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This Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Casserole with Poblano Peppers is a fun Tex-Mex twist on your basic chicken casserole!

Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Casserole with Poblano Peppers in Individual Bowl

I know this is a pretty bold statement, but I have to say, chicken is my favorite protein. Not only is it mild in flavor and aroma (unlike some things like lamb and certain types of seafood), but it’s a wonderful blank slate to showcase other flavors. Chicken lends itself well to any number of cuisines, can be prepared in a variety of different ways, and is one of the most crowd-pleasing meats.

This Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Casserole with Poblano Peppers features salsa verde (aka green salsa) and three different types of cheese (cream cheese, white cheddar, and queso fresco (a creamy-textured crumbling cheese that’s used in Mexican cuisine). I used poblano peppers to keep with the Tex-Mex inspiration, but you could substitute green bell peppers if you prefer.

Low Carb Casseroles

Like cooking anything else, sometimes it just takes a little bit of creativity to remake a regular casserole into a low carb version of itself. Here I give some practical tips on how to do that.

How to Cut Carbs in a Casserole

There are a few common sources of carbs in casseroles: sauce; pasta, rice, or other grains; and starchy vegetables, such as potato or corn. I’ll talk about how to reduce the carbs in each of these components.

How to Make a Low Carb Sauce

Sauces are frequently thickened with some kind of starch, such as flour or cornstarch. Instead of using starch to thicken my sauce, I use cream cheese, which lends a creamy texture and delicious flavor. Additionally, I melt shredded cheddar into the sauce for added richness and depth of flavor.

How to Make Casserole without Grains

Instead of adding pasta, rice, or other grains to casserole, I focus on using protein (such as chicken or beef) and low carb vegetables, like I did with this Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Casserole with Poblano Peppers.

Low Carb Vegetables to Add to Casserole

A few of my favorite low carb vegetables to add to casseroles are: celery, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, or cabbage. I also frequently include sauteed garlic and onion because they really bump up the flavor.

Front View of Low Carb Cheesy Poblano Chicken Casserole

How to Make Chicken Casserole

Ingredients in This Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Casserole with Poblano Peppers:

  • Olive oil
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Poblano peppers
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salsa verde
  • Cream cheese
  • White cheddar
  • Queso fresco

Are Poblano Peppers Hot?

Poblano chile peppers have a relatively mild spice level. Once the poblano pepper matures, its color turns dark reddish-brown and can be dried, at which point we know it as an ancho, and if smoked and dried it’s called a chipotle. It has about 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville Heat Units, a measure of capsaicin concentration. (Read more about poblanos and other peppers on Epicurious, and more about the Scoville Scale on Wikipedia.)

How to Make Casserole Ahead of Time

How Long Can You Keep Casserole in the Fridge

According to FoodSafety.gov, leftover cooked meat or poultry can be stored in the fridge (40F or below) for 3 to 4 days. Alternatively, it can be stored in the freezer (0F or below) for 2 to 6 months.

How to Reheat Casserole in the Oven

Once a casserole is fully cooked, leftovers can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you want to reheat a casserole, cover the top with foil and heat it in a preheated 350F oven until warm throughout, about 20 to 30 minutes. Of course you could just make the casserole ahead of time and reheat it the same way.

To reheat a casserole that was frozen, I usually thaw it overnight in the fridge or about 4 hours at room temperature, and then bake it covered with foil in a 350F oven until warm throughout.

More Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes:

Close Up of Low Carb Cheesy Poblano Chicken Casserole

Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Casserole with Poblano Peppers

3 from 1 vote
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
This Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Casserole with Poblano Peppers is a fun Tex-Mex twist on your basic chicken casserole!

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Ingredients
 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 medium poblano peppers chopped
  • 4 medium-large stalks celery chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 oz white cheddar, shredded
  • 2 oz queso fresco, crumbled

Topping Ideas:

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil, and then the chicken. Cook until the chicken is browned on the outside, about 3 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add the peppers, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook until the veggies are softened, but not browned, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the chicken broth and salsa verde, and bring up to a simmer. Add the cream cheese and stir until smooth. Turn off the heat and stir in half of the cheddar.
  • Pour the mixture into a 9 by 11-inch (or equivalent) baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the queso fresco on top. Bake until bubbling throughout, about 10 minutes, and then broil a couple minutes to brown the top.
  • Serve hot, with any toppings you like.

Notes

Net Carbs: 9g per serving (1/4 of recipe)
Nutrition information calculated without any toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 763mg | Potassium: 977mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1610IU | Vitamin C: 102.3mg | Calcium: 358mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Casserole

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Low Carb Cheesy Poblano Chicken Casserole with Description

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items. Thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 3 stars
    The flavor of this dish is great, but there is way, way too much liquid. A lot of liquid escapes the vegetables and adding salsa and chicken broth just adds more. I think it could use half of the chicken broth, if not exclude it all together. If I make it again I’ll also probably replace celery with some blacks beans. They have some carb, but it would help add some variety to the texture and soak up some of the juices. Thanks for providing some inspiration!

    1. Samantha, Thanks so much for leaving a comment, I’m happy you enjoyed the flavor of this dish! When I developed and tested this recipe I was going for a creamy sauce (which is one of my favorite things about casseroles!), and this is how mine was. It was saucy (lol!) like in the pictures, but the flavorful sauce was probably my favorite part. Hope you’re able to tweak it to your liking!

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