So, I’m assuming you have all made your homemade batch of enchilada sauce from my post a couple days ago, right? Now, what are you going to do with that bowl of deliciousness? You could use it for regular ol’ enchiladas, but why not try something different– like this enchilada bake? An enchilada bake is kind of like an Italian lasagna but with a Mexican twist. It’s a lot of layering of ingredients of your choosing separated by tortillas, cheese, and sauce. And it’s wonderful.
Of course, you can use any sort of filling that you want, but I chose to go with butternut squash because it’s in-season right now. Shredded chicken probably isn’t necessary as the black beans give this dish protein and a nice Mexican vibe. With that said, the chicken was perfect in this dish– and my husband probably would have rioted without it. Plus, I had some in my refrigerator from making broth the other day. I love the combination of the squash, black beans, and chicken– they compliment each other so well. And the enchilada sauce ties everything together.
If you’re not entirely sure how to cut into that butternut squash, I took a few photos that should help you out. It’s quite easy to dice. And if you have extra squash, roast it and freeze it for later. I love doing that this time of year, since they are so plentiful and inexpensive at the farmers markets. Something to think about if you’re like me and stocking your freezer full of summer goodness to get you through the winter. Be well, my friends.
The Recipe: Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken
(makes an 11 x 8 casserole)
1 butternut squash, cubed into small pieces (you’ll only use about 1 1/2 cups of it)
1 cup cooked black beans
1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
about 12 corn or flour tortillas, or more depending upon your pan size
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken ( *see note)
2 cups homemade enchilada sauce, plus more for serving
salt and pepper
green onions, sour cream, and jalapeños, for garnish
*Note: If you don’t have any cooked chicken on hand, you can easily roast some. You’ll need about 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Place on a small baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375°F for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches between 165-170°F when inserted with a thermometer. You can bake the chicken and squash at the same time, the chicken will just need to bake a bit longer. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before shredding it
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the cubed squash on a large baking pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven. You will not use all of the squash. Store remaining squash in the refrigerator to use throughout the week, or freeze.
Next, begin layering the enchilada bake. The amounts I listed were for a casserole dish that measures 11 x 8. Use whatever dish you have, but just know that you may need to make adjustments to the amounts. Start by putting 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom, followed by about 1 cup of roasted squash. Then place about 4 tortillas on top of that, followed by 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of shredded chicken and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. The next layer will be 4 more tortillas, 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of shredded chicken, and 1/2 cup of roasted squash. Then, the final layer is 4 tortillas, 1 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce topped with about 1 cup of monterey jack cheese. Slightly push down on the layers, as you go.
Bake uncovered at 375°F for about 40-45 minutes, or until the cheese is a beautiful golden brown. Remove from oven and serve with extra enchilada sauce, sour cream, chopped green onions, and jalapeños. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator and are wonderful when served with a little extra enchilada sauce. Enjoy!
As always, thanks for stopping by!