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Queso Chicken Bake

  • Level
    Medium
  • Timer
    50 Minutes
  • Ingredients
    11 Ingredients
  • Reviews
    11 Steps
Calories

428

Fat

8 g

Carbs

55 g

Protein

34 g

Serves

8 (350g per serving)

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray (2g)
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper (175g)
  • 1 large sweet onion (275g)
  • 2 dry taco seasoning packets (74g)
  • 2 cups of white rice (360g)
  • 1 jar of red salsa (569g)
  • 1 can diced green chiles (113g)
  • 32g ⅓ fat cream cheese
  • 2.5oz whole milk
  • 130g shredded Mexican cheese

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We are hitting comfort food season and I love batch-cooking healthy meals like this one.  Everyone craves a warm cheesy casserole and this one hits all the marks. It’s high-protein, has fresh veggies, and is low in fat despite the cheese factor.

Instead of buying the traditional jar of queso cheese from the store, I  lightened it up and made my own version using low-fat cream cheese, salsa, and milk. This recipe makes 8 hearty servings and freezes well so it is perfect for your meal prep routine. To complete the meal add guacamole, shredded lettuce, cilantro, and chips. My favorite way to use the leftovers is to grab a tortilla and make a burrito with this queso chicken as the filling!

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° degrees. Spray olive oil on a 9x13 casserole dish, set aside.
  2. Dice red bell peppers and onions, set aside.
  3. Chop up chicken breasts into 2-3” pieces and sprinkle with 1 packet taco seasoning.
  4. In a large non-stick skillet, add chicken and cook 6-8 minutes, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Chicken may not be cooked all the way through, but will finish baking in the oven. Work in batches to get all chicken cooked. Set aside in a large mixing bowl. Clean pan and reuse for cooking the veggies (step 6).
  5. Get a large saucepan and add the 2 cups of rice, 3 cups of water, ½ jar salsa and the can of green chilis. Heat on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes per instructions on rice container, stir intermittently.
  6. While rice is cooking, add bell peppers and onions to the large non-stick skillet over medium heat and soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the other ½ jar of salsa and the other taco seasoning packet. Once incorporated add the cream cheese and milk stir until all melted in.
  7. Once rice and Queso veggie mixtures are done, add them both to the mixing bowl with the chicken and stir.
  8. Transfer the entire mixture into the casserole dish and smooth out.
  9. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top and spread evenly.
  10. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more, or until sauce is bubbly and chicken is cooked through.
  11. Serve with shredded lettuce, cilantro, guacamole, chips and a squeeze of lime!

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