Happy Thanksgiving to all. This dish pairs nicely with the holiday full of family, warmth and good food.

Pumpkin-Tortilla Casserole With Chicken

1 15-oz. can pumpkin

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 11-oz can tomatillos, rinsed, drained, and chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeño file pepper*see note below

4 cups shredded cooked chicken

12 6-inch corn tortillas

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds

Sour Cream



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl combine pumpkin, half of the garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

2. For the sauce, in a food processor combine next five ingredients (through jalapeño pepper) and remaining  garlic, cumin and salt. Cover and process until smooth. Place chicken in a large bowl; stir in 1/4 cup sauce.

3. To assemble, spread 1/2 cup of sauce in prepared baking dish. Add four of the tortillas, tearing as needed to cover completely.

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

5. Top with remaining tortillas, sauce and cheese.

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

Makes 8 servings at 444 calories each.

(Better Homes & Garden 100 Best Pumpkin Recipes)

*Note: Hot chile peppers contain oils that can burn your eyes, nose and skin. Wear plastic or rubber gloves. If you touch the chile peppers, wash your hands with soap and water. Do not touch your eyes, nose or face.


Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 25 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.