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Monday, July 23, 2012

Mexican Chicken Casserole

There are so so SO many recipes that can be lightened up if you'll just buy sensibly and put thought into what you're making.  There is NO reason to eat full-fat cream cheese if you're watching what you eat- fat-free cream cheese tastes the exact same and saves you HUNDREDS of calories and a (literal) butt load of fat.  Here are some of the common substitutions that I use in my cooking to lighten it up.  Don't get me wrong- desserts are meant to be something in which to indulge, and I love me some healthy fats and fatty acids, but here are sensible substitutions that you (and your waistline) may find helpful.  Big props to the Weight recipe builder for some of these... Yes, the lighter/fat-free/reduced-fat foods are more expensive, but I can assure you that it is absolutely well-worth your money to eat healthily!
Greek Yogurt Conversion Chart

Instead of...
butter, try light butter (Smart Balance Light is a great one), light margarine, or applesauce
full-fat cheese, try fat-free cheese, low-fat cheese, or soft tofu
full-fat cream cheese, try fat-free or reduced fat cream cheese
eggs, try egg whites (you may have to double up the quantity though- 2 whites for each egg called for in the recipe)
frying food, try baking or coating with oats, cornmeal, or corn-flakes and then baking
ground beef, try lean ground beef, lean ground turkey, or lean ground chicken
heavy cream, try evaporated milk or tofu
mayonnaise, try fat-free mayo, plain fat-free yogurt, or Miracle Whip Light
milk, try fat-free/skim milk
oil, try plain fat-free yogurt (if in a marinade), fat-free chicken broth (in a skillet)
sour cream, try fat-free sour cream
sugar, try Splenda or any other sugar substitute

Mexican Chicken Casserole
Cooking Light
Servings: 4; Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value: 7

  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, divided
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons fat-free Greek yogurt or 2 teaspoons fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup reduced-fat evaporated skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cup (6 ounces) shredded fat-free cheddar cheese; divided into 1 c & 1/2 c
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) tub-style fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 (10-ounce) can light enchilada sauce
  • 12 (6-inch) white corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 ounce light tortilla chips, crushed (about 6 chips)

Mexican Chicken Casserole, picture from Cooking

  1. Combine broth and 1 can of chiles in a large skillet; bring to a boil. 
  2. Add chicken; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning chicken once.
  3. Remove chicken from cooking liquid, reserving cooking liquid; cool chicken. 
  4. Shred meat with two forks, and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°.
  6. Heat yogurt/chicken broth in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  7. Add 1 can of chiles and onion; saut√© 3 minutes or until soft. 
  8. Add reserved cooking liquid, milk, 1 c cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and enchilada sauce; stir well. 
  9. Stir in shredded chicken; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  10. Place 4 tortillas in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. 
  11. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture over tortillas. 
  12. Repeat layers twice, ending with chicken mixture. 
  13. Sprinkle with other 1/2 c cheddar cheese and chips. 
  14. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Keep on cookin'!


  1. This looks excellent Kate! Definitely going to add this to my list of potential guest ranch recipes.

    1. Thank you for your comment on my recipe blog, Abbey! You're so helpful with my blogging hints!!