This baked Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe is made with simple pantry staples and is ready in just 30 minutes. Hearty, delicious and easily adaptable, it’s the perfect quick and easy weeknight family dinner!
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I love recipes with Mexican-inspired flavors. Not only are they delicious, but they also are typically easy to make and super frugal too!
This casserole is no exception. It is full of flavor and you can’t beat how simple it is to throw together! My whole family absolutely loves it.
Watch Video: Learn How to Make this Recipe
Ingredients Needed to Make this Recipe
- Black Beans. Pinto beans would also work well.
- Tomatoes. For a little more kick, Rotel can be substituted.
- Pasta Sauce. I love using garlic basil pasta sauce, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Salsa. I like to use mild thicker, chunky salsa, but any variety will be fine.
- Cooked Rice. White rice or brown rice will work.
- Cooked Chicken. We typically use boneless, skinless chicken breast, but rotisserie chicken can also save time.
- Sour Cream. You can also substitute plain Greek yogurt if you prefer.
- Cheddar Cheese. I love using sharp cheddar for extra flavor.
- Chili Powder. Use up to a 1/2 teaspoon. The more that is used, the spicier the casserole will be.
How to Make Mexican Chicken Rice Casserole
STEP 1: Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, except 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
STEP 2: Pour into a greased 9×13 casserole dish and bake for 20-30 minutes, uncovered, until heated through.
STEP 3: Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Continue baking until the cheese has melted.
Helpful Tips and Topping Ideas
Storing. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
Topping Ideas. Feel free to top with green onions, pico de gallo, diced tomatoes, cilantro, avocado or sour cream.
Meat Swap. I think this would also be delicious made with cooked sausage and ground beef or ground turkey could also probably be used in place of the chicken.
Leftover Suggestions. Use leftovers as a burrito filling or turn it into a taco salad of sorts by adding lettuce and salad dressing or additional salsa.
Make it Vegetarian. Omit the chicken and add more beans.
Using Dried Rice. Don’t have cooked rice on hand? One cup of dry white rice will make 2 cups of cooked.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Speedy Spanish Rice with Ground Beef
- Salsa Ranch Chicken Wraps
- Easy John Wayne Casserole
- Sour Cream Chicken Skillet Enchiladas
- Easy Mexican Rice Bowls
Mexican Rice and Chicken Casserole
- 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 c. pasta sauce can be flavored with garlic and onion etc.
- ¼ c. salsa
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2 c. cooked chicken diced
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- ¼ to ½ tsp. chili powder
- ½ tsp salt
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except ½ cup shredded cheese.
- Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350°, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, until heated through.
- Remove from oven and add the ½ cup shredded cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted, about 3-5 minutes.
Wow! This casserole was amazing! My whole family liked it and kept going back for seconds. It’s hard to find a recipe that everyone here likes. All your recipes look so good. I can’t wait to try more!
Delighted that it was such a hit, Christi!
Had to try this IMMEDIATELY. Had my doubts about that pasta sauce, but it works–this is one delicious casserole!
Please note you didn’t provide the oven temperature; you’ll need to add it.
I used 375 and it worked just fine.
I added plenty of cumin, cayenne and chipotle because we like our food spicy.
— Reduce the carbs and eliminate the black beans and replace the rice with cooked riced cauliflower
— Increase the veggie/fiber content and add a thawed, drained bag of frozen chopped peppers and onions. Trader Joe’s version sells a very good one.
Sue, I have no idea how I missed your comment, but somehow I only now saw it! Thank you SO much for catching the missed baking temp. I added that in now!
So happy to hear you enjoyed the casserole and I love that you made it a bit spicier. I would too, if I thought all my kids would eat it that way. 😉 I also love your additional version ideas. Yum!