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Fajita Chicken Casserole

Fajita Chicken Casserole recipe

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Fajita Chicken Casserole combines the flavors of classic fajitas into a hearty and comforting dish, perfect for weeknight dinners or gatherings. This casserole is loaded with tender shredded chicken, colorful bell peppers, onions, and a blend of Mexican cheeses, all seasoned with zesty fajita spices and topped with crispy panko breadcrumbs. Here’s a detailed recipe to help you create this delicious casserole, including tips, variations, and FAQs.

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Ingredients:

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  • 4 cups boneless cooked chicken, shredded
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

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  1. Preheat Oven and Prepare Casserole:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil.
  2. Combine Chicken Mixture:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cooked chicken, sour cream, chicken broth, diced tomatoes (including juices), sliced bell peppers, sliced yellow onion, and 1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese.
    • Add the fajita seasoning and fresh cilantro to the mixture. Stir until everything is well combined and evenly coated with the seasoning.
  3. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Pour the chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  4. Top with Cheese and Breadcrumbs:
    • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Mexican cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.
    • In a small bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs with a drizzle of olive oil or melted butter until evenly coated. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the cheese layer.
  5. Bake the Casserole:
    • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
    • Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  6. Serve:
    • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
    • Garnish with additional chopped cilantro if desired.

Cook’s Notes:

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  • You can use leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken for this recipe to save time.
  • Adjust the amount of fajita seasoning according to your taste preference and the spiciness level of the seasoning blend you’re using.
  • For added heat, consider adding chopped jalapeños or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to the chicken mixture.

Variations:

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  1. Beef Fajita Casserole:
    • Substitute shredded cooked beef (such as flank steak or skirt steak) for the chicken.
  2. Vegetarian Fajita Casserole:
    • Omit the chicken and add extra bell peppers, onions, and black beans or pinto beans. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  3. Low-Carb Fajita Casserole:
    • Skip the breadcrumbs or use a low-carb alternative like crushed pork rinds or almond flour.
  4. Spicy Fajita Casserole:
    • Increase the amount of fajita seasoning or add hot sauce to the chicken mixture for an extra kick of spice.
  5. Cheesy Fajita Casserole:
    • Mix in additional shredded cheese into the chicken mixture for an even cheesier casserole.

FAQs:

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  1. Can I prepare this casserole ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking. Add an extra 10 minutes to the baking time if baking from cold.
  2. How do I store leftovers?
    • Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
  3. What can I serve with this casserole?
    • Serve this Fajita Chicken Casserole with tortillas, rice, guacamole, salsa, or a side salad for a complete meal.
  4. Can I freeze this casserole?
    • Yes, this casserole freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  5. Can I use different colored bell peppers?
    • Absolutely! Use a mix of red, green, yellow, or orange bell peppers for added color and flavor variation.

Fajita Chicken Casserole is a flavorful and satisfying dish that brings the essence of fajitas into a convenient casserole format. With its tender chicken, colorful vegetables, gooey cheese, and crispy breadcrumb topping, this dish is sure to be a hit at your dinner table. Enjoy making and sharing this delicious casserole with your family and friends!