The Rolling Stones were right: you can’t always get what you want. I don’t know about you, but what I want is to take the leftovers from the fridge and throw together a last-minute weeknight meal. Oh yeah, and I want it to taste great, too! It doesn’t always work out that way, but this Better-Than-Ever Fiesta Chicken Casserole is proof that if you try sometimes, you just might find that leftovers make incredible casseroles.
My mother has always been a pro at recycling leftovers into new meals. She’ll make meatballs one night for spaghetti and meatballs, which turns into two nights of meatball subs followed by a baked spaghetti casserole. Leftovers from Monday’s chicken fajitas dinner magically become two more dinners as they transform into chicken tortilla soup and Mexican Lasagna.
Notice a pattern here? The last stop is almost always a casserole of some kind. With the exception of one infamous attempt at corned beef and cabbage “soup” (which, fortunately, never reached the casserole stage), my mother’s system is flawless. Sometimes, she was so good, we couldn’t even tell we were eating leftovers!
Recycle Those Leftovers
This Fiesta Chicken Casserole is a great way to use up leftover shredded chicken from sandwiches, tacos, or (my favorite) chicken enchilada soup. So long as you get into the habit of keeping a tube of pie crust in the freezer, this simple recipe uses pantry-staple ingredients you’ll always have on hand. It’s the perfect recipe for those nights when you get home late from work and are strongly considering just eating cereal and calling it a night.
It’s those kinds of days that make me long for my early childhood when a fussy night meant my mom would make me a bowl of cereal and put me to bed. I think we all have nights where we’d appreciate that! Now that I am (supposedly) an adult, preparing a well-rounded meal seems like something I shouldn’t forego, even after a rough day. In that case, would-be cereal nights have become casserole nights.
This casserole is so easy to make, there’s almost no excuse not to cook. It has become my weeknight go-to recipe because of its simple ingredients, five minutes of prep time, and only 40 minutes in the oven. To make this recipe, you just have to combine all the ingredients, transfer them to a casserole dish, and cover the mixture with a pie crust. Then, just pop it in the oven and get ready to enjoy a healthy, flavorful dinner.
Quick, Easy, and Delicious
Our Fiesta Chicken Casserole is a super simple recipe that has (almost) all the ease of a bowl of cereal. But, it also has a warming, comforting flavor that cereal can’t dream of. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for your family, this recipe is sure to please. It’s easy enough to throw together on a weeknight, but it’s also a great make-ahead-and-reheat meal. The leftovers are just about perfect for next day lunches, too!
Need to use up leftovers? Just looking for a new, cozy casserole recipe? Exhausted but still want to cook something delicious your family will love? No matter what the situation is, this easy and flavorful Fiesta Chicken Casserole is a must-have recipe. Sometimes, you can have your casserole and eat it, too.
For more recipe inspiration that will fit into your busy schedule, check out this collection of 10 Easy Casseroles for Busy Nights. Or, if the slow cooker is more your style, try these 7 Slow Cooker Casserole Recipes.
Check out this video to see how to make the recipe:
- 1 jar (16 ounce) jar no-sugar added chunky salsa
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained (or about 1 cup frozen corn, thawed)
- 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 package (about 1 pound) pre-made whole wheat pie crust
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with non stick spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the pie crust and mix well. Pour into the casserole dish in an even layer.
- Carefully unroll the pie crust and lay flat on top of the chicken mixture in the casserole dish. It's ok if the sides overlap. Press the crust to the sides of the dish to create a seal.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.