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Monday, December 30, 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

This recipe may trick you. It looks like a cheesy, fattening, heavy casserole. However, it is a slimmed down, lean, tasty casserole that you can feel good about eating. This low fat, low carb dish is still comforting and delicious. Chicken Cordon Bleu can typically be very heavy and most casseroles have a rich and creamy but fatty sauce. I swapped out the heavy cream for a lighter but still savory sauce. I kept the swiss cheese but it could easily be substituted for a diary free cheese and still taste great. I also swapped out the carb filled pasta for some carb free spaghetti squash. I even added a few extra veggies to get more nutrients. Any way you make it (traditional or modified), this dish is savory and wonderful. Perfect for a fall or winter day.
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 Tbsp Olive oil
¼ cup onion or bleu cheese dressing (homemade or bought – I used a sweet Vidalia onion dressing)
½ spaghetti squash, cut lengthwise
¼ cup water
¼ cup onion or bleu cheese dressing
2 cups swiss chard, cut into thin, short strips
4 slices of swiss cheese
3 oz of sliced deli ham, diced
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook chicken breast chunks in olive oil and ¼ cup of the onion or bleu cheese dressing. Cook chicken for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked through completely. 
  • In a greased 2 quart baking dish, pour water and place one half of the spaghetti squash, cut side down. Pierce squash shell with a knife or fork. Cook in microwave for about 10 minutes. Once spaghetti squash is cooked, drain any extra water from the baking dish. Turn over squash and scrape edges and bottom of shell with a fork to make spaghetti “noodles”. Place scraped squash into a separate bowl. 
  • While squash is cooking, quick-blanch the swiss chard. Bring two cups of water to boil in a sauce pan. Put swiss chard in boiling water and cook for about a minute. Drain water quickly from chard. 
  • In the same baking dish, spread cooked chicken on bottom. Sprinkle spaghetti squash over chicken. Pour the remaining ¼ cup of dressing over squash and chicken. Place swiss chard over squash and then sprinkle on diced ham. Next, layer on slices of swiss cheese until mixture is covered. Layer on sliced tomatoes until dish is covered. Finally, sprinkle on salt pepper and minced garlic.
  •  Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes until cheese is melted and mixture starts to bubble around edges. 

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