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Chilenchidini (Tex-Mex Tortellini)

Contributed By: C, TX | See all of C's recipes
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Active Time:  12 Minutes
Total Time:  20 Minutes
  6 servings
I envisioned this recipe on a flight one day where they were serving a marinara chicken dish that looked like tex-mex (I didn't try the airline chicken that day).
1 standard-sized pkg (12oz?) three-cheese tortellini, fresh or frozen. you don't want any other type of tortellini as the italian-spice influence flavors will overpower the tex-mex result you are seeking.
1 8oz can chili (your choice, hot/mild, beans/no beans, beef/chicken/turkey/other, I typically use mild beef chili with beans)
1 8oz can enchilada sauce (again your choice, red/green, hot/mild I typically use mild red)
1 8oz package shredded cheese, either colby/jack, 4 cheese mexican, or taco seasoned (avoid pure cheddar because it has poor melting qualities, I vary which of the three I use they all work well. I also don't usually use low-fat cheeses or low-fat anything, but if you have health concerns a low fat Colby/Jack  or other variety would probably work fine. If you would like to add a little zing without overpowering it with heat as hot enchilada sauce or chili might do use about two cups of shredded PepperJack cheese)
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced (optional, I don't use the onions very often. )
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare tortellini according to package directions to an al dante state of doneness (usually boil gently in lightly salted water for 6-12 minutes, depending on whether it is fresh or frozen).

While tortellini is cooking, combine chili, enchilada sauce and onion (optional) in a sauce pan, and warm over medium-low heat until it starts to simmer or the tortellini is done cooking.

Drain the tortellini, and spread in a large cassarole dish or 13x9 rectangular cake pan. Pour chili/enchilada sauce mixture over tortellini and stir to coat all the tortellini. Spread the cheese in a layer over the top of the mixture.

Place the dish in the oven on the top shelf and immediately turn the oven off.

Once the cheese melts (usually about 5 minutes), it is ready. Serve topped with sour cream, guacamole, or your favorite salsa, or stand-alone without toppings. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro if desired.

After the dish cools it can be cut into brownie sized squares and is easily rewarmed in the microwave or oven. As with most one dish meals, the flavors mingle and savor over a day in the refrigerator if properly sealed to prevent staleing.

Date Added: 07/10/2009
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