Pastel Azteca is a delicious Mexican tortilla casserole!
My recipe has layers of flour tortillas, corn, chicken, tomatoes, and a creamy sauce to bind it all. I added peas at the last moment, which is not what my very Mexican friend who taught me this recipe suggested, haha.
- 5 large flour or corn tortillas
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium)
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
For the binding mixture:
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cayenne pepper to taste or chili powder
- 3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Butter a pyrex dish, about 7x12 inches.
- Heat tortillas for 5 or 10 minutes, until they loose their softness and begin to crisp. Torn them in medium, uneven pieces. Roughly divide pieces into 5 parts.
- Defrost peas and corn by boiling water, adding them and leaving them until the water breaks into a boil again. Drain and divide into 4 parts.
- Put 1 part tortillas on the bottom of the dish. Scatter on top 1 part of vegetables and ½ cup tomato chunks.
- Keep layering in the same order and same amounts. You will have a layer of tortilla pieces on top. Scatter both cheeses evenly.
For the binding cream:
- In a bowl mix cream, milk, mayonnaise, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add cayenne or chili powder, from ¼ teaspoon to 1 Tbs, depending on your taste.
- Pour this mixture evenly and slowly on top of the casserole. You can lift a few parts of the layers to let it seep in between.
- Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbly.
- Let cool 5 minutes and serve.
Tips & tricks for making this recipe:
- Tortillas: you can use flour or corn tortillas. I sometimes quick-fry them as in the original recipe, but most times I drizzle them with olive oil and bake them lightly in the oven. A bit healthier and less messy.
- Vegetables: I always use corn, frozen is my favorite kind and available year-round. Chopped tomatoes because, again, it is healthier than salsa and canned tomatoes, and I like the freshness they add. But adapt to your favorite flavors. The peas are a last-minute addition and a good one. Omit them if you don't have any.
- Cheeses: use your favorite mix.
- Binding cream: it is essential of course, and adapt the amount to your personal palate. Nowadays, I make this recipe without following quantities, I just start layering, so sometimes the amount of cream mixture is not enough. And yes, it uses mayonnaise and it is amazing.
- Chicken: if you use rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled or baked chicken, this comes together in no time.
- Reheating: this casserole reheats like a charm, and freezes well too. Wrap it well, of course.
Keywords: pastel azteca, tortilla chicken casserole