What I do while I figure out what to do next . . .

Chicken & Black Bean Mexican Casserole

Chicken and Black Bean Mexican Casserole

I apparently have an issue with focus.  And while I LOVE CAKE and I have baked and decorated my fair share; I HAVE TO cook dinner every night and so decided to write about our hits and misses.  So check out the new What’s For Dinner page for more ideas. . .  I chose to blog about this recipe first because an ungodly number of people repinned it after I pinned it a couple of days ago.  I have to say the picture really sold me, plus I can assemble it ahead of time and pop it in the oven later and that makes it hugely convenient in my life.

RECIPE: adapted from All Recipes 

Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

  • 2 cups diced or shredded chicken breast meat I didn’t measure just diced up 2 large uncooked chicken breasts
  • 3/4  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4.5 oz) can diced green chili peppers, drained
  • 1 (10 oz) can red medium enchilada sauce
  • 8-10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 (8 oz) container sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375°. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Sauté chicken with cumin, coriander and garlic powder until chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the cilantro, black beans and green chili peppers.

Spread half of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 11×7 inch baking dish (this seems like an odd sized dish – and I have a ridiculous amount of random baking dishes at my disposal.  So I used 9×13 and it was fine – I think it would have been fine with smaller too – just taller)  that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Place 4-5 tortillas over the sauce, cutting in half and overlapping overlapping if necessary. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the sour cream.

Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese, and make another layer of tortillas. Layer the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas. STOP/

Cover dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove the cover, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and dot with sour cream. Continue cooking, uncovered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese melts. (I must have misread these directions because I put back in for another 15 – and it worked well)


So this recipe could not be simpler.  And, as I expected, it comes together in advance and you can pop it right in the oven.  A lot of times what kills me trying to pull a dinner together is not the actual cooking time, but the prep that sends me over the edge.  I used to think I was a process person.  And if I’m not under the gun to GET DINNER ON THE TABLE BECAUSE WE HAVE TO EAT IN A 15 MINUTE WINDOW BEFORE SOMEONE HAS TO LEAVE FOR BALLET, BASEBALL, SOCCER, RIDING . . . you get the idea, then I might enjoy the process again.  But right now the process I enjoy is simple.

I have 4 kids.  Ages 13, 13, 9 and 7.  They all like Mexican food.  Hubby is fine with Mexican food – well he likes Margaritas anyway.  He’s not a huge fan of beans – the short child doesn’t eat re-fried beans but I “thought” she was not opposed to beans out of hand – she happily eats chili.  ANYWAY.  I managed to get it on the table hot for hubby, 13 and 7.  Other 13 year old had dance and had to eat it reheated afterwards, 9 year old spiked a fever and needed to go to urgent care.  And I ate A LOT of the peanut butter cake we made this weekend and am therefore fasting for the next 2 weeks :-).

Both 13 year olds thought that it was awesome and want it again.  9 year old who was supposed to have only chicken noodle soup requested to try it and thought it was “not too bad” and I got “a verbal” that he would eat it again.  Hubby thought it was too bland and mushy (he does have texture issues though . . .) and he reported that the 7 year old said “it’s not her style”. (EDIT – I remade tonight and the now 8 year old ate it happily.  I also altered the original amounts of spices to kick up the flavor for DH – changes are now in the ingredients.)

We have a rule in this family.  I will not purposefully cook something I don’t think you will like.  You do have to try it. You don’t have to like it, but please refrain from going into excessive detail about how disgusting you find it. And most importantly of all – Don’t make the cook cry!  “It’s not my style replaced the ubiquitous “it’s spicy” as the euphemism of choice for, “I don’t like it – but I don’t want you to feel bad and cry”.  It works.

So, with a success rate of 2/3rds – because I actually did taste it and liked the beans – it’s a keeper.  I do have 100% hit rate on some things – but I can’t have that be my benchmark because then we would never eat anything except spaghetti and meatballs (and not even homemade ones – they like the ones from the bag . . . gasp!)

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One thought on “Chicken & Black Bean Mexican Casserole

  1. borngrace on said:

    Just made this again last night and tweaked just a bit. Added a drained small can of sweet corn with the beans and served with blue corn chips. The boy child and the husband now both really like it. Which is shocking because I might almost be approaching a 100% on this one – one big kid was at varsity dinner so can’t get complete consensus.

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