before being topped with crushed tortilla chips and more shredded cheese.

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Into the oven…

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and out!

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Ummmm, yes.

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Cheesy, savory, thick and I LOVE those corn tortillas. Creamy and chewy.

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Aaaaaand, there it is. Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa (aka my salsa crack) is slathered on top. This was awesome!

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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Description

Chicken Enchilada Casserole is cheesey, spicy, hearty, and actually fairly light!

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans chopped green chilies
  • 1lb chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 shallots, minced (or 1/2 onion)
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1-10oz can enchilada sauce
  • 2oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar-jack cheese, divided
  • 9, 6" corn tortillas
  • Tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Bring chicken broth and 1 can green chilies to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt & pepper then cook for 7-8 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Remove to a plate, shred and set aside. Pour cooking liquid into a bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat then add shallots (or onions, if using) and second can green chilies. Sauté until shallots are tender, about 3-4 minutes, then add evaporated milk, enchilada sauce, cream cheese, 1 cup shredded cheese and reserved cooking liquid. Stir until smooth, then add shredded chicken, stir well, and remove skillet from heat.
  3. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray then lay 3 corn tortillas in the bottom and top with 2 cups chicken mixture. Repeat layers two more times. Top with crushed tortilla chips and remaining shredded cheese.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese on top is golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a thirst-quenching Arnold Palmer to enjoy.

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I might be a wee bit excited for the changing seasons, but it’s legit like 1,000 degrees out there. Mama’s gotta stay cool somehow! ;)

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~~~~~

Is it too early to be looking forward to Fall?