This is a dinner shortcut you will thank me for! Chicken enchiladas were never so easy, family-pleasing and delicious.
I’m not going to use the word casserole. I’m going to use the word “bake.”
Ha! Who am I kidding. This is pretty much a casserole, and it’s the bomb! Go ahead and throw a trendy and accepted word on the end and everyone is happy.
The secret to these chicken enchiladas is prepared polenta! There is no rolling filling in tortillas and no messy situation. Some veggies, chicken, tasty enchilada sauce and polenta get layered in a baking dish and you’re ready. Super easy. Plus it tastes just like enchiladas wrapped in corn tortillas, so you won’t be missing that traditional flavor, just the extensive work time. It only takes 20 minutes to throw this recipe together and put it in the oven.
The polenta adds that yummy, starchy chew that tortillas offer in traditional enchiladas. But slicing it and layering does the same thing – in my mouth!
I call for a 10-oz can of enchilada sauce for these chicken enchiladas. Sauces are not all created equal. Some are spicier than others, and some have very smoky or chili powder flavors. If you have a favorite, stick with that. Otherwise it’s worth the $.98 cents or $1.25 to try a few out before using them in this recipe.
Prepared polenta comes in a little tube. Kind of like Jimmy Dean bulk sausage! It’s an easy to cut plastic and the entire piece of polenta comes right out. It’s easy to slice and stays together. I love the stuff for easy meals and appetizers.
Some enchilada sauces are spicier or sweeter than others, so taste-test a few to find your favorite.
- 1½ cups shredded cooked chicken
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
- 1½ cups shredded cheese (I used Pepper Jack and Monterey Jack)
- 1 10-oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed off excess liquid
- 1 10-oz can enchilada sauce
- 1 17-oz log prepared polenta
- Heat oven to 375°F. In a bowl combine chicken, half the scallions and all of the bell pepper, cheese and spinach; set aside. Spread a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 1½-qt baking dish.
- Cut polenta into thin rounds less than ¼ inch thick. Place half the rounds in the bottom of the baking dish; top with half the chicken mixture, then the remaining polenta rounds. Cover with the rest of the chicken mixture and pour remaining enchilada sauce over entire dish. Bake until cooked through, about 45 min. Top with remaining scallions.