Enchilada Lasagna

I never knew how easy it was to make your own enchilada sauce. Alton Brown really nailed this one I think. It’s better than the stuff you get in the can. From now on, I’ll be making my own enchilada sauce.

I found dried chipotle peppers in the produce section and not in the Ethnic aisle. Thought that was really weird.The peppers were with some spices, garlic, and shallots. You could probably use the canned chipotle peppers for this too. Just mince them up really fine. The dried peppers were really hard to dice and you have to fish them out of the sauce if you don’t want to bite down into the pepper.

I’m not sure if I like soggy corn tortillas. I actually prefer my enchiladas rolled up into a burrito so that they can get crispy on the outside. You could just as well use lasagna noodles if you don’t want to use corn tortillas for this dish. I think that’s what I’d do next time when I make it again.

Ingredients form Alton Brown

For sauce:

2 dried chipotle chiles, stems and seeds removed, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds, freshly ground
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For filling:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed
1 1/2 cups diced onion
Pinch kosher salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
3 cups shredded queso fresco or Monterey Jack
Nonstick cooking spray


Combine the chiles, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken until cooked through, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Add the onions to the same pan along with a generous pinch of salt, decrease the heat to medium-low and sweat for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the chicken back to the pan and remove from the heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Place 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the dish. Dip 4 tortillas into the remaining sauce and lay them into the bottom of the dish. Cut 1 of the tortillas in half to evenly cover the bottom of the dish. Top this with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. Starting with 4 more tortillas, repeat the layers, ending with the last 4 tortillas on top. Pour remaining sauce over the dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese on top is bubbly.

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