Chicken Tortilla Casserole

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Did you grow up like I did? Did your mom typically cycle through the same 17 recipes your entire childhood? When my husband and I got engaged, he concurred with this. And yet, there’s something so comforting about eating something that you’ve had several hundred times by the time you leave the house. So many memories associated with that food – including taste memories. It’s as if the muscle that is your tongue had a memory all its own.

Chicken tortilla casserole is one of my mother-in-law’s recipes. My husband mentioned once that he liked it, and thought I would too, so I should make it. My mother-in-law sent me the following recipe:

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

½ cup chopped onions

½ tsp salt

½ tsp accent

¼ cup canned green chiles

2 cups cooked chicken

corn tortillas (broken up)

2 cups grated cheese

Mix first 6 ingredients together.

Place layer of tortillas on bottom of greased casserole.  Follow with cheese, chicken, then sauce layers.  Repeat layers.  Cover and bake at 350 for 30 min.

Pretty simple, huh? Over the past 5 years that I’ve been making this recipe, I’ve been doing my best to improve upon our own “family staples.” And yesterday I hit the jackpot. My husband said, “This is the best chicken tortilla casserole I have ever had in my entire life.” That’s quite a compliment from someone who has had it once every 17 days (give or take…) from the past 25 years. So I give to you the new and improved chicken tortilla casserole.

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Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups cream of chicken soup (preferably homemade)

2 cups shredded chicken

1 cup green chiles (reduce to 1/2 cup if you are sensitive to spicy food)

1 cup sour cream

2 – 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup shredded smoke gouda cheese (optional)

corn tortillas (~15)

salt and pepper to taste

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You see I have that amazing homemade cream of chicken soup? It really takes this dish to the next level!

Directions:

  1. Grease the bottom of a 9×13 pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Break up several tortillas in the bottom of the pan. Just tear them with your hands and arrange in a loose single layer.
  3. Mix the cream of chicken soup with the sour cream and green chilies. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add chicken to mixture.
  5. Spoon half of mixture over broken tortillas by spoonfuls until most are covered.
  6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the shredded cheddar over top.
  7. Repeat for a second layer, adding a little gouda to the cheese layer this time.
  8. Tear a final layer of tortillas over top.
  9. Spread remaining cheeses on top and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

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It really is wonderful. I took this dish to a potluck the other day and got rave reviews from other participants. Definitely a crowd pleaser!

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