Pulled Chicken and Summer Squash Casserole

casserole
Patsy Catsos

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

Calories 330
Fat 14g
Carbs 20g
Protein 31g
View All
Total Time 75 min
Prep 45 min, Cook 30 min
Servings 8 (1 cup each)

Anaheim peppers are mild, yet flavorful, often used for chile relleno. They add just the right touch to this hearty main dish, which is perfect for enjoying the late summer bounty of your squash garden or farmer's market. If they aren't available, substitute poblano peppers. Serve this casserole with a green salad on the side.

Ingredients

  • 3 small summer squashes (total 1½ pounds)
  • 3 fresh Anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1¾ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 cups lactose-free milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 six-inch uncooked corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a baking tray and a 9x10-inch baking dish.
  2. Slice squashes into 1/2-inch pieces and distribute in a single layer on the baking tray. Add the chopped pepper and roast until the squash appears about half done, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the oven and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to 350F.
  4. While the squash roasts, slice the chicken breasts lengthwise. Place the chicken in the bottom of a medium saucepan or Dutch oven. Add just enough water to cover the chicken and season the water with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring the pot to a simmer over medium heat; do not allow it to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the thickest part of the chicken breasts cook through, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and allow it to cool. Pour 1/2 cup of the broth into a heatproof measuring cup; reserve the rest for another use or discard.
  1. While the chicken cools, in the same saucepan, whisk together the milk, cornstarch, ground chile, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Stir in the 1/2 cup of warm chicken broth and stir the mixture over medium heat until it thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the white sauce from the heat. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce into the baking dish and top with 3 corn tortillas, tearing the tortillas as needed to arrange them in a single layer.
  3. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then stir it into the sauce along with the cooked squash and peppers, 1½ cups of cheese, and chile flakes if using. Spread half of the mixture in the baking dish, top with three corn tortillas, then with the other half of the chicken mixture. Top with halved cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  4. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the casserole is golden brown on top, about 30 minutes. Serve promptly.

    Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

    The meat from one pre-cooked rotisserie chicken can be substituted for the chicken in this recipe. The chicken meat can be cubed with a knife instead of shredded, if preferred.

    To make the recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free tortillas.

    Zucchini can be substituted for some or all of the summer squash.

    Cooking and Serving Tips

    Poaching the chicken over very low heat, as described, is the key to keeping it tender and moist. Boiling will toughen it.

    This entree can be assembled ahead of time, refrigerated, and baked for about 40 minutes just before mealtime.

    Nutrition Facts
    Servings: 8 (1 cup each)
    Amount per serving  
    Calories 330
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 14g 18%
    Saturated Fat 7g 35%
    Cholesterol 90mg 30%
    Sodium 570mg 25%
    Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
    Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
    Total Sugars 6g  
    Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
    Protein 31g  
    Vitamin D 1mcg 5%
    Calcium 319mg 25%
    Iron 2mg 11%
    Potassium 578mg 12%
    *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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