My Baked Enchilada Stack is based on a recipe that is originally from the 1970s era. It’s a wonderful “pie” of stacked tortillas filled in between with chopped or shredded cooked chicken, sour cream, shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, sliced scallions, cumin powder, chili powder, and green chiles. It’s a slightly different way to enjoy the taste of enchiladas.
I still have the original recipe page pull-out from the magazine (see below) although I’m not sure of its origin and in which magazine it was published. My adapted version of the original Baked Enchilada Stack been a favorite of mine for years and years. It’s similar to the “flat enchiladas” in New Mexican cuisine.
Several times, I’ve modified the recipe from a “cake-like” presentation on a baking sheet to a more casserole-like version in a baking dish. In the baking dish, the stack is smothered in sauce so it stays succulent and is more like a casserole. The baking sheet version is drier and can be easily cut into wedges and smothered with sauce. You can bake it either way. Just put the tortillas and filling and sauce into a baking dish or place everything on top of a baking sheet.
Make your own enchilada sauce, or you can use my Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce recipe. Or you can purchase a commercial enchilada sauce. Trader Joe’s makes a good enchilada sauce, and you can find others such as Old El Paso brand at your local grocery store. If you’re lucky enough to have a Mexican grocery in your area, you can head over there and select some good canned sauces. I like to buy Hatch enchilada sauce at Whole Foods Markets when I don’t make my own.
Decide whether you would like to use soft corn tortillas or flour tortillas. The corn tortillas have a different texture and are drier and more crumbly than the flour tortillas. The flour tortillas will usually make a “softer” and wetter enchilada stack. I usually use the flour tortillas which hold up better in the baking sheet version.
You will want to use a baking dish that has high sides, at least as high as your enchilada stack. Or you can use a regular baking sheet that has been covered in foil to hold in the sauce and then lined in a piece of parchment paper for ease of removal from the pan. I usually use the baking sheet although I have used the baking dish as well.
Start out with 6 tortillas. I use the soft taco sized flour tortillas or the small corn tortillas which are about 6 inches in diameter. You can use the burrito-sized flour tortillas or larger corn tortillas if you are feeding a larger crowd. Your baking time will be a bit longer with the larger tortillas, and you’ll want to double the filling.
For the chicken filling, chop or shred some cooked or poached chicken breast. Add some sliced scallions.
Add some canned green chiles.
Add some shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses and some ground cumin and ground chili powder. And finally add some sour cream.
Stir together the chicken mixture and set aside.
Add some enchilada sauce to the bottom of your greased baking pan. If using a baking sheet, cover the baking sheet with foil and then a piece of parchment paper for easy removal of the enchilada stack.
Take a flour tortilla and place it on top of the enchilada sauce or the parchment paper. Spread some chicken filling over the tortilla. Drizzle a little enchilada sauce over it.
Top with another tortilla. Repeat until you have used a total of 6 tortillas with the last one topping the last filling layer.
Pour some enchilada sauce over the enchilada stack. Reserve some sauce for serving.
Top with a bit more of the shredded cheeses.
Remove the enchilada stack and let cool for a few minutes.
Slice the enchilada stack into pie wedges and plate. Drizzle some enchilada sauce around the enchilada stack wedges. Serve the baked enchilada stack with a side of refried beans and some sour cream or Mexican crema.
Try it with a green chile-based sauce for a different flavor.
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Baked Enchilada Stack
6 fajita-sized flour tortillas
2 c cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped
1/4 c canned chopped green chiles
2 c shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, divided, reserving 1/2 c for topping
1/4 c sliced scallions, whites and green tops
1 T cumin
2 T chili powder
1 c sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then add a sheet of parchment paper. Or, spray a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Combine the chopped chicken with the green chiles, shredded cheeses (reserving 1/2 cup), sliced scallions, cumin, chili powder and sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt). Stir until well combined and set aside.
4. Add a flour tortilla to the baking sheet. If using a baking dish, put a little bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish before adding the flour tortilla.
5. Spread a fifth of the chicken filling mixture onto the flour tortilla.
6. Drizzle the chicken filling with some enchilada sauce and top with another tortilla.
7. Repeat with the same amount of chicken filling, sauce, and tortillas until you have finished with a plain tortilla on top.
8. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top tortilla saving some sauce for serving. Heat the reserved sauce in a saucepan and keep warm until serving.
9. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top of the enchilada stack.
10. Bake the enchilada stack for 20 minutes or until the top is bubbly and the interior is hot.
11. Remove the enchilada stack from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. If you used a baking sheet, you will be able to slice the enchilada stack into portions. Otherwise, you can scoop or lift out portions of the “casserole style” enchilada stack in the baking dish.
12. Plate the enchilada stack wedges. Drizzle some of the warmed reserved enchilada sauce around the wedges if desired or serve without sauce.
Serves 4 – 8 as a main course depending on the size of your tortillas and the amount of filling. Slice into wedges. Serve with the additional sauce draped over each slice. Offer with a side of refried beans with melty cheese, or perhaps a side of guacamole or sour cream for topping.
The Food Lover’s Note: The original recipe called for frying the tortillas in oil prior to using them. For a healthier version, I use plain flour tortillas without frying them at all.
Variations: Sometimes, I will assemble the enchilada stack on a cutting board and then cut it in half or into wedges before topping with sauce to bake separately in different baking dishes as you see in the photos. Use shredded pork or beef instead of chicken. Seasoned ground beef, chicken, or turkey can work as well. Try my pork carnitas instead of the chicken. You could add some refried beans or black beans for one or more of the filling layers, or to make the dish more “vegetarian.” Use minced Vidalia onion instead of the scallions. Lighten up the recipe by using less cheese or nonfat cheese. You can also use plain Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream. Make my Red Enchilada Sauce for a lower calorie version to most commercial enchilada sauces. Try a green chile enchilada sauce instead of a red one. Garnish with chopped ripe tomatoes and sliced black olives. Add chopped cilantro if you are a fan.
Order some Hatch enchilada sauce from Amazon.com and have it shipped to your door!
Or order some Old El Paso enchilada sauce:
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