I don’t know about you, but after a rough day, I crave comfort food. And when it comes to comfort food, I like it as carb-y and cheesy as possible. Not exactly healthy, I know. But that’s why it’s comfort food, right? I mean come on, who ever wanted carrot sticks and bean sprouts after a hard day? Unless maybe they were tossed in an Asian-inspired dish and smothered in peanut sauce. In which case, sign me up.
But what if comfort food could be healthy(ish) and comforting at the same time? What if you could still satisfy the craving for carbs and cheese and stick-to-your-ribs casseroles without completely destroying your waistline? That would be a good thing right?
I thought so. And so I tried today’s recipe. One, because it looked ridiculously good. And two, because it wasn’t nearly as unhealthy as it would appear at first glance. This casserole is full of good things. Chicken and brown rice and chiles and black beans and corn and salsa. All healthy. Sour cream (I used reduced-fat) makes it a little creamy, and just a little cheese makes it gooey. All you have to do is stir everything together and bake until bubbly.
One bite and I was in love. This Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole is complete comfort food, but it doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. Serve it up with a salad on the side and you’ve got a meal that will comfort your belly… and your conscience.
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Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice CasseroleAdapted from How Sweet It Is
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
4 cups cooked brown (or white) rice
1 cup corn
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, etc.), plus extra for the topping
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, rice, corn, black beans, chiles, sour cream, salsa, and cheese. Mix well.
Transfer the chicken mixture to the prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.
Serves 4 to 6.