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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