Picture this: a warm and comforting dish, filled with deliciously seasoned shredded chicken or turkey, flavorful tomato sauce, and topped with a crispy layer of tortilla chips and melted cheese.
If your mouth is watering already, you’re in for a treat. Today, I’m sharing with you my recipe for Chicken Taco Casserole (oamc) that will leave you wanting more.
This casserole is perfect for those weeknight dinners when you want something quick, easy, and satisfying. It’s also great for meal prep or making ahead of time as it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and reheated whenever you need it.
Trust me when I say this Chicken Taco Casserole will quickly become a household favorite. With its mouthwatering blend of spices, comforting flavors, and satisfying crunch from the tortilla chips, it’s hard not to fall in love with this dish.
So roll up your sleeves, get your apron on, and let’s dive into this tasty recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Friends, have you been looking for a hearty, delicious and easy-to-make dish that’s perfect for any occasion? Let me introduce you to the chicken taco casserole. This recipe is absolutely amazing – trust me, one taste will have you hooked.
First things first, let’s talk about flavor. This recipe has it all – juicy chicken taco filling, creamy tomato sauce, and a satisfying crunch from the tortilla chips. The mix of cheese and sour cream up the creamy factor and make each bite practically melt in your mouth. And if you’re worried about it being too spicy, fear not—the optional toppings of diced tomatoes or additional sour cream help balance the heat.
But what’s even better about this recipe is its versatility. It works perfectly as a meal prep option for busy weekdays or as a delicious addition to any party. Make-ahead instructions mean that you can cook once and enjoy for days. Plus, substitutions like using ground turkey instead of chicken or swapping out rice for noodles means that it can be adjusted to suit your specific taste preferences.
Not only is this dish incredibly tasty and versatile, it’s also incredibly easy to make. A few key ingredients come together effortlessly in just an hour in a casserole dish with some cooking spray, no fancy cooking techniques required.
So what are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try and trust me when I say you won’t regret it. One taste and it’ll become a regular part of your weekly meal rotation!
Here is a rundown of the ingredients that you will need to prepare ahead for this mouthwatering dish:
Taco seasoning: You will need a 4-ounce envelope of taco seasoning, which you can buy at the grocery store or easily make a homemade version.
Cooked chicken: This recipe requires 2 cups cooked shredded chicken. You can either use rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken or cook chicken breasts yourself.
Tomato Sauce: One 8-ounce can of tomato sauce makes the perfect base for the casserole.
Cooked rice: Two cups cooked rice will add heartiness to the casserole.
Tortilla chips: Use one cup of crushed tortilla chips as a substitute for lasagna noodles in this recipe, giving it an extra crispy texture
Shredded cheese: One cup of shredded cheddar cheese is mixed into the taco mixture, while an additional half cup is sprinkled on top before the casserole bakes in the oven.
Canned tomatoes: A can of diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes may be added as desired, enhancing both the flavor and nutritional value of this dish.
Sour cream: Add two tablespoons of sour cream on top of each serving to cool down the heat and provide some tanginess.
With these 8 basic ingredients, you’ll be able to create a wonderful Chicken Taco Casserole that’s budget-friendly and satisfying for large families.
The Recipe How-To
Now, let’s dive into how to make this delicious chicken taco casserole.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
– 2 cups of cooked rice
– 2 cups of cooked chicken (shredded turkey is also good)
– 1 can (14.5 ounce) of tomato sauce
– 1 can (14.5 ounce) of diced tomatoes
– 1 envelope of taco seasoning mix
– 1 cup of shredded cheese
– 3 cups of tortilla chips (crushed)
– Sour cream (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, chicken (or turkey), diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and the taco seasoning mix. Mix them well until all ingredients are completely combined.
- Lightly coat a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Spread half of the crushed tortilla chips on the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Pour half of the chicken-taco mixture over the tortilla chips in the casserole dish.
- Repeat layers: Add another layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by another layer of chicken-taco mixture on top.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese generously over the last layer.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until cheese is golden-brown and bubbly on top.
- Let it cool for a few minutes before serving with sour cream and extra tortilla chips if desired.
This recipe makes approximately six servings and any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
That’s it! Your scrumptious chicken taco casserole is now ready to serve!
Substitutions and Variations
Are you feeling creative and adventurous in the kitchen? Well, you’re in luck because the Chicken Taco Casserole is versatile and lets you swap some ingredients or add more to suit your taste buds.
If you’re not a fan of chicken, you can substitute it with cooked ground beef or turkey. These meats have a distinct flavor but work just as well as chicken for this casserole. Vegetarians can also join the party by replacing the chicken with grilled veggies like zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers. You can also use tofu or tempeh for a plant-based protein option.
For the base of this dish, cooked rice works best, but if rice isn’t your thing, swap it with quinoa or couscous for some variety. If you want something hearty and filling, add in some cooked pasta to make it a deconstructed taco noodle casserole.
Tortilla chips give this casserole a crunchy texture that everyone loves. However, if you don’t have any tortilla chips on hand, use corn flakes cereal or panko breadcrumbs instead. These additions can give the casserole a crispy crust that everyone will be fighting over!
Looking to add some greenery to your dish? Go ahead and throw in some salad greens like lettuce, spinach, or arugula before serving. The greens give it a fresh and vibrant look while adding valuable micronutrients to your meal.
Lastly, don’t forget about toppings! Chopped avocado, cilantro leaves, scallions, diced onions, jalapenos slices, and sliced black olives are all excellent options that can help elevate this Chicken Taco Casserole to new heights of flavor.
Remember: Cooking is all about experimentation and having fun. Don’t be afraid to play around with ingredients and make this casserole your own!
Serving and Pairing
Once your chicken taco casserole is cooked to perfection, you can serve it alone or with a garnish of warm tortilla chips, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and grated cheese. These toppings will add extra flavor and texture to the already mouth-watering casserole.
In terms of pairing, I recommend serving this dish with a refreshing mixed greens salad for a balanced meal. The zesty flavor of the salad complements the savory flavors of the chicken taco casserole perfectly. Alternatively, you can serve it with a side of cooked rice or quinoa for added substance.
When it comes to beverages, go for light and effervescent options such as sparkling water, ginger ale, or a citrus-infused cocktail. These drinks will help to cut through the richness of the dish and refresh your palate.
Remember that moderation is key when serving this dish. Although it can be tempting to pile on extra toppings or pair it with heavy sides, too much of a good thing can quickly become overwhelming. Just stick to the basics and you’ll have a perfectly balanced meal that’s sure to please your taste buds.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
When it comes to meal planning or meal prep, this chicken taco casserole (oamc) recipe is an excellent option because you can easily make it ahead of time and store it for later. This means that you can enjoy a hot, comforting meal any time of the day without spending hours in the kitchen.
To make this recipe ahead of time, all you have to do is prepare the casserole as you normally would. Once it’s cooked, allow it to cool down to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container. This will help ensure that your casserole stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you’re looking for a longer storage solution, you can also freeze your chicken taco casserole. Simply allow the casserole to cool down completely and then cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap. You can store this dish in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When reheating frozen casserole, simply transfer the frozen mixture to a refrigerated oven-safe dish and place it in a preheated oven at 375F/190C degrees. Allow the chicken taco casserole to defrost overnight in the refrigerator or reheat from frozen.
Reheat your dish until it’s warm throughout (it should take approximately 20-30 minutes) before serving. Be sure to check on your casserole occasionally while reheating, as oven temperatures may vary.
Overall, storing and reheating this recipe is easy with minimal steps required for both. Make sure you follow appropriate safety measures such as using food grade containers and allowing food to cool down properly before freezing or refrigerating them. This recipe will allow you to have quick-and-easy chicken taco casseroles throughout the week without any stress!
Tips for Perfect Results
When it comes to cooking, there are always ways to improve and achieve the best possible results. Here, I share with you some tips and tricks that will make your Chicken Taco Casserole stand out from the rest.
1. Use high-quality ingredients: The taste of your casserole depends heavily on the quality of the ingredients you use. So opt for fresh, good-quality chicken or turkey, high-quality cheese and tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, and crispy tortilla chips. This way, you ensure that every bite of your casserole brings out the best flavors.
2. Cook the rice properly: For an outstanding casserole, ensure that the rice is cooked perfectly. To achieve this, add 1 ½ cups of water to every 1 cup of rice in your pot, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer until all liquid is absorbed. Then let it cool before using it in your casserole.
3. Use enough sauce: The key to a perfect taco casserole is having enough sauce in every bite. So be generous while adding tomato sauce or cream cheese mixture between each layer of tortilla chips.
4. Don’t be shy with cheese: Cheese is a must-have ingredient in any casserole recipe. For this Chicken Taco Casserole recipe, have a generous amount of shredded cheese between layers and sprinkle some on top before baking.
5. Add some spice: To give your Chicken Taco Casserole some kick, add chopped jalapenos or chili powder to the mix when making the taco filling or seasoning.
6. Be mindful of cook time and temperature: Casseroles have specific cook times and temperatures that help ensure everything cooks to perfection while preventing burnt edges or unevenly cooked centers. Follow the recipe carefully for optimal results.
By following these tips and tricks, you can elevate your Chicken Taco Casserole game and impress everyone who takes a bite!
In conclusion, this Chicken Taco Casserole (OAMC) recipe is one that you won’t regret trying out. It is quick to make and packed full of flavor. Whether you are entertaining guests or just looking for a delicious dinner option, this recipe will not disappoint. You’ll love how easy it is to customize and how versatile it can be.
So, the next time you are planning your menu for taco night, consider making this casserole instead. And don’t forget, with the convenient OAMC (once a month cooking) option, meal prep doesn’t have to take up all of your time. With just a little bit of planning in advance, you can have this tasty dish ready to go whenever you need it.
So go ahead and try out this chicken taco casserole recipe today! You won’t regret it.
Chicken Taco Casserole (oamc) Recipe
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (turkey is good too)
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope taco seasoning
- 1 (15 -30 ounce) can refried beans
- 1 cup cheese, grated (reserve in it’s own baggie)
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup guacamole (optional)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
- 5 cups tortilla chips (optional)
- Mix taco seasoning and tomato sauce.
- Add shredded chicken and coat it well with tomato mixture.
- Place cooked rice in the bottom of a 13 X 9 X 2 or disposable baking pan.
- Top with chicken mixture.
- (You may want to flash freeze at this point before going on to the next step) Top with 1-2 cans of refried beans so you have a nice even coating.
- Freeze in the disposable pan or pop out and put in freezer bag.
- Place casserole back in the 9 X 13 X 2 pan.
- After thawing top with grated cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes at 350F or until hot all the way through and the cheese is nice and bubbly.
- Top with your favorite toppings or dip with tortilla chips!
Your Own Notes
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These recipes have been carefully chosen by me so you can be sure they are top-notch. Make sure to try them out and enjoy the delicious flavors that come with them. You won’t be disappointed!
Chloe is passionate about creating unique dishes that draw on the flavors of her favorite cultures. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes. Her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious, and she is always eager to share her creations with friends and family.