we eat | (healthy) chicken tamale casserole

this is an oldie but a GOODIE. I’ve been making this casserole for YEARS and posted it on the blog (HERE) back when the twins were babes (2014, I think!). after making it this week for the fam I decided a little refresh was due!

if I’ve brought you a meal in the last 8 years or so, you’ve enjoyed this dish. its major crowd pleaser- my girlfriend requested it this week when I offered to send her a meal after she had her baby. she has eaten it before and asked for the “Mexican casserole thing thats SO freakin’ good..” so when I made a dish for her family I doubled the ingredients and made one for our table, too!  Jordan was at the fire station that night, so I didn’t bake it right away and instead wrapped it in foil and stuck it in the fridge for the next night so we could eat it together.

my kids LOVE it and all but lick their bowls clean. not to mention, it is literally the easiest meal you will make. just throw it all in a giant mixing bowl and layer in a dish. start to finish it takes about 7 minutes to put together and the rest of the time is spent in the oven. when the casserole cooks the corn tortillas break down to a soft tamale-like texture, hence the name!

I cook my chicken breast ahead of time in the crock pot. 2 chicken breasts + 1/2 cup chicken broth or water on low for about 4 hours. I’ve also picked up the pulled chicken breast or a rotisserie chicken from the deli at my grocery store in a pinch when I didn’t pre-cook my chicken ahead of time! 

casseroles like these can be loaded with fat and sodium, but I lightened this one up by using 0% plain greek yogurt (an awesome substitute for sour cream in general!), lean chicken breast, and the “healthy choice” version of the cream of chicken soup.  you could skip the cheddar cheese and use part skim mozzarella for a lower amount of saturated fats – just as delicious! I’ll also mention that by rinsing the canned beans and vegetables reduces the sodium by 40%! :: what you’ll need :: 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

2 (10.5oz) cans 98% fat free cream of chicken soup

2 cups 0% plain Greek yogurt (I use the 18oz container of FAGE yogurt)

1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning mix

1 packet ranch dressing mix

1 (10oz) cans RoTel, rinsed & drained

1 (10oz) cans RoTel, undrained

1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained

1 (15oz) can pinto beans, rinsed & drained

1 (11oz) can Mexicorn, rinsed & drained

18 corn tortillas

1-2 cups shredded cheese (I use cheddar):: what you’ll do ::

preheat oven to 375 degrees.

combine cream of chicken soup, Greek yogurt, and seasoning packets. stir in chicken, beans, corn and rotel.

lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray.

layer 6 tortillas in the bottom of the dish. pour half of the chicken mixture over top. sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese. repeat layers, starting with tortillas, then remaining chicken mixture and 1/2 of cheese. top with remaining tortillas.

bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and tortillas are golden. optional: top finished casserole with chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, avocado, or sliced olives!



April 26, 2018

  1. Michelle says:

    if there’s no corn meal like a typical tamale…. this seems like a taco casserole of sorts instead. looks good though.

    • amber says:

      Definitely! when the casserole cooks the corn tortillas break down (as apposed to a flour tortilla) and gives a similar texture to a tamale, which is why I call it that.

  2. Amy says:

    Delish! I do mine with salsa verde and lots of cilantro using leftover pork or chicken that I crock potted from another meal. 2-in-1. Bam.

  3. Laci says:

    This looks SOOOOO yummy! Can’t wait to try it, love when you show us what you are cooking!

  4. Lauren says:

    Do you ever freeze this? I wonder how it’d reheat

    • amber says:

      Hey Lauren- yet absolutely! I’ve made a few of these meals before having a baby so that we have them on hand for easy dinner afterwards. wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then cover with foil before putting it in the freezer. There is very little liquid in this dish, so it doesn’t really run the risk of being watery after thawing. Just put it in the fridge the night before you plan to bake it.

  5. OH LA LATKES says:

    This dish looks fantastic. So yum! Have to try this next week.
    Thanks for sharing!


  6. gotta make this! looks so delish!!