Maybe it’s because I’m from Indiana, maybe it’s because I’m sorta lazy and am not always the biggest fan of making a main dish and several sides to complete a meal, but the truth is… I’m a big fan of casseroles and other one-dish meals. Not the kind with random cream-of …. soups or mystery meat or canned vegetables drowning in salt water. But the kind with fresh ingredients and tons of flavor from herbs and spices. Like this Lime Chicken Rice Bake that I created on a whim one night when I was trying to use up some leftover rice and black beans.
The punch of flavor in this dish comes from limes and chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, which I keep in a small container in my freezer. An unexpected ingredient–pumpkin–gives this dish a bit of creaminess without adding tons of fat and calories. We enjoyed this for dinner several times on it’s own and also remade into nachos another night. Any way you serve it, Lime Chicken Rice Bake is a warm, comforting dish that is healthy, sure to please, and will certainly make you rethink your opinion of casseroles for good!
Lime Chicken Rice Bake
click to print
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 3/4 cup black beans/15 ounce can, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped and 1-2 tablespoon adobe sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1 tablespoon lime balm, chopped [or zest of 1 lime]
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spay. In a large bowl, stir together rice, beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, chicken, corn, and 1/2 cup cheese. In a smaller bowl, whisk together chipotle peppers and adobe sauce, garlic, oregano, lime juice, milk, and lime balm/zest. Stir this mixture into the rice mixture then spread into casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot. Then remove from oven and top with last 1/2 cup of cheese. Return to oven and cook for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Time: 35 minutes [10 minutes active].
Yield: 8 servings.