September 1, 2011

Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas ... great make-ahead for a crowd


This is one of those dishes that brings backs childhood memories.  Well, actually, teenager memories.  See, during our high school and college days, our house was one of the houses where my brother's and my friends just seemed to gather.  Especially during our college breaks, Mom was never sure how many people she was going to have around for dinner.  There always seemed to be one or two (or more) impromptu additions at the dinner table!  I like these memories.  I like that our house was that 'comfortable.'

Mom got very smart.  Rather than stress about what she was going to feed everyone, she started preparing ahead.  I bet she actually started preparing for Christmas break waaaayyy before even Thanksgiving!  She'd make huge pans of lasagna, chicken casserole, and a wild rice & shrimp casserole and put them away in the freezer way ahead of time.

And one of the other tricks she had up her sleeve?  ... These Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas.  They can be made ahead of time, are freezer-friendly, and make a huge batch.  What more could you ask for in preparing for a crowd??  Don't need to feed a crowd?  No problem!  Just put them up in the freezer in smaller pans and you're good to go for several make-ahead meals.     

To make these, first you whip up a sour cream-based sauce ...


... and a spinach & chicken filling (with some of the yummy sauce mixed on in).




Then you fill tortillas ...


... roll them up, and lay them in a pan.  I really cram them in pretty tight.  From one batch of sauce and filling, I make two large pans of enchiladas (about 16-20 enchiladas).


Finish them off by pouring the sauce all over and topping them with shredded cheese.  Bake 'em up immediately, refrigerate them over night before baking, or pop them unbaked in the freezer until you need them.  You're ready to feed a crowd!

Oh, and did I mention these are delicious? No?? Well, they are!



Chicken-&-Spinach Enchiladas
Source:  My Mom
Ingredients
12 skinless chicken breast halves (or you can use a whole cooked rotisserie chicken)
2 tsp. salt, divided
2 (10 oz.) packages chopped spinach, cooked & drained, reserving broth
1 T. butter, melted
1 c. diced onion
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. milk
3 (8 oz.) cartons sour cream
3 (4 oz.) cans diced green chilies, drained
3 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
16 flour tortillas (I use whole wheat instead.  You may need more than 16 tortillas.)


Directions
1.  Place chicken in a large pot and add water to cover; add 1 teaspoon of salt.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 40 minutes.  Cool chicken slightly; remove chicken from the bone and dice.

2.  Cook spinach according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the spinach broth.  Saute onion in the butter until tender.  Stir in diced chicken and spinach.

3.  In a separate bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, reserved spinach broth, milk, green chilies, sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded Monterey Jack cheese.  Mix well.  Stir half of this soup mixture into the chicken mixture.

4.  Spoon chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla; roll up and place seam-side-down into two lightly greased 13x9" baking pans.  Spoon remaining soup mixture over tortillas. 

5.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese and bake 5-10 minutes longer.

NOTE:  These may be frozen before baking.  When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator and bake as directed.


This post is linked with Fat Camp Friday hosted by Mangoes and Chutney, Savory Sunday hosted by The Sweet Details, Recipe Sharing Monday hosted by Jam Hands, These Chicks Cooked hosted by This Chick Cooks, and Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain, Countdown to 2012 - Best Main Dishes of 2011 hosted by Finding Joy in My Kitchen, This Week's Cravings hosted by Mom's Crazy Cooking.

9 comments:

  1. We had enchiladas last night that I posted this morning. :o) These sound deeeelicious!!! I'll definitely be trying them next time.

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  2. Oh gosh, just bought a Costco chicken and this will be perfect...thanks for a great weekend...or go-to recipe!

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  3. You've got one smart mom! These are perfect to make ahead, and they sound delicious, too.

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  4. Great party idea! Thanks for the lovely recipe dear :) Have a great weekend!

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  5. I've been trying come up with new make-ahead recipes...will be trying this one soon!

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  6. My kinda dish!! I'm a new follower and look forward to seeing more tasty dishes. Stop by and say hi when you can.

    Pat

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  7. Can you cover them with sauce ahead of time as well?

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  8. KitchenFairy - Yes, you sure can cover them with sauce ahead of time! Pop these babies in the freezer, sauce-and-all.

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  9. This looks super yummy! I am a big fan of anything that's all in one pan that can be thrown in the oven - this is going on my next big freezer cooking day's meal plan. Thank you for linking it up with This Week's Cravings!

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I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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