Search This Blog

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wednesday Night Dinners: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I was craving Mexican food this week and thought enchiladas would make a yummy Wednesday night dinner for Awana.  Of course, traditional enchiladas are not very practical for making and serving in large quantity so I decided to create an enchilada style casserole—something you might also call a Mexican lasagna.  The costs were a little higher this week but still well under a dollar a serving, so I’m pretty happy with that.  The casserole came out well and once again I served salad and oranges alongside with milk or apple juice to drink. 

I noticed when shopping this week that Fred Meyer had their 60oz packs of frozen chicken breast on sale for $8.48 so I went that route for the meat.  I bought two packs.

I bought everything else from Winco and that included: 3 packages of Neufchatel Cheese (a lighter cream cheese),
five packages of taco seasoning,
4 large cans of red enchilada sauce, 2 large containers of sourcream, 3 containers of guacamole, a large container of mild salsa, 8 cans of non-fat refried beans,
2 lb bag of shredded Mexican cheese blend, a package of 80 corn tortillas, two 16 serving bags of iceberg salad mix, 1 large bag of spinach, 10 lbs of oranges, 5 cans of frozen apple juice. 

I also bought some "Fruit Fresh" this trip so I won't be using mine anymore when I have apples or pears to cut up ahead of time (it stops the fruit from turning brown).  All together, I spent $80.88 this week.

I precooked the chicken by dumping it all into a pot with the taco seasoning and Neufchatel cheese.  I let this cook on low for several hours, stirring occasionally, until I had a lovely creamy mixture of seasoned chicken.

Wednesday morning I headed up to the church with my prepared chicken and the rest of the ingredients to assemble the casserole.  I started by pouring some enchilada sauce in the bottom of my two pans, which had been generously sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  And then I added a layer of the chicken mixture on top.

I covered the chicken layer with tortillas, some of which I cut in half or quarters to make sure I had a nice even covering.

I put another coating of enchilada sauce over these.

I combined all the refried beans with a little bit of taco seasoning I had on hand from previous recipes.  You can skip this step as there is plenty of spice in the casserole already.
I spread the beans evenly over the tortillas/enchilada sauce and added another layer of tortillas.
Finally, I topped this last layer of tortillas with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.  Covered them with some plastic wrap and packed them in the fridge until evening.

About an hour before serving, I put the casseroles in a 350 degree oven and let them bake while I prepared the salad mixes, cut the oranges and got all the condiments out and ready.

It's hard to tell from the pictures but one pan is slightly larger than the other.  I pre-cut the casserole so I would know this time exactly how many servings I had (I usually take a best estimate based on how many we served, how much is left over, how much I think the pan holds, etc.).  I got 50 servings out of the large pan and 40 out of the smaller pan, making a total of 90 servings.  

 The total for this week is $.90 a serving.  Again, that includes the salad, oranges and beverages, too.  Pretty economical. 

Once, again, I added up all the calories in the ingredients I used and divided those by 90 as well.  This recipe came out to be 165 calories a serving.  Of course, once you start adding sour cream and guacamole the calorie count can quickly climb.

It would be very easy to make in a smaller family size portion as well.  Just take some left over chicken and mix it with a little taco seasoning and a few tablespoons of cream cheese.  Follow the same layering directions with enchilada sauce, tortillas and beans.  Bake for 20-30 minutes and enjoy! 

No comments:

Post a Comment