Casseroles are the perfect dinner dish: they feed the whole family, can be made in advance, and often result in leftovers that can be enjoyed for lunch the following day. Their only drawback is that they usually include unhealthy ingredients, which add unwanted calories and fat to your meals. If your casseroles typically contain full-fat, high-sodium ingredients and refined grains, it is time to give them a nutritious makeover, which you can do using reduced-fat foods, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables. Here are seven healthy recipes helping you revamp your favorite dinner casseroles.
1. Healthier Mexican Chicken Casserole
Consisting of fragrant spices, low-sodium broth, chicken, whole-wheat tortillas, and vegetables, Food.com’s casserole is a diet-friendly dinner dish the whole family will enjoy. This recipe, which was adapted from Canyon Ranch, yields 4 to 6 servings. Livestrong notes that whole-wheat tortillas are nutritionally superior to their white counterpart because they are less processed. Eating 3 servings of whole grains per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 25% to 28%, lower your risk of stroke by 30% to 36%, and decrease your chance of getting diabetes by 21% to 30%.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 (4½-ounce) can diced green chilies
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 medium whole-wheat tortillas, about 8 inches in diameter
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a large sauté pan with oil, add chicken and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes over medium-high heat until chicken is golden-brown. Add onion, bell pepper, tomato, and spices and cook until vegetables are tender. Add chicken stock and chiles. Cook until stock is almost gone. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1 tortilla in bottom of pan. Spread ½ of chicken mixture over tortilla. Top with ½ of cheese. Then top with remaining tortilla, chicken mixture, and cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned on top.