Most of us enjoy the occasional Mexican food now and again and a tamale can certainly hit the spot. So my question is: Do you like eating tamales but don’t want to take the time to make them on a regular basis? Perfect! Me too….and I have a great recipe for you then! This chicken tamale casserole is sort of like a deconstructed tamale that takes 45 minutes tops from start to plate.
This recipe popped up in my email from Cooking Light a few days back and I was pretty intrigued, which ultimately means a recipe will make my short list. The base is like a spicy corn bread that is more moist, so it resembles the masa dough of a tamale. The spice comes from canned diced green chiles, cumin, and cayenne pepper, so if you need to tone it down a bit, you certainly can. On top of the corn base is red enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, and shredded cheese.
It’s so simple you almost question if it will work or be good. But it was both fast and packed with flavor. The one part of the process I did ahead of time was cook up about 3 chicken breasts and then let them cool a bit so I could shred them.
In a bowl you combine the ingredients for the corn “dough” base and then pour it into the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch pan. Then bake it for about 15 minutes until it’s set up. Pierce the casserole base with a fork or toothpick all over the top and pour the enchilada sauce over it. I did add a couple of tablespoons of enchilada sauce to the chicken so it wasn’t dry, and then topped the casserole with chicken and finally with some Mexican-style cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese melts, and voila you’re done!
I have to say I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I really liked this casserole. You can’t help but appreciate how fast it was to throw together and it makes 8 servings. If you like a bit of spice then you’ll enjoy this one. Top it with some sour cream and you’re all set. This would be great served with a side salad too.
Click here for the recipe, step by step directions and nutritional information.
A look back:
One year ago: Welcoming in Fall with Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
Two years ago: Kicking Up Oatmeal a Notch