Pastel Azteca, also known as enchilada casserole is a dish that guarantees all-around joy. It’s very easy to prepare, hearty enough for big appetites, freezes well on the weekends and re-heats even more flavorful for weekday lunches or dinners.
Red enchilada sauce, bean sauce, mole sauce or tomato sauce can easily be the sauce of choice. And if you prefer a meatier version, replace the chicken with picadillo or shredded beef. Vegetarian? Try the Tex-Mex version with mushrooms, black beans squash and corn.
We love salsa verde because it’s so tangy and compliments the creaminess of the queso fresco beautifully. To save time and simplify this recipe even more, I purchased a plump and juicy, roasted turkey breast. Dinner was ready in 30 minutes.
This is a great pot-luck dish for office parties or family get-togethers because a little goes a long way and it’s a guarantee that it will be party’s favorite dish.
Omit the Serrano chile if you prefer a milder version. Kids love it!
Pastel Azteca in Salsa Verde
- 8– 6” corn tortillas
- 1/3 cup Canola oil for frying, + 2 tablespoons for frying onions and garlic
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 1 lb. green tomatillos, husked
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Serrano chile, with seeds, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
- salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups, cooked and shredded chicken or turkey breast
- 2 cups Chihuahua cheese (or Mozzarella cheese), shredded
- ½ cup Queso Fresco
In a medium skillet, heat oil. Fry tortillas on both sides until golden. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
In the same skillet, remove all oil but 2 tablespoons (add more if necessary). Cook chopped onion and garlic for approximately 4 minutes. Set aside.
In a large saucepan filled 2/3 with water, boil tomatillos approximately 5-6 minutes. Drain and place in blender. Add ½ cup of chicken broth, onion, garlic, Serrano chiles, cilantro, oregano, salt and sugar. Blend until nearly smooth.
In a large saucepan, place the green sauce, add remaining chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 6 minutes. Add salt if necessary.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Place approximately 1/3 cup of green sauce at the bottom of an 8-inch baking dish. Place a layer of 2 fried tortillas on top of the sauce, then sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ½ cup shredded chicken (or turkey), top with another layer of 1/3 cup sauce, two tortillas, cheese and chicken. Repeat layering ingredients and top ½ queso fresco. You should have a total of 4 tortilla layers.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake approximately 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and sauce begins to bubble. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes.
Slice and serve on plates, pour 2 tablespoons of green salsa over slice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.