Easy Cheesy Chicken Fajita Casserole

May 18, 2024
Chicken Fajita Casserole
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Are you craving a dish that combines the zesty flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine with the comfort of a hearty casserole? Look no further than the Chicken Fajita Casserole

Are you craving a dish that combines the zesty flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine with the comfort of a hearty casserole? Look no further than the Chicken Fajita Casserole! This one-dish wonder is a surefire crowd-pleaser, offering a delicious fusion of tender chicken, sizzling fajita veggies, and gooey melted cheese – all baked to perfection.

Packed with bold flavors and easy to prepare, this casserole is the ultimate weeknight dinner solution or a showstopper dish for your next potluck gathering. So, preheat your oven and get ready to embark on a culinary journey that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of a vibrant Mexican cantina!

Ingredients For Chicken Fajita Casserole

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • Tortilla chips or flour tortillas, for serving (optional)

Instructions:

Prepare the Fajita Filling:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the sliced chicken, bell peppers, and onion to the skillet.
  • Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper over the mixture.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender-crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.

Assemble the Casserole:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Spread half of the cream cheese mixture evenly in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Top with half of the cooked fajita mixture, spreading it in an even layer.
  • Dollop the salsa over the fajita mixture.
  • Repeat the layers, starting with the remaining cream cheese mixture, followed by the remaining fajita mixture.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese over the top.

Bake and Serve:

  • Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve the Chicken Fajita Casserole hot, accompanied by tortilla chips or flour tortillas on the side for scooping or wrapping.

Tips and Variations:

  • Vegetable Medley: Feel free to add other veggies to the mix, such as sliced mushrooms, zucchini, or corn kernels.
  • Spice it Up: For an extra kick of heat, add diced jalapeños or a dash of cayenne pepper to the fajita filling.
  • Make it Ahead: Assemble the casserole a day in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake for a convenient meal prep option.
  • Leftover Love: This casserole makes for fantastic leftovers! Reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven for a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

1. Can I use pre-cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken for this recipe?

Absolutely! Shredded or chopped pre-cooked chicken can be used in place of the raw chicken strips, reducing the cooking time for the fajita filling.

2. Can I substitute the cream cheese with a dairy-free alternative?

Yes, you can use a dairy-free cream cheese substitute or a combination of non-dairy milk and thickener (such as cornstarch or arrowroot powder) to create a creamy base.

3. Can I make this casserole vegetarian?

Definitely! Simply omit the chicken and double up on the veggies or add your favorite plant-based protein source, such as black beans or sautéed tofu.

4. Can I prepare this casserole in advance?

Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time if baking from chilled.

5 . What sides pair well with this Chicken Fajita Casserole?

This casserole pairs beautifully with sides like Mexican rice, refried beans, a fresh green salad, or a simple avocado salsa.

Conclusion:

The Easy Cheesy Chicken Fajita Casserole is a culinary masterpiece that combines the best of Tex-Mex flavors with the comforting warmth of a baked casserole. With its layers of tender chicken, sizzling fajita veggies, and gooey melted cheese, this dish is sure to become a family favorite.

Whether you’re hosting a casual weeknight dinner or a festive gathering, this casserole is a crowd-pleaser that promises to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to embark on a flavor-packed journey that will transport you to the heart of Mexican cuisine – all in the convenience of a single, delectable casserole dish!

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