I bet you are confused right now--Tex-Mex Casserole that is healthy and doesn't have much cheese? Sounds crazy, but it's true! This casserole is just a little thicker than a stew, and certainly could be re-created as such. The chicken, tomatoes, peppers, vermicelli/rice, spices, and hint of cheese come together perfectly. This meal is perfect after a long day skiing or playing in the snow. Without any cheese at all, it would also be perfect as a cold side dish at a summer time picnic. I can't wait to make it again!
Tex-Mex Tomato and Chicken Casserole:
Inspired from this lovely blog that I love.
- 1/2 of a large sweet onion, chopped
- one red pepper, chopped
- a touch of olive oil
- 1 package of chicken flavored rice and vermicelli mix (I used the low sodium Rice-A-Roni)
- 14 ounces of low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups of water
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
- 1-2 cups diced tomato (because Alaskan tomatoes are disgusting, I used one can of no salt added diced tomatoes instead)
- one small can of diced green chile peppers (you can also use a few healthy glugs of green chile sauce like La Victoria)
- 1 1/2ish teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2-1ish teaspoon cumin (depending on your taste preference)
- 1/2 or so teaspoon of paprika
- 1ish tablespoons of Italian seasoning
- shredded Mexican blend cheese
- In a saucepan heat olive oil and saute onions and peppers until tender.
- Stir in rice and vermicelli mix, including the seasoning packet.
- Cook and stir to coat, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in broth and water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. (The liquid will not be completely absorbed.)
- Turn off heat and add chicken, tomatoes, green chiles, and all of the spices.
- Transfer to a baking dish. (I found a 9 x 13 pan to work well.)
- Bake covered, at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with a little cheese if you are using it. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes or so until the cheese begins to brown.