Thursday, May 5, 2016

Honey Lime Chicken Tamale Casserole

Comforting and full of flavor, this Honey Lime Chicken Tamale Casserole is sweet and tangy and full of spice!

If you've had authentic tamales you know how delicious and special they are. If you've ever made these authentic tamales, you know how time consuming they are to make. To get the same flavors - although not a perfect copycat - you make a casserole. 

Using corn muffin mix makes this easy and quick to make. The honey and lime not only add even more flavor, they help keep the chicken moist. If you, like me, don't really use canned and boxed ingredients when cooking, you might be tempted to not try this recipe. Luckily though, there are some better options out there now with simple ingredients and better packaging.

Some of the ingredients used here are fat free, non fat, reduced fat, and light. If you prefer the full fat versions that are less processed, of course, go ahead and use those! 

Honey Lime Chicken Tamale Casserole
Serves 8
Adapted from Cooking Light
  • 1/3 cup fat free milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can cream style corn
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix
  • 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce (or 1 cup homemade enchilada sauce)
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (about 2 large limes)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons diced pickled jalapenos (or fresh jalapeno to taste; optional)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • light sour cream or nonfat plain greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
  • cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 F and grease a 9x9 or 8x8 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the cream style corn, drained green chiles, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, egg whites, milk, and corn muffin mix. Whisk or stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake about 20 to 30 minutes, or until light golden brown. It will be very moist, similar to the masa mixture made for tamales

Meanwhile, spray a skillet with cooking oil and put over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl, add honey, lime, remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, adobo seasoning, pickled jalapeno, chicken, and onion mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Prick holes into the cooked corn mixture. Pour the enchilada sauce over the corn mixture. Using a slotted spoon, add the chicken mixture into a even layer. Discard any extra chicken marinade liquid. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for about 15 minutes. Allow to set for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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