A low-carb casserole that's packed full of protein (and flavor!)
Quick-and-easy weeknight dinners are essential in my house. Without them, I would definitely grab take-out on my way home more often than I’d like to admit! Simple recipes like this Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole are absolute lifesavers. It uses ingredients I almost always have on hand — salsa and spices from the pantry, frozen chicken breasts, thawed overnight in the fridge, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Better yet, it’s ready to eat in only 40 minutes.
This healthy casserole recipe contains a whopping 30 grams of protein, but only 8 grams of carbohydrates and 270 calories per serving. You gotta love a low-carb, low-calorie, high-protein casserole that tastes this good!
The Secret Ingredient is Tomatillo Salsa
The key to pulling off this delicious, low-carb casserole is a jar of tomatillo salsa. This green salsa (also known as salsa verde) is milder than red salsas. Without the spicy bite, you really get to appreciate all the flavors..
The use of tomatillos also makes it unique. Most salsa is made with red, ripe tomatoes. Instead, salsa verde uses green tomatillos. These round, paper-wrapped tomatillos look like unripe tomatoes, but they come from a completely different plant. You’ll find they have a firmer texture and a bright, tangy flavor that’s unforgettable. Puree them with garlic, onions, cilantro, and lime juice, and it creates an incredible and flavorful salsa.
Choosing The Best Type of Cheese
We use shredded mozzarella in the recipe below, but you can absolutely customize the cheese based on your preferences. If you don’t have mozzarella in the fridge, you definitely shouldn’t have to make a trip to the store! Other types of cheese taste fantastic on this casserole, including Monterey Jack, pepperjack, or a pre-shredded Mexican cheese blend.
If melted cheese isn’t your thing, you can also make a few ingredient swaps. Spread eight ounces of softened cream cheese over the chicken breasts before adding the tomatillo salsa. The cheese will add a wonderful creaminess to the dish. Alternatively, you could sprinkle cotija or feta cheese over the casserole after it comes out of the oven, adding a salty (but not melted) cheese effect.
Serving This Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole
This salsa verde chicken casserole is perfectly filling as-is. Don’t feel like you have to go crazy with the side dishes! In fact, the best way to keep this dinner low-carb is to enjoy the casserole with a simple salad.
If you’re not concerned about carbs, serving salsa verde chicken casserole with brown rice or quinoa is the way to go. The extra sauce tastes great spooned over these grains! You can also amp up the veggie content of this dish by serving it with a side of roasted vegetables, spicy broccoli, or zucchini.
No matter how you serve it, we think you’ll love this cheesy, low-calorie, low-carb casserole recipe. It’s perfect for dinner, and the recipe makes enough leftovers that you can enjoy it for lunch, too!
Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole
- 16 ounces tomatillo salsa jarred
- 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 ounces mozzarella shredded
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spoon 1/2 cup of the tomatillo salsa into a 13x9 casserole dish and spread it to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Place the chicken breasts into the dish and season them with the garlic powder, salt, cumin, and black pepper.
- Cover the chicken with the remaining tomatillo salsa and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
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