Monday, May 9, 2011

Frugal Food- Southwest Chicken Enchilada casserole

This recipe is one I concocted from a few other recipes and a desire to get the same depth of flavor in less time.
It serves 6 -8 depending on how big you make your enchiladas.
You will need
2 cups shredded chicken
1 jar (16 oz) prepared salsa (or an equal amount fresh salsa)
1 package whole wheat tortilla wraps -8 inch size (or two packs if you prefer smaller enchiladas)
1 can drained rinsed black beans
1 cup frozen corn
8 oz shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Cheddar work well)
Chili Powder to taste
Onion Powder to taste
Cayenne pepper if desired

Place your shredded chicken in a large pot with the salsa, corn and beans. Add your spices- I used 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp onion powder and a pinch of cayenne, but your spices will vary with your choice of salsa. Heat on medium heat for about thirty minutes warmed through and flavors have melded together. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Now take a large bowl, and a strainer big enough to hold your chicken mixture. Place the strainer over the bowl and press the mixture from one side to the other in the strainer with enough pressure to drain excess liquid without squishing your beans. I have found a small wooden slotted spoon is easiest to work with. Get as much of the liquid out of the mixture as you can.
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pyrex dish, and start making your enchiladas. Place 1-2 spoonfulls of mixture in the center of the tortilla and roll, place seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat until your dish is full or you run out of mixture. You will have to scoot them to the side as you add them so they fit properly, they will lay on each other a bit.
Pour your sauce (the drained liquid) over the top of your enchiladas. Cover with the shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes covered with foil and if you desire remove the foil to brown your cheese for the last ten minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
I did not brown the cheese, but here is the finished product. My husband and child both really enjoyed it.  I hope you do as well!

Cost break down
The chicken was leftover from a whole roast chicken I made, and the whole chicken cost $4.78, the portion I used for this casserole was about 1/3 of that so $1.60
The salsa was $1.99 at Aldi
Beans $.59
Corn $.33 (about 1/3 of a bag of frozen corn at $.99) -Aldi
Tortilla wraps - $2.59 - Food Lion
Cheese $2.00 at Aldi

Total $9.10 or $1.52 a serving at 6 servings (this fed our family of 3 twice)

You can further cut costs by using flour tortillas or changing your meat option to something cheaper, but we are trying to eat more whole grains here so that is why the recipe calls for whole wheat. As for the meat, I would use a shredded meat and not ground, if you choose to switch that up. Shredded pork works nicely as well.

This is shared at Simple Homemaking link up through (button on the sidebar).
This is also shared with Homemaking Link up at
Raising Homemakers


  1. Oh my goodness, this sounds so yummy! Just what I like: frugal and tasty!
    You should submit this recipe to All Recipes, I'm sure it would be a hit!
    I'm going to try this recipe for sure, thanks for sharing!
    Julianne :)

  2. Thanks Julianne! I hope your family enjoys it!

  3. Great post. Thanks for sharing! That looks great!