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Creamy Green Enchilada Casserole With Vegetarian and Meat Options: An Illustrated Guide

My husband and I are what could be called "foodies." We enjoy sampling and discovering new and different foods from all areas of the world.

Green Enchilada Casserole

Green Enchilada Casserole

Green Enchilada Casserole

Years ago, when visiting New Mexico, I purchased a cookbook by author Lynn Nusom with 175 recipes celebrating food from the "Land of Enchantment." I have tried many of them. The pages are annotated with our impressions, as well as any adjustments made to the original recipes.

While the necessary ingredients are almost the same, I have made some additions and alterations in this particular recipe. For example, I eliminate the frying of the corn tortillas, use half and half in place of heavy cream, and bake it longer than the original recipe suggested to cook the onions thoroughly. Besides, I have added some meat when we wish to bump up the protein factor.

Yesterday, I made this green enchilada casserole and shared it with one of our neighbors. Here was her text response: "We loved it, Peggy. It has a great flavor and creamy texture. Thank you again for this delicious dish."

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

1 hour

1 hour 10 min

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of asparagus soup
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon course ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 3/4 cups grated cheese of your choice
  • 1 cup or more cooked chicken or meat of your choice (optional)
  • cooking spray (e.g., Pam)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, empty the cans of soup and the chopped green chiles, stir in the salt, pepper, garlic salt, and mix well.
  2. Chop the onion finely.
  3. Cut the tortillas into strips.
  4. Spray an 8" x 12" pan well with a cooking spray like Pam.
  5. Spread a small amount of the soup mixture on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Layer some tortillas over it, forming the first of three layers.
  7. Alternate the tortillas with the chopped onion, grated cheese, dabs of the soup mixture, and the optional chicken.
  8. End with the top layer of tortillas, the majority of the soup mixture, and the final cheese distribution.
  9. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour.
  10. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Substitutions and Suggestions

The original recipe contained no meat, and that is the first way we had eaten it. It is a perfect meal for vegetarians who do allow dairy and cheese in their diets.

Speaking of cheese, I use about 1/2 cup more than the original recipe listed. My husband and I like cheese! In place of the grated longhorn cheese called for in the original recipe, I use a shredded cheddar jack cheese much to our satisfaction. Monterrey Jack or other types of cheeses would also be delicious.

For the recipe above, I used sliced and seasoned fully cooked chicken fajita thigh meat that I further chopped up to add to this casserole. In the past, I have used a 12.5 ounce can of premium chunk chicken breast from Costco. Shredded roasted chicken would also be tasty in this dish.

One time I used cream of chicken soup in place of one of the other soups, which was also tasty. It happened to be in our pantry, and it saved a trip to the grocery store.

A suggested accompaniment could be a cold corn and bean side dish or leafy green salad.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 27, 2020:

Hi C E Clark,

Yes, this recipe is vegetarian, but meat can be added. So do as you please with it. Either way, it is tasty. Thanks for the shares.

Our area does have more COVID cases than you, and we are doing our best to avoid contact with people unless wearing masks and staying socially distant. My niece's daughter and son-in-law have tested positive up in the Fort Worth area. I am praying for everyone fighting this virus, or who have lost loved ones due to it.

Wishing you good health and safety!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 27, 2020:

Hi Rosina,

You could easily cut back on the amounts, just as long as the tortillas would be softened enough to bake and be edible.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 27, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

Your grocery stores do probably carry ingredients that we do not have, and vice-versa, depending upon demand. Thanks for reading about this recipe, and leaving a comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 27, 2020:

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the greetings. We were on the clean side of Hurricane Laura, so fared well in Houston. The poor folks in east Texas and Louisiana are taking the brunt of the devastating storm. My husband's 95-year-old great uncle and his caretaker did evacuate from Beaumont. I hope when they return; their homes are not severely damaged. Lots of trees are down, according to reports, and there is no electricity.

C E Clark from North Texas on August 27, 2020:

This looks great! I don't go out of my way to eat meat of any kind, but if someone were to invite me to lunch or dinner and prepare meat I wouldn't refuse to eat it -- unless it was liver. :(

My daughter is a vegetarian and she usually won't eat anything with animal product in it. She does eat eggs or drink milk sometimes, but no meat. So I have tried to go as meatless with my cooking as possible. I've actually tried to avoid meat as much of the time as I could long before daughter decided at about age 15, to be a vegetarian.

So this is a great recipe because it can be made with or without meat as a person prefers.

Posting this recipe to AH & FB.

Hope all is well with you. For the longest time we had fewer than 15 deaths from the Coronavirus in this country, but deaths have increased a lot in the last few weeks, and now we're all the way up to 98 deaths with nearly 10,000 infections since the beginning. I understand the disease is far more prevalent in your city and I hope you are able to avoid it. Stay safe . . .

Rosina S Khan on August 27, 2020:

I do like the recipe, Peggy but I would to use less cream and cheese, which should be okay for my family. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 26, 2020:

The dish looks very inviting. It seems to be easy to make but I am afraid certain ingredients like the cream of asparagus and celery soups may not be available here. Thanks for sharing.

Robert Sacchi on August 26, 2020:

That's a good. Stay safe.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 26, 2020:

Hi Robert,

I am glad you think that this recipe is "interesting." We just had some for lunch today, and enjoyed it again.

Robert Sacchi on August 26, 2020:

Another interesting recipe. Thank you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 25, 2020:

Hi Linda,

The original recipe did not contain any kind of meat. I began playing around with it, and so can others to their tastes. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 24, 2020:

This sounds like another delicious dish, Peggy. Thanks for sharing a recipe that can be easily adapted for vegetarians.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 24, 2020:

Hi Doris,

We also keep corn tortillas on hand for various uses. The nice thing about this recipe is how easily it can be altered to suit one's taste.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on August 24, 2020:

Peggy, I love the idea of this dish, which seems to be a spinoff of the Mexican Chicken Casserole that was so popular about 20 years ago. I like your idea of substituting half and half for the heavy cream. I'm glad you mentioned using the fajita meat, since I think that would add some more flavor to the recipe. As soon as I buy more corn tortillas, which I usually keep on hand, I plan to try it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 24, 2020:

Hi Devika,

I'm glad you like the sound of this easy recipe. Enjoy!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 24, 2020:

Hi Denise,

It will be interesting to know if your substitutions work in veganizing this recipe with what you are thinking.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 24, 2020:

Hi Victoria,

If you like Tex-Mex flavors, as you indicated, you are sure to enjoy this recipe. Thanks for the pin.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 24, 2020:

Hello Drew,

Sorry if looking at these photos and reading this recipe made you hungry. Ha! Please enjoy!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 24, 2020:

Hi Peggy this recipe sounds delicious. I like the idea of your ingredients.

Green Enchilada Casserole is an easy to make meal and the cheese melted gives it a pretty view of a slice. Cooking is interesting when you do it with such creativity and patience.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 23, 2020:

Hi Liza,

You are fortunate to be able to taste her Mexican foods and learn from her. At 84 years of age, the fact that she is still creating good meals in her kitchen is something to admire.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 23, 2020:

I think I can make this recipe vegan by using some coconut milk in place of the soups and soy curls instead of the chicken and vegan cheese. I'll have to let you know how it comes out. I love Mexican dishes and have been veganizing everything I can think of to see if it will work. I think this one could actually work and it does seem simple. Thanks so much.

Blessings,

Denise

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on August 23, 2020:

This sounds wonderful, Peggy! My kind of casserole! I love any kind of Mexican or Tex-Mex dish. Going to pin this one!

Liza from USA on August 23, 2020:

Yes, Peggy. She is a healthy 84-year-old woman that is still cooking in the kitchen every time we come to visit her and her husband. I'm just grateful to know her and very happy learning from her Mexican recipes such as tortilla, tamale, and salsa.

Drew Agravante from Philippines, Currently in Qatar on August 23, 2020:

Another awesome dish from you Peggy. Thanks for the mouth-watering treat. Oh no, my stomach's grumbling, time to hit the kitchen.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 23, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I'm glad you found this recipe to your liking. Enjoy your Sunday, also! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 23, 2020:

Hi Mary,

The prep time to make this green enchilada casserole is so quick that your time away from friends is negligible. So enjoy your cottage guests and keep visiting while the casserole bakes. Enjoy!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 23, 2020:

Hi Abby,

We have tried several other recipes from that cookbook and have enjoyed them. Many of the recipes celebrate the use of green chilis. I have marked many pages of ones that I still wish to try.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 23, 2020:

Hi Chitrangada,

The vegetarian version is excellent for those who do not eat meat.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 23, 2020:

Sign me up for a deliver, Peggy! I would devour that, thank you very much!

Happy Sunday, my friend!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 23, 2020:

I have a few friends in the cottage these days and we have been trying different recipes so this looks like one we can try.

Abby Slutsky from LAFAYETTE HL on August 23, 2020:

I love your photo of all the ingredients and your cookbook. This recipe looks delicious and simple. It may be something to try when my children come to visit.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 23, 2020:

Interesting recipe and well presented. I can imagine the deliciousness of this wonderful recipe. Both the options, vegetarian or non vegetarian sounds good. Would love to try this.

Thanks for sharing the details.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 22, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

You will like the vegetarian recipe. It is the first version that we tried and kept because we liked it so much. We added a bit more cheese to the recipe, but you can alter that to your taste.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 22, 2020:

Hi Liza,

I'll bet that your husband's grandmother made delicious Mexican food. This recipe is one that those not used to cooking Mexican or southwestern food can easily accomplish. Thanks for your comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 22, 2020:

I love the flexibility of this good looking recipe and cannot wait to try the meatless version this week. I’ve rated this yummy dinner 5 stars, am Flipping and Pinning!

Liza from USA on August 22, 2020:

Peggy, the dish looks mouth-watering! I first had enchilada when visiting my husband's grandmother. She made delicious Mexican food. I agreed with Diana that this dish is the best to enjoy in the cold wintertime. The fact that you altered the recipe makes it more appealing. Voted. Thank you for sharing a great recipe, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 22, 2020:

Hi Cheryl,

Let me know how your grandchildren like this recipe. You also, for that matter! Thanks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 22, 2020:

Hi Diana Carol,

This recipe would be good on a cold winter's night in front of a fireplace. Celery and asparagus are both excellent and versatile flavors.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on August 22, 2020:

Interesting recipe. I'll have to try it for my grandchildren.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on August 22, 2020:

Your dish looks so delicious, Peggy. Imagine enjoying it on a cold winter's night in front of a cosy fire. Creamy and inviting. Also love the taste of celery and asparagus too.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 22, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

It is not often that I use canned soups in recipes, but it works well in this one, along with the other ingredients. Let me know how you like it when you make it. Thanks!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 22, 2020:

This dish looks delicious. At first it reminded me of my chicken pot pie recipe. That is due to the cream soups, which I really like. I look forward to trying out this recipes. Thank you for the recipe, Peggy.