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Loaded Chicken Tortilla Lasagna

Updated: Feb 29

This crowd-pleasing Mexican-inspired recipe is worth every minute of prep time. I absolutely enjoy making all the scratchy-scratch steps of this dish, and it's knock-your-socks-off good. (You could cut corners and buy pre-cooked chicken but I would recommend doing it my epic way for best flavor and texture!)

This one is a website (and newsletter) exclusive. You won't see it in my best-selling cookbook however there are plenty of other great recipes, even a whole Mexican chapter! to choose from.

Loaded Chicken Tortilla Lasagna

Makes 9 hearty servings

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 packages taco seasoning (for 2 pounds meat)

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium yellow or sweet onion, diced

1 can (16 ounces) refried beans

1 can (15 ounces) mild enchilada sauce

1 can (10 ounces) Ro-Tel diced tomatoes green chilies

1 teaspoon chili powder (I recommend Gebhardt's)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

8 ounces sour cream

8 ounces chunky salsa, medium heat

6 ounces peperoncinis, de-stemmed, sliced thin (use half a 16 ounce jar—the math seems wrong but trust me)

1 cup chopped cilantro (optional, but highly recommended)

Juice of 2 limes

16 ounces corn tortillas (never flour)

2 cups (8 ounces) Mexican blend shredded cheese (and more if you feel indulgent)

Guacamole & sliced scallions for serving

Grease or spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Season breasts with salt and pepper, set aside. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw poultry.

To a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 8 cups water, bring to boil. Add breasts, and more water to fully cover as needed. Add ribs of celery and/or chunks of onion for extra credit. At brisk simmer, cook for 12 to 15 minutes till thickest part of a breast reaches internal temperature of 160 to 165°F.

Drain and let cool 5 to 10 mins. In the cooking pot or very large bowl, shred chicken, using two forks, or my favorite method, with a hand mixer (take it slow, don't spray it all over the kitchen). Also can be done in a stand mixer.

In the cooking pot, over medium heat, combine chicken, taco seasoning, water, as directed. Bring to a simmer and heat 5 minutes, set chicken aside.

To cooking pot, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook, scraping up brown bits, till softened, 5 minutes.

To onion, add and break up refried beans, stir and heat. Add enchilada sauce, Ro-Tel, chili powder, cumin, stir till thoroughly combined and heated, a few minutes.

In medium bowl, stir together sour cream, salsa, peperoncinis, cilantro, lime juice.

In baking dish, spread thin layer of bean mixture. Add layer of tortillas, tearing apart to fit as needed. Add one third remaining bean mixture, half the chicken, half the sour cream mixture, one half cheese. Add a second layer of tortillas, another third of the bean mixture, rest of the chicken, rest of the sour cream. Add a third layer of tortillas, final third bean mixture, rest of cheese. Submerge edges of tortillas into beans/sauce around edge of baking dish.

Cover and refrigerate 2 hours so flavors can blend and the "lasagna" can set up.

Heat oven to 350°F. Bake, covered in foil, for 40 minutes. Remove foil, bake 15 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Top with guacamole and sliced scallions. Olé!


Here are some of the layering steps of this delicious Mexican casserole.

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