Add some South of the Border flavor to your weeknight dinners with this festive and easy one-pan fiesta chicken and rice casserole. Loaded with chicken, beans, corn and rice, this baked casserole is a fun twist on chicken and rice.
Looking for a crowd-pleasing casserole that delivers big, bold Mexican flavors? This Chicken Fiesta Casserole is sure to become a family favorite!
Packed with chicken, beans and rice, and a zesty salsa kick, this dish makes for a hearty and satisfying one-pot meal.
With just a few pantry staples like canned soup, beans, and frozen vegetables, dinner comes together in a snap.
Simply mix everything together, pop it in the oven, and dinner is served!
Chicken Fiesta Casserole
Easy to double for a larger crowd, this Chicken Fiesta Casserole is perfect for potlucks, family get-togethers, or a busy weeknight dinner.
Kids and adults alike will love the fun Tex-Mex flavors.
Feel free to tweak it to your taste by adding extra spices, different beans, or more veggies.
Here are a few reasons why we love this recipe:
- It's packed with flavor - The zesty salsa, taco seasoning, cheese, and cilantro give this dish a bold, Tex-Mex taste that's irresistible.
- It's a fun addition to Taco Tuesday - Add it to your Taco Tuesday rotation for a change from what you normally have.
- It's made with simple ingredients - Canned soup, beans, frozen veggies and rice make this an easy weeknight meal. You likely have most of the ingredients on hand already.
- It's protein-packed - Tender pieces of chicken breast bake right in the casserole, providing a hit of lean protein.
- It's customizable - Add different beans, veggies, or extra spices to suit your tastes. Make it as mild or spicy as you like.
- It feeds a crowd - This recipe serves 8, making it great for gatherings and potlucks. Easily doubled too!
- Kid-approved - With its cheesy, beany, ricey goodness, this casserole will be gobbled up by kids and adults alike.
- It's comfort food - The ultimate warm, hearty, feel-good casserole that is perfect for chilly nights.
Fiesta Chicken and Rice Casserole Ingredients
Cream of Chicken Soup: You can make your own cream of chicken soup or use store-bought.
Black Beans: Make sure to rinse and drain the beans to remove any excess sodium.
Salsa: Choose a salsa that suits your heat preference - mild, medium, or hot.
Frozen Corn: Fresh corn can also be used when in season.
White Rice: You can substitute it with brown rice for a healthier option, but keep in mind that it may affect the cooking time.
Taco Seasoning: This gives the dish its characteristic Mexican flavor. You can use a store-bought packet or make your own taco blend at home.
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: Cutting it into strips makes sure it cooks evenly. You can also use thighs for a juicier result.
Paprika: It adds a sweet and smoky flavor. If you like a bit of heat, you can use hot paprika instead.
Salt and Black Pepper: Adjust to your taste.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese: You can use a Mexican blend cheese if you prefer.
Chopped Cilantro: This is used for garnish. If you're not a fan of cilantro, you can use chopped parsley instead.
How to Make Fiesta Chicken and Rice Casserole
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and preparing a 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In the same dish, you're going to mix together the cream of chicken soup, black beans, salsa, corn, rice, taco seasoning, and water.
Next, place your chicken strips on top of this rice mixture. Sprinkle them with paprika, salt, and black pepper to your liking.
Cover your dish with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven.
After about 45 minutes, give the rice mixture a good stir around the chicken. Depending on the size of your chicken strips, you may need to bake the casserole for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
Just make sure that the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.
Once your casserole is cooked, remove it from the oven and sprinkle the top with shredded cheddar cheese.
The residual heat will melt the cheese, creating a delicious, cheesy crust.
Let the casserole rest for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt fully.
Finally, sprinkle your dish with chopped cilantro for a fresh, herby finish. This will add a pop of color and a burst of freshness to your hearty casserole.
There are lots of fun ways to put your own spin on this versatile Chicken Fiesta Casserole recipe:
- Switch up the meat - Try ground beef or turkey instead of chicken. You can also use boneless pork chops cut into cubes.
- Play with different beans - Black beans are classic, but pinto, kidney, or cannellini beans would also be delicious.
- Add more veggies - Mix in corn, zucchini, bell peppers, or your other favorites for extra nutrition.
- Make it spicy - Add diced jalapenos, chipotle chili powder, or hot sauce for some extra heat.
- Top with avocado - Cubed avocado makes a cool, creamy garnish.
- Bake with tortilla chips - Crush tortilla chips and mix into the casserole or use it on top for a crunch.
- Finish with fresh garnishes - In addition to cilantro, try scallions, lime wedges, diced tomato or shredded lettuce on top.
- Make it cheesier - Mix in some Monterey jack or pepper jack cheese for an extra cheesy casserole.
The possibilities are endless! This Casserole is the perfect base for putting your own unique spin for a tasty customized creation.
What to Serve with Fiesta Chicken and Rice Casserole
This flavorful Chicken Fiesta Casserole would pair deliciously with a variety of sides and extras:
- Rice - Serve up some cilantro lime rice or Mexican rice for a tasty rice-on-rice duo.
- Beans - Black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans make a protein-packed accompaniment.
- Tortillas - Warm flour or corn tortillas on the side for wrapping up casserole bites.
- Chips and salsa - Crispy tortilla chips and a bright tomato salsa make a natural, tasty pairing.
- Salad - A crisp salad with a lime vinaigrette brightens up the plate. Top with avocado!
- Roasted veggies - Caramelized zucchini, squash, peppers or other veggies add freshness.
- Guacamole - Make it chunky or smooth.
- Queso dip - Warm cheesy queso is a Tex-Mex must-have.
- Mexican street corn - Grilled corn on the cob coated in crema, cheese and spices.
- Tres leches cake - A sweet milky dessert is a nice way to end the meal.
With its bold Tex-Mex flavors, this casserole opens up a whole feast of possibilities. Just add some bright, fresh sides and drinks for a fun and tasty theme night!
How to Store and Reheat
Luckily, this Chicken Fiesta Casserole tends to taste even better the next day! Here are some tips for enjoying leftovers and freezing the casserole:
- Store covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- The casserole makes for easy reheatable lunches - just scoop some into a container.
- Turn leftovers into tacos or burritos by wrapping in tortillas.
- Mix in fresh lettuce, tomato, cheese for a casserole taco salad.
- Add a fried egg on top for a protein punch.
- Let cool completely, then transfer individual portions to freezer bags or containers.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheat gently in the oven or microwave until hot in center.
To bake from frozen:
- Thaw casserole completely in fridge overnight
- Remove plastic wrap or lid.
- Bake according to recipe directions.
With just a bit of planning, you can enjoy this family favorite casserole again and again!
More Casserole Dinners:
- Walking Taco Casserole
- Chicken Pot Pie With Biscuits
- Chicken Drumsticks and Rice Casserole
- Philly Cheesesteak Casserole
Fiesta Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 10 ¾ ounce cream of chicken soup
- 15 ounce black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cups prepared salsa
- 6 ounces frozen corn
- ¾ cups white rice uncooked
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- ½ cup water
- 2 to 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into strips
- Paprika if desired
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- cilantro chopped, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the casserole dish, mix together the soup, black beans, salsa, corn, rice, taco seasoning, and water.
- Place chicken on top of the rice mixture and sprinkle with paprika, salt, and black pepper as desired.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, stirring the rice mixture around the chicken halfway through the cooking time. Check for doneness of the chicken and rice. Continue baking an additional 15 to 20 minutes if needed. (Cooking time depends on the size of the chicken breast.)
- Remove from the oven and top with cheese. Allow the casserole to rest as the cheese melts.
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired.