Eat & DrinkFeaturesWhat a Dish


By Debbie AndersonAugust 26, 2021No Comments

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

By June Naylor
Photos by Meda Kessler

The number of dinnertime dilemmas solved by Lettuce Cook — a gourmet-to-go shop and cafe, with locations in Fort Worth’s River District and also in the TCU neighborhood — is impossible to estimate.

Ready-made meals for every palate and diet fill the refrigerated shelves, and there are plenty of made-to-order breakfast and lunch dishes, too. We keep going back for the flavorful take-and-bake casseroles. A favorite, the Chicken Enchilada Casserole, is nearest and dearest to the hearts of owner-chef Todd Brown and his wife, Natalie Brown, who started their TCB Catering business back in 2004 with this specialty. “This dish and our TCB salad put us on the map,” says Natalie, who notes that they also make the casserole with spinach for those preferring a vegetarian dish. Almost everything can be prepared ahead of time, making this family-friendly dish a snap to assemble.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Serves 6 to 8

  • 4 cups chile-cheese-cream sauce, recipe follows

  • 1 cup avocado salsa, recipe follows

  • 2 cups pico de gallo, divided use, recipe follows

  • 6 cups shredded chicken breasts

  • 24 corn tortillas, cut into thirds

  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Chile-cheese-cream sauce Combine 2 cups each grated cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese, 1 cup grated American cheese, 2 cups chopped roasted green chiles, 2½ cups heavy cream, 2 tablespoons taco seasoning and 1 tablespoon cumin, stirring well to combine. For the green chiles, you can sub in canned or jarred versions. The Browns like the 505 Southwestern brand of Hatch Valley roasted green chiles found at Costco and Central Market.

Avocado salsa Mix the flesh of 2 avocados, 3 tablespoons lime juice and ½ cup cilantro leaves in a blender or food processor until smooth. 

Pico de gallo Combine 4 to 5 chopped ripe Roma tomatoes with 1 chopped medium red onion,
2 teaspoons minced garlic, ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves and juice of 1 lime, plus salt and pepper, to taste. 

To assemble casserole Fold avocado salsa into chile-cheese-cream sauce; spread a third of the mixture over the bottom of greased 9-by-13 casserole dish. Follow with a third of chicken, a third of tortilla pieces and 1/3 cup pico de gallo. Repeat layers. Top casserole with ¾ cup shredded cheddar. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes; remove foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until casserole is bubbly and just browning at edges. Let it rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Before serving, top with 1 cup of pico.