Mexican Chicken, Poblano and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole is easy, cheesy and perfect for when the Mexican food craving strikes! It's also perfect to make ahead and bake later!
The inspiration behind this recipe:
We finally put our garden to rest a couple of weeks ago. It's hard to believe that at the end of November we could still reap produce but we didn't have a hard frost until then.
I was doing a little refrigerator assessment this weekend and found a huge bag of our Poblanos. They'd been in there a couple of weeks so it was time to do something with them. It's amazing how long something lasts that is homegrown and not shipped in from some far corner of the globe!
I roasted and peeled them all, froze about half and with the cold wind blowing outside, decided a good, spicy Mexican-inspired casserole with chicken was in order.
Yeah, baby! This Mexican Chicken Poblano and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole!
Why roast Poblano peppers?
It's a good idea to roast Poblano peppers before using them because the skin of mature Poblanos can be a bit leathery. It also bumps up the flavor tremendously!
How to roast Poblano peppers:
- Place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Preheat the broiler to high, set a rack near the top–approximately eight inches away from the element works well.
- Broil until the top is blackened, approximately 8-10 minutes. Turn them over and blacken the other side–approximately 5-6 minutes.
- Immediately cover with aluminum foil or another rimmed baking which will cause them to steam. The steam is going to separate the skin from the flesh, making them easier to peel.
- Peel and remove as many seeds as possible. Resist the temptation to peel them under running water as you will rinse away flavor.
- Poblano peppers freeze very well, so after roasting, just place them into a zipper top freezer bag and you'll have roasted Poblano peppers ready to go!
How to make Mexican Chicken, Poblano and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole:
- First, roast the peppers per the above directions and set them aside.
- Next, you'll need to fry the corn tortillas. The reason you want to fry them up first is that they're going to hold up better in a casserole. Corn tortillas placed directly into a casserole tend to dissolve. All they need is one to two minutes in hot oil and they're good to go! Simply drain on a cooling rack and they're done!
- Reserve some of the oil you fried the tortillas with and cook the onion, spices and tomato sauce.
- Layer the ingredients just as you would lasagna and bake away.
- Refrigerate and this casserole is the perfect make-ahead dish. Assemble it up to one to two days ahead of when you're going to need it.
- This casserole also freezes great to bake whenever!
- Some cilantro on the top and some sour cream on the side and you have the perfect Mexican-inspired dinner!
For more great Mexican-inspired meals, be sure to try my:
- Southwestern Chicken, Orzo and Black Bean Skillet
- Chorizo and Brown Rice Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Southwestern Squash, Corn and Poblano Casserole
- Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean Guacamole and Salsa Fresca
- Chipotle Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Flatbread Pizzas with Avocado Sour Cream
- Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa with Cilantro - Lime Cauliflower Rice
- Sheet Pan Quesadillas with Sweet Potatoes, Poblanos and Black Beans with Chipotle Sour Cream
- Lima Bean and Potato Enchiladas with Hatch Green Chile Sauce
- Southwestern Skillet Chicken
Mexican Chicken Poblano and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole
- Oil or cooking spray - for baking pan
- ½ cup canola oil - or vegetable oil
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 large onion - finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 can (28-ounce) tomato sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves - cooked and shredded (approximately 3 cups)
- 6 Poblano peppers - roasted, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 can (15-ounce) black beans - drained and rinsed
- 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Sour cream - for serving
- Chopped cilantro - for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil or spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a shallow pan over medium-high heat. Cook the tortillas, individually for approximately 1-2 minutes or until crispy. Drain on a cooling rack. Set aside.
- Drain off all but 2-3 tablespoons of the hot oil. Add the onion and cook 6-7 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and coriander and stir briefly. Add tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and heat through. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Place approximately ½ cup of the sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with 4 tortillas.
- Distribute about ½ of the chicken over the tortillas, ½ of the Poblanos and ½ of the beans. Top with another ½ cup of the sauce followed by 1 cup of cheese.
- Top with remaining tortillas followed by remaining chicken, poblanos, beans, sauce and cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes or until cheese and casserole are hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
Cindi Hilfman says
I did this with impossible meat, as I am a vegetarian and it was divine. My garden is booming with poblanos and this is definitely in the rotation. I added roasted corn and black olives. Thank you for the recipe!
Hi, Cindi, Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed and love the way you made it your own! Thanks again!
I made this tonight and it was so good! I had never roasted poblanos before--that was a new experience for me. I served it with lime tortilla chips and salsa. Was a hit with my husband.
Thanks so very much, Chris! So glad you and your hubby enjoyed! Roasting the peppers definitely takes the flavor to another level. Thanks again and hope you'll keep in touch!
I made this as written (ok, used a hoppy, fruity IPA) and it was amazing. Had a few Santitas handy to chase around the loose bits on the plate... nothing was left over.
Thanks, David! So glad you enjoyed!
Would Hatch chilies work in place of the poblanos?
Hi, Dianne, Thanks so much for your question. I think they would. The thing I like about the Poblanos is that deep, smoky flavor they give the dish. Hope you enjoy and let me know how it goes.
Carol, this looks so delish! I've made a couple casseroles like this before but have never fried the tortillas before. Great idea, and I'll definitely do it next time 🙂
Yaaaas! This looks so stinking good. And I know for a fact the whole family will go nuts over it- totally trying this soon!
Poblanos are one of my favorite peppers - this looks delicious!
That looks delicious! I'd personally sub the chicken for something else since i'm vegetarian but oh my tortilla casserole sounds amazing!
Thanks, Veronika! You could do tofu or do two different types of beans.... Add more veggies, etc. It's very adaptable!
Denise Wright says
Oh my gosh that looks so good! I would eat that right now and it's 7:30 am in the morning. I never new that about frying the tortillas first. Can't wait to try this!
Jodie Mo says
This looks so delicious! I'm in love with poblanos.
Anne Murphy says
That sounds delicious!
And I don't have a garden, but I still have peppers (and one lone tomato) from out last CSA pickup. (We didn't have a frost until last week.) Local and really fresh - they do last so much longer!
Yes! Homegrown produce is so much better tasting. Looking forward to the growing season for that reason!
This looks so good! And I know what you mean about the homegrown produce lasting longer. It's amazing!
Thanks, Anne! It's crazy how long it lasts!