Chicken Tamale Casserole

TRAINING: 40 minutes on the elliptical and lower body (squats, side kicks, skaters, the whole thing)


  • BREAKFAST: smoothie (I’m sure you know the contents by now ;))
  • SNACK: baggie full of raw carrots, celery and english cucumber
  • LUNCH: (TBE) sandwich made with light wheat bread, low-fat cheese, lettuce and some red pepper chicken salad I made with leftover poached chicken from last night and a Chobani 2% pineapple yogurt (OHHH my goodness do I love this one. It tastes like pina colada ice cream I swear so this is a treat!) 😀
  • DINNER: (TBE) not a clue, whatever my mother feeds me 😉

This weather is seriously messing with my life

Every time I remind myself that I really NEED to start running, I look outside at the 4 foot tall snow mounds and then remind myself that I will surely be hit by a semi that never sees me if I attempt it.

For those of you NOT in the Northeast, we have had about 6 snow storms thus far this year, 3 of them huge and we are scheduled for a doosie (if any of the weather people can get their story straight) today-> tomorrow.

I was watching the weather on my elliptical this AM, and decided to play a little game. I managed to watch the weather report on 6, yes SIX different station, and every single one had a different story! Apparently, we could get anywhere from 3-18 inches of snow, OR (this is my favorite) it could miss us entirly! As I am running out of vacation days and I’m scheduled for a sure-to-be-lovely gum surgery next Friday (I’ll be needing your help for this!), I need to keep those vacation days!

Therefore I have finally caved and will be spending the night at my parent’s house (WITH the dog, I swear that’s the only reason they want me there) and driving into work with my mother.

BUT, lets not dwell on the things I cannot change. No lets focus on a great new recipe I tried last night, Chicken Tamale Casserole!!!

If you like tamales, wait until you see this recipe!

Now this recipe originated from a series Cooking Light had posted on Facebook. I printed it out, pinned it up on my fridge and have been eyeing for about 2 months now. Yesterday I finally gave a whirl.

Did I leave it alone? Psh, do I ever?! (the answer is no). I know my blog is in its infancy still but you should know enough to know that I WILL change a recipe.

First change, and this was a little silly but I just LOVE green chiles, I changed the red enchilada sauce to green. I always poach my chicken IN this as I do when I make enchiladas.

What else? Well lets see; I changed the corn (AWESOME swap trust me), I changed the egg (it called for egg substitute but as I didn’t have any I just used an entire egg), the cheese and it called for sour cream on top. Well, I couldn’t see why I shouldn’t just take my sour cream substitute (0% Chobani, my love) and mix it in! I mean, why not?! This came out SOOOO yummy! and it was pretty easy to make and not that bad for you either.

Chicken Tamale Casserole


  • 1/4 cup (or one handful if you have little hands like me) + 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can of green chiles
  • 1/2 bag (1 cup) of southwest frozen corn (I used steam fresh)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 box (I used a 6oz bag plus a tad more from another bag) of corn muffin mix such as Martha White
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce (red is tradition or green if you want it a little more mild)
  • 1 lb. of chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup of plain Chobani 0%
  • 1/4 cup pepperjack cheese


  • preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of cheese and next 7 ingredients together in a bowl.

 Now the original recipe calls for a 8oz box. I only had a 6 oz. bag of regular corn muffin mix and another 6oz of southwest style. So I used all the regular and a little of the southwest that had jalapenos and peppers. It also called for a can of creamed corn. Well I had a can of regular corn but I decided at the last minute I’d use the 1/2 bag of my southwest corn I had left in my freezer instead! GREAT idea, if I don’t say so myself. 😉 It was sooo much yummier that way!

  • Spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray and spread the mixture into the bottom.

  • Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

  • While the corn base is cooking, cut the chicken breast into very large chunks.
  •  Add the can of enchilada sauce to a small pot with about 2 Tbs. of water.
  • Add chicken and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 10-15 minutes.

  • Remove from pot and place the entire contents of the pot in a large bowl.
  • using 2 forks, shred the chicken in the liquid.
  • Add 1/4 of Chobain and mix to combine.

  • When the corn base is done, poke it all over with a fork.
  • Layer the chicken mixture on top.

  • top with remaining cheese. The original recipe calls for a mexican blend which if you can find low-fat, GREAT! I’m sure it would be excellent. I had cheddar on hand and also pepperjack which adds wonderful pepper flavor without a lot of heat.

  • Bake an addition 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and slightly brown.

  • Let cook for 5 minutes and then serve alongside a salad of baby greens.

This, I don’t even know what to say, it was just soo good! If you like tamales, as I do, but know how very time-consuming they are to make (been there!) then this cannot be beat. Same flavors just much easier!

You could also do this with pork which is more of a traditional filling and if so I would stick to the red enchilada sauce. I WOULD, definitely though, slow cook the pork in the sauce. It will make it tender and fall apart and much more like a tradition tamale filling. (You’d never know I’m actually ITALIAN (and English and Scottish) with all the mexican/southwest food I eat! ;))

Well, there you have it. This one is def on the rotation now. I couldn’t get over how easy it was. Takes a little time but most of that time is waiting. I watched some of my favorite movie (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist which I have to send back to Netflix soon 😦 ) with the dog and drank my fav. limeaid, seltzer, V8 acai “cocktail” while Matt worked out and by the time he was out of the shower, dinner was plated and ready to eat! I even told Matt it would be good for a post workout meal cause of all that protein in the Cho! (23 grams in a cup…TWENTY THREE!)

I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did! Mangia 😉


About Lindsey @ trail to train

I'm a (somewhat) normal girl with slightly unusal ideas about everything. I do fitness my way because thats the only way I know how and my extensive mishmashed knowledge of food and cooking to make great, fast, healthy meals.
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4 Responses to Chicken Tamale Casserole

  1. Casseroles are the best, especially when they are Mexican inspired! Glad you liked the pineapple Chobani so much, it’s by far the best yogurt ever in my opinion 🙂

    • forkl says:

      Oh for sure it is! I try to leave it as a treat cause of all the sugar but it’s still pretty healthy it just FEELS naughty. I’m HIGHLY tempted to attempt a pina colada with it but I kinda feel like that would be sacrilege! Lol..I still may try it out. I bet it would be the best pina colada ever!

  2. Emily says:

    YUM-CHO! Thanks so much for sharing that with us and our fans!

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