03 November 2011

Recipe: Southwest Chicken Casserole

2 large onions, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
2 T butter
6 c cubed chopped chicken
2 10-3/4 c cream of chicken soup
16 oz sour cream
10 oz frozen chopped spinach
8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
12-1/2 oz nacho tortilla chips, crushed 
4 green onions, sliced

1.  In a Dutch oven, saute onions and jalapenos in butter until tender. Stir in the turkey, soup, sour cream and spinach. In a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, layer half of the turkey mixture, cheese and tortilla chips. Repeat layers.

2.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with green onions.

Yield: 12 servings

Notes:  The original recipe calls for turkey, but I had a chicken on hand, so I used that.  I also subbed in cream of portabello mushroom soup, because that's what I had.  I used fat-free sour cream because I rarely use regular sour cream.  I used a 16-oz package of spinach because that's what Trader Joe's sells, and I wasn't about to figure out what to do with six extra ounces of thawed out frozen spinach, nor did I want to waste it.  TJ's also had a Jack cheese blend - regular Jack, pepper Jack, and a habañero Jack, so I used that (normally, I would have added another jalapeño, but since I was using spicy cheese, I didn't).  I also didn't use nearly as much chips as the recipe calls for.  I have no idea what I used, but I had less than half of a 16-oz bag of chips left, and I wasn't going to buy a new bag just for this.  So I just crushed the chips directly onto the casserole until the layer was done.  When both layers were complete, I still had WAY over half of what I started with left.  I didn't use the green onions on top, but only because I didn't have any on hand; I meant to sub in another onion but forgot to. 

This was extremely good, and I will definitely be making this again.  I may play around with shoving different veggies in there instead of or in addition to the spinach.  Ideas welcomed!

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