Kris’s Chalupa

My life is enormously enriched by a group of women that I fondly call My Loopies. Ten years ago, about a dozen of us, from all over the country (Alaska to Maine to Texas and several points in between), formed an email loop. At that time, we all had young children and homeschooled. A couple of the gals dropped off the loop over time, but the remaining ten of us have continued to “talk” daily. Our kids have grown, life has moved on, and lots of things have changed, but we still “talk” every day.

All but one of us has met at least a couple of the Loopies in real life. Seven of these women have been guests in my home at various times (various homes!) I’ve also had the privilege of staying in the homes of a number of my Loopies.

The very first time I stayed with a Loopy on one of my cross-country trips, I stayed with Kris in Nebraska. Kris also loves to cook and does it magnificently. I’ve eaten some great food at her house over a number of visits.  The first time I visited, she served us a dish that she called Chalupa. I have no idea whether this name is ethnically accurate. The only other time I’ve encountered the word Chalupa has been at Taco Bell–a veritable font of reliable information on Mexican food, doncha know. (Cough cough). At any rate, Kris’s Chalupa is sort of Midwest casserole meets Mexican food. It is delicious! I’m going to share the recipe and then at the end I’ll list the “true confession” substitutions that I made when I didn’t have all the ingredients.

Kris’s Chalupa

  • 3/4 pound grated pepperjack cheese
  • 1 dozen flour tortillas, torn into 1″ pieces
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 can green chilis
  • black olives (totally optional. I don’t ever include them)

Heat soup, milk, sour cream, onions, and chilis until liquid. Layer 1/2 of the tortillas in the bottom of a rectangular Pyrex baking dish. Layer 1/2 chicken pieces, cheese, and soup mixture. Repeat. Top with grated cheese.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve with lettuce, chopped tomatoes, fresh salsa, and sour cream if you want the extra calories.  Guacamole would be yummy too.

Barb’s True Confession substitutions:

I didn’t have cream of chicken soup, but I did had chicken noodle soup. I whirred the chicken noodle soup in the food processor until it was completely smooth.

I didn’t have a can of green chilis but I did have a jar of green salsa. I used half the jar. I also added a bit of regular red salsa for good measure.

I really wanted to double this recipe but didn’t have double all the ingredients.  I used cheddar cheese for the doubled part on the cheese. I didn’t double the chicken at all. Instead, I stirred in 2 cans of great northern white beans. I also only had 1 c. of sour cream, so I added 1 1/2 c. plain yogurt. Basically, I used what I had on hand.

The best part: I froze the second pan and had an instant dinner for later.