Mexican chicken casserole is a creamy decadent flavor bomb with a taco twist! It’s one of those Mexican chicken recipes that tucks bubbling cheesy taco flavor into a neat convenient casserole with a crunchy crave-worthy topping.
They’ll line up with their plates when you pull this one out of the oven. Okay, so between us friends, this casserole ain’t gonna win any beauty contest!
That said, it’s so flippin’ delicious, I have to share it with you!! I mean to tell you, it’s eye-rolling back of your head de-lic-ious!
Chicken casserole recipes give you an easy card for dinner. That robust aroma permeates every room in the house, enticing hungry tummies to dinner. This Mexican chicken casserole recipe is a radical twist on yummy and it’s one of my favorite chicken recipes ever!
Try more family-favorite chicken casserole recipes for your dinner rotation next. My million dollar chicken casserole, white chicken enchiladas, and crack chicken casserole are the most popular and most frequently downloaded on the site. See why!
Let’s make this casserole!!
What I Love About This Recipe
I love that this casserole recipe is full of authentic Mexican flavors. Mexican recipes aren’t brag-worthy unless they’re totally chock-full of the zesty aromatic hues that represent the culture itself!
- Creamy cheesy bliss with fragrant herbaceous flavors
- Wholesome veggies, succulent chicken, crunchy topping
- Convenient flavor-heavy oven meal
- Doable on a busy weeknight
- Great for special occasions, potluck meals, and friendly get-togethers
Mexican Chicken Casserole Ingredients
- Chicken: Using cooked chicken for this recipe saves time and makes it incredibly convenient. You can use leftover grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, canned chicken or whatever you have on hand.
- Onion: I like yellow onions.
- Garlic: Mince it or finely chop it.
- Taco Seasoning: I like to use mild to keep the casserole kid friendly. The taco seasoning gives the casserole a great base flavoring.
- Cumin: Use dried, ground cumin. Adds a great typical Mexican flavor. Lots of herbaceous, nutty, smokiness.
- Cream Cheese: Adds creamy, cheesy, and tanginess to the casserole.
- Masa: Adds a great corn flavor. It’s popular in Mexican cuisine and it lends a distinctive authentic flavor to your dish.
- Green Chiles Diced: These chiles come in a can and are milder than jalapeños. There is very little juice in the can but I still drain it. Again, I use the mild variety to keep it kid friendly.
- Pinto Beans: I love pinto beans. Feel free to use your favorite. Black or kidney work equally as well.
- Salt + Black Pepper: To give it just the right seasoning.
- Corn: Adds some nice texture and sweetness. The kids really love this casserole.
- Sour Cream: Adds more creamy tanginess to the layers.
- Monterey Jack: Cheese! The quintessential casserole ingredient! It adds the ooey-gooey to the casserole. If you like it spicy use Pepper Jack.
- Tortilla Chips: Adds more corn flavor.
- Cilantro: Adds a bright pop of color and a nice Mexican flavor.
- Sautéing: It’s most important to sauté your veggies upfront. Doing so allows veggies to release their sweeter more balanced flavors to the forefront and combats bitterness.
- Toast Your Spices: A quick toast in a hot skillet with your veggies before you add the other stuff. It’ll help perk them by up adding a vibrant burst of flavor to your dish for a more cohesive flavor profile.
- Fresh herbs: Lastly, reserve the fresh cilantro for serving. They have a milder flavor that can’t stand up to the oven heat. Sprinkling them on your casserole as it comes out of the oven gives them just enough time to summon those deeper flavors!
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? This zesty robust chicken casserole stays awesome and is ready to serve for up to 4 days in the fridge when stored properly. It’s best to let it cool completely before preparing it for storage and observe the FDA-recommended 2-hour serving rule.
- Can You Freeze This? Yes. This recipe is fantastic for meal prep. It freezes and thaws very well. Sometimes I make a double batch just so I can put one in the freezer for a rainy day. You can freeze it before or after you bake it, if it’s completely cooled. Freezing it beforehand means you should probably hold off on the sour cream and crunchy cheesy topping.
- Make-Ahead Tips: You can do a little ingredient prep to make things easier on yourself. The chicken can be pre-measured and shredded so it’s ready to go but you should probably store it separately.
- The same goes for garlic and onion. You can dice them up and store them in a container. There isn’t much else unless you want to combine the seasonings.
- Since this recipe continues to develop wild flavors as it sits in the fridge, it totally simplifies a busy schedule. You can throw it together a day or two ahead and slide it into the icebox instead of the oven. Just spread the sour cream and add the crunchy topping mixture right before you bake it.
- Food Safety: If you’d like more info on food safety check out this link.
This is delicious served with my Mexican rice, charro beans, and southwest salad! You’ll love this meal. Top it off with my margarita cake!
How To Make Mexican Chicken Casserole Recipe
- Sauté onion and garlic.
- Add seasonings.
- Stir in to combine.
- Add chicken, cream cheese, salsa, masa harina, green chiles, pinto beans, and sweet corn.
- Heat until the cream cheese is melted.
- Transfer the chicken mixture to the baking dish.
- Spread sour cream.
- Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese over chicken.
- Top with tortilla chips. Into the oven, it goes.
- Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese and continue to bake until melted and bubbly.
***See the full instructions below.
More Yummy Chicken Casseroles
- Green Chicken Enchilada
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Chicken And Rice Casserole
- Chicken Noodle Casserole
- Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
- No Peek Chicken
- Chicken Stuffing Casserole
Mexican Chicken Casserole
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded into bite sized pieces
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup salsa
- 3/4 cup masa harina
- 1 (7-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
- 1 (8.75-ounce) can sweet corn, drained
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 3 cups Monterey jack cheese
- 3 cups tortilla chips, lightly crushed
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9X13 inch with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add vegetable oil (2 tablespoons) to a large skillet and saute onion (1 medium) and garlic (2 cloves) until onion is translucent.
- Sprinkle vegetables with taco seasoning (1 envelope), cumin (1 teaspoon), salt (3/4 teaspoon), and pepper (1/4 teaspoon) then stir to combine. Add chicken (3 cups), cream cheese (8 ounces), salsa (1 cup), masa harina (3/4 cup), green chiles (1 (7-ounce) can), pinto beans (1 (15-ounce) can), and sweet corn (1 (8.75-ounce) can). Heat until cream cheese is melted.
- Transfer chicken mix to baking dish. Spread sour cream (1 1/2 cups) evenly over top of chicken. Sprinkle 1/2 the cheese over chicken then top with tortilla chips (3 cups).
- Bake in the preheated oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese and continue to bake until melted and bubbly.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Fans Also Made:
- Sautéing: It’s most important to sauté your veggies upfront. Doing so allows veggies invite their sweeter more balanced flavors to the forefront and combats bitterness.
- Toast Your Spices: A quick toast in the hot skillet with your veggies before you add the other stuff. It’ll help perk them up adding a vibrant burst of flavor to your dish for a more cohesive flavor profile.
- Fresh herbs: Lastly, reserve the fresh cilantro for serving. have a milder tendency that can’t stand up to the oven heat. Sprinkling them on your casserole as it comes out of the oven gives them just enough time to summon those deeper flavors!
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Another GREAT recipe! My husband really liked this one. I used tricolor tortilla strips for the topping and it looked very festive. I cut back on the cheese to save some calories, but won’t do that the next time. This is definitely a keeper recipe and one I’ll make again when the kids are here. Delicious!
So glad you liked this one too, Leesa! Happy hubby liked it as well. <3
Can I layer tortillas in instead of the chips on top?
Hi, Ty! Yes, you can use tortillas 😀 I recommend checking out our Chicken Tortilla Casserole for more details. Happy cooking!
Phillip Anglin says
Kid approved. Family approved. We loved it. With experience with soggy chips in a casserole, I crumbled chips on top after cooking. This dish is not hot or too spicy. I used pepper jack cheese and not hot for all. Great dish. Easy. I shredded rotisserie chicken. Used Rotel instead of salsa. Oh, and used onion/sour cream dip as that is what I had on hand. and needed to use. Family says make again.
Woot! Way to go, Philip! 😀 Glad to hear you and your fam looooved it!