Looking for a quick alternative to traditional, rolled enchiladas, something perfect for meatless Mondays? This Chile and Cheese Enchilada Casserole comes together simply for a quick and delicious meal.
Poblano Chile Enchildas are one of our favorite meals. Spicy, roasted poblano chiles, wrapped in homemade corn tortillas and topped with a luscious salsa verde crema? What’s not to love?!
Sometimes one just doesn’t have the time to futz in the kitchen, and poblano chile enchiladas are a little time intensive. Lucky for you and me, there’s an easy cheat that just as tasty. This Chile Cheese Enchilada Casserole alternative is the result of a batch of beautiful, roasted poblano chiles but no mojo to make the enchiladas. So, I cheated.
Chile Cheese Enchilada Casserole
I chopped the chiles, chopped some corn tortillas, and mixed those up with the shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa verde that I usually use. I topped it all off with some paprika and a fresh herb garnish. Result? Delicious dinner in a fraction of the time.
While it doesn’t have all the visual appeal of a rolled enchilada, it certainly carried the tummy appeal. Yes, yes, it did. Make this Chile Cheese Enchilada Casserole next time you’re looking for an awesome dinner with minimal work.
Are enchiladas made with corn or flour tortillas?
Traditionally, enchiladas are made with corn tortillas and are what I prefer.
I know lots of folks enjoy flour tortilla enchiladas. I’m not a fan of the gummy texture, but if that’s what you like, go for it! If you are using large flour tortillas, you will less than the number of tortillas called for in the recipe.
Can I make enchiladas ahead of time?
Absolutely! That’s what I love about this recipe. Once you have assembled the recipe, cover the pan well and pop it in the freezer. It’s one of my strategies for making my favorite meals freezer friendly.
Then when ready to bake, simply thaw in the refrigerator and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Easy peasy. If you’re in a pinch, you can bake it from frozen, just cook it longer to avoid cold spots.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. It’s a great way to save money on your groceries without clipping a single coupon. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the poblano chiles is key. My husband will randomly text me pictures from the produce department when he finds a good batch at a great price. Look for shiny, blemish-free chiles and load up when you see them.
- Roast and freeze your chiles in advance. This dish comes together quickly if you have this step already taken care of.
Tools I use to make it EASY:
- plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
- stainless steel mixing bowl – I’m not sure you have too many of these.
- wire whisk – Be sure to get one with a closed barrel so dishwater doesn’t get stuck in its innards and drip into your food. Ask me how I know.
- rubber spatula – I have two of these; I love them so much.
- 9×13 baking dish or gratin dishes
- box grater or food processor for cheese
Chile Cheese Enchilada Casserole
- 1 ½ cup sour cream
- 12 oz salsa verde
- 10 to 12 corn tortillas cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 oz cheddar cheese (shredded) (2 cups)
- 3 poblano chile roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
- ⅛ teaspoon paprika
- parsley (chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 350 °. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream and salsa verde. Add the tortillas, cheese, and chiles. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the paprika over the top.
- At this point the dish can be covered well and frozen. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.
I found the easiest and quickest way for me to cut up corn tortillas is with a pizza cutter. Stack them 4 or 5 high and cut into strips and then turn 90 degrees and cut the other way to make squares.
Great strategy, Janet. Thanks for sharing!
Can I add chicken or ground beef to this. If so does it change the cooking times? Not looking to sub, we love chilies
I often add chicken. I’ve never done ground beef, but I’d be interested to hear how it goes. You shouldn’t have to adjust the baking time. As long as it’s hot and bubbly, you’re good to go.
Can you substitute the poblano chilies with anything else?
Yes. You can use a can of black beans (rinsed) or 2 cups of cooked chicken.
Did anyone end up trying this as a freezer meal and have it turn out? It looks AMAZING!
Yes, you can freeze this.
This was a big hit tonight! Super easy, tasty, and it worked out well for making a version with corn tortillas for myself and one with crumbled up rice chips for my husband (who can’t have corn). Brown rice tortillas are horrendous to roll, so having a different way to approach this recipe is awesome!
@Sara, so glad you liked it! I love the modifications you used! It would be good with brown rice instead of chips or tortillas, too.
Would this be ok to freeze with the sour cream in it?
@Mary, I tested it once with black beans and it was a fail. I need to try it again w/o the beans to see if the beans were the problem.
Michelle @ willingcook.com
I’m linking up for the first time this week. Glad to have found this community and can’t wait to browse the other good eats. I’m sharing my easy and delicious BBQ Ribs recipe. Thanks for the opportunity!
I’ve never worked with poblano chiles before. Is there another kind of pepper that you think would work well with this in terms of heat/flavor, or do I just need to learn the ways of the poblano? 🙂
@Becky, Um, yes, you need to learn the ways of the poblano. It’s easy, though: https://goodcheapeats.com/2010/05/how-to-roast-chiles/
Poblanos are the very best thing–I sometimes dice them without going through all of the work of roasting and peeling, and use them just like bell peppers. The heat can vary, so taste one in order to decide how much to use in a recipe. They can range from bell pepper heat all the way up to mild jalapeno, although most of the time they quite gentle, about the same heat as Anaheims–but more flavor. They are my favorite general cooking chili and are in my supermarket basket most weeks.
They do vary in heat a lot! Thanks for pointing that out.
Love this idea! Would it be a good freezer meal?
@Michelle, I tested it once with black beans and it was a fail. I need to try it again w/o the beans to see if the beans were the problem.
Morsels of Life
Thanks for hosting – I’m always a fan of increasing efficiency! I’m linking up with some Carrot Craisin Salad. Hope you enjoy!
Thank you for hosting. This week I shared my pepperoni pizza puffs. I’m making them again this weekend but using bacon instead.
Barb @ A Life in Balance
I love fast and easy dinners!
that sounds amazing!!!