Sometimes I share a tried-and-true recipe I’ve been making for years, and other times I tweak something new to make it more macro-friendly. This was a new one for me. It took a couple tries to get the amounts right (the first time I tried it, it made a pan and a half worth of casserole), but it’s delicious. It features tons of protein in the chicken breasts and egg whites, and lots of veggies via cauliflower “rice,” peppers and onions. So, let’s talk about Mexican Chicken Casserole.
- 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 150g bell pepper, diced
- 150g onion, diced
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. taco seasoning
- 2 tbsp. dry ranch mix
- 4 tbsp. Goya Recaito (or one bunch of fresh cilantro)
- 7oz can Pato tomato sauce
- 4.5 oz can diced green chiles
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. lime juice (doesn't have to be fresh) + more to taste
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 cup egg whites
- 1 tbsp. taco seasoning or store-bought
- 1 tbsp. dry ranch mix or store-bought
- 8oz greek yogurt cream cheese (optional)
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese (optional) (I used Mexican)
- Turn pressure cooker to "Sauté"
- Add onions, peppers, garlic, and butter.
- Sauté until onions are translucent.
- Then add chicken, green chiles, taco seasoning, ranch mix, lime juice, salt & pepper, and the secret ingredients: Pato sauce and Recaito. That stuff is SOOOO dang good.
- Turn off sauté and turn it on "Poultry" (15 min high pressure).
- Be sure valve is set to "seal" and let it go.
- When timer ends, let it NPR for 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken and shred, then return to the pot to soak up the juices.
- Follow this recipe, but include all the Mexican Chicken fixins in the casserole dish when you bake it and shred or dice it when you're finished.
- Remove stem and leaves.
- Chop cauliflower into large chunks.
- Add to food processor. (I used my Ninja for this)
- Pulse until it becomes a grainy, rice-like texture--not so long that it becomes a paste.
- Heat in a microwave-safe, covered bowl for 8 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Optional: To the chicken mixture, add cream cheese and stir to mix and melt.
- Add riced cauliflower to chicken mixture. Mix well.
- In a large bowl, combine the drained corn and beans, egg whites, taco seasoning, and ranch mix. Salt and pepper and mix well.
- Grease a casserole dish. (I used a 2.5 qt Pampered Chef deep covered baker. Just make sure whatever you use holds at least 2.5 qt. If not, consider using two smaller pans and adjust baking time accordingly)
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop chicken/cauliflower mixture from cooking container to casserole dish. You want as little liquid as possible.
- Pour egg white/bean/corn mixture over chicken.
- Stir lightly to blend.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
- Cover (with lid or foil) and bake for 1 hour or until middle is partly set (it won't totally set up in the oven because it's liquidy, but it will continue to firm up as it cools).
- Remove cover, turn oven to boil, and bake another 3-5 minutes to make cheese crispy and perfect.
- Divide immediately into 9 servings to keep your macros consistent. These are super generous servings.
As always, if you make the recipe as-is, feel free to use my math in MFP: MyMacroTools Mexican Chicken Casserole.
Thanks to Meghan for requesting this recipe and to Damn Delicious for the inspiration: http://damndelicious.net/2014/12/22/skinny-mexican-casserole/