Friday, September 8, 2017

Chicken Tamale Casserole {gluten free, dinner}

Chicken Tamale Casserole - Easy to make, kid friendly dinner, gluten free, simple and delicious.  This made can be on the table in under an hour.  Fast to make. Weeknight meal. Use up the end of the tortilla chips bag. Alohamoraopenabook Alohamora Open a Book

I've been gluten free for about 9 months now per doctor orders.  I personally haven't seen any changes in my well-being, but I don't go back to my endocrinologist for another month.  We'll see what the doctor says.  

Throughout those nine months I have grown a ton in my gluten free baking and cooking.  I know how to make cookies taste better without the funky gf texture.  I know that an extra egg should be added to most sweet breads and muffins.  I've learned how to adjust and change a recipe from using flour to thicken the sauce to cornstarch.  I'm comfortable with gluten free eating, and I personally think it is easier to be gluten free than dairy free.  It's not convenient, but it is totally doable. 

I initially spotted this casserole recipe in the Food Network Magazine. It was called Spicy Chicken-Tortilla Chip Casserole.  I made some adjustments to make it gluten free, and even used organic canned chicken I got from Costco.  Hello, I was happy with that find.  After making this recipe multiple times I decided I needed to share it with y'all.  

After tasting this recipe we felt it had more of a tamale flavor, but healthier than a tamale.  #win!   

Chicken Tamale Casserole
Recipe: Alohamora adapted from Food Network Magazine
Active Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 40 minutes
Servings 8-10

2 Tbsp butter
1/3 c. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tsp cumin, dried
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 (7oz) cans salsa verde
2 (12.5oz) cans chicken, drained or 2-3 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 (15oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp cilantro, dried or 1 c. fresh cilantro
4 c. tortilla chips, crushed (about 8oz bag)
1 1/2 c. cheese, shredded
Optional Topping: chopped green onions or fresh chopped cilantro)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 3 quart baking dish or an 9x13 inch pan greasing it or rubbing with butter. 
  2. In a large pan melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes or until softened. 
  4. Add the cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper to the pan and stir until flavorful, about 30 seconds. 
  5. Add the chicken broth and a half a cup of milk to the pan and bring it to a simmer.  Simmer it all for 2-3 minutes. 
  6. Combine and stir the remaining half a cup of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl or cup, and add it to the simmering pan mixture.  Cook and stir the sauce until it is thickened.  
  7. Stir in the salsa verde. 
  8. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the chicken, white beans and cilantro until combined. 
  9. Spread a layer of crushed tortilla chips on the bottom of the prepared dish.
  10. Top the chips with half of the chicken mixture.  
  11. Spread another layer of chips on top and sprinkle it with cheese (no more than 3/4 cup). 
  12. Top the cheese with the rest of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle chips on top, and finally top the entire casserole with the remaining cheese.  
  13. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. 
  14. Uncover the foil and bake for 8-10 more minutes until the casserole is bubbling. 
  15. Finally, top the casserole with more cilantro or green onions. 
  16. Serve hot.
  17. Enjoy!
  18. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.  
  19. I prefer to reheat the casserole in the oven, but the husband prefers the speediness of the microwave. Do which ever you like with the tasty leftovers. 

Happy Chicken Tamale Casserole eating!

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