Layered Tex-Mex Campbell’s Creamy Tomato Soup Casserole

This Layered Tex-Mex Campbell’s Creamy Tomato Soup Casserole is the kind of recipe you magically whip up when there’s nothing fresh left in the kitchen. Why would there be nothing fresh left in the kitchen, you ask? Good question.

If you’re anything like me, it’s because you’re too plugged in on one of your myriad projects to realize you’ve still not made it the grocery store— even though you’ve planned on going days ago. A fact not aided by the presence of a gusty, sloppy wet typhoon. This, is the story of my life. I’m becoming an expert on how to prepare a tasty dinner when there’s almost nothing to cook with. In some cases, it turns out all for the best.

Like in this case where, to both my and my husband’s surprise, this “Oh gosh! I have to do something about dinner!” meal turned out better than good. It turned out good enough to blog about. Here’s how you can make my layered tex-mex Campbell’s creamy tomato soup casserole:

Ingredients:
  • Ovenproof glass baking dish (9×9 worked well)
  • 1 can Campbell’s Creamy Tomato soup (regular tomato soup would probably be okay)
  • 1 can beans (I used mixed)
  • 1/2 to 1 packet frozen corn (canned corn could also work)
  • 1-2 chicken breasts or boneless thighs
  • 1/2 a large onion, use a whole one if it’s small
  • 1-2 sliced or chopped garlic cloves
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pepper seasoning (I used McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • salt (if your pepper seasoning doesn’t have any already mixed in)
  • ground cumin
  • chili powder
  • shredded cheese
Instructions for Layered Tex-Mex Campbell’s Creamy Tomato Soup Casserole:
  1. Warm up the oven to 400°F/200°C (if you’re lucky enough to have one- if not… you may need to get creative and try smaller single serving dishes in the toaster oven or microwave)
  2. Get a scoop of rice which is give or take 1 cup. (I only have Japanese sticky rice but, any kind of rice should work.)
  3. Assuming you do rice the proper Asian way- rinse it in a strainer to remove excess starch.
  4. Toss your can of beans on top of the rice. Continue rinsing in the strainer till the bubbles are gone. This makes it easier to get all the rice out of your strainer and into the baking dish.
  5. A brief note about the beans: Mexican black beans (which are harder than anything to find here in Tokyo and pricy when you do) or kidney beans or chick peas/garbanzo beans are all fair game. Basically, use the beans that turn your crank.
  6. Dump the rice and beans in the bottom of your baking dish. This is the bottom layer. (If it’s glass, greasing or oiling the bottom of the pan is not required.)
  7. Turn on the stove and heat up a large fry pan.
  8. Chop up 1/2 a large onion and 1-2 cloves of garlic. Dump these in a fry pan with some olive oil and get them cooking on medium heat. It’s important they don’t cook too fast.
  9. Get the chicken (1 or 2 breasts or boneless thighs) and chop it up in smallish chunks if it’s not already cut. Add the chicken to the onions and garlic in the fry pan. Mix them together well.
  10. Add pepper seasoning (I used McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning) according to your preference. Repeat the process with the chili powder and ground cumin. Mix the spices in with the chicken, onions and garlic. Don’t worry if the chicken isn’t cooked 100% of the way, time in the oven will finish the process.
  11. Add the fry pan ingredients to the baking dish. This is the second layer.
  12. For the third layer, I sprinkled 1/2 a packet of frozen corn.
  13. The fourth layer of this casserole was a can of Campbell’s Cream Tomato soup. As per the directions on the can, I mixed the concentrate with a can of milk. I used a whisk and a bowl for this. After it was blended (there are tomato chunks so, expect some lumps) I poured the liquid over top the ingredients in the baking dish.
  14. Give the baking dish a few gentle shakes to ensure the liquid seeps through to the bottom. Pop it in the oven and set a timer for 50 minutes. You may have to adjust the time based on how you know your oven cooks. Mine is small, electric and takes forever. (I had to let it cook for another 15 after the initial 50.) You know it’s done when the tomato soup/sauce is bubbling all over, not just at the corners. Take care that the rice is cooked through before serving.
  15. When you feel confident the casserole is done baking, grab a few handfuls of shredded cheese and spread it around on top. Stick the dish back in the oven for a few minutes so the cheese can get nice and goopy.
  16. Grab some tortilla chips (these are great crushed and sprinkled on top as a garnish) and Tabasco (we love the jalapeño and chipotle flavors) or your favorite chili sauce for some kick. If I had an avocado and some sour cream, I’d have set them out, too.

This dish provides 4 big servings or up to 8 smaller ones depending on how you cut it.
Some ideas for extras and things I would have done provided there wasn’t a shortage of supplies in my kitchen at the time:

  • jalapeños both in the casserole and as a garnish
  • fresh chopped tomatoes as a garnish
  • sliced olives as a garnish or last before adding the cheese
  • crushed flavored Doritos for an extra twist
  • replace the rice with quinoa (I may be trying this next though, I suspect baking time will require adjustment)

Image from Freepix.

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