Casserole and green beans on a white plate
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This blog post was written by Illinois State University graduate student and dietetic intern, Emily Kearney. 

Fiesta casserole is a quick and easy weeknight meal that is ready in 30 minutes. It can be made in one pot or a skillet, so the cleanup is minimal. Fiesta casserole makes for a healthy and comforting winter meal that will appeal to the entire family.

A great way to create a healthy eating routine is to follow the MyPlate meal pattern. MyPlate provides a visual representation of the five main food groups. MyPlate was created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to show healthy ways to fill your plate at each meal. According to MyPlate, ½ of the plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, ¼ of the plate is made up of grains, and ¼ of the plate consists of protein foods. Try to include fat-free or low-fat dairy or soy alternatives for a source of calcium and vitamin D. The MyPlate visual displays each food group separately, but the food groups can be mixed together to create a variety of meals such as casseroles, salads, and sandwiches. Fiesta casserole contains lean turkey, brown rice, vegetables, and seasonings to create a tasty, balanced meal. In this recipe, the corn, tomatoes, green bell pepper, and onions provide a variety of vegetables. The brown rice is a source of whole grain. The ground turkey and black beans are categorized as lean proteins. Shredded cheese can be added to the top to provide a source of dairy.  

If you want to add some spice to this recipe, try adding extra chili powder, chopped jalapenos, or salsa. This recipe can be topped with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, or avocados.

 

One Skillet Fiesta Casserole

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Ib. ground turkey 

¼ cup diced onion

½ cup diced green bell pepper

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (no salt added)

1 (15.25 oz.) can whole kernel corn (no salt added)

1 (15 oz.) can black beans (no salt added)

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 ½ cups instant brown rice

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat with olive oil. Add ground turkey, onion, and green bell pepper. Turkey is done when it is evenly browned and has reached a temperature of 165˚F (15 minutes). Drain any oil in the skillet. Add black pepper, chili powder, diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, and chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Add the rice. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.  

Yield: 6 servings (serving 1.5 cups)

 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 345 calories, 9 grams fat, 174 milligrams sodium, 44 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 22 grams protein