The key to this dish is the homemade red enchilada sauce! It is so much better than anything you can buy in the can and super easy to make! YES, you need that single tablespoon of flour in the sauce and NO you can’t use almond flour.

The great flavors that make enchiladas and tacos super yummy but without the carbs of the hard shell or tortillas. A really delicious family casserole that’s bariatric friendly for you! Remember to go easy on the cheese, it’s an accent not a blanket.

Skinny Fiesta Casserole.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Skinny Fiesta Casserole
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • One 8 ounce can Hunts tomato sauce
  • 1¼ pounds raw chicken breast or tenders, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cheddar or Monterrey jack, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  1. Make the enchilada sauce by heating 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add flour and cook while whisking for 45 to 60 seconds. Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, salt, cumin and oregano. Slowly add the broth, whisking constantly and then the tomato sauce. Reduce heat and simmer until thick and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and sauté the chicken, peppers, onion and garlic until vegetables are softened and chicken begins to turn golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
  3. Pour the enchilada sauce over the chicken - evenly sprinkle with the shredded jack cheese and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool ten minutes and just before serving scatter with cooling lettuce and diced tomato.

22 thoughts on “Skinny Fiesta Casserole

  1. Sandi says:

    Anyone looking for new recipes for after bariatric surgery needs to know how much protein they are eating. Why can’t you include the nutritional facts for each recipe?

        • Susan Maria Leach says:

          Thats fine, its up to you. Maybe you do not realize that a recipe is the sum of its parts. IF all the ingredients are good choices for bariatric eating, then combining them creates a good choice meal. You have a four ounce pouch, fill it with a good choice meal and you’ll never have to count stats again. Open your mind and LEARN instead of suffering from analysis paralysis. We know what we are doing.

          • Patti says:

            I am so glad that you have these recipes here! My sleeve surgery was December 19th, so I’m not at the point where I can enjoy them yet. However, I’m glad that I will have the recipe when I can enjoy it! And you are absolutely correct! I know that when I am able to eat this it will be a half cup serving and that will be that. And if I need the nutritional info I can put the recipe into My Fitness Pal to get it.

          • Alison Garcia says:

            Hi Patti, all you need to do is input your ingredients for the casserole in my fitness pal, determine your servings, and it will calculate it for you. It’s a super easy function on My Fitness Pal. Check it out in recipe builder in the menu on the app or website. -Alison

    • Deanna says:

      There is approx 25 grams of protein for every 4 oz of chicken breast. There are approx 32 oz of protein in one cup of Monterey cheese, like Susan said, depending on how much you eat or how you divide it depends on the protein content. For this recipe it looks like approx 132 grams of protein, but I’m no expert. You hand to use your nutritional counters and if you divide your recipe evenly then you get your content. We are all different with different pouch sizes so it’s difficult to calculate based on individual serving sizes since we are all different. I personally use my protein shakes to assure I get my daily requirement.

    • Torrid says:

      You can put the entire recipe into my fitness pal and it will give an approximate calorie protein and other so you can at least get an idea

  2. Laura says:

    I agree I would like to know how many services is in the recipe as I put it in an app that I use and it calculates the other nutritional info I need.

  3. Mercedes says:

    I totally get why SML doesn’t include the nutrtion. Exact nutrtion depends on exact ingredients, all the way down to the brand. Also, portion is relavent to how much you serve yourself as a single portion. Bariatric patients at different stages eat more or less than the next.

    I use MyFitnessPal and the recipe importer, then adjust to my exact ingredients, down to the exact brand. It’s far more accurate than anything BE could provide.

    That said, this recipe is AmaaaaaaaZing! LOVED IT. My fiancee, who is not a bariatric, said this was the best thing I’d made for him in the last 5 years…even above the chicken crust pizza that he loves! I am 5 years post op, and the right amount for me was about a quarter of the dish, which put me at roughly 325 cals.

  4. Ruth says:

    Everyone in the family loves this dish, and eats it their way once they get it on their plate. Several in the family can’t live without the tortilla or tortilla chips, so they eat it their way, and I can safely eat it my way. Thanks so much for this!

  5. Dylan R says:

    Family approves! I made this last night! My 10 yr old asked for seconds. My teen had a big plate of it. My hubby doesn’t count he’ll eat what I make, so sweet. I served it with portioned yellow Mexican rice for them and a side of fat free re fried beans. No leftovers ?

  6. Janet M says:

    Just made this and am wondering if it is supposed to be so soupy?? Also, way too much chili powder for me. I will definitely cut that way back when I make this again.

  7. Kathleen says:

    I haven’t tried this yet, but what about grain free flours such as garbanzo bean flour,lots of protein, tapioca flour, coconut flour and more. They do not cause a spike in blood sugar and are low on the glycemic chart. Also I use coconut oil instead of olive oil, great nutrition.

    • Alison Garcia says:

      Hi Kathleen, if you find that those products fit your food choices better, that’s perfectly ok. You can use those items in lieu of what’s in the recipe, although be aware, I am not sure how the texture or taste would be with those other varieties. Also, it’s 1 tbsp of flour spread throughout a whole recipe, so it’s truly negligible.

  8. Michelle says:

    I had no idea enchilada sauce was this easy and much better than store bought!! i used rotisserie chicken, just added at the end of the cooking time for the veggies and added cilantro to the lettuce and green onions on top. Added a dollop of fat free sour cream. Very good!

  9. Christine says:

    I’m a long time fan of the recipes on this site – as is my perpetually thin husband! This was another meal that did not disappoint. Thank you to Susan Maria and the entire team for your tireless dedication to our success – and our enjoyment!! By the way friends, for this and for every recipe I find, I always calculate my own nutrition values. I have been doing this since I started my pre op journey – my nutritionist encouraged me in this habit and I’m glad she did. It takes a few extra minutes but I want to know my values are accurate based on my own serving size and ingredients. I use MyFitnessPal – but there are tons of tools out there to choose from, folks. Relax and enjoy!

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