Chicken and Spinach Tortilla Pie with a Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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Whenever I make burritos, I am always left with one tortilla.  Of course I could use it for an after school snack or a quesadilla, but when I came across this recipe inspiration, that leftover tortilla got a whole new meaning.  

I found this recipe in a Cook's Country magazine where the bottom layer or "crust" utilizes the lone tortilla.  The original filling looked a bit bland to me, so I added onion, spinach, chiles, a few spices and some herbs.  I serve it with a roasted tomatillo sauce and some Mexican crèma.  Mmm--this is so good.  It is creamy and cheesy with a little cracker-like snap when you cut through the tortilla crust.     

So, if you have an extra burrito-sized tortilla hanging around, please make this. Otherwise, put a package of 10-inch burrito sized flour tortillas on your next grocery list and use the leftover nine tortillas for after school snacks, quesadillas, or weeknight burritos.  This dish will not disappoint.
Printable Recipe

Chicken and Spinach Tortilla Pie
serves 6

1 10-inch flour tortilla, burrito size
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced

3 cups leftover chicken, shredded
1 10-ounce container of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, hot or mild
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups grated Chihuahua cheese, divided

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (recipe follows)
Mexican crema or sour cream

Preheat the oven to 450º F.  Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick spray. Gently press the tortilla into the pie plate and lightly spray the tortilla with cooking spray. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté until soft and transluscent, about 10 minutes.  Transfer the onions to a large bowl.  Add the shredded chicken, spinach, chiles, cilantro, cumin, oregano, 1 cup of the cheese, and toss until combined.  In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, milk, flour, salt, and baking powder.  Add the egg mixture to the chicken mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate and top with the remaining cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Slice into wedges and serve with the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa and dollops of crema or sour cream.  Enjoy!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

1 medium white onion, skin left on and halved
1 large poblano pepper
5 tomatillos, husked and washed
2 large garlic cloves, whole with skin left on
1/3 cup chopped cilantro or to taste
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the broiler and position an oven rack int he highest position.  Place the halved onions cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet along with the poblano, tomatillos, and garlic.  Broil the vegetables, rotating as necessary until the skins have blistered and are slightly charred on all sides.  Keep a close eye on them as the onions and garlic will cook faster than the pepper and tomatillos.  Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow them to cool until they can easily be handled.  Remove the skin from the onion, trim the top and root end and roughly chop.  Peel the garlic and chop.  Rub the skins off the pepper, discard the stem and seeds and roughly chop.  Place the onions, garlic, pepper, and tomatillos in a food processor and pulse until blended, but still chunky.  Add the cilantro, lime juice, and salt, and pulse until desired consistency.  Season with more salt and lime juice if needed.  Enjoy!

Source: Pie adapted from Cook's Country, Salsa from The Galley Gourmet


  1. AnonymousMay 05, 2011

    Chihuahua cheese is a soft, cow's milk Mexican cheese It has a delicious buttery flavor and melts beautifully. Most supermarkets carry the cheese and you can also find it at ethnic grocery stores. This is the brand that I use http://www.vvsupremo.com/products/details.aspx?id=5
    If you can't find it, you can certainly use Monterey Jack instead.

  2. This looks delicious since I love anything that looks or tastes like quiche!

  3. This looks SO delicious! I LOVE roasted tomatillo salsa and have been craving it ever since our honeymoon.

    Thanks for sharing this. I will definitely be bookmarking this recipe.


  4. Thanks for sharing! I made this this past weekend and it was great! I subbed in steak for the chicken and broccoli for the spinach (my other half is a big broccoli fan, as am I) and we both loved it! I do have a question - I baked it in a casserole dish and it was a little wet inside - is that how its supposed to come out? This was a bit deeper than a pie pan.

    Thanks again!

  5. Jessie-
    I am glad you enjoyed it and I like how you made it your won with the steak and broccoli substitution. As far as the dish being "wet"-- mine comes out moist and cheesy. The extra moisture in yours could be from the broccoli since it isn't squeezed dry like the spinach.

  6. Ahhh thanks! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!

  7. It looks like you halved the milk/flour mixture from the original recipe. I was going to make the recipe from the magazine tonight and was just curious on your modification. Did you find there was too much batter for the filling? Or are you making an adjustment for the spinach you added?

  8. Jen-
    You are correct on both points. I wanted the chicken, spinach, and other added ingredients to come through in taste and not get lost in batter. Halving the milk/flour mixture gave the pie just the right amount of binder it needed.

  9. Thanks! I made the pie last night with the reduced amt of batter and half the cheese and I thought it was great! Easy and tasty and I will keep it in mind for when I have leftover chicken and an extra tortilla. I may experiment with other flavors for the filling too.

  10. Jen-
    Glad you enjoyed it. With a good base there is always room for experimentation. Let me know if you come up with any good ones:)

  11. That crispy layer of cheese on top looks so good.

  12. AnonymousJuly 07, 2011

    Ciao! This recipe is so creative & SO delicious. I added some more spices & it came out fabulous. Thanks for a great recipe that I will definitely use again :)

  13. SassySicilian-
    Your are so welcome! I am glad you enjoyed it with spices suited to your taste. Thank you for letting me know:)

  14. Have you ever tried freezing this recipe before baking? If so, did it work well?

    1. No I have not tried freezing it prior to baking. If you do, please let me know how it turns out.

  15. Cannot wait to make this. It sounds yummy.

  16. Yum! Had a bunch of tortillas left over, deli chicken to use up, and a bag of spinach in the freezer, so I gave this a try. Very tasty!

  17. Great! I just finished it last night and the result was unexpected, My wife loves it. She got surprised. Yeah. I am going to try this for my friends too. Nice. Thanks for your guide.


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