If there was ever a casserole that I associated with Texas and my childhood, it was King Ranch Chicken Casserole. This casserole boasts all the glory of Tex-Mex in an easy casserole form. The only downside? It’s typically made using full-fat cream-based soups, pounds of cheese, and refined carb tortillas. So I felt that is was MY CIVIC DUTY as a registered dietitian to give this classic dish a makeover! And I must say, it turned out greatttttt.
I replaced the refined carb tortillas for high protein/fiber chickpea pasta, replaced the 2 cans of full-fat cream soup for 1 can of fat-free cream soup, added extra veggies, and reduced the cheese (but promise you won’t notice!).
Healthy King Ranch Chicken Casserole
- Servings: 6
- Cook/Prep Time: 45-50 minutes
- 1.5 pounds chicken breast, cubed
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can fat-free cream of chicken soup
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilis (I used Rotel)
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapenos (I used Rio Luna organic peppers)
- 1 box chickpea pasta, cooked according to directions (I used Banza pasta)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat large skillet with olive oil and heat to medium heat. Add cubed chicken. Cook for 5 minutes or until cooked through.
- Add in green bell pepper, onion, and mushroom. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until veggies are beginning to soften.
- Add cream of chicken soup, diced tomatoes and chilis, and jalapenos into the skillet. Stir to combine. Add in chickpea pasta, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
- Grease a 13×9 inch baking dish. Pour skillet mixture into dish and top with cheese.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.