There are so many things you can do with that good ol’ 13-by-9-inch baking dish, but one of my favorites is this green chile chicken tamale bake. It’s quick to make, hearty and looks pretty when served, all things that make a recipe a winner in my household.
To start, gather your ingredients. That includes Betty Crocker cornbread mix, creamed corn, Old El Paso green chiles, mild green chile enchilada sauce and taco seasoning, some cumin and red pepper flakes, milk, eggs and of course, cheese.
To make the tamale-inspired cornbread base (my favorite part of the dish), combine the cornbread mix, creamed corn, green chiles, cumin, red pepper flakes, milk, eggs and a little bit of cheese in a bowl.
Spread the mix into a well-greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish and bake it until it’s just set and lightly golden brown on the edges. Then, use a fork to poke the top of the cornbread liberally.
Pour the green chile enchilada sauce all over the top. This yields an extra soft, moist and delicious base for the casserole.
Toss some shredded or chopped rotisserie chicken with the taco seasoning, then sprinkle it evenly over the cornbread. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the chicken.
Bake the casserole until the cheese is fully melted, then let it sit for a few minutes before serving. I love to serve it up with chopped green onions, cilantro and dollops of sour cream for extra flavor.
What’s extra great about this recipe is that it freezes really well, too. Just let it cool completely after baking, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap and foil before freezing. When you want to eat it, remove the dish from the freezer and the plastic wrap and foil from the top. Heat the oven to 400°F. Cover the dish with just foil, then put it in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes until heated through. TIP: If you plan to freeze your dish, I’d suggest baking it ahead of time in a non-glass dish, otherwise, you’ll want to let the dish thaw for a bit in the fridge before placing it in the oven so the glass doesn’t run the risk of shattering.
Don’t be surprised if, once you give this dish a try, you find yourself making it almost weekly like we do, too!