What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word casserole? For me, it’s Thanksgiving and the green bean casserole I always refused to eat (though I would always steal some of the canned fried onions; I still love those things). Canned green beans and canned cream of mushroom soup. That’s my childhood memory of casseroles. Though the green bean casserole Eric and I make now is a far cry from the kind I grew up with, I still think of icky combinations of canned stuff when I hear the word.
These days, I’m discovering a new love for casseroles. There’s something homey and warm about a whole meal baked in one pan, don’t you think? My friend Josie is the casserole queen, and I mean that in the best possible way. I think I’ve saved every single one she’s posted. These aren’t the casseroles from my childhood, either. They’re colorful and flavorful and made with fresh ingredients.
This casserole has Tex-Mex influences, so you know I loved it. It is a bit spicy with the jalapeños and chipotles but not so much that we held off sharing with Clara. There’s so much texture between the black beans, corn, crunchy tortilla chips and creamy chicken and rice mixture that it doesn’t even give the feeling of being a casserole. We try to expose Clara to a lot of different flavors and textures through the food she eats, and this one was a home run. She loved it, and so did we. We don’t typically make casseroles unless we’re serving a lot of people, but this one freezes beautifully and turned into several meals for us. It will most certainly be making an appearance on our meal plan very soon.