Chicken enchilada lasagna recipe

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Enchilada lasagna is Mexican dish that looks like Italian lasagna. Instead of the pasta (that is used in Italian lasagna), corn tortillas are used in this dish. The filling is made of chicken, bell peppers and spring onions, flavored with typical Mexican spices such as cumin, paprica and oregano. The ingredients are topped with shredded cheese and a cheese bechamel (a flour based sauce flavored with cheese). The layer of ingredients is repeated once more and the dish is cooked in the oven for about an hour. The resulting dish is delicious. It has the look of Italian lasagna but tastes like enchiladas. Serve with sour cream and salsa for a complete dish.
Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 60 minutes, Serves: 6 - 8 


For the cheese sauce
6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp plain flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound shredded jack or mild cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste

For the enchilada lasagna
Vegetable oil (for cooking the tortillas)
18 corn (8-9 inch in diameter) tortillas
4 cups cooked chicken (shredded or cubed) (see recipe below)
6 red and/or green bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 cup chopped green onions

3/4 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp paprica powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 chili powder (or adjust quantity to taste)

3 cups shredded jack or mild cheddar cheese

1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
4 oz Queso anejo or Parmesan cheese, shredded

For serving
Sour cream
Pico de Gallo or salsa


Prepare the cheese sauce
In a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for about one minute. Add in the milk, a little at a time, while whisking, until combined with the flour. Add the chicken stock, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to minimum and simmer for aout 10 minutes, stirring occationally, until the sauce is thick. Add the shredded jack or cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Remove from the heat, season with salt and black pepper, stir, cover and set aside.

Cook the tortillas
Place a heavy skillet over high heat. When hot, add 1/2 a teaspoon of vegetable oil and cook a tortilla for a minute, until soft, turning midway. Cook remaining tortillas the same way, using 1/2 a teaspoon of oil every time. Drain cooked tortillas on paper towels and stack on a plate. When finished cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Assemble the enchiladas
Lightly grease a 9-by 13-inch casserole dish.

In a bowl, add the cubed chicken, bell peppers, green onions, cumin, paprica, oregano and chili powder and stir well to combine.

Pour 1 cup of the cheese sauce in the casserole dish and spread evenly using a spoon until the bottom of the dish is evenly covered. Top the sauce with 6 tortillas, spreading them evenly, making sure that the bottom of the dish is completely covered.

Spread half of the chicken and pepper mixture on top of the tortillas.

Top with 1 cup of the shredded cheese, then pour 1 1/2 cups of the cheese sauce on top.

Continue with the second layer by placing 6 more tortillas, then the chicken mixture, 1 more cup of cheese and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese sauce.

To finish the lasagna, cover with the remaining 6 tortillas. Pour over the remaining cheese sauce, top with the tomatoes, coriander leaves and remaining 1 cup of grated cheese. Finish by sprinkling the Queso anejo or Parmesan cheese evenly on top.

Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for about 15 minutes more, or until the cheese is bubbly and light golden brown on top.

Serve hot with sour cream and/or salsa or Pico de gallo.

Notes and tips

To prepare the bell peppers, roast them over high heat until the skin turns black. Put them in a plastic bag, while hot, and seal the bag. Let it sit for 1 minute. (This will make the peppers sweat and their skin will therefore become easier to remove). Remove them from the bag and peel of the skin. Slice in half, get rid of the seeds and slice in thin, long stripes.

Cooked chicken recipe

2 lb of chicken breast
2 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 onion, halved

In a cooking pot add the chicken and remaining ingredients and cover with water. Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from the broth and let cool. When cool enough to handle, shred using your hands or cut in 1/2 inch cubes. Place shredded or cubed chicken in a bowl and sprincle with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the broth.

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