TASTE: Busy season meal solutions
FAMILY FEATURES – As families across the country transition back into more normal routines this fall with work, school – whether virtual or in-person – and calendars jam-packed with commitments, it’s important to find ways to save precious time and squeeze in more moments with loved ones.
While getting nutritious, delicious and affordable meals on the table to help fuel those busy days is crucial, there are ways to cut down the amount of time spent in the kitchen each day. Setting aside a couple hours each week to meal prep can make it easier to serve lunch and dinner on a tight schedule and budget. For example, this California-Style Cheesy Enchilada Casserole can be made in batches ahead of time then frozen as individual portions and reheated when hunger strikes while working or learning from home.
Using prepared enchilada sauce, roasted chicken and a Hispanic-style cheese blend made with 100% Real California Milk from California dairy farm families, plus a traditional blend of vegetables and spices, you can feel good about serving your family members a flavorful, nutritional and budget-friendly meal each time they reach for another helping.
Find additional busy season recipe inspiration, nutritional information and more at RealCaliforniaMilk.com.
California-Style Cheesy Enchilada Casserole
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup Real California half-and-half, milk or evaporated milk
• 1/2 cup Real California sour cream
• Vegetable oil
• 1 1/2-2 cups prepared enchilada sauce, divided
• 12 corn tortillas, divided
• 1 cup roasted skinless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
• 2 teaspoons enchilada seasoning
• 4 cups shredded Real California Mexican cheese blend, divided, or 1 cup each shredded Real California Oaxaca, Cheddar, Jalapeño Jack and crumbled Cotija cheeses
• 1 cup canned pinto beans, drained well
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/3 cup canned kernel corn, well drained
• 1/3 cup sliced black olives, well drained
• 1/3 cup mild green chiles, well drained
• 2 tablespoons of cilantro, minced
• 2 green onions, sliced
• Lime wedges, for serving
• Real California sour cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 F.
To make cooking sauce: In bowl, whisk eggs, salt, half-and-half and sour cream; set aside.
Spray casserole dish with vegetable oil.
To make casserole: Assemble first layer by spreading 6 tablespoons enchilada sauce on bottom of casserole dish. Top with four tortillas, overlapping them. Cover tortillas with 6 tablespoons enchilada sauce.
Assemble second layer by tossing chicken with enchilada seasoning. Mix with 3 cups shredded cheese. Layer half chicken-cheese mixture over tortillas.
Assemble third layer by seasoning pinto beans with cumin and garlic powder.
Spread beans over cheese-chicken layer.
Assemble fourth layer by overlapping four tortillas then cover with 6-8 tablespoons enchilada sauce. Cover with corn, olives and chiles.
Top with remaining cheese-chicken mixture.
Assemble final layer by covering filling with remaining tortillas, overlapped, then spread remaining enchilada sauce over them. Pour cooking sauce over casserole. Top with remaining shredded cheese.
Let rest at least 30 minutes.
Bake 50-60 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove and rest 10 minutes before cutting.
Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions.
Serve with lime wedges and sour cream.