This Cheesy Crock Pot Southwest Chicken Casserole is too easy to be this good. Plus, it is lower in fat and calories, so it will fit many diet types. But mostly, it is just a great everyday dish that is bursting with flavor.
This takes almost no skill. Just open a few cans and shred a chicken breast. Or you can even skip the shredding by using rotisserie chicken.
We all need a few easy meals we can just make and get a few meals. It is even better if the meal is good for you and tastes great.
Ramblings of An Old Blogger
Sometimes I think I’m back in organic chemistry lab. This recipe started as an experimental beef recipe while my wife was out of town.
The texture and the basic taste was right, but spices were just way too hot. I didn’t give the RoTel enough respect. It does add taste but also some heat.
I have almost stopped precooking anything other than ground meat that goes in a crock pot. Even ground meat would be ok in most situations, but there is usually more moisture and fat released than you want. You also sometimes want a Maillard reaction to add flavor.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Crock Pot Southwest Chicken Casserole
Just add a couple of cans, a little spice to uncooked pasta, and chicken breasts. Shred the chicken and add some cheese late in the cooking. You are rewarded for your laziness with cheesy, tasty goodness.
You want about 2-3 cups of shredded chicken. It is a casserole, so you can vary that for your tastes and what you happen to have.
I suggest two skinless boneless chicken breasts. They can go into the dish raw and be shredded near the end of cooking.
You could use previously cooked chicken like a rotisserie chicken. You do not want that already cooked chicken cooking for the 4 hours. Add it near the end with the cheese.
The Tomato and Spices
As written, the heat is about 3-4 out of 10. Maybe a little too spicy for little ones.
Most of the heat comes from the Rotel. You may use a can of drained diced tomatoes to replace it. That will leave the dish a bit bland so a small can of diced mild chilies and increase the other spices a bit.
Other Tex-Mex Casseroles
Trim two skinless boneless chicken breast of any visible fat.
Add one 14 oz can tomato sauce, 14 oz can black beans rinsed, 10.5 oz can of RoTel, one teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 cup dry pasta (uncooked) to a smaller crock pot. Here I use my 3.5 qt pot. Mix well.
Add two trimmed skinless boneless chicken breasts. Push down into the liquid until covered.
Cook on low for 4 hours total. At 3 hours into the cooking, remove the chicken and shred.
Add chicken back along with 3/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice. Mix well then top with 1/4 cup of the cheese.
Cook for the final hour.
Originally published November 23, 2014. Updated with expanded options and discussion along with refreshed photos.