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Mexican Chicken Casserole is an easy weeknight meal that everyone loves. Layers of tender chicken, rice, and beans topped with two kinds of cheese!
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This Mexican Chicken Casserole is the answer to that age old question, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” When I am flat out of ideas, I know I can always come back to this warm, hearty, and delicious recipe. Even our pickiest eaters gobble it up! The chicken simmers all afternoon in the slow cooker, then the rest of the ingredients come together in a snap! Serve with a side salad, tortilla chips and guacamole or some fruit and you have a meal that everyone loves!
Ingredients in Mexican Chicken Casserole Recipe
If you have a little cooked chicken and some rice, you can make this easy Mexican casserole. Here’s what you need:
- Chicken Breasts – I use four large boneless, skinless breasts for this recipe. You can throw in some rotisserie chicken if you have that on hand.
- Red Enchilada Sauce – about a cup, or one small can. Mild or medium, your choice.
- Diced Green Chilies – a small seven ounce can is perfect.
- Cumin – two teaspoons of this smoky seasoning gives the chicken incredible flavor.
- Black Pepper – one teaspoon or more to taste
- Rice – two cups UNCOOKED rice uncooked. Calrose rice works great if you want to have more defined layers, because you can pat the layers down and it stays together better. Long grain white rice works great too.
- Cilantro – fresh cilantro is vibrant and bright and adds gorgeous color and flavor.
- Lime juice – one tablespoon or the juice of half a lime.
- Cream of chicken soup – two cans of undiluted soup. You can use cream of mushroom soup too.
- Sour cream – one cup.
- Salsa – One and a half cups of your favorite medium or mild salsa, depending on your family’s taste.
- Cheddar cheese – one and a half to two cups, shredded.
- Pepper jack cheese – same amount of cheddar. This cheese is spicy and adds such a yummy depth of flavor.
- Corn – one can, drained. You can also use a cup of frozen corn kernels.
- Black Beans – one can, drained and rinsed
Optional Ingredients/Garnish Ideas
Once you have your casserole dish layered, you can dress it up any way you like! Switch up the chicken for ground beef or shredded pork. Try some of these toppings:
- Green onion
- Sour cream
- Black olives
- Crushed corn chips
- Diced tomatoes
How to Cook Chicken for Mexican Chicken Casserole
Cook the chicken breasts in a crockpot in the enchilada sauce, green chilies, cumin and black pepper. The chicken will be so flavorful by the time you add it with the rest of the ingredients. You can also cook the chicken breasts in the instant pot if you need to save time. Stir in the seasonings after it’s shredded.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mexican Chicken Casserole
A simple green salad, side of fruit, biscuits, coleslaw, basically any side dish goes with this yummy casserole!
Store this casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can freeze it too, tightly covered for up to three months. To reheat, warm up leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 until warmed through.
Some of the best casserole recipes are handed down generation to generation. They’re convenient, easy and tasty. Plus they can cook all day in the Crockpot and you barely have to get your kitchen dirty!
READ NEXT:75+ Best Mexican Recipes
More Mexican Inspired Meals
If you like big, bold flavors but easy ingredients and quick suppers, you’ll love these delicious Mexican recipes:
- Cheesy Grilled Mexican Chicken and Rice
- Mexican Chili in a Tostada Bowl
- Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Beef
- Mexican Lasagna
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn
- Easy Restaurant Style Mexican Rice
How to Make Mexican Chicken Casserole
Mexican Chicken Casserole
- 9×13 inch pan
- 4 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1 cup red enchilada sauce (mild or medium)
- 7 ounces diced green chiles
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups rice uncooked (calrose rice works great if you want to have layers that are more intact– you can pat the layers down and it stays together better– but long grain white rice works great too)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup undiluted
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups salsa (mild or medium)
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese shredded
- 1 can corn drained
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- optional garnish: green onion, tomatoes, sour cream, crushed corn chips, or anything else you like!
- In crock pot combine chicken breasts, enchilada sauce, green chiles, cumin and pepper. Cook on high for 4 hours. Take chicken breasts out of sauce and shred.
- Prepare rice according to package directions with cilantro and lime juice.
- In bowl, combine soups, sour cream and salsa.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Spread ½ c. of soup mixture in bottom of pan.
- Layer in the following order: ½ of the rice (press down into soup mixture), 1 ½ c. cheddar cheese, ½ of shredded chicken, ½ can corn, ½ can black beans, ½ of soup mixture, remaining rice (press down firmly in pan), remaining shredded chicken, remaining corn, remaining black beans.
- Top with 1 ½ c. pepper jack cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes until heated through.
- Garnish as desired.
- Store leftovers tightly covered or in an airtight container for up to five days.
- Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.
- Reheat in a 350 degree oven until warmed through. Allow the casserole to thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen.
- Cook chicken in a slow cooker or instant pot.
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This recipe says it takes 55 minutes to make, then in step one it says to slow cook the chicken for 4 hours! This is the second time one of your recipes have messed up my dinner plans because the total cook time is wrong.
I am looking forward to making this tomorrow. Do you mix the rice with the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and salsa? If no, when do you add that?
You can if you want to but we just layered the rice.
After shredding the chicken, do I return it to the crockpot and mix with the liquids, or discard the liquids and just use the chicken? One part of the directions states to layer with “shredded chicken mixture”, later it just states layer with “shredded chicken”.
You keep the chicken out, but you don’t discard the marinade.
Where do you add in the enchilada sauce you cooked the chicken in?
That is the “soup mixture” mentioned in the directions.
I made this in two small tins and froze, bake as instructed and it’s just fine! I have also used it as enchilada filling and for a salad (kind of like cafe rio style)
I made this last night and all six of my children loved it! I am in a dinner group and six of us make freezer meals that can be reheated later and enjoyed on a later date. Have you tried to reheat this casserole from a frozen state and found any success?
I haven’t reheated this from frozen. I am sure it would still be great though. Let me know how it turns out if you do it!
printed….going to try it this week it looks sooo good!
can I use frozen chicken to make this?
You will need to make sure it is thawed and cooked properly before putting it with the other ingredients but sure! I don’t see why not!
We should TOTALLY compare recipes BBG? Call me :):)
Lois made me this last night. Soooo godd. like OMG! Thanks girl 🙂 Love you
Its not a comment but a question.
Is this recipe have spicyneds to it? Me and my husband had bariatric sleeve surgery done and cant have any spicy food. We would be sick and hurt really bad if its any spicyness to any foods.
Pleaselet me know. I would like to try it it sounds yummy.
If you are ultra sensitive to spice I probably wouldn’t try this recipe. The enchilada sauce, green chiles, and cumin do contain spice. Maybe try it once you’re feeling better!!
I tried this recipe tonight – liked it a lot; however, when I make it again, I will use brown rice (for health reasons) and make only about half of the rice that the recipe calls for. I think there’s a little too much rice in the recipe – otherwise, it’s great.