Chicken Taco Casserole

A quick hello from us at the Table! Missed you guys! I have been going through a lot of changes around here the last couple of months and am REALLY looking forward to everything settling down in the next couple of weeks! (more on that to come) I hope you are all enjoying your summer , and I am looking forward to sharing all our exciting new stuff! Until then, another easy meal for you guys to try. As always, let me know if you try it and what you thought!

Super Happy Cactus DudeYou will need:

½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 packet taco seasoning

Water

1 can corn, drained

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Shredded cheddar, about 8oz

Salsa (chunky works best), about 1 ½ cups

1 package corn muffin mix (and any ingredients listed on it) for this recipe I used 1 box Jiffy mix.

Medium sized casserole dish with lid

What you should do:

Cook chicken all the way through.

Add ¾ cup water and 1 packet of taco seasoning to chicken. While the seasoning is thickening, break up the chicken into small pieces using a wooden spoon.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix cornbread mix in a small bowl, set aside.

In Medium sized casserole dish, layer chicken in sauce across the bottom.

The next layer will be the black beans, then corn.

Layer cheese, then salsa.

Pour cornbread over the top, smooth with spatula.

Bake until cornbread is done all the way through. This will take about 35 minutes.

*Tip: if the cornbread starts to brown too much, put the lid from the casserole dish on top.*

Taco Salad

Here we get to eat taco salad (without the fried basket) and use leftovers! This is great for using up whatever taco-seasoned meat you have leftover from your last taco night. As you have discovered our Tex-Mex loving ways already, I’m sure you have guessed that having taco/burrito leftovers in our fridge is like having leftover Mac-n-Cheese or that 1 random leftover hot dog. This salad works with chicken, steak (not that I have ever put steak in a taco at home, but if I did it would be fine here), or ground beef. You can completely leave off the meat and substitute out about 1/8 cup refried beans per salad if you prefer. You can use the chicken burrito filler from before, if you want, just leave out the duplicate ingredients. You can also use the plain baked chicken, for people who are less loving of all things Tex-Mex.

Topping for Taco Salad:

Heat 1/8 cup per person of taco ground beef leftovers, or 1/4 cup if using chicken or steak in large pot on stove. Add to pot the following (simmering on low heat):

1 can (drained and rinsed) black beans

About 2 1/2 cups frozen white corn

1 can (do not drain) diced tomatoes (low sodium)

1 cup chunky salsa (your fav brand or your homemade kind, either would work)

2 handfuls (mine are small) of jack or queso cheese shreds

Allow this mixture to simmer until it resembles a chunky sauce, then remove immediately from heat. Let it cool to a warm, but not hot temperature (sauce will thicken considerably).

Portion out Base Salad into bowls.

With serving spoon or ladle pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of mix on top of each base salad.

Top with diced cucumbers and fresh tomatoes. (If anyone will eat it you can also add cilantro, avocado, or raw diced onions here)

Sprinkle with Colby and Jack cheese shreds.

You can add ranch or Sour Cream on top of this for those who feel they need dressing, but this is actually quite good as is.

“Garnish” with 3 or 4 wheat tortilla chips in side of bowl. Tostidos makes really great ones now.

Serve & enjoy!

Depending on how many you have eating, you will probably have leftovers. If you keep plain brown rice in your fridge, you can mix a little with this topping to thicken it enough to put in a tortilla for lunch if you like. Another idea is as a snack/party food/whatever you can add this topping to chips spread on a plate for some pretty awesome nachos!

Chicken Burrito Filler

Another Tex Mex night around here! (told you before that we love this stuff) Tonight’s meal will be Spinach Salad (toss baby spinach, carrot shreds, and raw mushrooms; add dressing & serve) and Chicken Burritos. Mmmm

You will need:

3 small or 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and cut into thin strips (think fajita style)

1 packet low sodium taco seasoning

1 can (drained) corn

1 can (drained & rinsed) black beans

1 can (drained) low sodium diced tomatoes

1/2 cup instant brown rice

Salsa

“mexi blend” cheese shred

water

What to do:

In a large pot (with lid) put cooked chicken, seasoning, water to package directions, corn, black beans, and tomatoes. Stir. Bring to a boil.

Add rice and 1/2 cup water. Add 1/4 cup salsa. Return to a boil.

Place lid on, reduce heat,  allow to boil until rice is done and sauce thickens. (about 15 minutes)

Remove from heat. Assemble burritos in whole wheat tortillas with cheese and salsa to taste.

Enjoy!

*Side Note: as always, you can tweek this to make it more “little kid” (person who likes less heat) friendly by adding sour cream inside the burrito, or serving a dollop on the side for dipping. You can even substitute sour cream for Ranch, which is how my nephew loves his.*

Fiesta Rice

  • We like a lot of Tex-Mex around here and this is a great side for taco night, or to bring to a covered dish event, or even as a vegetarian lunch/dinner dish. As with 90% of the stuff I cook, it’s super easy to make and mouth wateringly delish!

What you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups white rice

1 can corn (drained)

1 can black beans (rinsed & drained)

1 can diced tomatoes (drain liquid into measuring cup)

1 package taco seasoning (pick your fave)

1 small can green chilies (drained)

1 cup chunky salsa (heat volume is up to you)

4 1/2 cups boiling water

Mixed Shredded Cheese (I recommend a “mexi-blend” like Jack/Colby/Cheddar)

Add rice to boiling water, cook through.

Add all canned ingredients. Stir. Add enough water to measuring cup to satisfy seasoning packet requirements (usually about 1/2 cup total with tomato juice). Add water/juice blend.

Add seasoning packet, stir out all lumps. Add salsa. Return to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer about 5 to 10 minutes, will thicken like in the picture.

Remove from heat. serve on plates hot and topped with generous handful of cheese shreds.

Keep in mind, do not add cheese until serving, it won’t keep as well if you add cheese in advance.