Let's start with a bold statement: you need this Mexican Sweet Potato and chicken casserole in your life. And when I say life, I mean right now. I know the recipe box says it serves 6 people but the baking dish was empty just hours after it came out of the oven. And you know by now that it's just the two of us, right? It could be that Solal eats like a horse (and I would be a foal) or this casserole was particularly good and we had a lot of it. Or maybe both. Snack + dinner? You got it! That being said, if you are perfectly normal people - and I'm sure you are- this casserole does make six servings. With a salad or some greens on the side, that is.
Now, let's be serious for a minute and talk toppings. You can be boring and just add a few cilantro leaves and scallions. But if you're looking for the complete omg-this-mexican-sweet-potato-casserole-is-amazing-I-want-to-eat-it-for-the-rest-of-my-life experience, then you've got to go for the guacamole topping. It will take this dish from the 'umm it's good!' stage to the 'WOW IT'S SO DELICIOUS' one. I know it's not pictured in the photos but trust on this one, mmkay? And please, please, please, do your tummy a favor: don't buy your guacamole, it's so easy to make at home! The recipe? mashed avocado, chopped red onion, salt and bam you're done!
Mexican Sweet Potato and Chicken Casserole
- 1 cup cooked chicken breast shredded (from 1 breast)
- 1 cup medium chunky salsa
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
- olive oil spray
- 1 ½ large sweet potatoes peeled
- ½ cup reduced fat cheddar cheese shredded
- ¼ tsp sweet paprika
- toppings: chopped cilantro scallion, guacamole, sour cream, cheese... (not included in nutritional info)
Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
In a medium bowl, combine shredded chicken, salsa and chopped cilantro. Set aside.
Thinly slice sweet potatoes. I used a sharp knife but a mandolin would do a perfect job. Spray an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) baking dish with a little olive oil spray.
Layer sweet potato slices to cover the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of chicken (half of the mixture), a layer of sweet potatoes, another layer of chicken and a final layer of sweet potato. Top with cheese and sprinkle with sweet paprika. (So it's potato-chicken-potato-chicken + cheese-paprika).
Bake for 30 minutes. At this point, remove from the oven and drain liquid (make sure the gratin doesn't fall into the sink!). Bake for another 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and sweet potatoes at the top are crispy. Let the gratin rest for about 10 minutes before cutting.
Serve and top with additional cilantro, scallion and the best: guacamole!
Leave out cheese to make this dish paleo-friendly and make sure the salsa you use is sugar free.
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That looks so good must give it a try. Do you add a dash of lemon juice to your guac when you make it to keep it from going brown.....or do you just eat it really fast? hehe
I always make my guac at the last minute and it is *always* gone in a few minutes so I usually don't need to add any lemon juice. Let me know how it turns out for you if you try this recipe 🙂
Just finished a helping of Mexican Sweet Potato Gratin. It was easy to make, and a great comfort food. I was skeptical that those ingredients would blend, but your comments sold me on trying it. I live in a land where Mexican food is a staple (Austin, Texas).. This is a great take on that theme, and I can't wait to share it. I can see why it doesn't serve six! Just wish I had had some sour cream. I would add (high quality ) salt to the layers, too, which I am sure my Culinary Institute of America graduated daughter would agree with. Thanks. I enjoy your fun blog.
Hi Janet! Thanks for your comment. I'm really glad you enjoyed this gratin! You could definitely add salt to the layers. It was salted enough for my taste but feel free to add some more! Having a Culinary Institute of America graduated daughter must be awesome, I'm sure she spoils you with delicious recipes!
This recipe sounds great, but I would probably make it 4 servings instead of 6, for both calorie and protein levels. Wish I could try it with guacamole, but my husband does NOT like avocado anything. But I will take your word for how good it is with guacamole, because I know you have excellent taste. 🙂
I made this but added another chicken breast to up the protein. And also sautéed some veggies (spinach, mushroom, & peppers) to add more of the daily recommended intake of veggies. Also no cheese so topped with a little more salsa. It was Amazing!
J - Did you sauté the veggies and then add them to the casserole before the casserole baked? Or at the end? Would appreciate advice because I'd like to add some veggies too!
Hi Kate! Yes, I think sauteeing them would be clever - not only to reduce the amount of liquid but also to reduce cooking time. Enjoy.
Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama
OMGeee...this was amazing! My only complaint is that there wasn't enough 😉 I will totally triple the recipe next time--it didn't dawn on me that the sweet potatoes would shrink that much til too late. Thanks for an awesome recipe! And you were right, the homemade guac totally made it legit.
Hey Jess! So happy you loved this recipe and thanks for letting me know! 🙂 Homemade guac rocks!!
This is making me so hungry right now! Looks amazing!
Thank you Eden 🙂 Not related at all, but you have such a pretty name!! xx
Jennifer in The Netherlands
I tried this using homemade salsa (low sodium, maximum flavor, no ketchupy taste), adding squirts of fresh lime juice and layers of black beans, then using quac, cilantro, skyr (fab. super nutritious sour cream substitute), and a bit more salsa for toppings--very delectable all round. Thanks for the great idea!
Sounds delicious Jennifer!
This was an amazing dish! My husband and I really loved it. We did find that at 200C was a bit to high so I turned it down to about 150C. The top was a bit burnt within the first 30 minutes. Went to drain out liquid but there was none. So, I put it back in the oven for the last 30 minutes and the cheese burnt a bit more. Not sure why there wasn't any liquid that didn't come out but, hey! It came out great! Next time, I think what I will do is I won't put the cheese on top for the first 30 minutes. Do you think that will work?
Sorry to hear the temperatures didn't work out for you Kristie! Unfortunately all ovens are different and some are more powerful than others. Next time you could either add the cheese after 30 minutes, or cover the dish with foil for 30 minutes then remove it to brown the cheese.
My husband loves sweet potatoes and was so tired of my version of quinoa Mexican casserole, we ate every bite and made a very happy dish. THANK YOU! We will try adding olives next time.
So glad to hear Crystal, thank you! 🙂
Hi there, how do you think this would do in freezer? Was also thinking this would be great if i cook the first 30 minutes, put in fridge and give to my friends out of hospital or something like recovering so they could cook it the last 30-40 minutes? Any suggestions? Just thinking this is a great protein meal
I haven't tried but I think it would freeze well, yes! I would freeze it uncooked and then pop it in the oven frozen. And yes, if you're looking to save them some time you could pre-cook it and they finish cooking it at home
Wonderful! I had already cubed the potatoes so I threw them in the microwave for 2 min with minced garlic and oil. Put in cast iron pan topped with chicken/ salsa mixture. Topped with sharp cheese and paprika. Baked 350 for 35 min. Served with guacamole and sour cream. GONE! So good and great flavor.
Ruth, you are a genius! This sounds like the ultimate dinner! So happy you enjoyed it!
I just saw this great recipe and going to try it but have two chicken thighs instead of shredded but will see how it works. Have a guest for dinner so want to do something that's not too much work and we love sweet potatoes. Love the idea of using salsa.
It will work great with shredded chicken thighs as well!
Made the recipe as written except used yams. Sliced the yams super thin in my food processor so they cooked up beautifully. Used extra sharp, 2 year aged white cheddar on top (yum!). Covered it with foil for the first 30 minutes then pulled the foil for the last 30 minutes so the top had just the right amount of crispyness. Didn't have any extra liquid to pour off. Delicious! Great use for leftover chicken. Will also try it with lamb. Definitely makes it into our 'keeper' recipe file. Thanks!
Lamb sounds like an amazing variation! Thanks so much for sharing your version!
i doubled the recipe and put it in a 9x12 - covered with foil as suggested for the first 30 minutes - no extra liquid to drain off - served 4 kids (10,7,5,2) and 4 adults and everyone loved it. Thanks!
Awesome! That makes my day. Thanks for sharing
Delicious! A keeper for sure. Didn't have cilantro so used parsley. Loved it!
Amazing.- and yes the parsley is a great substitution!