Go Back
easy-pumpkin-chicken-casserole

Healthy Pumpkin Chicken Casserole

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Healthy pumpkin chicken casserole is the perfect quick, easy and delicious meal for weeknight dinners in the fall. It's full of flavor and extra nutrition thanks to the pumpkin puree! 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Servings 8 -10 servings

Ingredients
  

For the casserole: 

  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 11 oz. can tomatillos rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups shredded chicken**
  • 1 package corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1 avocado

For the pumpkin enchilada sauce: 

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. flour whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and gluten-free flour blends all work!
  • 1 tbsp. ground chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. salt to taste
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9 X 13 in baking dish with cooking spray. 
  • In a medium bowl combine pumpkin, half of the garlic, 1 tsp of the cumin, and half of the salt, plus the cinnamon.
  • For the sauce, in a food processor combine the tomatillos, onion, chicken broth, remaining garlic, cumin and salt. Process until smooth. Place chicken in a large bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of the sauce.
  • To assemble spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in prepared baking dish. Add tortillas to cover the sauce  (you may have to tear one up for the corners). Top with half of the pumpkin mixture, half of the chicken mixture, 1/2 cup sauce and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers ( I did two) and top with remaining tortillas, sauce and cheese.
  • Bake covered for 20 minutes and then for an additional 15 minutes uncovered until the cheese is melty.
  • Meanwhile, make the pumpkin enchilada sauce by 
  • 1. Prepare the pumpkin enchilada sauce by combining flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Get the pumpkin puree measured out, along with the vegetable broth and place near the stove. 
  •  In a small sauce pan, warm the oil until it’s hot enough for a sprinkle of flour to sizzle on contact. Pour the flour and spice mixture, and whisk for about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in the pumpkin puree, and then the vegetable broth so that there are no lumps. Raise heat to a medium simmer, continue whisking and then reduce to a low simmer. Continue mixing as you notice the sauce thickening.
  •  Once the sauce is pretty think (after about 5 minutes), remove from heat and whisk in the vinegar and pepper. Add a little more salt if desired.
  • Once the casserole is done, top with enchilada sauce and serve with cilantro, jalapeno, pepitas and avocado slices on top.  Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for longer.

Notes

**If you're using rotisserie chicken, use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment to evenly shred the chicken. You just need to run it for a few minutes and it does the trick!