Pop quiz time! What's better: a) enchiladas or b) lasagne?
Swerve! It's actually secret answer c) both at the same time. Meet enchilasagne. It's what happens when a tray of lasagne and a dish of enchiladas get freaky. It's all the flavours of enchiladas but stacked like a lasange, so cuts out the often messy, time-consuming process of rolling. Mostly, I love anything Mexican and anything that's a lasagne, so this dish was a natural result of hunger meets laziness meets Mexican food craving.
I think I've seen something similar on Pinterest called Enchilada Pie, or Mexican Lasange, but I don't feel either of those names are anywhere near zazzy enough for something this wonderful. Plus, much to my husband's constant embarassment/annoyance, I love combining words to make new words (felafelushi, anyone?) so there really was never going to be any other name for it than enchilasagne.
The filling of the enchiladas is a chicken and bean mixture that's wholesome, flavourful and low fat - the perfect combination of nourishing and comforting. I also used wholemeal tortillas to keep the dish low-GI and more nutrient dense. If you're vegetarian just replace the chicken breast with an extra can of beans, I've done this many times and the carnivores are always (mostly) happy with it.
I always grate my cheese using the smallest setting - it means more volume for the same weight (if that terminology even follows the laws of physics...basically the same number of grams but the pile of cheese is bigger). So what looked like about two cups of shredded cheese was actually only 100g, and you could cut that down even further if you're looking to reduce calories by only sprinkling cheese on the top and not in the layers. But why would I do that? Less cheese = less happiness.
The whole dish is on the table in an hour if you make all of it from scratch, or less than 30 minutes if you've pre-prepared the homemade enchilada sauce and chicken/bean filling. I often make double, even triple, batches of the sauce and filling recipes on a quiet weekend because it's super easy to make a large quantity and they freeze really well. Meaning you can have chicken and bean enchilasagne on the table less than 30 minutes after a Mexican food craving hits, which basically means you're winning at life.
Chicken and Bean Enchilasagne
1/2 quantity of this enchilada sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 medium red capsicums, diced
2 medium zucchinis, diced
1/2 cup crushed red lentils
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1&1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 x 400g can mixed beans (or use kidney, cannellini, black bean - whatever you prefer)
1 cup (250mL) vegetable stock
1 medium chicken breast, minced (or finely diced)
6 wholemeal tortillas
100g finely grated cheese
1) Portion out half a cup of the enchilada sauce and set aside.
2) Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
3) Add capsicum and zucchini and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, then add lentils, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, mustard powder and vinegar. Stir to coat vegetables and lentils in spice mix.
4) Add in remaining enchilada sauce and stock and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to stop lentils from catching. Once lentils are soft add the beans and chicken breast, then cook for a further 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
5) Set filling mixture aside and allow to cool slightly. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
6) Using a round casserole dish or springform cake tin start by placing a tortilla in the base of the dish. Spread with 1/5 of the filling and a small amount of cheese (about 1/8).
7) Repeat layering to finish with a tortilla, then spread with reserved enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.
8) Bake the enchilasagne for 25 minutes or until the cheese is golden. Serve with guacamole, pickled jalapenos, hot sauce and any other condiments you like.
Related recipes you might like:
Mexican Rice and Beans
One-Pot Chicken Pasta
Fit Kitchen Blog
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