Trader Joe’s Tuesday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

One thing Tyson and I love about visiting Colorado is the food. Specifically, the Mexican kind! Good Mexican food is hard to find here in NYC, so we always make sure we get our fill when we go back west.

We love making regular enchiladas. They are easy, affordable and very filling. This recipe came from a Facebook group I’m a member of and is a fun twist on traditional enchiladas. I had to make a few tweaks to the original recipe, but that is what’s so great about it…you can customize it to your own food preferences. I would definitely make it again!

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We made a half size (8×8) version of this last weekend with a bottle of Trader Joe’s Enchilada Sauce because we already had it in our cupboard, but for Super Bowl Sunday I decided to make the homemade enchilada sauce that was recommended in the original recipe. It was delicious, and probably better for us, but I have to admit I like the flavor of TJ’s sauce better.

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I don’t like beans and I never have. As an adult I’ve given them a try a couple times, but I just can’t get over the texture. So I substituted the black beans with spinach and red peppers.

I sautéed fresh garlic in some olive oil for a few minutes and then added frozen sweet corn and frozen spinach. I sautéed them for a few more minutes before adding fresh red peppers and I seasoned generously with salt and pepper.

We made the same crock pot shredded chicken that we use in the regular enchiladas we make. We didn’t have the green onions the recipe called for, but the shredded chicken we make has yellow onions in it, so I figured that would do just fine.

The great thing about this dish is that we were able to prepare the chicken and veggie filling earlier in the day, store them in the fridge and then just put the casserole together right before we wanted to bake it. It was ready just in time for half time!

I had made a huge batch of guacamole as a pre-game snack, so instead of topping the whole casserole with diced avocado, I just added a dollop of guacamole to each serving. It was perfect!

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Valerie Anne

Trader Joe’s Tuesday: Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

This is definitely a weekend meal if you have to make the chicken, but it can also be a quick mid-week option if you have the chicken already made. Plus you can play with the ratios of the filling however it fits your needs, using less chicken and more spinach if you prefer more veggies. This chicken is also great for quesadillas, nachos, or pasta dishes, so stock up!

Crockpot Shredded Chicken

1 lb. chicken breasts
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced or chopped
1-2 cups chicken stock/broth
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

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Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours or until chicken is tender. Use two forks to shred the chicken and strain excess liquid. Use in the enchilada recipe below, or in another favorite recipe!

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Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

1/2 lb. shredded chicken
10 oz. frozen or fresh spinach
8 oz. cream cheese
8 medium sized wheat tortillas
1 bottle TJ’s red enchilada sauce
6-8 oz. shredded cheese (Mexican blend and/or pepper jack)

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Thaw frozen spinach or slightly sautée fresh spinach in a medium skillet. Add cream cheese and heat on low until melted. Stir in shredded chicken.

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Pour a couple tablespoons of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish.

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Warm tortillas slightly in the microwave and then roll equal parts of the mixture into each tortilla and place seam down into the glass baking dish.

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Pour the shredded cheese and remaining enchilada sauce over top.

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Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees.

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We usually have these enchiladas with brown rice, but I needed something a little quicker, so we had it with TJ’s frozen Quinoa Duo with Vegetable Melange.

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I actually liked it better than the brown rice because the sweet potato in the quinoa complimented the spiciness of the enchilada sauce really nicely. And the extra veggies are always a plus!!

Valerie Anne