Some nights, I just need dinner to be easy. I’m all about making elaborate, from-scratch dinners – sometimes I have a lot of fun doing that. But after those long days filled with meetings or stressful encounters, I simply don’t have the energy for it. If I’m not prepared, those are the nights that I throw away the diet plan and order takeout. Since that doesn’t do anything to alleviate my stress, I started meal-prepping recipes, like this southwest chicken casserole.
These types of dinners are a real lifesaver. This casserole comes together in less than 45 minutes and everything bakes up in only one dish. That means I only have to clean one pan instead of multiple pots and pans – how great is that? As the final (and greatest) benefit, this skinny recipe is filled with healthy ingredients.
Meal Prepping with Casseroles
The other really great thing about casseroles is how easy they are to meal-prep. Meal-prepping is a really great way to keep yourself on track with your weight loss goals. The difference between someone who sticks to their meal plan and someone who strays is often preparation!
Sometimes meal-prepping just means chopping up ingredients and putting them in a ready-to-cook package. For this casserole, you can actually prep and cook it ahead of time. If you have some free time on a Saturday or Sunday, you can prepare multiple casseroles like this one, for grab-and-go meals all week long.
It’s really easy to make this southwest chicken casserole with black beans ahead of time. If you want, you can even cut the cooked casserole into individual portions and freeze them. Then, when it’s time to eat, all you need to do is pull it out of the freezer, thaw it, and toss it in the oven or microwave to reheat it.
Dishes like this southwest chicken casserole are often better the next day, so don’t worry about making a large batch. The flavors of the seasoned breadcrumbs come together so well with the spice-rubbed chicken and savory black beans. Sometimes I get tired of eating leftovers, but I could eat this casserole almost every day!
Check out this video to see how to make the recipe:
Yields: 8 cups | Serving Size: 1 cup | Calories: 410 | Total Fat: 15 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 38 g | Fiber: 6 g | Sugar: 4 g | Protein: 30 g | Cholesterol: 69 mg | Sodium: 1016 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 6 |
- 2 1/2 cups herb seasoned bread crumbs (we used Pepperidge Farm's classic stuffing bread crumbs)
- 1 1/4 cups salsa, no-sugar added
- 1/2 cup water
- 1.5 pounds chicken breast filets, cut into small bite size pieces
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
- diced green onions, optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine bread crumbs, salsa, and water. Set aside.
- In a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish, combine chicken pieces, spices, salt, pepper, 3/4 cup cheese, and black beans, toss to combine.
- Add crumb mixture to the top and spread evenly, top with remaining cheese.
- Bake 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!
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