The Easiest Chicken Tamale Casserole


The other day I came across this recipe on Pinterest. It was a delicious looking homemade tamale casserole. My mouth salivated.

“Self,” I said. I always call myself self. Unless I don’t. “Self, why don’t we make this recipe?”

“Let me see it.” Self is pretty demanding.

Self looked over the ingredients. Then she looked at me. You would be surprised how difficult that last part is.

“Girl, we are too lazy to make this.”

I looked the recipe over and was sad to see that she was right. But I happen to be a bit smarter than Self. And a bit more lazy. It is funny how that works.

“Why don’t we just use store bought tamales?”

I think Self agreed because she proceeded to drive us to the grocery store to get them.

Here is the easy recipe we came up with:



1 package of green chile and cheese tamales (mine came with six for our family of four)
1 10 oz. can of green enchilada sauce
2 cups of diced cooked chicken breast (Self bought us a rotisserie chicken)
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (1 8 oz. package)

Optional toppings:

Sour cream
Chopped cilantro


“Self, can we really call this a recipe? All we did was throw some ingredients into a pan. It’s kind of embarrassing.”

“Calm down. Move over. Let me give the directions.”



“Sorry about Jenni. She’s too theatrical. Let’s just get to the recipe with no more shenanigans.”

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce into the pan. Unwrap tamales from corn husks. Place tamales in a line in the pan. I would use an 11 X 7 pan next time. My 9 X 13 was too big. Place diced chicken on top of tamales. Pour enchilada sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake twenty minutes. Uncover and bake another 5-10. You want the cheese melted but not brown.


Top with toppings of your choice. We served ours with rice, tortilla chips and homemade salsa. It was a good quick meal and we will definitely be making it again.


I hope one of yous makes this. Then all of yous will be happy.

An Easy And Decent Chicken Enchilada Casserole


Remember when we made that crockpot salsa chicken? That was a great night. It was so amazing that we ended up having a bunch of leftovers. As only the greatest of nights will produce.

Leftover salsa chicken has pretty endless possibilities.

As endless as the storyline for this post.

I was actually squabbling with my husband when I served this casserole. I cannot remember what the argument was about. I am sure it was not my fault. It always never is. I loved the casserole. His sole comment at dinner was, “It’s decent.”

My reply was not.

Before I posted this recipe, I made it again. I wanted to be sure it was good. It is. I like it. I really like it. It has a wonderful crunchy top. Good creamy flavor.

It is decent.


2-3 cups leftover salsa chicken (recipe here) or diced rot. chicken
2 cups plus 1/2 cup (set aside) shredded monterey jack cheese
1 10 oz. can green enchilada sauce
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 4 oz. can of green chiles
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4-1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock (I have used water and it was fine)
9 corn tortillas
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup crumbled tortilla chips
2 Tbsp. Chopped cilantro
Pinch of paprika


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour your vegetable oil in a small skillet and heat to hot enough to fry tortillas. With tongs, lay each tortilla in oil for about five seconds on each side. Keep tortilla flat. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas.


In a skillet over medium heat, combine cream cheese, chiles, enchilada sauce, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder until well-combined. Add sour cream and mix until incorporated. Add chicken stock until it is a looser consistency. Turn off heat.


In a 9 X 9 casserole dish, pour a little of the sauce in the bottom of the pan. Lay four tortillas in the bottom of the pan until it is covered. Tear one tortilla and fit into remaining holes. Pour 1/2 of the sauce over the tortilla. Layer half of the chicken on top of the sauce. Layer one cup of monterey jack cheese. Place four tortillas over the cheese. With the remaining pieces from the previously torn tortilla, fill in any gaps. Layer the remaining sauce over the tortilla. Layer the remaining chicken. Spread one cup of monterey jack cheese over top.


Place casserole in the oven and bake for twenty five minutes.


In a bowl combine tortilla chips, paprika and the remaining 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese.


When casserole has baked for twenty five minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle tortilla chip cheese mixture over the top. Place back in oven for five minutes.


Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.



I served mine with Mexican rice.

To a grumbling husband.

It did not, miraculously, descend into his lap*.

I, and this dish, are of the decent sort, after all.

*Plus, I happen to really love the guy. I would hate to waste a serving of casserole ruin his lap. ; )

Baked Potato Casserole

Everyone should have certain go-to recipes that they can make quickly and feed a crowd. I feel it is important to always have a great potato recipe in your bag of tricks, especially for potlucks.

I found mine when I was thirteen.

My uncle’s best friend married a woman named Tara. Tara would bring this recipe to every Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house. I was one of Tara’s bridesmaids when I was thirteen.


I made this recipe for my husband when we first started dating. And continued to do so for the next few months. In fact, this recipe was the basis for our very first fight. Do you want to hear about it or should I get right to the recipe? Oh, you want to see the recipe. Well, just skip this part then. I’m going to tell you anyway:

Sixteen years ago my husband and I were at the grocery store buying the ingredients for this dish. I started to grab eight potatoes. My husband (fiancé at the time) made a grievous error. He decided to question my reasoning.

I know.

He understands now that there is no reasoning with me. Because I have no reason.

Or rhyme, as it were.

“It’s just the two of us. Why do we need eight potatoes?”

“Because that is what the recipe calls for.”

“But why can’t we cut the recipe in half?”

“BECAUSE IT DOESN’T SAY TO!” Then I burst into tears and ran from the store. In my defense we learned I was pregnant later that day and so I like to think it was simply the hormones and not a weird irrational need to bake eight potatoes.

After that fight, I stubbornly never made this dish again until this month.

Sixteen years really isn’t so long.

At least in potato years.

Every marriage should be measured in potato years.

Let’s just get to the recipe. If you are making this you are going to want to prepare the baked potatoes well in advance of using them. So, time accordingly.

This recipe is so easy. I changed the original recipe just a little. I like it, because you do not have to cut potatoes into small pieces or boil them. And, guess what? In the pictures I halved this recipe. If you are making this for a small family, I recommend doing that. For a crowd, I use the full recipe. Okay. So, he was right. Darn.


8 large baking potatoes
4 Tbsp. Cold Butter
1 16 oz. container of sour cream (2 cups)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 – 2 tsp. salt (I use 1 1/2 tsp. first and then add an extra 1/2 tsp. if it needs it)
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground black pepper (depending on your preference)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped chives
2 Tbsp. Finely chopped green onions


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Wash potato. Dry potato. Pierce the potato with a fork two times and then wrap it up in foil. Repeat eight times.

Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for seventy five minutes. Once the potatoes are baked (give a slight squeeze, if it gives then it is ready, if not bake the potato a little longer), place the potatoes still in their foil in your refrigerator to cool. Turn off oven. They need to cool for at least three hours, but I often cool them overnight so they are ready the next day.

Take potatoes out of the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Remove foil and simply peel or cut the skin off of the potato. I just cut off each end and then cut the skin off. This is easy and quick.

Place in your mixing bowl for your stand mixer or in a bowl to beat with your hand mixer.

Beat potatoes on low setting (if you do it higher, potatoes will go everywhere). Add sour cream and beat on low for thirty seconds and then turn to medium speed. Add salt, pepper, chives, cheese and green onions. Beat for a few minutes until potatoes are broken down and all of the ingredients are incorporated. There will still be small chunks of potatoes, but not large ones.


Pour potato mixture into a baking dish and smooth so it is even. Cut butter into small pieces.


Dot the top of the potatoes with the butter.


Place uncovered in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are bubbling.


Serve the potatoes.

And store marriage in a cool, dark place until ready to handle again.

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

And My Romantic Home.

Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti

When I told my kids I was making this dish, they got very excited. My daughter, for all of the wrong reasons.

You see, she thought I was making regular marinara spaghetti (her favorite), but with chicken in it. So, you can understand why this would be a disappointment to her when a white creation gets set down in front of her instead of a red marvel from her dreams.

But the rest of us?

Well, we can’t stop thinking about it.


I first made this recipe about a year ago. I am going to be honest. I thought it was good, but I just wanted to tweak it a bit. You see, I always make a recipe the first time, exactly the way it is written down. I think that is only fair.

After that, I will either leave it alone. Or play with it.

For this recipe, I thought it needed just a few adjustments.

First, I wanted to make it easier.

Second, I wanted a tad more flavor.

Third, I have to have my vegetables cooked in a casserole. I cannot stand crunchy onion.

Fourth, I love the Pioneer Woman. This is still entirely her creation. I just changed it a tiny bit.


Diced chicken meat from one rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup reserved water from boiling noodles
1 minced clove garlic (or 1 handy dandy frozen packet)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 diced green bell pepper
1 package of spaghetti noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 tsp salt + 1/2 Tbsp. to salt the water the spaghetti noodles cook in
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 jar pimentos
1 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt
1 tsp. knorr’s chicken seasoning
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground paprika
1 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive oil



Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 325 degrees convect bake.

Cut chicken up from rotisserie chicken. Set aside.

In a stockpot, boil water. Break up spaghetti noodles into small pieces (about 1/3 their original size). Add 1/2 Tbsp. salt to the boiling water. Add noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook according to al dente directions on noodle package. Carefully reserve 1/3 cup boiling water before draining.


In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat butter and olive oil. Add onion and green bell pepper and sauté over medium low heat for approximately 8 minutes until softened but not brown. Add garlic and sauté one minute. Add pimentos and cook for one minute. Turn off heat.


Add drained spaghetti noodles, chicken, all of the seasoning & spices, chicken stock, reserved 1/3 cup boiling water, the 2 soups, and 2 cups of the shredded cheese (if you are adding broccoli, and I sometimes do, steam it in the microwave. Do not overcook it! It will be a soggy mess in the casserole. I’m not going to say how I know this. ; ). Then add the broccoli during this step, too) to the vegetable mixture. Stir until very well combined.


Pour mixture into casserole dish (if you do not care about it being pretty. You can just leave it in the dutch oven as long as your dutch oven is oven-safe). Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.


Put the casserole into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until cheese is melted and the edges are beginning to bubble.


Remove the casserole from the oven with oven mitts. Turn off the oven. Serve onto plates and eat up! That reminds me…

While I was adding a few spices to tweak this recipe, I made it twice in one week.

When I told my daughter I was making it again, she responded in jest,

“It’s not really spaghetti! I will not fall for your lies again!”

I hate to say this, and please do not tell her I said this, but she’s right.


It’s not spaghetti.

It’s heaven.

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

And My Romantic Home.