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Fall Recipe Find: Pumpkin Tortilla Casserole

The kids and I were talking about maybe taking turns making meals. I was also thinking that something new might be fun. Since all of my kids like pumpkin, and they also like peppers, that maybe this fall dish would be interesting to try. Beware. I learned something. I didn't know that working with chili peppers took so much effort!  It's highly recommended! Also, this is a little bit tedious, but decide if you think it's worth all the effort to add pumpkin to your fall dinner meal.

Ingredients

  • 1  15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 2   teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4   cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 11 ounce can tomatillos, rinsed, drained, and choppped
  • 1  cup chopped onion (1 large)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeno chile pepper*
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, half of the garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; set aside.

Making The Sauce

in a food processor combine tomatillos, onion, broth, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin, the remaining garlic, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and process until smooth.

Place shredded chicken in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the sauce; toss gently to coat.

Lightly coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with four of the tortillas, tearing as necessary to cover entire surface.

Top with half of the pumpkin mixture, half of the chicken mixture, 1/2 cup of the sauce, and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers. Top with the remaining four tortillas, the remaining sauce, and the remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more or until bubbly around the edges. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with sour cream and salsa.