Speedy Chicken Chilaquiles with Less Guilt

A more healthful version of chicken chilaquilles.

Chilaquiles are a guilty pleasure — a traditional Mexican brunch dish of fried tortillas, salsa, eggs, loads of cheese and a generous amount of thick, tangy sour cream.

If you’re wanting to dial that back a bit in the New Year, cookbook authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough have a version that won’t bust any waistbands.

It’s included in their new cookbook, “Cooking Light: The Complete Quick Cookbook” (Oxmoor House), of which I recently received a review copy. The book is filled with recipes to get dinner on the table fast during a hectic weeknight. The straightforward recipes make use of time-saving ingredients such as quick cooking grains, bottled minced garlic, canned chickpeas and store-bought rotisserie chicken as in this dish.

A tangy, spicy tomatillo sauce gets whizzed up in a flash in a blender. Corn tortillas are simmered in the sauce, rather than fried. Low-fat milk and a modest amount of Monterey Jack with jalapenos add creaminess without a ton of calories. And shredded rotisserie chicken substitutes for the usual eggs for a more substantial dish.

It all bakes up in just 20 minutes for a satisfying dinner to enjoy with a simple side salad.

If you’re not counting calories so strictly, you can add a bit more Monterey Jack as I did just because I like all things cheesy. I also like my chilaquilles a little more saucy, so next time I’d probably make 1 1/2 times the amount of tomatillo mixture originally called for.

I also think this dish makes more like five or six servings, rather than four. So, even if you add a tad more cheese or sauce, I’m guessing the calorie count squares out if you end up eating a smaller portion. That’s the thinking from this saucy gal, and I’m sticking with it.

I think this serves more than four. But that's just me.

Chicken Chilaquiles

(Serves 4)

2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, divided

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 tesapoon black pepper

3/4 cup 1 percent low-fat milk

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 (11-ounce) can tomatillos, drained

1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine chicken, green onions, 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, chili powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place milk and next three ingredients (through chiles) in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Pour 1/3 cup tomatillo mixture into an 11-by-7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange four tortillas in dish, and top with half of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture, ending with tortillas.

Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups tomatillo mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Calories 347; fat 10.9g (saturated 4.5g), protein 30.9g; carb: 33.3g; fiber 5.9g, cholesterol 79mg; iron 15mg, sodium 560mg; calcium 272mg.

From “Cooking Light: The Complete Quick Cook” by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

More Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough Recipes: Honey-Preserved Clementines

And: Baked Spinach and Goat Cheese Dumplings

And: Shirred Eggs in Prosciutto Crudo Cups

Plus: Maple Blondies with Butterscotch and Cocoa Nibs

And: Thyme Roasted Shrimp

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