Missing food with a little Latin flare on the GAPS diet or other grain-free diet? This chicken enchilada casserole recipe delivers! Grab it below.
One thing you never get over missing on a grain-free diet is Mexican food. If you want to know the truth, every once in a while the craving gets the best of me and we go out and indulge. But that indulgence will inevitably result in feeling yucky later, so I wanted to try my hand at a grain-free version of my favorite chicken enchilada casserole recipe, and I’ve got to say, it really is satisfying!
This recipe works if you’re on the GAPS diet, a primal-style diet, or if you lean towards paleo (just skip the cheese and sour cream; see notes below). Best of all, it replaces difficult-to-digest grains with vegetables! What could be better than sneaking vegetables into a gooey, warming, kid- and husband-pleasing casserole?!
It’s delicioso! (Try not to make fun of me; I never took high school Spanish. What can I say? The only Spanish I know, I learned from Dora the Explorer.)
Cheesy chicken enchilada casserole, two ways
If you’re able to tolerate dairy, great! Leave the recipe as-is and cheese it up. You’ll get the most delicious, authentic flavor this way. However, if you’re dairy-free, all is not lost!
To make this chicken enchilada casserole recipe dairy-free, you’ll need to whip up my dairy-free queso dip recipe, hold the ground beef. You’ll then use the dip in place of the cheese and sour cream in the casserole.
If you’re keeping track, yes, that’s a lot of homemade components going into this single recipe. But hear me out.
If you make a batch of my cauliflower sauce to go in this recipe, you can use leftovers for chicken and broccoli alfredo with spaghetti squash. Yum! The same goes for homemade salsa verde and queso dip: make ’em once, use the leftovers later.
Really, I see it as a win-win, and when you get used to making everything from scratch, it doesn’t seem so daunting, I promise. Plus, with any luck, you’ll have leftovers from this green chicken enchilada casserole.
The more the merrier- this casserole is for sharing!
I love making big casseroles because it means we’ll have leftovers (ok, sometimes we have leftovers; we do have four hungry boys to feed!), which means one less meal for me to cook later.
Grain-Free Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 1 head of cabbage
- 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
- 2 cups of salsa verde buy a clean version OR check out Stupid Easy Paleo's Roasted Salsa Verde recipe.
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar or jack cheese leave out for dairy-free; see note below.
- 1 cup of cauliflower sauce
- 1 chopped onion
- 1/2 cup sour cream make homemade creme fraiche or look for a clean store-bought version like Organic Valley or Kalona Supernatural; skip for dairy-free
- salt and pepper to taste
- Note: if you would like to make this chicken enchilada casserole recipe without dairy omit the shredded cheese and sour cream and replace with this dairy free queso, leaving out the ground beef.
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Chop the cabbage in thin slices and set aside.
- Combine the salsa verde, cauliflower sauce and sour cream and mix well to create an enchilada sauce. (See note for dairy-free option.)
- Layer 1/3 of the cabbage slices in the bottom of a large casserole dish; top with 1/3 of the shredded chicken, followed by 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the chopped onion, 1/3 of the shredded cheese, and salt and pepper.
- Repeat step four for two more layers.
- Add extra cheese to the top for flavor if you'd like. Trust me, you'd like.
- Cover dish and cook for 35-40 minutes. Remove cover and cook for another 15 minutes so that the cheese becomes a little brown and bubbly on top.
- Remove from oven and let cool before serving with guacamole, cilantro, salsa, sour cream, or whatever your heart desires!
- Note: if using dairy free queso in place of cheese and sour cream, leave out ground beef and combine with salsa verde and cauliflower sauce.
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This looks like a great recipe! I’m going to add it to my new meal list for the month. Everyone has their own opinions. Everyone. But in your opinion in 2 years (which obviously is a while) do you think it is best for a recovering autistic child to switch from GAPS to a traditional diet or to Paleo? I don’t have any issues with grains except that it seems that GMOs and breeding drastically changed them
It depends on whether or not symptoms have abated. If after two years on strict GAPS, the child’s symptoms have not improved, I would probably look into working with a functional medicine doctor or homeopath. The only way to know if the child can tolerate more foods is to slowly introduce them, one at a time and see how he/she responds.