Tex Mex Chicken Casserole

This flavorful Tex Mex chicken casserole is a firm family favorite! With tasty seasoning, chicken, rice, and lots of melted cheese, it’s perfection in a pan.

Forkful of Mexican chicken casserole.

Looking for your next weeknight meal the whole family will love? You need this quick and easy chicken casserole in your life. When I say quick and easy, I mean it. It takes just 5 minutes to prep this recipe, as you literally dump the ingredients in a bowl, stir, and then bake! 30 minutes later, dinner is served.

This casserole is overflowing with staple ingredients you probably already have at home too, like cheese, tomatoes, instant rice, and chicken broth. The combination of the chicken and rice with the sour cream and cream of chicken soup is basically a flavor explosion. This TEx Mex chicken casserole is creamy, cheesy, and delicious!

Here are some other casseroles my family love and I bet yours will too: crunchy beef casseroledeep-dish pizza casserolestuffed pepper casserolecornbread casserole, and sloppy joes casserole.

Ingredients for Mexican chicken casserole.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Cooked chicken
  • Instant rice (or to keep it lower-carb you can use my cauliflower rice recipe here)
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Sour cream
  • Frozen diced onion
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Rotel tomatoes
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Chicken broth

Dump all ingredients for casserole in bowl and stir to combine.

Dump all of the first nine ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.

Add cheese to mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Add half of the cheddar cheese and stir to combine again.

Add casserole to casserole dish.

Next, turn the chicken mixture out into a greased casserole dish (9X13).  

Top casserole with remaining cheese.

Then top with remaining cheese.

Bake casserole until bubbly.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Mexican Chicken Casserole in bowl.

Then serve! I guarantee the flavors in this dish will have your taste buds dancing!  YUM!

Storage

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave.
  • You can also store casserole leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When it’s time, thaw leftovers in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the microwave.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use any cooked chicken you like in this Mexican chicken and rice casserole, whether that’s rotisserie chicken, shredded chicken breast, or chicken thighs.
  • If you’d like to add even more to this casserole, add in a can each of black or pinto beans, green chile, and corn kernels. Another option is a cup of diced bell pepper.
  • For extra crunch, top your casserole with tortilla strips or your favorite crushed tortilla chips, like Doritos.
  • If your family prefers, you could substitute the chicken for ground beef.
  • You can also add whichever cheese you prefer, whether that’s melty mozzarella cheese, a Mexican cheese blend (either store-bought or homemade), or Pepper Jack cheese for some extra heat.
  • For more flavor, substitute the cumin for a packet of taco seasoning. Bonus if you use homemade taco seasoning!
  • Serve your casserole with a sprinkle of cilantro and diced tomato.

Fork of Mexican chicken casserole.

Recipe FAQs

Why do you use frozen onion in this recipe?

There are several reasons why I recommend using frozen onion in this Mexican chicken casserole recipe. First, frozen diced onion and frozen diced green pepper are great things to have in the freezer in a pinch. And second, use frozen because it cooks through faster and with this relatively short cooking time you’ll need them to cook faster. Using raw onions throws the casserole texture way off.  Trust me, I have ruined a casserole or two before I figured this out. 

Can chicken casserole be made ahead of time?

You can definitely assemble this chicken casserole recipe and store it tightly covered in the fridge for up to three days. It might just need another 5 to 10 minutes of baking time when it comes straight from the cold fridge.

Is this chicken casserole gluten-free?

Yes, this Mexican chicken casserole is gluten-free. Just make sure you double-check you’re using a gluten-free can of cream of chicken soup and that no other ingredients have sneaky gluten additions.

Can I make my chicken casserole in a crockpot?

Yes, you can definitely cook this Mexican casserole in the slow cooker. Mix all the ingredients together and cook in the slow cooker on low for 4 to 5 hours. I recommend adding the remaining shredded cheese about an hour before it’s done.

What do you serve with your Mexican chicken casserole?

While this is a substantial and hearty main meal in itself, you could also serve your casserole with your favorite taco toppings, like salsa, Pico de Gallo, salsa verde, refried beans, green onions, guacamole and corn chips, and jalapeños. Another option is a simple green salad or some fresh green beans.

Here are more marvelous Mexican-inspired dishes:

Mexican Cornbread Recipe by Mama

Taco Soup (The World’s Easiest Supper)

Chicken Enchilada Pie (A Hearty Supper Awaits)

Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Tex-Mex Style

Tex-Mex Lasagna

Chicken Fajitas in Crock Pot

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Enjoy this Mexican Chicken Casserole with deep rich flavors to get your taste buds dancing! The family will be asking for this one over and over again.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 334kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped, cooked, and shredded chicken (about 4 to 5 breasts halves)
  • 2 cups instant rice
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup frozen diced onion
  • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese divided

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients and half of cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Mix well.
    4 cups chopped, cooked, and shredded chicken (about 4 to 5 breasts halves), 2 cups instant rice, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup frozen diced onion, 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • Turn out into a greased casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
    8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Nutrition

Calories: 334kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

This post was originally a guest post from Stacey Little in 2011 at southernbite.com and updated in 2021.  Check out his blog here.

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140 Comments

  1. Been looking for a chicken recipe that my kiddos will actually eat. This looks fabulous and I actually have all the ingredients! Looks like I’ll be trying this out for supper tonight.

    We always sit at the table and have our meal together. My husband and I make a point of asking our 3 kiddos (8,6, & 2) the best thing that happened that day and why, and the worst and why. It makes them have to interact with you and we feel involved with their day. 🙂

    1. It’s probably the most special part of my day. We are so rushed, but we always make time to have dinner together.

  2. Thanks, Stacey, for sharing this great-looking recipe: delicious, simple to prepare, w/everyday ingredients… just the kind I like. 🙂 Cannot wait to try it!!!

  3. Scott, I got very misty eyed reading that quote by Quindlen and your thoughts.
    My boys are 13 and 15 and just this morning I was exasperated beyond words with the mess (created by them for the most part) that was/is my house and I was short with both of them. We’ll be sitting down for dinner tonight and I’ll be working on keeping the good stuff close to my heart. Thanks for the recipe too.

    1. It’s amazing just how connected having dinner together can make you feel. Even if it’s hot dogs, we always sit together and talk about our day.

      1. Haha, we’re having hot dogs at my house tonight, as menu planning and grocery shopping are both overdue. We aren’t overly traditional at my house, but one thing I make sure of every night is that we sit down together as a family for dinner. No TV, and I even make my husband put down his smartphone. If not for dinner I don’t know when we would all just sit together and talk. It’s the one time of day when we aren’t rushing- usually. 🙂

  4. Wow, that sure is easy looking! I’ll bet it tastes good too. I grew up eating dinner at the table with my family sans TV or any other interruptions and my husband and I do the same the vast majority of the time. It’s always been the norm for me and I’m quite thankful.

    1. Stacy, I’m already a huge fan of yours and have tried many of your recipes and love them! I made a casserole almost exactly like this last night (only 2 ingredients were different) I thought it was going to be a big hit with everyone but my son complained about the onion texture. Thanks for the frozen onion tip, I’ll definitely have to remember that!

      I’ll be the first to admit my life is full of clutter, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world for the memories I have with my family!

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