Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole is super easy to make and the whole family will love it… so much so, you might not have any leftovers!
One of the nice things about this recipe is that the leftovers (if you even have any!) are perfect for warming up for lunch the next day!
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What We Love About Mexican Casserole
- Less Than 30 Minutes: From start to finish, it only takes 25 minutes to make this delicious meal!
- Easy Ingredients: Less than 10 ingredients are needed to make this chicken and rice casserole.
- Family Friendly: Everyone in your family will love this easy and simple casserole!
- Adaptable: Can easily adapt it to meet dietary needs.
- Makes Great Leftovers: Perfect to take to work the next day!
- Chicken Thighs & Legs
- Shredded Cheddar
- Long Grain Rice
- Chicken Thighs & Legs – Chicken thighs tend to carry more flavor than chicken breasts. If you have a strong preference over one or the other go ahead and use your favorite!
- Shredded Cheddar – Shredding cheese is going to be easier to spread over the entire casserole.
- Long Grain Rice – Using long grain rice is better for casseroles than regular rice. Long grain rice cooks to be light, fluffy and doesn’t clump together like how white rice does.
How to make Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole
These are the basic steps for making Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
STEP 1: Prep
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Now is a good time to chop up your pepper and onion and shred your chicken.
Combine your spices and mix them with the rice and water. Boil for 20 minutes.
STEP 2: Layering
When the rice is fully cooked, place it on the bottom of a cast iron skillet. Layer the chicken across the top of the rice. Layer the bell pepper on top of the chicken. Lastly, layer the top with green onion.
STEP 3: Bake
Cover the entire casserole with cheese then bake for 15 minutes.
Allow the casserole to cool and then serve and enjoy!
HOW TO MAKE THIS CHICKEN CASSEROLE AHEAD OF TIME
Chop up your veggies ahead of time as well as deboning and shredding your chicken. Also, cook your rice ahead of time!
HOW TO STORE THIS CASSEROLE
Store in an airtight container in the fridge! Make sure you eat up the leftovers within 3 days.
HOW TO FREEZE THIS CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
Scoop into freezer bags and place in the freezer. Casseroles are generally good for up to 4-5 months.
HOW TO REHEAT THIS RECIPE
If frozen, let thaw in the fridge overnight. If you want to microwave leftovers, heat in 30 second increments stirring in-between. If you want to reheat it in the oven, heat to 350 degrees, cover in foil, and let bake for about 10-15 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Luckily, most of this recipe is vegetarian! Use your favorite meat substitute instead of chicken!
Sure. If you prefer other onions over green onions, go ahead and use your favorite!
Absolutely! This casserole is super easy to double or half. Make sure to use the appropriate sized baking dish.
Sure! Shred whatever chicken you decide to use to ensure chicken in every bite!
I’d try adding black beans, salsa and/or avocado and sour cream! If you’re up to it, transform this into almost a taco casserole and use taco seasoning.
Yes! I love cheesy chicken recipes so I’d try a blend of cheeses!
Mexican Chicken & Rice Casserole
- 1 ½ lbs chicken thighs and legs deboned, cooked & shredded
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar
- 1 ½ cups dry uncooked long-grain rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ diced bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced green onion
- Combine your spices and mix them with the rice and water. Boil the rice mixture for 20 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- When the rice is fully cooked and fork-tender, place it in the bottom of a cast iron skillet in a layer across the bottom.
- Add chicken across the top of the rice in a layer.
- Top chicken with the bell pepper.
- Add the green onion on top of the bell pepper.
- Cover the entire casserole with cheese then bake for 15 minutes.
- Allow the Mexican chicken and rice casserole to cool and then serve!