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.
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 its one of my favorite chicken recipes ever!
Let’s bake some chicken!!
I love that this casserole recipe is chalked full of authentic Mexican flavors. Mexican recipes aren’t brag-worthy unless they’re totally chalked full of the zesty aromatic hues that represent the culture itself!
Here are some other great reasons to fall in love with this Mexican casserole.
- 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
How To Make Mexican Chicken Casserole Recipe
Get your sombrero out and let’s have some fun! Sauté those veggies (one-two), combine your ingredients (three-four) and melt the cream cheese into the mixture (Ariba)! Now fill that casserole dish and add that crunchy topping (clap, clap).
Into the oven, it goes. Tienes hambre?!
Putting together this chicken casserole is super simple but there are a few ways to help you coax out all that awesome Mexican flair! Here’s whatcha’ need to know.
It’s most important to sauté your veggies upfront. Sautéing your veggies invites their sweeter more balanced flavors to the forefront and combats bitterness.
Also, give 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.
Lastly, reserve the fresh cilantro for serving. Fresh herbs 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!
Okay, the ingredient list for this Mexican chicken looks long at first glance but its really not bad at all. I just like to be thorough and you’ve probably already got a lot of this stuff. Here we go!
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.
Spices – A zesty blend of taco seasoning, cumin, salt, and pepper help bring this recipe to life while the fresh cilantro adds a nice pop of flavor.
Bulbs – Chopped garlic and onions start this recipe off with a savory flavor profile that lends massive amounts of yum!
Veggies – Mexican green chilies, sweet corn, and salsa inject tons of vegetable variety into your casserole while keeping it wholesome and nutritious. Esto es Bueno!
Cheese – Plenty of gooey bubbling cheeses give this dish a crave-worthy quality. Using a combination of Monterey Jack and cream cheese wrap this recipe in dreamy creamy goodness.
Masa Harina – Masa Harina is a gluten-free dough flour made from corn that’s been soaked in lime water. It’s popular in Mexican cuisine and it lends a distinctive authentic flavor to your dish.
Beans – Adding a can of pinto beans increases the protein factor while offering some awesome flavor and texture. Pinto beans are also popular in Mexican cuisine.
Sour Cream – Spreading sour cream over the top of your chicken casserole before it goes into the oven creates the perfect platform for that crunchy cheesy topping.
Chips – Grab your favorite tortilla chips and go to town! You’ll be crushing them up (lightly) to create the perfect crunchy cheesy topping.
Cheesy Chicken Casserole Storing Tips
Keeping cheesy chicken casserole leftovers fresh and yummy is simple and you have options. Sometimes I like to divvy up leftovers into single-serve containers that we can grab and go for lunch.
If you want to just slide your chicken casserole into the icebox, you can do that too, but it may take up some valuable real estate. I like to lay a piece of saran wrap right on top of the casserole and tuck it around the edges a little before covering the entire thing with tin foil.
Can You Freeze This?
Absolutely! 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 the 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 with 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.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
This zesty robust chicken casserole stays awesome and 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 reserve the FDA recommended 2-hour serving rule.
Tweaking this recipe is really easy. Try tossing in your favorite veggies or playing with different types of cheeses. If you want to kick up the heat a little you can substitute a can of Rotel for the salsa.
Can I Add Broccoli?
Of course, you can! If you want to turn this casserole recipe into chicken broccoli casserole, nobody’s gonna’ fault you for it. It’s pretty darn good. My mom used to make a bang-up chicken broccoli rice casserole and it’s still one of my favorite comfort food dishes.
Can I Use Leftover Chicken?
Using leftover chicken to make your casserole adds a ton of crazy flavor. Then there’s the convenience factor. That leftover Mexican grilled chicken turns into Mexican shredded chicken with just a fork and a few quick minutes. You could even make shredded chicken casserole if you want to.
Can I Add Rice In This Recipe?
Chicken and rice casserole is a longstanding iconic favorite. It paved the way for newer tastier recipes like this amazing casserole.
Of course, you can also go with the classic cheesy chicken and rice casserole for old time’s sake. Making no peek chicken is also a fan favorite!
Can I Add Pasta?
I suppose you can add pasta to your chicken casserole if you want to. I’d make sure to cook it al dente to avoid a mushy mess. The secret to a fantastic chicken noodle casserole is perfectly cooked pasta! Even chicken spaghetti casserole starts with great pasta – luckily it ends with full tummies and smiling faces!
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 chilies
- 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. 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 chilies (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:
I love Mexican recipes just like the rest of the population. They’re bold, vibrant and full-flavored beyond belief. These recipes are also great for cozy weekend dinners with the fam or feeding a friendly crowd.
Plus, there are just so many awesome flavors to choose from. Here are some you may enjoy.
- Chicken Fajitas – Smoky peppered spices, garlic, and grilled veggies couldn’t be better.
- Chicken Burrito Bowl – All the awesome burrito flavors we love in a neat little bowl.
- Arroz Con Pollo – Deliciously paella inspired cuisine that’s really easy to make.
- Chicken Verde – Guests will be green with envy over this recipe!
- Chicken Empanadas – Tasty chicken filling in an irresistible golden flaky crust.
Making Mexican chicken casserole brings the essence of authentic Mexican inspired cuisine right to your dinner table. This recipe is wholesome and simple with a robust flavor profile and lots of flexibility. Bring your bibs, my friends – because you’re gonna’ need them!
This is indulgent homemade Mexican food full of fragrant spices and lots of dreamy creamy cheeses. It’s definitely one for the books!