Easy Enchilada Casserole and Blender Enchilada Sauce

I do enjoy myself some enchiladas, but I’m not always (read: hardly ever) in the mood to take the time to make traditional, rolled up tortillas of cheesy goodness. For years I’ve taken the layered-casserole approach (a layer of enchilada sauce, a layer of tortillas, a layer of desired filling, repeat until casserole dish is full then bake. Much faster, and just as tasty.

And THEN, back around Thanksgiving I had another breakthrough. One of my sister-in-laws made an awesome turkey tortilla casserole, and the method of it inspired me to try making easy enchilada casserole even easier! I’ve done it twice now with happy results, so I’m sharing it here. I will still do the layering method on occasion, because it’s not that much more work and it looks pretty, but for those nights where I want dinner in the oven in 15 minutes and out of the oven half an hour later, this is the new Thing.

Image

(The picture isn’t great, sorry. One of the downsides of cooking after the sun has set.)

Easy Enchilada Casserole

  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans enchilada sauce
  • corn or flour tortillas, roughly cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 cups of chopped veggies and/ or cooked, shredded meat
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheese(s) of choice plus more for garnish

1) Pre-heat oven to 375° F.

2) Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl, then transfer to a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle top with extra cheese.

3) Bake 30-45 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and slightly browned on top. Allow to sit 10 or so minutes before serving.

Easy!

Notes:

I made my own enchilada sauce (recipe below).

I used 3 jumbo flour tortillas because it’s what I had. I would guess equivalents would be    6-8 corn tortillas or 4-5 standard flour tortillas.

The casserole pictured has olives, corn, and broccoli added to it. I didn’t have any meat on hand or I would’ve thrown it in too.

I used sharp cheddar cheese and mozzarella (again, because that’s what I had on hand…I know mozzarella isn’t really Mexican flare, but oh well).

My oven seems to cook faster than a lot of recipes call for. I don’t know if it’s the altitude or what, but I automatically shave 10-15 minutes off of recommended cooking times. This casserole is usually done in 20-30 minutes for me.

– – – – – – – –

I’m very particular about my enchilada sauces, which I suspect is why I usually prefer to make own. When I buy it, I like La Victoria’s Verde Enchilada Sauce, but that’s, you know, green and a completely different flavor than your traditional red enchilada sauce.

I often make red enchilada sauce on the stove, but for this casserole I experimented with just using a blender due to having an abundance of canned tomatoes but no tomato paste or puree. It was a little different, but worked well for the task so I’ll definitely be doing it again, methinks!

Blender Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (or whatever kind of tomato you have in the pantry)
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (or fresh equivalent)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 large onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded (optional)

1) Place all ingredients into blender and pulse until smooth.

Done!

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