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Chicken Chilaquiles Recipe (or pork!)

Although this isn’t an authentic Mexican recipe, this chilaquiles recipe makes me feel like I’m back in Ixtapa eating in a beach side restaurant and staring at the ocean.  It’s a very simple chicken casserole that’s ready in about 40 minutes.  But if you make several at once and freeze them, they’re ready after just 30 minutes in the oven with no prep time!

I first had this dish as the result of winning a bet.  We aren’t gamblers, but our friends who’d been married for years bet us that they could totally stump us in the newlywed game.  We’d only been married about 2 or 3 months at the time.  Sadly for them, we totally stomped them!  The bet was for cooking dinner, so the next week we showed up at their house for chilaquiles.

The original recipe is from Cooking Light magazine, and my friend discovered it freezes well because she made several to have on hand after they had a new baby.  It’s one of the few recipes my husband likes cilantro in.  Usually I have to sneak it into his food, but there’s A LOT in this and he didn’t even notice.

The recipe below is for only one casserole, but if you want to make more, just double or triple the ingredients.  I suggest making it in disposable pans that are easily stacked in the freezer, covering it tightly with foil, and very carefully labeling them!

This is also a great way to use up leftover chicken or pork.  When I made this I had some chicken left from a roast chicken the day before, and tons of kalua pig in the freezer from my luau.  So I made one chicken recipe and two pork recipes.  Both were delicious!

Chicken or Pork Chilaquiles

serves 4-6


2  cups  shredded chicken or pork
1/2  cup  chopped green onions
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded Pepper Jack cheese, divided
2  tablespoons  grated Parmesan cheese
1  teaspoon  chili powder
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
3/4  cup  1% low-fat milk
1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
1 (11-ounce) can tomatillos, drained
1  (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 TBS – 1/4 cup canola oil
12  (6-inch) corn tortillas


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine chicken, green onions, 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, Parmesan, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Place milk and next 3 ingredients (through chiles) in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.

Heat 1 TBS oil in a large frying pan on high heat.  Add one tortilla and fry for about 15 seconds.  Place another on top of it, flip the stack and fry another 15 seconds.  Continue that process, adding oil as needed, until all the tortillas have been fried.

Pour 1/3 cup tomatillo mixture into bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 corn tortillas in dish, and top with half of chicken mixture. Repeat layer with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture, ending with tortillas.

Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups tomatillo mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

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10 thoughts on “Chicken Chilaquiles Recipe (or pork!)”

  1. Hi Diana, How many fresh tomatillos would you use instead of the canned? As an aside, I looked for the Knorr tamarind soup base at my grocery store today and they don’t have it. I’ll keep looking!

  2. I saw this in Cooking Light and thought it was great — I was Googling for more light chilaquiles recipes and found this same one. I think it’s great — I used leftover rotisserie chicken. Good to know that it freezes well.

  3. These look great! I’m part of a monthly freezer meal exchange group, so I’m always looking for good recipes that freeze well. A question about freezing these – do you cook them fully first? Do you cool them before freezing them? What are the re-heat instructions? Thanks!

    • Hi Tamara, so sorry I’m just now replying. We got way behind on comments with our new baby! It’s been a while since I’ve made these (time to make them again!) but I seem to remember that I don’t cook them fully before freezing. I would suggest letting them cool slightly, then freezing, and cooking it for at least double the fresh cook time. I cook it covered when frozen, and then take the foil off after 35 minutes.


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