Casseroles! Not your mama’s casseroles anyway.
When I think about casseroles, I think about cheesy noodles baked with every canned good in the pantry. I usually don’t think of them as a go-to dinner. There is just something negative about casserole. Something Not Homemade about it. And part of that is true. It is a one pot dinner. It is a food of convenience. But most importantly, they are loaded with fat and calories.
That’s why I love Cooking Light! My boyfriend is a bottomless pit and because I care about both of our waistlines, I want us to eat things that are healthy AND tasty. So, while I was menu planning, I came across this chicken tamale casserole. I bookmarked it. And it kept looking at it for weeks. Finally, when I had no idea what to make for dinner, I found the tamale casserole recipe at the top of the list. I made a few tweaks to this recipe based on availability and convenience.
3 chicken breasts (full breasts)
1 16 oz jar of medium salsa
1 box jiffy corn muffin mix (I like this one because it has a little sweetness)
1 14 oz can of creamed corn
1/2 cup of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 4 oz can of green chiles
1 egg white
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 additional cup of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
I made this casserole on a Sunday and had a whole day to myself.
I really wanted to impart some serious flavor in the chicken so instead of boiled chicken (like the recipe called for), I decided to slow cook the chicken in the salsa. (But you can boil the chicken, shred it and cover it with salsa to save time)
Take the 3 chicken breasts and place them in a 4qt or smaller slow cooker. Cover the chicken with the salsa and cook on high for 2 hours. When the chicken is done, shred the chicken with a fork and allow the salsa to fully cover the chicken.
Preheat the oven to 400.
In a large mixing bowl, combine jiffy corn muffin mix, creamed corn, cheese, chiles, egg white, milk, cumin, and cayenne and mix well. It should feel like a regular corn muffin mixture but smell awesome.
Pour the corn muffin mixture into a 9×13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake the corn muffin mixture until almost set, 25 minutes.
Remove the corn muffin from the oven and poke holes all over the surface of the corn muffin. Pour the shredded chicken and salsa on top of the corn muffin and cover with remaining cheese. Place in the oven for 10 additional minutes or until cheese is melted.
Makes 8 healthy servings.
Hands down THE BEST casserole I have EVER made. My family and BR tore this casserole up. It is reminiscent of a chicken tamale without all the work of stuffing corn husks.
It freezes well but I guarantee there wont be enough of this leftover to freeze. It was a sufficient slab of a serving for me but the BR in your life might need two pieces… or 3.
It’s that good.