Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Green Chile and Chicken Mock Enchilada Casserole (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Green Chile and Chicken Mock Enchilada Casserole
This Green Chile and Chicken Mock Enchilada Casserole has all the flavors you love in green chile chicken enchiladas, minus the carbs!

This new recipe for Green Chile and Chicken Mock Enchilada Casserole is not only perfect for  Daily Phase One Recipes, but the recipe is also Low-Carb and Gluten-Free, and I have a feeling this one is going to have a lot of fans.  To make this suitable for Phase One, I replaced the tortillas with layers of mild roasted green chiles from a can, and also used Hatch Gluten Free Green Chile Enchilada sauce, a brand new product I found at my store.  When I tested the recipe with Jake, we loved the flavors, and I shared some with my sister Pam and everyone in her family loved it too.  I've already made this twice in a week; if you like that spicy green chile flavor, make sure you give this one a try!

(You can see all the recipes from the month by clicking Daily Phase One Recipes.  Check after the recipe for Phase One Flashbacks from this day in 2012 and 2013.)

Trim four boneless, skinless chicken breasts and then cut each one in half lengthwise.

Put the chicken breasts in a smallish pan, cover with water, and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through.

Here's an iPhone photo of the Gluten Free Hatch Chicken Enchilada Sauce that partly inspired this recipe.  If you can't find this, another gluten-free brand is La Victoria.  You can use mild or medium enchilada sauce, but if you don't like a lot of heat or you're cooking for kids I would use mild.

Simmer the green chile enchilada sauce until it's thickened and reduced to 2 cups.

As soon as the chicken is done, drain it in a colander and then remove to a cutting board to cool.

Put the colander back into the sink and drain the can of whole roasted green chiles.

Then use your fingers to split each green chile and remove the seeds, making them into two equal piles so you can make two layers of chiles in the casserole.

When it's cool enough to handle, shred the chicken apart into bite-sized pieces.

When the enchilada sauce has reduced to 2 cups, turn off the heat and then whisk in the cream cheese and sour cream.

Spray a crockery or glass baking dish with non-stick spray and make a layer of green chiles.

Make a layer of chicken over the green chiles.

Spread half the sauce over the chicken.

And sprinkle half the cheese over the sauce.

Make another layer each of whole roasted green chiles, chicken, sauce, and cheese.

Bake uncovered at 375F/190C until the casserole is bubbling and the cheese on top is getting browned.  Let cool about 5 minutes, then cut and eat while it's hot.  This will keep in the fridge for several days and can be reheated in the microwave, and it also freezes well.


Green Chile and Chicken Mock Enchilada Casserole
(Makes 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise into two pieces
2 cans (15 oz.) mild or medium green chile enchilada sauce (If you need gluten-free, look for Hatch Gluten Free or La Victoria brand. I found Green Chile Enchilada Sauce at Amazon.com, but on the day I checked they didn't have the gluten-free variety yet.)
Whole Green Chilies, 27-Ounce Can
(I found Hatch Whole Green Chilies, 27-Ounce can at Amazon.com, but they are more expensive that way.)
4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 cups grated low-fat mozzarella

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375F/190 C.  Spray a 9-inch x 13-inch casserole dish with non-stick spray.  (I recommend using a glass or crockery casserole dish; any size that is close to that will work.)

Trim visible fat and other undesirable parts from chicken breasts and cut each one in half lengthwise.  Put chicken into a small shallow pan, cover with water, and simmer over low heat until the chicken is done, about 15 minutes.  Drain chicken into a colander in the sink (you can rinse if there's a lot of scum.)  Remove to cutting board to cool.

Put the enchilada sauce into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sauce has thickened and reduced to 2 cups, about 20 minutes.  (I'm not that good at eyeballing it, so I put it in a measuring cup to measure when I think it's getting close.)  Turn off the heat and stir in the cream cheese and sour cream.

After you remove the chicken, drain the can of whole green chiles into the colander and let them drain for a few minutes.  Then one at a time, use your fingers to split the chiles open and remove the seeds, piling them into two piles so you can make two equal layers in the casserole.  (If chiles still seem wet, you can blot them with a paper towel, but I didn't need to do that.)

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred apart into bite-sized pieces.

Layer half the green chiles into the bottom of the casserole dish, arranging them so the whole surface is covered as much as you can.  Over that make a layer of half the chicken, 1 1/2 cups of the sauce, and 1 cup of the grated cheese.  Make another layer each of green chiles, chicken, sauce, and cheese.

Bake uncovered until the casserole is bubbling and cheese is melted and browning on top, about 40 minutes.  Let sit about 5 minutes before cutting.  Serve hot.

This will keep in the fridge for several days and can be reheated in the microwave, and also freezes well.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Eliminating the tortillas and adding low-glycemic roasted green chiles makes this a perfect dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  Be sure to use low-fat cream cheese, sour cream, and cheese if you're making this for South Beach. 

Phase One Flashbacks:  
January 28, 2012:  Kalyn's Perfect Taco Salad

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Dishes with Green Chiles:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Green Chile Chicken ~ The Perfect Pantry
Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef, Black Beans and Tomatoes ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Hatch Green Chile Mac and Cheese ~ Everyday Southwest
Spicy Slow Cooker Soup with Ground Turkey, Pinto Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Green Chiles ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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75 comments:

  1. Hi Kalyn,
    I'm pretty sure this was the recipe I was thinking of when I wrote you a couple of weeks ago about using whole chiles vs diced in a chicken or beef casserole. Thanks for posting! I'll be sure to save this in my recipe database so I can make it again!

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  2. Carol, it couldn't have been, because I just created this recipe about a week ago. I do have a recipe that uses green chile enchilada sauce with chicken and pinto beans; maybe you're thinking of that Layered Mexican Casserole? They are similar, but this is much lower in carbs.

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  3. Oh well. Guess I'm losing my mind :-) It looks really yummy, and I'm definitely saving this recipe!!

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  4. Be still my heart, my enchilada loving family is going to flip over this one. I've never thought about using the chiles whole like this. It would also make an awesome hot dip with the chiles chopped up! (Yes, I know, dips are pathways to carb flled tortilla chips... but I've been known to dip my vegetables too!) Thanks!

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  5. Mary, so glad you like it. I love the whole green chiles; so useful and tasty. And what a great idea to make this into a dip. But very tempting!

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  6. Kalyn, this sounds delicious, what a great idea to use the chiles in place of tortillas, that alone makes the dish so much lighter! I love enchiladas but always feel too full after having some, no matter how much of a portion control approach I take.

    Great recipe!

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  7. I'm off to the market to look for that enchilada sauce (the selection here in the Northeast is very limited) and some nice whole green chiles, too. I know this dish would be popular in my house.

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  8. Lydia, don't know if you have any Mexican markets, but that would be a good place to find it.

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  9. Love the idea of using roasted peppers instead of tortillas for a low carb version. I just made chicken enchiladas for my kids last week and they devoured them. Made the enchilada sauce from scratch but it was a red one. This reminds me a little of chile rellenos

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  10. My Family loves recipes with a hint to the Mexican kitchen. (Layered Mexican Casserole - was a hit!) We sure will try this and since I have to go shopping today, I'll look, if they have everything. Will let you know, how they like it.
    As always your ideas help me to cook low carb meals for my husband - Thanks

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  11. Jeanette, definitely some of the same flavors as chile rellenos!

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  12. This is perfect for tonight. (My husband decided to go back on Phase One, and I'm trying to be supportive.) I have some leftover chicken breasts and I was trying to find a new recipe to use them. Yea, Kalyn comes through again.

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  13. So glad my timing worked out for you! And good for your husband; I am gearing up to do it again myself!

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  14. Glad the recipes are helpful for you!

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  15. THIS LOOKS GOOD! AND IT'S ONLY 9AM. Oops, caps. Thanks K! this is yet another stellar recipe. I have a stack of printed recipes in my kitchen and I think 75% of them are Kalyn's.
    We make them again and again.
    We just had your black bean red chili again Sun, Mon, and Tues and we had your sumac sweet pot's Sat night. I could throw away all 400 of my cookbooks at this rate!

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  16. So I am not the only one who has far too many cookbooks? So glad you're enjoying the recipes!

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  17. You suggest using low fat dairy products, but don't they have added sugar to bump up the flavor after removing the fat? As a diabetic the fat, sugar, flavor balance is hard to navigate, I don't find easy answers on which side of the equation to come down on. Any suggestions?
    I also have a large stack of printed out recipes, when are you going to publish a book, or have I somehow missed seeing it?

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  18. Elizabeth I do read labels to choose which low-fat dairy to buy, as some have far more sugar than others. Of course, if there is too much sugar for you, you should use the product that works for your own needs.

    Sorry, but no plans to write a book. I would not rule it out, but cookbooks are a tremendous amount of work for not much return and right now I can barely keep up with the blog.

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  19. Oh my word, I just made chicken enchiladas last night, but it wasn't carb friendly. It was so delicious, but this will be so much better for watching my weight. Thanks!

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  20. Glad you like the idea, and this was really delicious.

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  21. Recipe question: In the printed directions you say to reduce the sauce to 2 cups then put 1 1/2 cups of the sauce over the first layer and the rest (just 1/2 cup?)on the top layer. With the pictures you say put half the sauce over the first layer and the other half on the top (1 cup each). Which is it? Would love to make this for my wife and I tonight. Thanks.

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  22. Both are correct. You reduce the sauce (from a can) to 2 cups, but then stir in 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup cream cheese for 3 cups total sauce. So when you're layering you put 1 1/2 cups (half the finished sauce) over the first layer and 1 1/2 cups (the other half of the finished sauce) over the second layer.

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  23. Of course. Should have seen that. Thanks for the remedial math lesson.

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  24. Do you freeze it before or after cooking?

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  25. Hi Kayln,
    I am making this recipe tonight. It's only my husband and I. Can this recipe be cut completely in half or would you make other adjustments?
    Cheers
    Louise

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  26. Ed, no worries!

    TR, I haven't tried freezing this before cooking but I have frozen leftovers and they reheated beautifully.

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  27. Louise, we were writing comments at the same time! You can cut it in half and make a smaller version, but if you have freezer space I'd make the whole thing and freeze a couple of smaller casseroles or individual servings for another meal.

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  28. Man, this was delicious!!!!! Mine was kind of soupy, should I have reduced it a bit longer? I didn't start it until 9pm (that's how we roll 'round here) and I reduced for 20 minutes then for another 10; it was kinda slow cuz if I turned up the gas, it started sticking. I have a bushel of roasted peppers in the freezer from last fall and this is an amazing way to use a bunch up at once!

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  29. Glad you liked it; it did take a while for mine to reduce to 2 cups. I measure it to be sure it has reduced enough.

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  30. Kalyn, I was very excited to try this recipe but I can't find the whole roasted green chiles anywhere. I live in NYC and have tried 5 different markets. Actually the green enchilada sauce is also scarce but figured I could substitute something else for that. Any suggestions regarding teh green chiles?

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  31. Hi Kalyn,
    I'm in the northeast and having trouble finding the whole chili peppers here. Do you think I could use whole pepperoncini's or do you think that would be way too spicy?

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  32. Meri NYC and A Carson, if you can't find the green chiles in a grocery store a Mexican or Latin American market might have them. I'm doubtful that pepperoncini I would be good in this.

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  33. If anyone is having difficulty finding the ingredients locally, they are available on Amazon. Perhaps linking there will help fund this site, too.

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  34. Mary, thanks for telling me that, will add the Amazon links for people who need them.

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  35. This recipe is fantastic. I loved it.

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  36. This looks so good ... I was thinking about tortilla-free enchildas, and here it is.

    Is there any reason red sauce can't be substituted (just because that's what I have in the pantry)?

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  37. Ann, as long as you liked red sauce with chicken I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work.

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  38. Can I swap out the sour cream for greek yogurt? I have had issues with some recipes with the yogurt curdling...

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  39. I don't know how that will work; I've never tried it that way. If you try, let us know how it turns out.

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  40. Yum! This recipe is fantastic. I highly recommend it to anyone trying to eat low carb. My husband and mom, who don't eat low carb, enjoyed it too. It reminds me of my mom's chile rellano casserole recipe. Thanks for sharing !!! Definitely making it again!!

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  41. Mel, so glad everyone enjoyed it!

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  42. Love love love your blog.
    I added cooked salad shrimp to the chicken. I also simmered the chicken in a mexican tortilla flavored chicken broth for extra flavor. I also used cheese in my frig- low fat mozzarella amd low fat mexican blend. Your recipes are so versatile and adaptable to whatever I have on hand.

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  43. Maggie, thanks for that nice feedback, and I love seeing how you adapted the recipe!

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  44. Hi, I am planning on trying this tonight. Can you tell me about how much chicken you added? I know it says 4 skinless breasts, but not sure on the weight. Thanks

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  45. Debbie, I didn't weigh them but most chicken breasts here (actually half a breast) are somewhere around 8 ounces. A little more or less won't matter for this recipe.

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  46. Thanks so much! The ones that I have here are huge..almost 1 1/4 pounds each breast. I am thinking that may be too much.

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  47. Debbie I don't know where you are, but in the U.S. what is called a "chicken breast" is really only 1/2 the breast. So I use 4 half breasts for this recipe. Sounds like two of yours would be enough.

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  48. I am in Orlando. I get the chicken breasts from the Fresh Market.
    You are correct. 4 1/2 breasts equal about 2 pounds. It was just the wording that confused me. Thanks for all your help. Can't wait to try this tonight.

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  49. I have looked around town for two weeks and could not find whole green chiles, except for the very small 4 oz. cans. SO, I decided to use the closest thing I could find-green bell peppers. I split them in half, cut the crowns, removed the seeds and par boiled them. They worked great, and tasted oh so yum! I'm sure the chiles would have been even better, but just wanted to put this out there in case someone else has the same trouble finding chiles! Thanks so much for the great Recipe!

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  50. Thank you, Kalyn! This was YUMMY! Mine was a little soupier than I wanted but I'm sure it was because I didn't simmer the green sauce long enough :) It's a keeper!

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  51. So I live in New Mexico and I have been on the lookout for a "lighter" version of chicken enchiladas. Hatch, New Mexico is actually where this sauce comes from- aka the Chili capitol of the world. Nothing beats the spicy, roasted flavor of a green chili. Alot of people don't really know what it is (and no, eating the stuff from cans doesn't count!) anyways, I hate oiling tortillas not to mention how heavy this dish usually is. I can't wait to try it!!!

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  52. Hi Ashley,
    My parents actually lived in New Mexico at one time, so I know about the Hatch chiles, and yes they are amazing. Hope you enjoy!

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  53. Hi Ashley,
    My parents actually lived in New Mexico at one time, so I know about the Hatch chiles, and yes they are amazing. Hope you enjoy!

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  54. Hello!
    I was wondering if I had to use canned chiles, or if I could use fresh? My husband can't tolerate much spice and I was thinking of using something more like a banana pepper to try and keep it sweeter. I don't think I've ever used canned peppers of any sort so I really don't know how spicy they are.

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  55. The anaheim chiles used in this are just moderately spicy, but definitely a little bit of heat. I'm not sure how it would work with fresh chiles. I think you'd want to roast them and peel off the skins, unless you know a type of chile that has a really soft skin. Love to hear how it turns out if you try it. Someone above (in the comments) made it with parboiled green bell peppers and reported it was good that way.

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  56. Cannot wait to try this!! Could you use pepper jack instead of the mozzrella ?

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  57. Well I spent half of the day today looking for whole green chiles I went to every market semi close to me. Do you think I found them NO and my mouth is watering to make this casserole!!!!!!!

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  58. Nanci; there's always Amazon.com. Don't know what else to suggest.

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  59. I switched out the sour cream for greek yogurt and it worked great! (Sometimes yogurt curdles, but not with this recipe)

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  60. I made this a couple nights ago and it was so good. The leftovers are great too. Great idea to cook down the green sauce to thicken!!

    Everything I have made from your site has been wonderful. I can always count on this place for good eats!!

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  61. I live in a decent-sized area and checked two grocery stores' Hispanic sections, but couldn't find the canned peppers. Since I really wanted to try this recipe, I bought about 10 Poblano peppers and roasted/peeled them. The casserole is in the oven baking now and looks delicious! Can't wait to try and will report back...

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  62. Shannon I'd love to hear how that works. I love Poblanos and I bet they're delicious in this.

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  63. My gosh... This is so delicious! Besides the Poblanos, which are amazing, the only things I did different is: didn't quite reduce the sauce by half bc I was impatient AND my chicken was on the dry side after shredding, and I used 4 cheese Mexican blend. I will totally make this again. Seems like a splurge but it's not!

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  64. Shannon, so glad you enjoyed it! In my huge extended family even the non low-carb eaters will ask me to make this one!

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  65. I have a friend that doesn't like chicken. Can this be made using beef or pork?
    Thanks. Donna

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure it could, although I haven't tried it so I can't give specific instructions. I'd use cooked beef of pork roast cut into pieces.

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  66. I thought this would be an easy and tasty recipe to tackle on a Sunday afternoon to make meals for the rest of the week. I was sorely mistaken. I wasted the entire day and tons of gas by going to 7 different stores (including 4 Hispanic markets) and I did not find these green chiles. I'm too exhausted and frustrated to consider going out again so I guess I'm winging it for dinner and replanning my entire weekly menu. Can you please update the recipe to include the alternatives people have listed in the comments (parboiled green pepper, roasted poblano, etc) so that they don't waste countless hours searching for a special ingredient that isn't sold in their region?

    For me, the green enchilada sauce was easy to find in every store I went to so it's not that I don't have access to Hispanic ingredients. My regular grocery store had it in multiple brands and sizes. However, these chiles aren't sold in the entire US.

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    1. I'm sorry this was such a frustrating experience for you. The large cans of green chiles are readily available in stores here in Utah, and I did have a link in the post for where to order them from Amazon.com.

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible.

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