Easy Peasy Chicken Fajitas
If you’re looking for an easy, make-ahead casserole that the whole family will love, you can’t do better than this gluten free chicken fajita bubble bake. All the taste of fajitas, made in a single skillet!
Whether they’re gluten free or not, I’m always suspicious of those packets of spice mixes like fajita or taco seasoning. It’s super quick and easy to make your own fajita seasoning with just a few basic spices, and then you know exactly what’s in it.
Especially when it comes to a seasoning that might have some heat to it, you can dial up (or dial back) the heat to suit your family’s tastes. Chicken fajitas are really just cooked chicken, onions and sweet peppers tossed with a smoky, spicy mix of spices.
And this gluten free chicken fajita casserole is so simple, it just might find its way into your regular dinner rotation. You can make it as written, or even just make the chicken portion and serve with tortillas.
Since I always always have gluten free biscuit dough in my freezer (and you should too!), and I make at least one thing with skinless boneless chicken breast every single week of my life forever, this recipe comes together in a snap.
I have one confession, though: instead of melting shredded cheese in the last few minutes of baking this casserole, I actually melted homemade Velveeta cheese. I just can’t stop making that stuff!
I just drizzled that on top instead, since it seems to come in so handy!
Gluten Free Chicken Fajita Bubble Bake
1 recipe gluten free biscuits (I used the Extra Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits from page 227 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, but the Gluten Free Biscuits from the blog would work just fine, too—try using buttermilk in place of milk or cream), chilled
4 tablespoons (56 g) extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
2 medium fresh bell peppers, seeded and chopped (I used 1 yellow and 1 orange pepper, but any will do)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Fajita Seasoning (combine 1 teaspoon chili powder (I really like chipotle chili powder), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin)
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons (18 g) sweet white rice flour (or try arrowroot or my basic gum-free gluten free flour blend)
3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) water or chicken stock
2 ounces shredded cheddar and/or Monterey jack cheese
Sour cream, at room temperature (optional)
Fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 13-inch x 9-inch casserole dish and set it aside. Using a sharp knife, slice each chilled biscuit round into 4 equal pieces, creating 4 wedges. Place the wedges on a baking sheet and place in the freezer while you make the rest of the casserole.
In a heavy-bottom, 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons (28 g) of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon (14 g) of the butter over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the chopped peppers and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened (about 6 minutes). Add 1 tablespoon of the fajita seasoning, and stir to combine, then transfer the vegetables to a separate dish and set them aside. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons (28 g) of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon (14 g) of butter to the hot skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the chicken pieces in a single layer. Sprinkle with another 2 teaspoons of fajita seasoning and sauté until browned and cooked in the center (about 4 minutes), stirring only occasionally. Transfer the chicken to a separate dish and set aside.
Add the final tablespoon (14 g) of butter to the hot skillet. Once the butter is melted, add the sweet white rice flour and whisk to combine. Cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly, until smooth. Continuing to whisk constantly, add the water or chicken stock to the skillet and cook until the mixture thickens (about 2 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat, add back the cooked vegetables and chicken and mix to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, and spread into an even layer. Remove the biscuit quarters from the freezer, and toss with the final teaspoonful of fajita seasoning to coat. Scatter the pieces in an even layer over the top of the chicken mixture in the baking dish.*
Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the biscuits are puffed, golden and baked through. Sprinkle the top with the cheese and return to the oven to bake until the cheese is melted. Remove the dish from the oven, and drizzle with sour cream and top with herbs. Serve immediately.
*Make Ahead Option: At this point, the dish can be cooled to room temperature, then covered and refrigerated. When ready to eat, uncover and place right in the preheated oven from the refrigerator and continue with the recipe instructions.
Adapted from Pillsbury.