Sweet Potato Chicken Enchilada Casserole

To get Maria Makes updates delivered to your inbox, subscribe via email here.

IMG_0330.jpg

This casserole is packed full of delicious Mexican flavors but is totally Whole30/Paleo compliant.  No cheese or tortillas here, but I swear you won't even miss them.  And if you don't follow Whole30, you'll still love it!

As you all probably know by now, I am a HUGE fan of freezer cooking.  When I first started freezer cooking, I did a lot of baked pastas with cheese, and chicken casseroles with cream-of-something soup.  Since I've been focusing more on whole foods lately, and doing the Whole30, I was faced with a whole new challenge.  How do you make a casserole with nothing you would traditionally think of as "casserole" ingredients that are creamy and cheesy!?  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

In this case, instead of using cheese to get everything to come together, I used a few eggs mixed in with the sauce, and it worked perfectly!  

This recipe makes 2 9x13 pans (or 4 8x8 pans).  I baked them BEFORE freezing as I wasn't sure how raw sweet potatoes would hold up in the freezer.  We have already eaten one pan and I can't wait to bust out the next one!


Sweet Potato Chicken Enchilada Casserole

[Whole30 - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free]

IMG_0327.jpg

Ingredients:

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 batch Enchilada Sauce (below)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin, short strips

1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin, short strips

1 red onion, sliced into thin, short strips

4 eggs

6-8 cups of spiralized sweet potatoes (about 3 large)

Enchilada Sauce:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 15oz can tomato sauce

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp chipotle chili powder

2 tsp cumin

Optional Toppings:  Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato, Salsa

Instructions:

  1. First, bake the chicken.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Arrange boneless skinless chicken thighs on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Season with salt and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.  Once it is done, chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  2. While the chicken is baking, make the enchilada sauce.  Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a small saucepan.  Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.  Add in the can of tomato sauce, chili powder, chipotle powder, and cumin.  Bring to a simmer and allow it to cook for 10 minutes.
  3. While the sauce and chicken are cooking, add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet.  Sauté peppers and onions over medium-high heat until they are crisp tender (3-5 minutes).
  4. Once the above 3 steps are complete, add the chicken, 1 cup of enchilada sauce, and peppers and onions to a large bowl (or in my cause, a big pot).  In a separate bowl, scramble the 4 eggs, then add them to the pot.  Combine everything well, being careful not to break up the chicken. 
  5. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  6. Spiralize your sweet potatoes. (I left the skins on). t
    TIP:  If you don't have a spiralizer, you can grate the sweet potatoes.
  7. Divide the sweet potatoes between two 9x13 pans or 4 8x8 pans.
    TIP:  I use foil pans from the Dollar Tree.
  8. Top the spiralized sweet potatoes evenly with the sauced chicken mixture (dividing it equally between the pans).
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce/eggs have set and the top and edges start to brown.
  10. Place remaining enchilada sauce in a zip lock bag and cut a small hole in the corner.  Drizzle the sauce over the casseroles.
  11. Serve with optional toppings noted above OR follow below steps for freezing.

To Freeze:

  1. Allow the casseroles to cool completely, then top with a layer of saran wrap and a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil, sealing the edges.  Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Mark with the date and recipe name and freeze.

To Serve:

  1. Allow the casserole to thaw overnight in the refrigerator (2 days if you can manage).
  2. Reheat slices in the microwave OR reheat the whole pan in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes or until heated through.