Chicken Caprese Cauliflower Casserole

After two separate trips to Europe in two weeks, it feels really good to get back into a routine. I actually ate pretty healthy while I was away, but it doesn’t matter that the meals were well rounded and appropriately sized; there’s something about eating a meal I didn’t prepare that feels sluggish. The number one thing that gets me feeling like a human again is getting back into the kitchen.

Pre- and post-baking

Since I had to stop at the grocery store to restock the apartment, I was left with less time to cook so I wanted to keep things simple. That meant casserole. I started with this recipe but then adapted it heavily, making the already healthy dish even healthier.

Honestly, once I started switching up ingredients in the recipe, I stopped using measurements. And I’m here to tell you, this dish is totally cool to just eyeball. First, warm up some frozen cauliflower rice (I used a full bag of Trader Joe’s). While that’s getting un-frozen, make a sauce using one can of fire roasted tomatoes, a few dashes of balsamic vinegar, a large splash of milk + corn starch, and salt/pepper. Let the cauliflower and sauce cool for 5 minutes. In a baking dish toss together shredded chicken (from one rotisserie chicken or, in my case, one package of Trader Joe’s cooked cubed white meat chicken), shredded mozzarella, and grated parmesan. Combine in the cauliflower rice and then the sauce. Top with some more mozz and parm and place in a 375 oven for about 15-20 minutes. When it comes out, top with fresh basil.

This came out so tasty! It’s all the flavors of a caprese salad meshed together. Switching to cauliflower rice made it healthier while still keeping the texture you get from the quinoa in the original recipe – maybe even more texture. I also really liked the depth of flavor the fire roasted tomatoes added. Less sweet, more char…which I suppose is less caprese-like, but I liked it. This meal definitely takes less than 30 minutes to throw together, and it’s just sitting in the oven for half of that time, which give you plenty of time to throw together a salad.