Skinny Tex Mex King Ranch Chicken, and Black Bean Fritters with Cilantro dipping sauce

I first heard about this recipe from a couple friends who read it in Southern Living magazine “King Ranch Chicken Mac & Cheese”….here is the original recipe if you’d like to try it.  I wanted to cut out the velveeta and condensed soup so I came up with a “skinnier” version.  I’ve heard the original is amazing too though!!!

Skinny Tex Mex King Ranch Chicken
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 6-8
Great, “skinnier” version of King Ranch chicken
  • 8 ounces whole wheat fusilli pasta (or any bite sized pasta of your choice), cooked al dente
  • By the way, does anyone else think of Seinfeld every time they hear the word fusilli?) ;-)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 10-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, diced*
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth*
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • Panko Bread Crumbs- optional
  1. Saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil for a few minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and pour in a casserole dish (sprinkle with bread crumbs and more cheese if desired).
  3. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

You can easily make this dish vegetarian by cutting out the chicken and using veggie broth :)

Here is a pic of the original :

King Ranch Chicken Mac & Cheese

King Ranch Chicken Mac & Cheese


And my “skinnified” version :

Skinny Tex Mex Chicken Casserole

I admit the first pic looks way better but I’m happy that my family liked mine just as well…they all loved it and didn’t even miss the extra sodium, fat, etc and I was able to sneak in some extra veggies/fiber :)

And the following recipe I found on Pinterest…I fell in LOVE with the picture alone …

Black Bean Fritters with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

And then I read the ingredients and knew I’d love it … I hesitate to show you a picture of mine because they look kind of pitiful but let me tell you, they are DELICIOUS!!!!!!!  The cilantro sauce just takes them over the top…I will definitely be making the sauce again soon to put over  fish tacos.  I might cut this recipe in half next time…it made a WHOLE LOTTA fritters !!!  These would also be delicious crumbled over a salad with the cilantro sauce as the dressing!

Here is my sad iPhone picture…one of these days I”m going to invest in something better than my iPhone camera/PowerShot Canon camera :)

Black Bean Fritters

The original recipe came from :

Black Bean Fritters :
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced (I used red but the yellow would give better color!)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil (for frying)
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, stir well to combine. Season with sea salt and black pepper. In a large skillet, add three tablespoons of oil to the pan on medium heat. When hot, add tablespoonfuls of the bean mixture.  Fry on one side until golden brown and crispy (about 3 minutes). Flip over for a further three minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Season with fresh black pepper and sea salt.
Serve with dipping sauce on the side
Cilantro Dipping Sauce :
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or  yogurt
  • 1/2 small green chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed (I might use 1/2 clove next time, was a little on the garlicky side)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Blend all the ingredients for a smooth consistency. Season with sea salt and black pepper.  Servings : 24 fritters Prep Time : 40 minutes
Have a happy and healthy day !!!

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About Jennifer

I am the mother of 2 beautiful children, Presley-7 and Cash-5 and married to an amazing husband and father, Todd. I have always thought of myself as a healthy person...I've always loved sports, working out and eating healthy. However, looking back, I've actually had a lot of unhealthy habits. I've tried every diet out there : Low fat (How did I think eating a box of fat free snackwells cookies was healthy?), Low carb (can you say fried pork skins GROSS)... as well as a long stint with disordered eating which started in college as a way to avoid those "freshman 15".
Well it wasn't until my 30s that I realized those kind of diets are just a quick fix, not a lifestyle. I think all foods can fit into a healthy diet as long as you practice moderation. I have found that I feel and look my best when I am eating mostly plant-based foods. Not to say I won't indulge in a filet every now and again... but I find that I crave meat less and less ! I have recently been fascinated with trying new vegetarian recipes...I NEVER thought I could give up chicken...used it eat it everyday, but I actually don't miss it at all.
I am trying to pass these healthy eating habits onto my children so they can avoid some of the diseases related to unhealthy diets.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a healthy day !!!!


  1. Mia's Domain says:

    I’m so glad you liked the fritters. They are a favorite of my family. We use the Cillantro Cream Sauce for fish tacos all the time or on chicken – perfect on most protein. :)

  2. Emily says:

    I really had fun with this recipe this morning – oddly, my kids have been asking for veggie burgers and my go-to recipe is so slave intensive (while exceptional!!) that I’ve been without for a couple of weeks. I de-nightshaded, made gluten free and veganized these by substituting flax eggs, brown rice flour, zucchini and 1/2 a sweet potatoe for the eggs, flour, pepper and tomotoe, and then baked them as full sized hamburger patties. I can’t wait to taste the cooked version, but the raw was so good that I couldn’t keep my spoon out of it! I also smashed the beans partially as I knew I needed them to stick together as big patties and added 1 T. cumin. Yummy-licious! Thank you Jenn!

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