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HEART Insight:
doi: 10.1097/01.HEARTI.0000387918.90235.db
Departments: The Hungry Heart/Chicken And Egg

Layered Mexican Casserole

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This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Patient Education program. Recipe copyright © 2008 by the American Heart Association. Look for other delicious recipes in American Heart Association cookbooks, available from booksellers everywhere, and at

Serves 4; 1 cup per serving

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A spritz of fresh lime juice is the perfect finishing touch to this casserole, which is a handy way for using up leftover chicken breasts. If you don't have any of those in your refrigerator or freezer, see the Cook's Tip at the end of the recipe for a quick way to prepare some.


1 10-ounce package frozen brown rice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, undrained

¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro

1½ cups cubed cooked skinless chicken breasts, cooked without salt (about 7½ ounces cooked)

½ cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican-blend cheese

1 medium lime, quartered


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prepare the rice using the package directions. Spread in an 8-inch square baking pan. Stir in the cumin. Drizzle with the oil. Using the back of a spoon, smooth the surface. Spoon the chiles over the mixture. Top, in order, with the cilantro, chicken, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

Serve with the lime wedges.

Cook's Tip

For quickly cooked chicken, discard all the visible fat from 10 ounces of skinless, boneless chicken breasts and cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Remove the skillet from the burner and lightly spray with cooking spray (keeping far from a gas flame). Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center, stirring constantly.

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Nutrition Analysis

(per serving)

Calories 242

Total Fat 8.5g

Saturated Fat 2.5g

Trans Fat 0.0g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5g

Monounsaturated Fat 3.5g

Cholesterol 52mg

Sodium 269mg

Carbohydrates 18g

Fiber 2g

Sugars 0g

Protein 22g

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Dietary Exchanges

3 lean meat

1 starch

© 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.