How to make chicken tamale casserole

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Tamales are one of those Mexican dishes that, unless you live in Mexico (or very close to it), few of us have ever tried. Traditionally these little bundles are made up of whatever's on hand at the time (meat, cheese, rice, even fruit!) before they're wrapped in corn dough and then wrapped once more in corn husks. Yes, with tamales, it's all about the corn!
They're a treat that those furthest away from the border don't get to indulge in too often, but there is a way. While this casserole may not be purely authentic, it will still give you all the tastes of tamales no matter where you live. Chicken is combined with beans, corn, and taco sauce and it all sits between two layers of corn tortillas. I've added some feta into mine too, as it's the closest thing to Queso Blanco, but it's not necessary - just an added bonus!
chicken tamale casserole
5 minutes
50 minutes
55 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided
4 cups cooked chicken
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 ounces) corn, drained
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
2 jars (16 ounces) taco or enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas
1 cup feta cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables have softened.
In a large mixing bowl combine the onion and pepper mixture, chicken, black beans, corn, chopped green chiles and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir well to combine.
Pour 1 jar of the taco sauce into the bottom of a 9" x 13" casserole dish. Spread to coat the entire bottom. Lay 4 of the corn tortillas into the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken and vegetable mixture onto the tortillas and spread out so the surface is even. Place the remaining 4 corn tortillas on top and pour the remaining can of taco sauce on top, spreading it out over the tortillas as you do.
Sprinkle the feta cheese over top of the entire casserole.
Place the entire casserole into the preheated oven and bake for 30 - 45 minutes, until the entire casserole is bubbling and the cheese has browned slightly.
Allow the casserole to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Other great cheeses to include are Monterey Jack or cheddar!
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