Low Fat Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

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I've been trying to eat a little healthier at home this season, because of how much I pig out at holiday gatherings.  I love casseroles, but so many of them are filled with a lot of creamy soups and butter.  I found this recipe and thought it would be a good alternative to my usual casseroles.  It was full of flavor and still had some cheesy goodness (you still gotta live a little, right?!).


The leftovers are also great reheated and wrapped in a tortilla!
Low Fat Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole
(Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens)
1/2 c. chopped onion (1 medium)
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 package (6.9 ounce) chicken-flavored rice and vermicelli mix
14-ounce can chicken broth
2 c. water
2 c. chopped, cooked chicken
1 c. chopped, seeded tomato (2 medium)
3 Tbl. canned diced green chile peppers, drained
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp.  black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1.  In a saucepan cook onion in hot oil over medium heat until tender.  Stir in rice and vermicelli mix (including seasoning package); cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Stir in broth and water.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes (liquid will not be fully absorbed).
2.  Transfer the rice mixture to a large bowl.  Stir in chicken, tomato, chile peppers, chili powder, basil, cumin and black pepper.  Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish.
3.  Bake, covered, in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Uncover and sprinkle with cheese.  Let stand about 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
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  1. Looks wonderful. To really make this healthy, though, I’m going to try to use brown rice and no packaged / flavored rice to reduce sodium and preservatives. By adding additional broth instead of water, I’ll bet it will still be flavorful!

  2. Diana says:

    I made my usual chicken and rice dish into a texmex tonight, patterned after your recipe. It was fabulous. Just wanted to say thanks.

  3. Kim says:

    We’ve been counting calories at our house lately, but I was getting tired of the “chicken & vegetables” that we were having for almost every meal. I miss casseroles! This hit the spot, and I am going to use this idea and make a chicken & broccoli casserole next week using a different rice mix, etc. We’ll see how it turns out!

  4. Georgia says:

    I made this with a few modifications and it was so delicious!

    I used low sodium rice & vermicelli mix as well as low sodium chicken broth. I also used a single can of diced tomatoes with diced green chiles already added in (probably adding some of that sodium back in too, ha!)

    I will be making this again in the future!

  5. Andrea says:

    How much water is suppose to be left in the pan before you put it in the casserole dish? It seems like alot. I hope it turns out :(

  6. Carol says:

    I made this a few nights ago and it was really good!! I did add some sliced black olives to it but that’s the only change I made. It was super easy to make and my entire family loved it. I will make this again. Thanks for sharing!

    • Cyd says:

      Just click on the MAGIC button under the picture and then click on NUTRITION. It will give you the servings and calories per servings, weight watcher points and all nutritional information on this recipe. It’s our sister site – MyRecipeMagic.com. It has over 20,000 recipes. Hope you’ll stop by and check it out.

  7. Vicki says:

    Would it be so hard to just list the calorie count? The link to Myrecipemagic doesn’t take you to the recipe it takes you to the homepage. Myrecipemagic’s search function is painfully slow and that’s IF you get a result. UGH! More times than not it just blanks out.

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