As a general rule, I don’t use the oven in the summer… unless I’m making pie on Pie and Beer Day.

All summer long I crave dinners that use the grill or the stove top.  Yummy grilled chickens, tin foil salmons, light creamy pastas, even the occasional large bowl of summer greens drenched in garlic-y balsamic dressing.  But sometimes you want a casserole.  In June.  When it’s 90 degrees outside.

I would direct you to every other piece of evidence that I’m crazy, but this should convince you.

I was out to dinner with a friend several weeks ago and I got an enchilada so good that it reminded me of my dad’s Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers Enchilada Pie.  But I wanted to make enchiladas on a smaller scale than dad’s Feed-The-Whole-Army-Seriously sized recipes.  And I wanted to make the rolled kind, with cheesy goodness, and homemade sauce (of course).

I set about searching the interwebs for help, and by far the most helpful was this recipe.  I coupled it with my dad’s enchilada pie and came up with something that even had Chad, who was skeptical about a casserole on a hot summer day, asking for seconds.

Cheesy Chicken Smothered Enchiladas

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 Cups Strained Tomato Sauce
  • ½ Cup Water
  • ½ Medium Onion, diced
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 TBS Chipotle Chili Powder (or 2 TBS regular chili powder)
  • 1 TBS Hot Sauce
  • Salt to taste

Enchiladas

  • 3 Cups Chicken, Shredded
  • 3 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 1-2 Jalapeño Chili Peppers (purely preference here), seeded and diced
  • ½ Medium Onion, diced
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 12 Soft Corn Tortillas, Steamed
Directions
  1. (Sauce) In a medium saucepan heat olive oil over medium. Cook onions until soft and translucent, then add garlic. Add tomato sauce, water, and remaining sauce ingredients. Allow sauce to simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  3. (Enchiladas) In a large bowl, combine chicken, 2 cups of cheese, 1 cup of enchilada sauce, chilies, onion, and cilantro.
  4. Steam tortillas. Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 Cup of chicken mixture and roll, placing seam side down in an oven-proof dish.
  5. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and bake for 5-10 more minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

Enchiladas-3

Enchiladas-2

Enchiladas

I used a deeper dish, so I stacked six on top of six with a little sauce and cheese in between.  And it was still amazing.  I actually think this one is kind of hard to screw up!  It’s cheese, it’s chicken, it’s yum-mazing.  I’ll stop now.  Enjoy!

This is a perfect quick and easy dinner recipe for a weeknight, so I’m linking up here and sharing 🙂