The Family Table: Mexican Casserole Makeover

Remaking Chilaqules Casserole: How we made this family's favorite meal healthier.

June/July 2006

By EatingWell Editors

Our makeover meal boosts fruits and vegetables considerably, sneaking stealth vegetables into the chilaquiles and serving up an easy salad with a master dressing recipe that can be used all week long. And there’s always room for a healthy dessert, especially when it’s a crumble made from seasonal fruit that bakes during dinner. Best of all, since every meal component has built-in leftover potential, this dinner makes the rest of a busy week easier too.

The menu

Chilaquiles Casserole Baby Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Old-Fashioned Fruit Crumble

Goal #1: A heart-healthy meal with plenty of fruits & vegetables

  • Adding “stealth” zucchini and tomatoes to the chilaquiles boosts fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • Substituting reduced-fat cheese for regular cheese reduces the saturated fat and cholesterol by over two-thirds.
  • A healthier dessert provides a serving of fruit plus whole grains.
  • Replacing the butter in the crumble with canola oil almost completely eliminates saturated fat and cholesterol.

Goal #2: Planned-for leftovers

  • Keep extra salad fixings (see more salad tips) and homemade dressing in the fridge for a week’s worth of quick side salads and lunchbox meals.
  • Doubling up the casserole size leaves tasty leftovers for lunchboxes or the freezer.
  • Big-batch crumble topping is enough for several more quick desserts—including yogurt parfaits and sundaes.