AKA Mexican lasagna or tortilla casserole. No matter how you want to call it, this popular layering Mexican dish is as comforting and delicious as a good lasagna. There’s a tangy salsa verde make with tomatillos and jalapeños, tender shredded chicken, smokey poblano peppers, sweet corn, gooey cheese and delicious Mexican crema. All my favorite ingredients in one dish. Never mind. This IS better than lasagna.
What you need to make Pastel Azteca
Green tomatillos. Tomatillo is a small Mexican husk tomato. It can be green or purple.
Corn tortillas. Yes, they must be corn.
Shredded chicken. I always use rotisserie chicken or left over oven baked chicken for this recipe.
Poblano Peppers. You will need to roast them and clean them. It is a bit of a process but fresh are much better than canned.
Corn.Frozen is perfectly fine.
Melting cheese. Oaxaca cheese, quesadilla cheese, asadero cheese or Mexican Manchego. If you can’t find any of those, Monterrey jack would be the best option.
Mexican crema agria. Crema agria is Mexican sour cream but creamier. Regular Mexican crema is also delicious and works perfect for this dish too.
Be careful not to overcook the tomatillos. If they simmer for too long, they will burst, and the salsa will be bitter. It also important to let them cool before blending.
Old corn tortillas would work great in this dish. Just like stale bread is better for French toast so, use them if you have them. I would not recommend using flour tortillas, since they are much softer, they would suck up all the moisture in this dish and get soggy. No bueno.
What I love to do when I have Pastel Azteca leftovers is to top it with a fried egg and eat it for breakfast with a big cup of coffee. Oh, so good!
16 oz (about 10) tomatillos, husk removed and washed
1/2 small onion
2 garlic cloves (1 if big)
salt to taste
10-12 corn tortillas
3-4 cups shredded chicken (preferably rotisserie)
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 cup Mexican crema agria
8 oz shredded, Oaxaca, Asadero or Mexican Manchego cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Make the green salsa: Place the jalapeños, onion and garlic in a medium saucepan and add 4 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium high and boil for five minutes. After five minutes add the tomatillos and turn the heat to low. Simmer for five minutes, then turn off the heat. Let everything cool in the same saucepan.
Prepare the poblano peppers: Roast the poblanos over an open flame (or line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place directly under a broiler), turning regularly until the skin is evenly blackened. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap. Let them cool enough to handle. Rub off the charred skin with a pepper towel or the edge of a spoon. Open the peppers and remove the stem, veins and seeds. Cut into ¼-inch strips.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place a large griddle over medium high heat and drizzle with some vegetable oil. Once hot, heat up the tortillas on both sides until they are slightly toasted.
Assemble: Smear a light coating of salsa over the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking dish.
Next, cover the bottom with a single layer of tortillas. Depending on the size, you might need to cut some tortillas in half to fit the bottom of the dish.
Add 1/3 of the salsa to cover the tortillas and scatter 1/3 of the rotisserie chicken, 1/3 of the poblano strips, 1/3 of the corn, 1/3 of the cheese and 1/3 of the of the cream.
Repeat the ingredients in the same order to form two more layers, ending with chicken, poblano strips, corn, cheese and crema.
Place in a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is browned on top and bubbling. Let stand for a few minutes before cutting into squares.
Hello, my name is Marisol Chancellor. I was born and raised in Monterrey Mexico. I’ve been living in Texas for 12 years and even when I love barbeque, fruit cobblers and sweet tea, there’s something that has the power of transporting me right back to my mom’s kitchen and gives me a little piece of home, cooking. I grew up in the kitchen and for me, memories are always linked to food, and behind the food, well, there’s always a story that comes along. So, please let me share with you my love for cooking and while we are at it, let’s share some memories, because let’s be honest, we are also hungry for nostalgia.