Comfort Food – Mom’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole Recipe

Chicken Tortilla Casserole
When I was in school, one of my and my brothers’ favorite things in the cafeteria (after hamburgers, corny-dogs, and Sloppy Joes of course) was Chicken Tortilla Casserole.  My mother worked in the elementary school cafeteria at the time so she made this in mass for the students.  She came up with an at-home version for the 8 of us, which I will share below. 

I do my own version of this recipe in a smaller portion since my family is only 3.  I was discussing the recipe with my brother the other day and he swore Mom used two kinds of soup but I was only aware of the one I used.  Surprise – when I found Mom’s original recipe in a 1979 Church cookbook, she did use two different soups instead of 2 cans of the same flavor.  I will share my version of casserole below as well. 

Mom’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole

1 whole stewed chicken, boned, and pulled apart
1 bag tortilla chips, broken into bite- size pieces
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of chicken broth
2 Jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and chopped fine
1 onion, peeled and chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Grated Cheese

1.    Alternate layers of tortilla chips and chicken in 9x13 casserole dish
2.    Sauté onion and mix with peppers in saucepan.
3.    Combine onion/pepper with soups and broths in pan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4.    Pour mixture over chicken and tortilla layers.
5.    Top with grated cheese
6.    Bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.

My Quick Chicken Tortilla Casserole

1 10-oz can chuck chicken, drained and pulled apart
1 10.75-oz can cream of chicken soup
1 Tablespoon dried minced onions, rehydrated in a cup with a small amount of water
2-3 Tablespoons salsa (I use mild to thin soup, but feel free to spice it up according to your taste)
1 cup broken tortilla chips
1 7-oz package of grated Cheddar Cheese (I use sharp, but feel free to use extra, medium, or mild)

1.    In a saucepan, heat together contents of both cans with onions and salsa.
2.    Spoon some of the mixture into bottom 8” round or square (2 QT) casserole dish and spread to cover bottom.
3.    Spread tortilla chips over mixture in bottom of dish.
4.    Pour remaining mixture over top of tortillas.
5.    Top with grated cheese until all is covered.
6.    Bake at 350 degree until cheese melts, usually about 20 minutes.
Optional:  If softer tortilla chips are desired, let casserole sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

For different, spicier version of large family-size casserole, try new Cambell Soup recipe for Chicken Taco Casserole, which uses Rotel tomoatoes and taco seasoning in the mix. 

If you want another quickie chicken recipe, take 20 minutes to make Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup.  I made it for my mom and she loved it – I substituted 1 cup of kernel corn for the peppers since she does not like them.   We crumbled up a few chips in the bottom of each of our bowls and then ladled soup over them.

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