Posted in Bake, Casserole, Easy, Main Courses, Poultry, Tips/Hints, Uncategorized

Southwest Chicken Casserole

I am always looking for light twists on typical dishes.  I will get inspiration from friends, cook books, magazines and TV shows and it is fun to take an otherwise fattening dish and make it light enough that I don’t feel bad about feeding it to my family.  The trick of course is to figure out a way to make it taste the same or better than the original dish.

Then there are those nights where I have nothing in mind and I jut start cooking with what I have.  Sometimes the dishes come out great and other times I am reluctant to feed it to my dog.  That is the fun and beauty of cooking….sometimes you never know what you are going to get!

Tonight’s dish was one of those dinners where I really didn’t have a plan, just some ingredients.  Looking back now I could have made this dish a little “lighter” but it was close enough and it was delicious.  I even had some Pillsbury Pizza dough which I formed and baked into little cups.  I then serve Nick and my portions in the cup.  Funny thing is they were gone so fast I didn’t take a picture!  Oh well next time.  Enjoy.

Southwest Chicken Casserole

Preheat oven 375o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories =   257                           Fat = 7 grams

Serves 6


4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

1 tablespoon taco seasoning

1 ½ cups salsa

1 cup diced tomatoes from a can – drained

2 pounds boneless cooked chicken breast – cut into ½ inch pieces

1 cup low fat grated Mexican cheese mix

1 15-ounce can black beans – drained and rinsed


1.    Beat cream cheese and taco seasoning on high speed until whipped.

2.    Fold in salsa, tomatoes, chicken, cheese and black beans.

3.    Coat a 12 by 8 inch casserole baking pan with cooking spray.  Spoon chicken mixture into casserole pan.

4.    Bake, covered, for 30 minutes then uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

5.    Serve hot.

Posted in Grilling, Poultry

Southwest Inspiration…

I was hoping to give you a kickin’ carrot cupcake recipe tonight but it didn’t turn out quite right.  My family ate them up but the texture was a little gummy for my taste so I am offering you our dinner course instead.  The Southwest chicken recipe is simple and I hope you like it as much as we did.

Happy Grilling!!

Grilled Southwest Chicken

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 – 15 minutes


6 skinless/boneless split chicken breasts

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon Hickory smoke salt

¼ cup reduced fat sour cream

½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

2 tablespoon fresh cilantro – minced

1 cup salsa


  1. In a small bowl, combine paprika, chili powder and hickory salt and rub a generous amount on each chicken breast.
  2. Heat indoor grill on high heat and spray with cooking spray and add chicken.  Grill 5 – 7 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cheese and cilantro and blend well.
  4. Spread a little of the cheese mixture on each chicken breast.  Spray a 9 X 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and arrange chicken breasts in the baking dish.
  5. Set oven to high broil and broil chicken for about 5 minutes or until cheese mixture is bubbly.
  6. Remove baking dish from oven, arrange chicken breasts on a serving platter and serve with salsa on the side.

Estimated Values:

Calories = 165                                              Fat = 4.5 grams