02 Oct Skinny Mexican casserole
This skinny Mexican casserole is sure to surprise and impress anyone you cook for. It combines amazing Mexican flavors in the best way possible, topped with a thick layer of delicious melted cheese. Despite all the cheese, it’s pretty low on calories, and suitable for diets. Make it super spicy if you prefer, or do a mild and kid friendly version. After 10 minutes of labor, all you have to do is wait for half an hour while the flavors build up in the oven, and dinner is served. This recipe makes a great weeknight meal, a Taco Tuesday alternative, or a perfect option for your Saturday treat meal.
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How to make this casserole
Start with preheating the oven. Dice or slice the peppers and add to an oven safe casserole dish. Add the sweetcorn; if you’re using frozen sweetcorn, thaw it in some hot water and drain off the water. Then, drain and rinse a tin of black beans, and add those to the dish as well.
Next, finely dice the onion and saute in a frying pan on medium heat with some oil, butter or one calorie cooking spray. After about 3-4 minutes, add finely minced garlic and chili (if using). Then, add diced chicken and cook while turning until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken mix to the casserole dish.
Add enchilada sauce. You can use a jarred or homemade version. If the sauce you are using is very thin and runny, you can use a bit less than suggested by the recipe to avoid a watery casserole. If it’s very thick and chunky, you might want to add more. At this point we are ready to stir all the ingredients together in the oven dish, so do that and add more enchilada sauce if it seems necessary.
Finally, add some grated cheese. I like cheddar with my Mexican dishes, but use your favorite or what you have available. Since the other ingredients are very low calorie, you can add quite a lot of cheese to this dish while still keeping the calories low, however if you prefer an even lower calorie count, you can easily use half the amount of cheese.
When you’re happy with the amount of cheese, place the dish in the oven and bake until the cheese is deliciously melted and golden. This takes about 30-40 minutes.
Tips and suggestions
Spice. When it comes to Mexican food, some people prefer it to be mild while others expect lots of spice. If you want a really hot version, add one extra chili, and make sure to add the chili seeds to the casserole as well. You won’t notice the seeds, but they are the most spicy part of the chili, and will bring a lot of heat to the dish. If you want a really mild version, omit one or both of the chilies, and make sure not to use a spicy enchilada sauce.
Using leftover chicken or turkey. You can make this recipe with leftover cooked chicken or turkey. Saute the onion, chili and garlic as instructed. Add the cooked chicken, saute for a minute to blend in the flavors of the onions, then transfer to the casserole dish. You don’t have to recook the meat if it has already been properly cooked before.
This filling is versatile! The filling in this casserole is super versatile. Instead of baking it in the oven, try cooking it in a pot or sauce pan to make a chili. Add more sauce or broth, and you got soup. Add it to enchiladas, use it as filling for tacos or quesadillas. The possibilities are endless!
About the cheese. Okay, so there’s a lot of cheese in this dish. But I love cheese! You can use half the amount as suggested. If you do, I suggest either serving the dish with a side, or doubling the amount of filling, as a lot of the calories comes from the cheese, which means it won’t be as filling without it. I also suggest using cheddar, as that’s a personal preference of mine with Mexican food, but you can of course use any cheese you prefer, including vegan cheese for a dairy-free option.
How to serve a Mexican casserole
I absolutely love Mexican food, and this dish has many of my favorite components. But no Mexican feast is complete without a huge amount of side dishes! I love serving this with some guacamole, salsa, and maybe even some tortillas or nacho chips on the side. For a salad option (to make up for all that cheese!), try this Mexican cabbage slaw, or tomato and cucumber salad for an easy option.
Storing this casserole
You can absolutely freeze this dish. Keep in mind that some cheeses freeze better than others, so if you use a different type of cheese, make sure it’s freezer friendly. This dish can also be stored in a fridge for up to 3 days. Refrigerate in the casserole dish and reheat in the oven, or separate in portion sizes in airtight containers to reheat in the microwave.
Skinny Mexican casserole
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 peppers
- 400 ml tin black beans
- 150 g corn thawed or drained
- 2 chicken breast fillets
- 2 chilies
- 350 g enchilada sauce
- 250 g cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / 400°F .
- Dice or slice peppers and add to an oven proof casserole dish.
- Rinse and drain a tin of black beans and your sweetcorn. If you use frozen sweetcorn, make sure to thaw it in some warm water. Add both corn and beans to the casserole dish.
- Finely dice onion, garlic and chili. Heat some oil, butter or cooking spray in a pan on medium heat, and cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and chili and cook for another minute.
- Dice the chicken, and add to the frying pan. Cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken has cooked through, turning occasionally. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish.
- Add the enchilada sauce to the casserole, and stir all the ingredients together. If your sauce is very thick, you can add a bit more sauce. If your sauce is very runny and thin, you might want to use a smaller amount. You just want to use enough sauce to be able to coat all the ingredients evenly.
- Finally, cover the casserole with grated cheese, and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is golden around the edges.
- If possible, leave it to rest on the side for 10-15 minutes before serving. This allows the ingredients to cool down a bit, and it will hold its shape better (I find this to be impossible, and eat my casserole as a scolding hot, saucy mess, which works great for me!)