(Primal) Chicken Enchilada Casserole
March 10, 2014
I know I tend to overuse the word “awesome” in daily life as well as online, and I'm trying to be mindful about it; but I can’t find better words to describe this dish.
Because this (Primal) Chicken Enchilada Casserole is so very delicious - awesome is the only word that comes to mind.
It’s like taking all the goodness of an enchilada, stacking it up, and baking it under a nice layer of mozzarella. Plus, it’s gluten-free and loaded with veggies.
It may not look like, but it really is.
I’ll confess it; making the primal version of this casserole it’s a tad more time consuming than the non-primal one.
In the latter case, you go to the grocery store and buy already made tortillas, shredded chicken, enchilada sauce and mozzarella; all you’re left to do is basically assemble the casserole.
But that’s not how we roll over here.
We like to make everything from scratch — and not because we think it’s funny to do the extra work, but because it’s healthier and tastes 200x better.
So we make cauliflower tortillas, enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, okay, not the cheese (although I know quite a few people who make cheese at home!) and then we "create" the casserole.
A bit of sauce. Now layer away. Tortillas, chicken, cheese and sauce all up in there.
35 minutes in the oven and yum!
Here’s the thing about this Primal Chicken Enchilada Casserole, it’s not as good as the regular one, it’s on a whole 'nother level.
It makes the regular one tastes....meh, or something.
The cauliflower tortillas are so yummy and they soak up the juice way better than regular flour tortillas. Every time you take a bite... It's like you've never eaten anything before.
This is one healthy casserole that will satisfy the even the most finicky eaters.
Print this recipe!
Inspired by PinchOfYum and SlimPalate
Serves 6 - 8
1 lb / 453 gr free-range organic chicken breast
2 cups / 6.8 oz / 200 gr shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (you can also use Monterey Jack)
1 small head of cauliflower, should yield 3 cups riced and packed
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder*
2 tablespoons chili powder (adjust according to taste)
1 can (15 oz / 425 gr) tomato sauce
1 ½ cups / 350 ml water
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ fine grain sea salt
*arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch
Boil chicken breast in a large pot of water for 30 minutes. Then shred it with two forks. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat; stir in arrowroot powder and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until light brown, about 2 minutes.
Stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic and salt; lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Set aside.
Cauliflower crust tortillas
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C), line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease them with olive oil.
In a food processor rice the cauliflower, until you get a texture finer than rice. (Once it’s riced measure it and make sure you have 3 cups packed).
Place cauliflower rice in a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes, give it a good stir and microwave for another 2 minutes.
Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze as much moisture as you can (I usually squeeze out over a cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry.
Place drained cauliflower rice back in the bowl and add eggs, salt and pepper and mix until combined.
Spread the mixture onto the lined baking sheets into 8 fairly flat circles.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then peel them off the parchment paper, flip them and bake for further 6 to 7 minutes.
Heat a nonstick medium sized pan over medium heat and place the tortillas into the pan pressing down slightly and brown them (1 minute per side).
Assemble the casserole
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place a few spoonfuls of enchilada sauce in the bottom of 8x8 baking dish. Place two tortillas in the bottom of the dish, overlapping to cover the entire surface (to get each layer completely covered with tortillas, I cut 1 additional tortilla into fourths and used it to cover the corners).
Layer chicken, cheese, sauce and tortillas; repeat once to make a total of 2/3 layers.
Cover the top with enchilada sauce and 1 cup of cheese.
Cover the baking dish with well-oiled aluminium foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake uncovered for additional 5 minutes, until cheese starts to brown and sauce is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
One serving yields 370 calories, 22 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs and 32 grams of protein.