I saw this casserole in a food magazine, and tore it out to make one day. Since today was the AFC Championship Sunday (our New England Patriots vs Baltimore Ravens), knew it was the perfect time to try it out. Well, the New England Patriots won the game and are the 2012 AFC Champions. There were some tense moments but it all turned out good for New England fans. So didn’t this Chicken Taco Casserole.
After making, I would probably change the size of the chicken. I made it in to strips and think the chicken should be bite sized, so its easily scooped up with tortilla chips.
Now, its off to the Super Bowl!
Chicken Taco Casserole
12 oz. chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder (or less if you choose to)
4 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
5 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 c. purchased salsa (I use Newman’s so I used 1 of the smaller jars)
4 – 6″ corn tortillas, coarsely torn
6 oz. Monterey Jack cheese (reg or low fat)
1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
Corn chips or baked tortilla chips
Preheat oven to 350° F. Add 2 Tbsp canola oil to large skillet and preheat on medium-high heat. In a bowl add chicken, garlic and chili powder. Toss together. Add to hot skillet and cook for approx.5 minutes or until chicken is browned on both sides. Remove chicken, and set aside.
Add 2 Tbsp canola oil to skillet. Add onion and green pepper. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach.
Coat a 2 qt square baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 3/4 c. salsa in to the baking dish. Top with half of the tortilla pieces, half the chicken mixture, and half the vegetable mixture. Pour 3/4 c. more of salsa over the vegetables and half of the cheese. Repeat by layering one more layer chicken and vegetable. Do not top with the remaining cheese at this point.
Bake, covered, for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If cheese is not fully melted put in the still warm oven to melt.
Garnish with cherry tomatoes and tortilla chips.
Makes 6 servings.