|This Ground Turkey Low-Carb Enchilada Casserole was so good, I had leftovers for breakfast one day.|
I'm a casserole-loving girl, and after I came up with Green Chile and Chicken Mock Enchilada Casserole earlier this year, I kept thinking about variations of that recipe that might be good. Then one day at the store I noticed Hatch had a gluten-free version of their Red Chile Enchilada Sauce, and that got my creative cooking energy working a bit more. This Ground Turkey Low-Carb Enchilada Casserole with Red and Green Chiles uses the red chile sauce but has layers of whole green chiles as well, for a flavorful casserole that will really get your tastebuds going. And just like the chicken mock enchilada casserole, there's plenty of cheese and a little sour cream to tone down the heat. Jake and I gobbled this up when we tested the recipe, and then I had leftovers for breakfast yesterday after I found them in the fridge, so I think I can say it's a keeper!
Chop up a large onion and a large Poblano (Pasilla) pepper into pieces about 1/2 inch or slightly smaller.
Heat a little olive oil and saute the onion and Poblano pieces over medium high heat until they're starting to brown, 4-5 minutes.
Remove the onion-pepper mixture, heat a little more olive oil, and add the ground turkey and cook over high heat until it starts to brown. (Most ground turkey has water added, so you need to let that evaporate before any browning will start.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This is the gluten-free red enchilada sauce I used for the recipe, and unless you really like a lot of heat I definitely recommend getting MILD. If you need gluten-free and can't find this sauce, La Victoria also makes a gluten-free enchilada sauce.
When the turkey is nicely browned, put the onions and peppers back in the pan, add 2 cans enchilada sauce, and let the mixture simmer until most of the liquid is reduced, about 30 minutes on low.
Use your fingers or a knife to split the green chiles open, stacking them into two piles so you can make two equal layers in the casserole dish. (I pat them dry with paper towels if they still seem wet.)
Spray a 9" x 13" (or similar size) casserole dish with non-stick spray and make a layer of green childs, completely covering the bottom of the dish.
Bake at 375F uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the casserole is bubbling. Serve hot (with sour cream if desired.)
(Makes 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn and inspired by Green Chile and Chicken Mock Enchilada Casserole.
1 large onion, chopped in pieces about 1/2 inch or slightly smaller
1 large Poblano (Pasilla) pepper, chopped in pieces about 1/2 inch or slightly smaller
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
2 lbs. lean ground turkey (I used ground turkey with only 10% fat)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to season turkey
2 cans (15 oz.) red chile enchilada sauce (I recommend mild unless you really like a lot of heat; I used Hatch Gluten Free Red Chile Enchilada Sauce.)
3/4 cup light sour cream (plus more for serving if desired, optional)
1 large can (27 oz.) whole green chiles (I found Hatch Whole Green Chilies, 27-Ounce can at Amazon.com, but they are more expensive that way. Look for them in a Mexican market if you can.)
1 cup + 1 cup grated low-fat Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup + 1/4 cup grated low-fat 4 Cheese Mexican Blend
Chop onion and Poblano (Pasilla) pepper, then heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large heavy frying pan and saute the onions and peppers over medium-high heat until they're starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove onions and peppers to a bowl, heat the other 2 teaspoons olive oil and saute the ground turkey over medium-high heat until it's nicely browned, breaking apart with the turner. (Most ground turkey in the U.S. has added water, so you will need to evaporate all the water before the browning will start.) Season the turkey with salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste.
Once the turkey is well-browned, add the sauteed onions and peppers back into the pan with the meat, add the 2 cans red chile enchilada sauce, and simmer over low heat until the mixture is thickened and most all the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes.
When the meat/sauce mixture is thickened, turn off the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
While the meat cools, drain the whole green chiles into a colander placed into the sink. Use your fingers or a knife to split the chiles open and remove any seeds, stacking them in two piles so you can make two equal layers of chiles in the casserole. (Pat each chile dry with a paper towel as you go if they seem wet.)
When the meat mixture is cool, stir in the sour cream. Spray a 9 inch x 13 inch glass or crockery casserole dish with non-stick spray. (Any size similar will work.) Lay half the whole chiles in the bottom of the casserole dish, making sure the entire bottom is covered. Spread half the meat/sauce mixture over the chiles and top with half the Mozzarella and half the 4 Cheese Mexican Blend.
Make another layer each of whole green chiles, meat/sauce mixture, and cheese. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the casserole is bubbling. Serve hot, topped with a dollop of low-fat sour cream if desired.
South Beach Suggestions:
This casserole using low-glycemic ingredients like ground turkey, chiles, and cheese would be approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet. I use gluten-free enchilada sauce partly because it won't have flour, but if you can't find the gluten-free enchilada sauce I used, look for enchilada sauce with the lowest amount of carbs. South Beach recommends lean ground turkey and reduced fat cheese and sour cream.
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 Casseroles with Mexican Flavors:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Quick and Easy Brown Rice Mexican Casserole ~ Fannetastic Food
Vegetarian Green Chile and Pinto Bean Layered Mexican Casserole ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Healthy Mexican Casserole ~ Lauren Kelly Nutrition
Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Tomatoes ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)