This Chicken Chile Verde Cauliflower Rice Casserole is made with a base of cauliflower rice and combines the classic flavors of chicken chile verde: salsa verde and cilantro in a creamy and silky sauce made with canned coconut cream and whisked eggs in place of typical cream and flour.
Hi, friends! I didn’t mean to go dark earlier this week, but driving an hour each way to the outlets and indulging in way too much German food (okay, maybe more the latter) did a number on me. As a result, I didn’t get a chance to write my usual Monday post. The fact that I was hunkered up on the couch binge watching half a season of Stranger Things 2 may have also contributed, but can you blame me? The 80s vibes and music are just too good, and the story line is straight out of a sci fi/fantasy novel. Anyone else watching?
Here’s what else I’ve been doing lately: making casseroles. I tend to veer towards simple grilled or sauteed meats during the summer and early fall, but come October when I can finally feel a chill in the air, I am all about warm and comforting meals. Enter casseroles. Why do I love them so much? Well, they often contain a hodgepodge of ingredients (the more, the merrier in my humble opinion), they’re often packed with hidden veggies yet taste great, and, well, they’re often topped with cheese (always a major plus in my book). Here’s one more often overlooked benefit: they’re incredibly easy to “healthify.” Seriously.
Here are a few tricks I use all the time to make healthier casseroles:
- Swap white rice or pasta for brown rice or gluten-free pasta.
- Sneak in veggies with a relatively mild flavor like cauliflower rice, zucchini, spaghetti squash, peppers, onions, etc.
- Add eggs to bind the ingredients together and add a punch of protein.
- Substitute canned coconut milk for milk or heavy cream.
- Add a thin layer of cheese over the top instead of in the “batter” as well. <– You’ll still taste cheese in every bite even though you’re eating less!
My latest casserole creation relies on 4 of these 5 tips, sans #1 because it’s actually 100% grain-free. Made with a base of cauliflower rice, it combines the classic flavors of chicken chile verde: salsa verde and cilantro in a creamy and silky sauce made with canned coconut milk and whisked eggs in place of typical cream and flour. And it totally works…really well! Try it for dinner or for meal prep to enjoy throughout the week–it reheats well and it’s so good you won’t mind repeating.
- ½ cup yellow onion, diced
- 2½ cups green bell pepper, diced
- 2 lb cooked chicken breasts, chopped
- 12 oz salsa verde
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 24 ounces frozen cauliflower rice
- 4 oz diced green chiles
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅓ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- ½ cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350*F and grease or spray a 13x9" baking pan.
- Saute the onion and green bell pepper 4-6 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the cauliflower rice and cook until thawed and most of the water from the cauliflower has evaporated (5-10 minutes).
- Combine all ingredients in the baking pan and mix until well combined. If using cheese, sprinkle over the top of casserole.
- Baking at 350*F for 1 hour. After 1 hour, increase the heat to broil (500*F) for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool. Enoy!
Be sure to cook the cauliflower rice mixture thoroughly until all water has evaporated to avoid a watery casserole.
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