Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Enchilada Pie
This roasted tomatillo creamy chicken enchilada pie is the epitome of good comfort food. We’re roasting tomatillos, poblanos, onions and garlic to make a smooth, creamy sauce. We’ll layer the cooked chicken, tortillas, and cheese then bake this simple enchilada pie!
CREAMY. DREAMY. COMFORT FOOD.
So real talk, it’s a layered chicken enchilada pie that’s smothered in homemade roasted tomatillo cream sauce that’s flavored with poblanos, onions, and garlic. And it doesn’t stop there. Layed in between the sauce is that rotisserie chicken, veggies, and tortillas. Then we’re covering it all in cheese and letting it bake so that it gets nice and golden on the outside and the tortillas get soft and cozy on the inside.
I am allllll about that fall comfort food. CHYEAH.
Call me casserole queen, won’t you? Casseroles are totally my thing. It’s finally acceptable for me to cook us comfort food like enchilada casserole now because we’re just about to set foot into September and that translates to pumpkin-spice-everything in my mind and along with that comes warm sweaters, hot cocoa, and casseroles.? I’d cook us comfort food all year long if it was up to me. I don’t really know if many of you would stick around for that though. But let it be 90 degrees in Texas next week! I refuse to participate. For me, it’s full on fall mode from now on. ?
Friends, I’m gonna need you to give me your undivided attention for the most delicious creamy homemade roasted tomatillo sauce you’ve ever had. You can call if a tomatillo salsa if you want because it does sorta start out that way. All we’re gonna do is put a bunch of ingredients onto a baking sheet and give it a quick roast. Then into the food processor it goes with sour cream and a little chicken broth to thin it out and give it that creaminess that makes this a TOMATILLO CREAM SAUCE.
I know, it’s tempting to use a store-bought jar of salsa verde but it’s worth the effort to make your own. I pinky promise. It’s sososo much better that way.
Because I’m asking you to make your own sauce, i’ll make you a deal, shredded rotisserie chicken is totally okay for this homemade chicken enchilada pie recipe. On the rare occasions that I have my life together and a monthly meal plan actually exists, I cook a few chicken breasts, shred them, and freeze them in individual zip-top bags for soups and casseroles like this one. I will say that it definitely comes in handy during the fall/winter months because I pretty much live off of comfort food once summer ends!
Are we worried about making homemade tomatillo sauce from scratch? Because there’s nothing to be afraid of, really. YOU can do this. YOU GOT THIS. I’ll walk you through it.
Grab a pound of tomatillos, get that husks off, give it a quick rinse and wipe it down. Toss it onto a baking sheet along with a quartered onion, 5-6 garlic cloves — you don’t even have to peel them, and 1 whole poblano pepper. Now broil for 8-10 minutes and smell all those AMAZING smells. Scent therapy? YASSS! Get it out of that oven and quickly cover the baking sheet with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. This makes your job like 1000x easier! The peel of the poblano, garlic, and tomatillo will come off in a SNAP. Now into the food processor along with a big handful of cilantro, cumin powder, salt, pepper… MAGIC in 3..2..1. Add the sour cream and pour in the chicken broth with the food processor running and when it’s all smooth you. are. DONE. You had it in you all along.
Let me add really quickly that *IF* you want you can make this a litttttttle extra healthier and trick your significant other//kids into eating veggies, blend in 2 cups of fresh baby spinach along with the roasted veggies. I like to do that because not only does it make the color so much greener, it also adds lots of body and health to the whole chicken enchilada pie. Once the sauce is on point, all we really need to do is layer the corn or flour tortillas with chicken, gooey cheese, and that roasty-toasty, spicy, tangy, kinda spicy sauce. I’m partial to corn tortillas for this chicken enchilada pie. Corn tortillas have their way of just softening, blending in with the melty cheese and the saucy sauce.
Cover the top of the casserole with lots of shredded pepper jack cheese then into the oven it goes. When it comes hot out of the oven crumble some cotija cheese on top. And because we like color, handful of freshy freshness from herbs, like cilantro or parsley and serve it up with lime wedges on the side because I seriously couldn’t stop skaweeezing that lime!
MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Tomatillo Cream Sauce:
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked
- 2 whole poblano peppers
- 5-6 cloves garlic, peel on
- 1 large yellow onion, peel removed and quartered
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, leaves and some stems
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach (optional)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 6-8 (8-inch) corn tortillas
- garnish: chopped cilantro + cotija cheese + lime wedges
- SAUCE: Position a rack near the top of the oven. I use the highly preset, closest to the broiler. Preheat the broiler for about 10 minutes. If using fresh chicken, you can cook it at this time. Add the tomatillos, 1 whole poblano pepper, garlic, and quartered onions on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes turning halfway through. Remove the tray from the oven and immediately cover with a sheet of foil. This will allow the peels to loosen. Remove the peel from the garlic, poblano (remove the ribs and seeds), and tomatillos. Place the veggies into a food processor along with the cilantro, unroasted poblano (deseeded and ribbed), and baby spinach (if using) and blend until it breaks down into a sauce. Add the sour cream and chicken broth and continue to pulse until almost smooth, you can also add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.
- CHICKEN: Bring a large pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt. Add the chicken to the pot, remove from heat and cover. Let cook for 25-35 minutes or until the chicken is poached and completely cooked through. Shred the chicken, set aside.
- PIE: Cut the tortillas down the center. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Place 4 pieces of the tortillas in a 9x9 baking dish. Don't worry if there's a little bit of space between the tortillas, that's okay. Add a layer of the chicken followed by 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat the layers again. The final layer will have tortillas, then the sauce and finally the cheese.
- BAKE: Bake the enchilada pie for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with cilantro and cotija cheese and serve with the lime wedges.
- The chicken can be replaced with shredded rotisserie chicken if you'd like to make this into a quicker recipe.