If you’re a fan of Mexican food but watching carbs or calories, you’ll love this Low Carb Mexican Casserole. With just 7 net carbs and only 4 WW freestyle points per serving, it’s a healthy Mexican casserole you can feel good about eating.
WHAT IS A MEXICAN CASSEROLE?
Full disclosure, Mexican casserole is not something you’re going to find in Mexico. It’s a completely Americanized dish. In American cuisine, calling a recipe Mexican usually means there’s cumin, chiles, and tomatoes. Or the good old American favorite: taco seasoning.
A casserole is food cooked in a dish in the oven. Usually there is a bit of liquid, mixed with meat, vegetables, and a starch. As the liquid evaporates in the heat of the oven, all the ingredients come together into one cohesive dish.
Casseroles are typically cooked in a large dish, called a casserole dish of course! They can also be made in an oven proof dish of any size. Like this low carb Mexican casserole which is in an 8×8 baking dish.
HEALTHY MEXICAN CASSEROLE
It’s the start of January and lots of us are focusing on healthy eating after an indulgent holiday season. I don’t know about you but I ate ALL the Christmas cookies.
I just had a baby, and all I wanted was carbs and fat. But now it’s been a few weeks, and I am trying to get back to healthier eating habits.
Because I LOVE Mexican food, I was looking for a healthy Mexican casserole to make the family for dinner this week.
While I found lots of low carb Mexican casserole recipes, all of the recipes were laden with fat and still pretty high in calories. This might be fine for people on a keto diet, but I’m trying to eat a little more balanced. Low carb doesn’t always mean healthy.
So here is a healthy Mexican casserole recipe made with chicken breasts, fresh vegetables, and my favorite low carb tortillas.
THE BEST LOW CARB TORTILLAS
For those of us who love sandwiches and burritos (whoop whoop! Raise your hand!), it can be tough to satisfy those cravings in a healthy way. One day I gave my assistant some tortillas I’d picked up from Walmart. She was making a big batch of breakfast burritos for a photo shoot.
I was at the computer when I received an excited text message from her.
“Where did you find tortillas that are only 1 WW freestyle point?!!!”
She and I had both recently started Weight Watchers (this was before I got pregnant). I hadn’t even thought to check the points for the tortillas. They were for a work assignment, and I just assumed I wouldn’t get to eat them because, well, they’re tortillas!
But these Xtreme Wellness tortilla wraps from OLE Mexican Foods are high in fiber and low in carbs! With just 5 net carbs per tortilla, I’m having one every day for sandwich wraps, burritos, and even baked into chips.
And of course, they’re perfect for a low carb Mexican casserole.
HOW DO YOU MAKE MEXICAN CASSEROLE HEALTHY?
The first step to making this Mexican casserole healthy is the low carb tortillas. But there are several other ways to lighten up your casserole.
By using cubed or shredded chicken instead of ground beef, you get the protein benefits with a lot less fat. This can be a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken breast meat. Just skip the cooking time for the chicken in the recipe and add the veggies immediately.
Our healthy Mexican casserole is also packed with veggies. And the diced tomatoes, red pepper, onion, and chilies cooked in chicken stock make an amazing sauce. Other Mexican casseroles often have you use a canned enchilada sauce which can have added starches, sodium, and oil that you don’t need.
Another option to lighten your Mexican casserole is by using a low fat cheddar. I prefer to use the good stuff, especially since there’s only one cup of shredded cheese in the whole recipe.
Finally, we make this low carb Mexican casserole six servings with a side salad or roasted vegetables. It would be easy to split it four ways and eat more, but learning portion control is part of a healthy lifestyle. A big side of veggies is a great dinner habit to get into.
As always, healthy means different things to different people. Check the estimated nutritional information in the printed recipe to see if this meal fits in your healthy lifestyle.
HOW TO MAKE LOW CARB MEXICAN CASSEROLE
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium high.
- Add the cubed chicken breasts and garlic. Cook, stirring, until chicken is just starting to brown (If using leftover rotisserie chicken, skip the cooking and proceed to next step immediately).
- Mix in finely chopped red bell pepper, diced tomato (canned or fresh), diced red onion, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Cook 5 minutes until red pepper and onion are slightly softened.
- Mix in a small can of diced green chilies, and a cup of chicken broth.
- Cook about 5 more minutes until the liquid is almost completely evaporated, then remove from heat.
- Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray, then place a low carb tortilla in the pan.
- Top tortilla with half the chicken and veggies, and ½ cup of shredded cheese.
- Add a second low carb tortilla and top with remaining chicken and veggies plus another ½ cup of shredded cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the tortilla edges are crispy.
- Top with fresh cilantro if desired.
MEAL PREP LOW CARB MEXICAN CASSEROLE FREEZER MEAL
Want to make your Mexican casserole in advance and freeze it?
- Line your baking dish with foil before using it.
- Layer the ingredients as instructed (spray oil, low carb tortilla, chicken and veggies, cheese, low carb tortilla, chicken and veggies, cheese) and cover tightly with foil.
- Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
- Once frozen solid, you can remove the foil wrapped casserole and return it to the freezer without the baking dish.
- When ready to heat, place foil wrapped casserole back in baking dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes (covered in foil).
- Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and tortilla edges are crisped.
PIN TO SAVE LOW CARB MEXICAN CASSEROLE
Don’t lose this healthy Mexican casserole recipe! Pin to save the recipe, then add a photo to the comments of the pin when you make it. We love to see your creations!
LOW CARB MEXICAN CASSEROLE PRINTABLE RECIPE
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.