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There are some things that I’m just too lazy for, and heating up tortillas, stuffing them and then rolling up enough enchiladas to fill up my fireman is just one of those things.  In my experience, a nice enchilada casserole is just as tasty as the real thing for a good week night dinner.  It’s also a great make ahead then bake dish for busy days.  Add some Spanish rice, and you can easily feed your loved ones a great Tex-Mex meal even if they have Texas-sized appetites!  Because of all those reasons, a smattering of different enchilada casserole variations have become a staple in my house.

This enchilada casserole version came from some basic ingredients that I usually have in my pantry combined with my need to get some things out of the freezer.  It’s scary in there, the extreme couponer in me can’t help stocking up when the getting is good!

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Enchilada Verde Turkey Casserole –served with Spanish rice

Serves 4-6 – cost approx $.98 per serving, including rice

Ingredients

Filling / Assemblage

  • 2 cups shredded turkey or chicken – I froze up left over Thanksgiving turkey pickin’s in 12 oz portions ($.75)
  • 2-3 cups cooked pinto beans ($.50)
  • 1 onion, small dice – saute or leave raw depending on your taste ($.10)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced – saute with the onions or leave raw depending on your taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels ($.25)
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs, minced – I used cilantro and scallions ($.20)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese ($1.25)
  • about 20 corn tortillas ($.55)

Sauce

  • 2 Tbs bacon grease, lard or vegetable oil – hey, it’s Tex Mex, don’t begrudge me my animal fat…
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk or half and half ($.19)
  • 1 cup turkey or chicken stock
  • 1/2 – 1 cup salsa verde – I used some spicy tomatillo salsa that I made and canned this summer, use as much or as little as suits your spicy tolerance. ($.50)

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Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Coat a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with spray grease, butter or bacon grease.

To make the filling, combine the shredded turkey, beans, veggies and herbs.  Save the cheese and tortillas for the assembly.

To make the sauce, melt the fat then whisk in the flour.  Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes to make a simple roux.  Whisk in the dairy of your choosing and stock.  Bring up to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Mix in the salsa verde.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if your salsa is mild or not too salty, you may need to add some salt to your enchilada sauce.

To assemble the masterpiece, begin by putting down a layer of tortillas, then a cup or so of filling and a small handful of cheese; repeat until all filling is used up.  (I made three layers)

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For the final layer, put down layer of tortillas then sprinkle with some cheese.  Pour the sauce over the top and let it ooze down into the sides of the casserole.

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Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and slightly golden brown.

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