A healthy, gluten-free chicken taco casserole featuring ground chicken, brown rice, black beans and fresh taco toppings like diced tomatoes, sour cream, and cilantro. Perfect for family dinners and healthy eating!
This casserole, in particular, is not only healthy, but also easy to mix up, and satisfies every Tex-Mex stirring within your soul. It’s chicken taco casserole, and it begins with the browning of ground chicken, fully flavored thanks to a hefty addition of taco seasoning.
Brown rice gives the casserole body and helps to keep you feeling full. And, black beans not only help to fulfill this role but also give the casserole a nice creamy texture. What does this mean for all you healthy peeps out there? No creamy, artificial fillers needed. Bonus.
Now, to cheese or not to cheese? Look, I know it’s not the “healthiest” ingredient in the world, however, if we are going to call this meal a taco casserole, I think we’re left with no choice, but to throw some cheese in there. The cheese also helps to bind the casserole ingredients together.
Moving on to the toppings: Once your chicken taco casserole comes out of the oven, you can top it however you see fit, but if you ask me, bright and acidic chopped tomatoes, green onions and fresh cilantro make for one heck of a flavor profile.
And, if you’re feeling really good about yourself for passing up on a traditional, full-fat Tex-Mex dinner, I’d say you’ve earned yourself a drizzle or two of Mexican crema across the top.
A healthy chicken taco casserole featuring ground chicken, brown rice, black beans and fresh taco toppings like diced tomatoes, sour cream, and cilantro.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 1/4 cup TAK's Tex-Mex Seasoning or 2 tablespoons store-bought taco seasoning
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 (26 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup store-bought Taco Sauce such as Ortega Taco Sauce
- 4 green onions chopped, separated
- 1 1/4 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese separated
- 1 1/4 cup freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese separated
- 4 Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
- 2 tablespoons Mexican crema or sour cream optional
Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready a greased, 9x13" casserole dish.
Add the Canola oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and allow it to come to temperature. Add the ground chicken, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon or spatula. Sprinkle TAK's Tex-Mex Spice Blend over the chicken, and sauté about 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
Transfer the cooked chicken to the casserole dish, and add in the rice, black beans, taco sauce, half of the chopped green onions, 1 cup of Cheddar and 1 cup of Monterey Jack. Mix to combine.
Top with the remaining Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes covered. Remove the foil, and bake for 5 minutes more.
Scatter diced tomatoes, cilantro and remaining green onions across the top of the casserole. Drizzle with Mexican crema (or sour cream), if desired. Serve and enjoy.