Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? How about a tasty Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake?
A few weeks back, my wife took Robbie down to visit her parents in central Pennsylvania while I stayed here at home with the dogs. I love having the baby around, but man those few days were awesome! I was able to get some work done, and I actually got decent sleep for the first time in weeks. I missed Laura and Robbie, of course, but I did enjoy my few days of bachelor-style living. (I also had curling games on 3 of the 5 nights that they were gone…so it was good that Laura had some help with the baby.)
Our neighbors knew that I was holding down the fort alone, and they invited me over for dinner one night. (Yes, one of the two that I wasn’t at the curling club.) We wanted to mix up dinner and make something we’d never made before. Somehow the idea of a Texas Frito Pie came up. I have no idea how it came into the conversation, but we decided to go for it. Back when I lived in Baton Rouge, my neighbors made Texas Frito Pie for me one night, so I was vaguely familiar with the idea.
If you’re not familiar with Texas Frito Pie, then the first thing you need to know is that it’s not fancy. This is the ultimate in rustic food. You literally pour half a bag of Fritos chips into a casserole dish and then top it with your favorite chili. Finish it off by sprinkling the remaining half bag of chips on top of the chili along with some cheese. Toss it in the oven for 30 minutes until it’s nice and melty, and boom. Texas Fritos Pie. It was an amazing comfort food meal, and we ate it while sitting around chatting about how we all missed Laura and the baby.
You guys know by now that we love tacos around our house. We don’t just do Taco Tuesday here. Sometimes it’s Taco Monday, Taco Tuesday and Taco Thursday…all in the same week. As I’ve mentioned before, almost anything can be turned into a taco. Taco Burgers. Taco Pizza. Slow Cooker Tacos. Pretty soon, I’ll have to invent a taco dessert. But for today, we turned the taco into a casserole of sorts. For this Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake, you pretty much just take your favorite taco fillings and stir it all together in a bowl.
And then (somewhat like the Texas Fritos Pie), you crumble baked corn tortillas on the bottom and top of the casserole filling. The result is one heck of an awesome meal. This Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake is not fancy at all. But it’s good. Like really good. Like you want to stick your face in the casserole dish and lick it clean kinda good. (Don’t worry, I won’t judge you one bit if you lick the casserole dish. It’s been done before!)
What is your favorite casserole-style recipe? (Please tell me it involves tacos!)
Have you ever made a Texas Fritos Pie?
Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake
- 12 6” corn tortillas
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ Tbsp garlic minced
- 2 medium yellow onions diced
- 1 poblano pepper seeded and diced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
- 4 6-oz. cans chicken breast, drained
- 1 15-oz. can corn, drained
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped and divided
- 1 cup mild cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 cups pepperjack cheese shredded and divided
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Spread corn tortillas on 2 baking sheets. Brush both sides lightly with canola oil. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until tortillas are crispy. Let cool and then break into 1-2” pieces.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with cooking spray and then spread half of tortillas in bottom of dish; set dish and remaining tortillas aside.
- Using a large skillet, add the olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic, onions and pepper. Saute for 6-7 minutes, stirring often, or until onions begin to soften.
- Transfer into a large bowl and add cumin, chili powder, diced tomatoes, canned chicken, corn, black beans, chicken stock and sour cream. Stir until well combined.
- Add half of cilantro, cheddar cheese and half of pepperjack cheese. Stir until well combined.
- Spread mixture into baking dish on top of tortillas.
- Top with remaining pepperjack cheese and reserved tortillas.
- Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes and then top with remaining cilantro before serving.