Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Layered Mexican Chicken Rice Casserole

Here's a quick and easy weeknight meal for those days when you don't know what to cook and all you have to use is what's in your pantry. In fact, if you happen to keep cooked canned chicken breast in your pantry, then you can use that and eliminate an extra step of cooking the chicken breast and save yourself even more time!

Michael and I really enjoyed having this for dinner last night. And our friend Hunter came over to eat some too. He loved the spicy flavor that the green chilies and my mother-in-law's homemade salsa gave to this meal. 

Now I know some of you are not in the mood to even turn on your ovens during this hot time of the summer, but you can be comforted in the fact that you're only turning it up to 350 degrees, and only until your cheese is nice and melty, since everything inside the casserole is cooked prior to placing it in the oven. You'll have a yummy dinner that will please the entire family (and friends) in no time!

Layered Mexican Chicken Rice Casserole
(adapted from Picky Palate)

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped bell peppers
1 1/2 tbs. minced fresh garlic
4 cups cooked/steamed rice
1 tbs. ground cumin
2 cups shredded chicken breast
1 tsp. chili powder
1 can green chilies
1/2 cup salsa
1 can corn, drained
1 can red kidney beans (or any bean of choice), drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place oil into a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute onion and peppers for about 5 minutes or until softened.  Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Stir in cooked rice, season with 1 tsp. cumin and reduce heat to low.  Transfer mixed rice to a glass baking dish.
  2. Place chicken breast into a medium skillet over medium heat.  Season with the rest of the cumin, chili powder, green chilies, and salsa; mix and reduce heat to low.  Pour corn over rice.  Next layer the beans, cilantro, chicken and top with cheese.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve with hot sauce if desired.
Makes 8 servings


  1. I keep all those ingredients on hand!! except for the green chiles. I just love green chiles so much that they disappear too quickly after I buy them :). I'll definitely be giving this one a try before too long. We tried the Ratatouille last week, and I was delighted with how many meals I was able to make out of the left overs! Soooo yummy. Thanks again, love!

  2. looks so yummy i can't wait to try it!!