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Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese

This Layered Mexican Casserole has chicken, green chiles, pinto beans, and cheese in a gluten-free casserole that’s also low-glycemic and South Beach Diet friendly! Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com

I grew up eating casseroles, which in those days usually had white rice, noodles, pastry, tortillas, or potatoes, and some kind of canned cream soup.   Then I changed my eating habits and didn’t want to use those ingredients any more, but I still craved the comfort-food appeal of a casserole, as well as the way they make such great leftovers.

To fill that casserole craving I’ve been experimenting for several years with updated casserole combinations, using low-glycemic ingredients for a healthier result.  I’ve come up with quite a few Casserole Recipes that have been winners, but I think this Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese might be one of my best creations so far! 

If you also had a mom who made those canned soup casseroles, the flavors in this recipe may remind you of chicken enchilada casseroles from the past with layers of tortillas, diced chicken, a sauce made of sour cream and cream of chicken soup, and cheese.  My casserole has seasoned pinto beans to replace the tortillas, and Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce is reduced on the stove and then combined with diced green chiles, light sour cream, diced chicken, and green onions to make the sauce.  I also used low-fat Mozzarella for the cheese layer, for a finished dish that’s lighter but still very tasty.

When we were sampling this Jake had the idea of mashing a few of the beans so that layer would stay together a bit more, and I think I’ll try that the next time I make it.  And there’s no doubt that this casserole is one I’ll be making again many times!

Watch the slide show video to see the steps for this recipe. You can see more slide show videos on My You Tube Channel.
Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com
Put the can of Green Chile Enchilada Sauce into a small pan and simmer on the stove until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to one cup.  (If you need gluten-free be sure to choose a brand of green chile sauce that doesn’t contain wheat.  One is La Victoria.)

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com

Drain two cans of pinto beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse with cold water, and drain.

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com
Heat olive oil in a large heavy frying pan, and saute the chopped onion and green bell pepper until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com
As soon as the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce is reduced to one cup, put it in a bowl and mix in the can of diced green chiles.  Let the sauce cool before you mix in the other ingredients.  (Taste at this point to see if you want to add some Green Tabasco Sauce; we did!)

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com
As soon as onions and peppers are starting to lightly brown, season with cumin, mix in the drained pinto beans, and cook for a few minutes to get the beans hot.

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com
Measure out 4 cups of diced cooked chicken.  (You can cook four chicken breasts or use leftover rotisserie chicken.)

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com
As soon as the enchilada sauce no longer feels hot, stir in the light sour cream, then the diced chicken, and then the sliced green onions.

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com
You need a fairly deep casserole dish for this.  I used a dish that was 9″x9″x3″.  If your dish isn’t that deep, make sure it’s slightly bigger.  Spray dish with olive oil or non-stick spray and then make a layer with half the pinto bean mixture.

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com

Spread half the sauce/chicken mixture over the beans.

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com

Then layer half the cheese over the sauce/chicken.

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com
Repeat with another layer of seasoned pinto beans, sauce/chicken, and cheese.  (As you can see, it came close to the top of the dish!)

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com
Bake at 375F/190C for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the top is nicely browned.  Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese (Phase One, Gluten Free)
(Makes about 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)

Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz.) Mild Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (If you need gluten-free be sure to choose a brand of green chile sauce that doesn’t contain wheat.  One is La Victoria.)
2 cans (15. oz) pinto beans
1 large onion, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp. olive oil
1 T ground cumin
1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles plus juice (not jalapenos unless you want it really hot)
1-3 T Green Tabasco Sauce (Optional, but nice if you want it a bit hotter; we used two tablespoons.)
3/4 cup light sour cream
4 cups diced, cooked chicken
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
2 cups grated low-fat Mozzarella

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Put the green chile enchilada sauce in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to one cup.  While sauce simmers, put the two cans of pinto beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears.  Let beans drain well (or blot dry with paper towels if you’re in a hurry.)

Dice the onion and green bell pepper and slice the green onions.  Heat the olive oil in a large heavy frying pan, add onion and green bell pepper and saute until they’re softened and starting to barely brown, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the ground cumin and drained beans and cook about 3-4 minutes more, or until the beans are hot.  (You can mash the beans slightly at this point if you’d like a layer of beans that sticks together a bit more.)

As soon as the green chile enchilada sauce has reduced to 1 cup (about 10-15 minutes), place it in a bowl to cool and stir in the diced green chiles with juice.  Taste the mixture to see if you want to add the optional Green Tabasco Sauce.  When the mixture no longer feels hot (it can be warm), stir in the sour cream, diced chicken, and sliced green onions.

Spray a 9″x9″x3″ casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray.  (If your dish has lower sides than that, be sure it is slightly bigger.)  Spread half the pinto bean mixture over the bottom of the dish, followed by a layer of half the sauce/chicken mixture.  Sprinkle 1 cup of grated Mozzarella over the sauce/chicken mixture.  Repeat with another layer of pinto beans, sauce/chicken mixture, and cheese. 

Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling and nicely browned on top.  Let stand about 10-15 minutes before cutting, then serve. 

This freezes well, or will keep in the fridge in a covered container for several days.  (I divided it up into single-serving portions and frozen some and put some in the fridge to eat.)

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:

This recipe is probably too high in carbs for a traditional low-carb diet plan, but all ingredients in this low-glycemic casserole are approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  However dried beans are a limited ingredient, so I’d have a small serving (with some vegetables on the side) if you’re eating this for phase one.

Find More Recipes Like This One:

Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?

If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Tasty Casseroles You Might Like:
Slow Cooker Casseroles Recipes Photo Index Page ~ Slow Cooker from Scratch

Ham and Cauliflower Casserole au Gratin from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Butternut Squash Casserole from Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Broccoli-Rice Casserole (No Canned Soup) from Salad in a Jar

Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com

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91 comments on “Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese”

  1. A delicious recipe! Green enchilada took some searching for here on the prairies of Canada, but it was worth the hunt. Thank you.

  2. Anna, so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Made this tonight (used black beans) and it is delicious! Looking forward to my leftovers 🙂

  4. I made this last night and both my husband and I really liked it. I was surprised that a comforting casserole could be made to fit in with phase 1. I LOVE Mexican food which made phase one really hard for me last time I did the SB diet. I love me some tacos and chips and salsa. But this recipe and some of your others have allowed me to get my Mexican fix and stay on the diet! Thanks so much!

  5. Could this be frozen after assembly (and before cooking)? I wasn't sure, because of the sour cream. This sounds great, btw!

  6. I have frozen this after cooking, but haven't tried it before cooking and truthfully I am skeptical. If you do try it, let us know how it turns out.

  7. I made this for the 3rd time today. I should clarify – I made it for the 3rd time this month!! We LOVE this. The first time I made it, I forgot to add the cumin, and we didn't even notice, so I've gone ahead and left it out each time. I added a red bell pepper today also, since I had one that needed used. This dish is wonderful.

  8. Barbie, glad you are enjoying it so much!

  9. Made this tonight. My family loved it! It's going to be great for leftovers. Thanks for all of your recipes,

  10. Shelley, so glad you all enjoyed it!

  11. YUM! Putting this on the meal plan for next week! Thanks!

  12. I'm definitely making this! But I am sure I made a similar recipe from you that used whole green chiles as layering elements. The only one I can find on your site uses ground beef instead of chicken. Think I could use chicken instead?

  13. Carol, you can certainly experiment with it if you'd like but I can't say for sure because I haven't tried the other one with chicken. There is also this Chili Rellenos Bake if you wanted to try something else that layers with green chiles.

  14. this looks very yummy,but if I want to sub the beans for vegges what do you recommend, thanks

  15. I find it hard to recommend substitutions that completely change the character of the dish, and I can't think of a vegetable to recommend here. If you do come up with an idea, I'd love to hear how it works.

  16. Yum! I made this yesterday – I'm trying to cook enough on Sunday afternoons so my boyfriend and I have food all week. We tried this for dinner and it was delicious, and the best part is that we have lots of leftovers for the week!! Great flavours 🙂

  17. Jen, glad you enjoyed it. Even though I work at home, I still like to cook on the weekend for the upcoming week!

  18. This was absolutely delicious and so satisfying. I'm a huge fan of Mexican food and this satisfies that craving for sure. Great recipe full of flavor!

  19. I wonder if cooking a 1.15 lbs package of chicken tenderloins would work for this. I have everything else but the only chicken I have are these tenderloins. What do you think?

  20. Yes, I think that will work just fine. I'd just cook them for about 10 minutes in either water or chicken stock, over very low heat. Then drain and cut the chicken up.

  21. Yay!! Hopefully is will make 4 cups…i might have a single chicken breast i. The freezer I can add to make sure…*goes to dig in the freezer* =)

  22. Has anyone tried this using red enchilada sauce? I am not a fan of the green sauce but am interested in trying this recipe.

  23. Tracy, if you try it, let us know what you think.

  24. I just wanted to let you know my hubby is NOT a casserole man, but I had leftover chicken breasts I needed to use up. I came across your recipe and since I had all the ingredients on hand, I made it tonight. I just wanted to say THANK YOU! He loved it and even wanted thirds, and the whole family thought it tasted great! Woohooo!!! This is a keeper for us. Thank you for sharing it!!
    Jen

  25. Jen, so glad it was a hit!

  26. Could you use 0% Fage Greek plain yogurt instead of the light sour cream?

  27. I probably wouldn't; yogurt has a different consistency and a sharper taste that I wouldn't want here. But everyone's taste is different; you might like it just fine.

  28. Am I able to interchange black beans for pinto beans?

  29. Tiffany, that would definitely work just fine.

  30. I loved this recipe, served it with diced tomatoes, avocado and lime wedges. Thank you for helping me get through SBD phase one. Your website is fab!

  31. Thanks Lucy, and so glad you enjoyed it!

  32. This is great! I usually add a layer of whole green chilies in the middle (like one of your other casseroles). Yummers!

  33. Jennifer, I love that idea!

  34. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. I can not wait to try it. I have had a lot of fantastic weight loss success in the last few months meeting my carb count under 20 grams per day.Just wondering if you think a serving might be under 20 grams. I am so bored with everything I have been eating and would love more recipes like this.

  35. Sorry, I have no idea what the carb count it. But there is a link right after the recipe for a site where you enter the recipe and it will calculate for you.

  36. Your recipes have been a great help to us as we follow the South Beach plan. This one was a big hit! I love using beans in place of carbs, and the sauce reduction plus sour cream and green chili sauce was delicious. Thanks for another winner!

  37. Excellent! I can’t believe this is Phase I safe for SBD. I used a rotisserie chicken and picked up some cheese from the Hispanic Supermarket. Also, instead of green bell pepper, I used 2 small Poblanos and about 1.5 Jalapenos; diced and sauteed with the onion. Still added the green chiles to the reduced enchilada sauce/sour cream/chicken mixture. So happy to have leftovers today so I won’t be searching for lunch and apt to make poor decisions. Thanks Kalyn!

    • Oh dear, now I am worrying about whether the enchilada sauce is okay for Phase One! But I think it should be even though it has a very tiny amount of corn starch. I do know that I ate it when I was doing Phase One and it didn’t ever slow my weight loss. Glad you are enjoying it!

  38. Recipe looks great. Just wish you included the serving calories, serving fat, serving sodium, serving protein, and general nutritional information.

    • I have over 2000 recipes on the site and spend 6-8 hours most days working on the blog. I’m not able to provide nutritional information for the recipes for several reasons, including the additional time it takes, the difficulty in doing it accurately, and the sheer number of recipes on my site. If you look after the recipe itself, I give two links (where it says “Nutritional Information”) for suggestions of two ways to get that information.

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