Smart Chicken Tex-Mex Casserole

Now that school is back in session (or soon will be), this casserole is perfect for busy moms who just never have enough time for meal preparation. You can double the recipe and divide it into two 8x8 or 9x9 baking dishes. Use one and freeze one.

4-6 Smart Chicken boneless, skinless breasts, cooked and cubed

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 medium onion, diced

2 cans cream of chicken soup

2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies

1 (3.8 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

1 teaspoon cumin or Tony Chachere's Original Creole seasoning, optional

1/4 cup chopped jalapenos, (From a jar or can), optional

1 pint (16 ounces) sour cream

Approximately 8 ounces chicken broth


Approximately 8 ounces picante sauce

1/2 - 3/4 bag (about 6 1/2 to 10 ounces) Tostitos, crunched, use the lesser amount if you want a creamier casserole ( I purchase the 13 ounce Tostito bag)

16 ounces Colby or Monterey Jack Cheese

Picante sauce, for topping (optional)

  • Place the Smart Chicken breasts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and with a pastry brush rub with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. when a digital thermometer is inserted into the Smart Chicken breasts. Set aside until cool enough to handle then cut the Smart Chicken breasts into large cubes.
  • Combine Smart Chicken cubes, onion, soup, green chilies, black olives, cumin or Tony Chachere's seasoning and chopped jalapenos, if using, sour cream, and chicken broth. If you would like a zestier casserole omit the chicken broth and add the picante sauce.
  • Spray 9x13x2-inch baking dish with non-vegetable cooking spray (Pam). Spread a layer of Tostitos, and then half of the Smart Chicken mixture. (If not using broth, add a thin layer of picante sauce over Smart Chicken mixture). Then top with cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 1 hour, uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes to lightly brown cheese. Remove and let stand about 15 minutes. If you want, serve with additional picante sauce on top.
Serves 10 to 12.

Note: After freezing this recipe when you are ready to have it for dinner, simply remove from the freezer, defrost to room temperature and bake. Be sure to shorten the baking time since the pan size is smaller. Remove when the casserole is hot and bubbly and let stand about 15 minutes.

Note: Do NOT use both the chicken broth and the picante sauce. Use one or the other.

Note: I like to add chopped jalapenos, the ones found in the jar or a can, to this casserole when I want a zestier, spicier casserole.