Enchilada Casserole

 

    Whole and complete with cilantro on topClose up finished piece

Hello everyone! This is my version of an awesome recipe I found on Sunset.com a few years back. It’s the #1 best reviewed recipe on their site! (here is a link for that original recipe http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/turkey-enchilada-casserole-10000000682860/) I made a couple changes by adding black olives (which my Wife and I love) as well as adding Spanish rice directly to the enchiladas as opposed to serving them as a side dish. This not only increases how substantial the meal is it also adds another delicious layer of flavor and texture. As noted with all my recipes please feel free to adjust anything to match your own preferences. More/less cayenne, more/less cumin, etc.. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to add in your own ingredients and ideas!

All ingredients

Ingredients:

* 20 oz ground turkey

* ½ chopped onion

* 3 cloves chopped garlic

* 2 tablespoons (dried or fresh) oregano

* 1 tablespoon ground cumin

* 1 tablespoon olive oil

* 1 large (29 oz) can green or red enchilada sauce (I prefer green)

* Approximately 18 corn tortillas

* 2-3 cups shredded Jack or taco mix cheese

* 1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped

* 1 can black olives sliced

* 1 pouch microwaveable Spanish Rice

* 1 teaspoon Cayenne powder, salt and pepper to your taste

* 1 11×7 baking pan lightly oiled

* Preheat oven to 425 degrees

To start off you’re going to add some olive oil to a hot pan and sauté the onions for a few minutes until they begin to turn translucent. While you are cooking the onions I like to add a little salt/pepper and dried oregano just so they start soaking up those good flavors and it brings more out of the herb(s) if you cook them a little. It’s always a good rule of thumb to season with every layer of food you are cooking. Go light on the salt and pepper as you work through the recipe though as you can always add more at the end but you cant take it out.

Just added turkey

Now add your ground turkey meat and start browning it with the onions, you can also add the chopped garlic and a little more oregano plus the cayenne and cumin. Once the turkey has cooked all the way through (no pink showing) add around 1 cup of the enchilada sauce. I had actually forgotten to drain my turkey before doing this so my mixture ended up a little watery, no problem though I just cooked it a little longer to get out some of the moisture. Best bet is to drain your turkey before adding the sauce though. After you’ve added the sauce go ahead and put in about ¾ of the sliced olives, ½ the chopped cilantro and all the Spanish rice, making sure to microwave it before adding.

Burger,sauce, onions all simmering

At this point remove your meat/rice mixture from the heat and let it start to cool. You’ll now start layering the enchilada’s, somewhat like a lasagna actually.

Layer 11st layer with turkey

First it’s a good idea to put down a little sauce right on the bottom of your pan, just enough to cover the bottom so you’re lowest layer of tortillas doesn’t dry out. After putting down some sauce layer your tortillas along the bottom doing your best to cover the entire pan. I put 3 overlapping down the middle and cut another 3, lining 3 halves one side and 3 on the other. Next put a layer of shredded cheese down over the tortillas, then a layer of your meat mixture (about 1/3) topping that with about 2/3 cup or so of sauce. Then simply repeat that step twice more ending with a final layer of tortillas, cheese and sauce on top. Then I like to finish it by topping with the rest of your sliced black olives.

Now you’re all ready for the oven which should be preheated to 425. Place the baking pan on center rack uncovered and cook for approximately 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and edges are crisping up. Final step after baking is to add the rest of your chopped cilantro to the top and dig in!

Close up of cooked top

I served this with a side of fresh homemade coleslaw that went perfectly with the enchilada. The tart vinegary flavor of the slaw matched perfectly with the slightly spicy enchilada’s and made a perfect palate cleanser in between bites.

 

 Close up of coleslaw and piece in back

 

 

 

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