Monday, October 28, 2013

Chicken Quesadilla Casserole -- Low Carb & Wheat Free

Last night both of my sons came for dinner, so I decided to make Chicken Quesadilla Casserole and surprise them (again) with my wheat free wizardry. I knew what I wanted to put in it and had a vision of how I wanted it to turn out. I debated making one larger casserole or 4 individual smaller versions. I opted to go with the smaller individual casseroles since I just recently purchased some new "fireside bowls" that are made for either soup or casseroles (they are oven save up to 400 degrees). I was looking for something to break them in with and decided to try them out last night. I made my wheat free, grain free tortillas that I made a couple of weeks ago and used those to layer my casseroles. So, what normally would have been a "No-No" for me to eat, suddenly became a low carb, wheat free meal that I could add to my rapidly growing recipe collection! It turned out awesome! I cut my tortillas into pieces to fit them into my individual casserole bowls and layered away. Everyone enjoyed them, and I swear you could not tell the difference between the grain free tortillas in this dish and regular wheat or corn based tortillas. If you prefer to make one larger casserole instead of 4 individual smaller casseroles, use a 3-quart Pyrex-type baking dish and layer in the the same order (or go wild and create your own). I snapped a couple of photos below as well as my super simple recipe. Enjoy!







Chicken Quesadilla Casserole -- Low Carb & Wheat Free
Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing casseroles
1 large Poblano pepper (or regular green pepper), sliced into strips
2 red bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 small onion, sliced
4 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
2/3 cup water
1 recipe for taco seasoning (below)
6 - 8 grain free tortillas
1 cup salsa
8 slices pepper jack cheese (or Monterey jack, cheddar, etc.)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Optional toppings: sour cream, pickled jalapeno slices, diced tomato, sliced olives

For the Taco Seasoning:
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 teaspoon paprika (I use smoked paprika)
    1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used roasted cumin)
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook peppers and onions until softened, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or to desired doneness. In a separate skillet, combine chicken, taco seasoning spices and water; simmer on low until all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Lightly spray or grease bottom of 4 individual casserole bowls (or a 3-quart casserole dish) with olive oil and divide the ingredients and assemble in the following order; 1st layer is tortilla/chicken/peppers & onions/salsa/slice of cheese; then repeat 2nd layer of tortilla/chicken/peppers & onions/salsa/slice of cheese. Top casserole with last tortilla and cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with optional toppings, as desired.

*Note - If making 1 larger casserole, use approximately 2 tortillas per layer; if make 4 individual casseroles, cut tortillas to fit the size and shape of your casseroles (it doesn't have to be perfect and you can overlap to fit).

8 comments:

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I love the fireside bowls ... perfect for this recipe. And here's another great way to use a deli chicken, not to mention your *genius* tortillas! :-)

Paula WF said...

Word can not describe how excited I am to try this!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your grain free tortillas have opened an entire world of possibilities. I tell my wife it is the greatest discovery for low carbers to come along in the last 20 years :-)

I found your original recipe a bit too eggy for me, so replaced half the egg white with cream and they turned out fantastic.

I used them all the time, and can't believe I'm eating real Lasagna again.

Luc

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis -- Thanks. Yes, I plan to make all sorts of "mini-versions" of things with these bowls! I'm thinking individual round lasagna, eggplant parmesan, shepherd's pie...the list goes on and on...LOL. The tortillas are helpful too in adapting other recipes. Notice that Luc posted she thinned them out with half cream in place of the egg white -- I actually ran out half way through making my last one the other day and added some water and "hoped"...it still turned out great for layering in a casserole. It might not have been sturdy enough to pick up and eat stuffed with fajita filling, etc....but for "noodles or quesadillas" in a casserole it turned out fine! So now you learned 2 more tricks! ;-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Paula! LOL...I was so excited making it and so happy that it actually tasted like what you would have expected it to taste like with "regular tortillas". Win/win! Hope you enjoy it! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Luc! Thanks so much -- I need to slap the big smile off my face -- it really does increase the possibilities and dishes you can now swap them out with, doesn't it? Great idea about subbing some cream in place of some of the egg whites, too! I actually ran out half way through making my last one the other day and just added 1/2 water (in place of 1/2 the egg white) and it turned out fine, too, (for using in a casserole). So glad you are enjoying them and having "real lasagna" again! Happy Eating! :-)

Sonshine Girl said...

YUMM!! Those look delicious! So many recipes of yours to try, but this one is moving to the top!

~Cindy

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cindy -- thank you! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. You can put any of your favorites in there and customize it so easily. Hope you enjoy it. :-)