Loco Pollo Enchilada Casserole

Mexican Chicken Jumble

Many of my recipes come from inspirations of foodies around the globe. Friends I know by sharing my recipes here and from following their blogs throughout the years. New to me this year is Pinterest. Fascinating isn't it? Nowadays, all we have to do to get inspired is to look at a photo, and if we like it enough, we can hold on to it in our scrapbook of sorts or on a board as it is called. Then there is that networking thing going on in the background, which is a good thing because that is where many new inspirations come.

The recipe today is one I saw on Pinterest, well, kinda. You know me, I added the kitchen sink.The photo was just enough to make me want to save the idea and I did. Like many, I looked at it, studied what it was about it that made me want it, want to save it and later cook it. Right off the bat, I liked the craziness of the jumbled concoction of mingling ingredients. Diversity of taste and texture on every forkful and it looked to be a delight for the palate. Then I looked at the recipe, got the jest of it and went to my own pantry and cupboard where the below recipe came to my own liking. Now to me, that is a good recipe. When you can cook it for its conceptual appeal yet use what is on hand from your own kitchen. I imagine this would be equally good with beef too.

Now, really all needed are a few basics - the shredded chicken, broken tortilla chips, enchilada sauce, cooked pasta, a little seasoning and the shredded cheese. Everything else is for glory, added drool for our gluttonous ways.  After all, that is what a respectable all-in-one casserole is really about, right? The kitchen sink in a gourmandizing way? I think so and that is why we enjoy them so.

Enjoy this one!

Loco Pollo Enchilada Casserole
8 to 10 servings

Half package (8 oz) of dried pasta, I used gnocchi (not Mexican at all) to hold the saucy chicken mixture but I think wagon wheels (Rotelle) would be fun
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup green bell pepper, cut in thin slivers
1/3 cup red bell pepper, cut in thin slivers
1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, cut in thin slivers
1 large red onion, sliced in slivers
1 -16 oz can black or pinto beans, drained
1/3 cup chopped green onions
3 garlic toes, smashed and chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons Mexican or Taco seasoning
1 -16 oz can refried beans
2 -10 oz cans Enchilada sauce, divided
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cooked and shredded
3 cups broken tortilla chips (not crushed)
8 oz natural mild cheddar cheese grated or 2 cup Mexican style blend
1 chopped tomato

Avocado Cream Topping:
1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 3-quart oblong casserole dish with cooking spray, set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add oil and the sliced bell peppers and onion. Stir-fry tossing vegetables around until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add the black beans and green onions, toss together. Remove to a bowl and keep warm.

Add the garlic and jalapeño to the pan, heat until sizzling and fragrant. Whisk in the seasoning and stir in the refried beans. Add one can of the enchilada sauce, the shredded chicken and stir to barely incorporate. Remove from heat.

Cover the bottom of the casserole with about one-third of the other can of enchilada sauce. Place half of the pasta on the bottom, half of the chicken mixture, half of the vegetable mixture, half of the chips and half of the cheese. Repeat layers omitting the last topping of cheese. Sprinkle with the chopped tomato. Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until casserole is hot throughout.

Remove foil, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown slightly. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Make the avocado cream topping by tossing the avocado with the lime juice. Mash together all ingredients right before serving. Spoon a dollop on top of each serving.

Source of recipe idea from BHG


  1. The name of this alone makes me want to make this one! love the colorful mexican flair it has just delightful and the flavor must be wonderful, what a great change from the everyday food love it!

  2. I want to make this after seeing the picture. I want to make it even more after reading the casserole ingredients. The avocado cream topping seals the deal. Lordy!

  3. Your kitchen sink looks and sounds awesome - we'll have to try this. I really like your headed shot.

  4. I've just got one word for you, mister - YUM!! Good lord, it's 10:00 in the morning and I'm drooling all over my keyboard wanting this casserole.

  5. That avocado sauce sounds like the icing on the cake. What a nice meal that would make. I'd have to substitute rice for the pasta, but it'd still be fantastic!

  6. the name rocks, but the avocado cream has me drooling!! great revamp Drick!

  7. That is one loaded casserole! Love the avocado cream as well :)


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