Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole features tomatillo salsa, bell pepper, and corn for a flavorful, comforting meal. This easy casserole recipe is a wonderful weeknight staple!
Oh, hello casserole of everyone’s dreams!
This Mexican-inspired cheesy delightful chicken and rice casserole is packed with big flavors, plenty of cheese, and all sorts of fresh flavors to keep anyone coming back for more.
It’s a something for everyone kind of affair.
Plus, it is just so incredibly easy to make! Zero cooking experience required here.
There is often some sautéing or pre-cooking required with casserole recipes. Not with this one!
This is a dump and go casserole recipe in the sense that all we do is add every last ingredient to a casserole dish in no particular order and then bake the dang thing until it’s nice and gooey and thick and delicious.
No additional cooking, no crazy techniques…just dump, bake, cheese coma! Perfect for busy nights.
The recipe itself is also versatile in the sense that you can change up the salsa selection and vegetable add-ins according to your personal palate.
Let’s discuss the ingredients for this tasty Mexican casserole recipe.
Ingredients for Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole:
Salsa Verde: Homemade Easy Salsa Verde is the true star of the show here, as it is responsible for the bulk of the flavor in this amazing casserole recipe.
If you don’t have time to make the homemade salsa verde yourself, feel free to use your favorite store-bought green salsa.
Chicken Broth: A crucial ingredient for ensuring the rice cooks to perfection, we use chicken stock as the liquid for the rice to absorb and also to add flavor.
Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs get chopped up and added to the rice casserole for some delicious protein. Use cooked leftover chicken or leftover rotisserie chicken to keep it even easier.
Because this chicken and rice casserole has a nice balance of carbs, fat, and protein, it is a filling comfort food ideal for any evening you’re in the mood for something cozy.
Rice: White rice brings starchy thickness to this comforting casserole recipe. We use uncooked dry white rice, as it cooks during the baking process and soaks up the liquid.
I don’t recommend swapping it for brown rice, as brown rice takes longer to cook and often turns out undercooked in applications like this. I use basmati rice, but any long-grain varietal will work.
Veggies: Bell pepper, garlic, and corn are the veggies of choice here. Because the tomatillo salsa already has onion and garlic in it, I don’t add more onion but you certainly can if you’re an onion lover!
Cheese: The ingredient that makes any recipe go viral. Cheese is here to make you drool and make this casserole extra enticing!
Colby Jack Cheese is my cheese of choice for casseroles like this, as it is a combination of cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. Use any of your favorite melting cheeses! Classic cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, or pepper jack are great here too.
Sea Salt & Chili Powder: Leveling up the flavor of the casserole, we add sea salt and chili powder. If you’re using chicken broth that is not low-sodium, go lighter on the salt, as some brands of chicken broth are already fairly salty.
Feel free to change up this chicken and rice casserole recipe to your heart’s delight for an easy dinner that you can put on regular rotation!
You can add one can of black beans, pinto beans, or garbanzo beans (simply drain it first and dump it in with the rest of the ingredients). In addition, toss in any fresh veggies you love. Broccoli or spinach are great options for hiding some veggies.
For an even creamier adventure, break up 4 ounces of cream cheese and stir it in. You can also add additional green chilies, garlic powder, red salsa, and more.
Use cauliflower rice in place of regular rice for a low carb version. If taking this route, reduce the liquid to 3/4 cup and add two beaten eggs.
Switch up the salsa selection according to what you love. Any tomato salsa, red chili salsa, or even a sweet fruit salsa will work.
Serve the chicken and rice casserole with your choice of toppings! I like cherry tomatoes, avocado, green onions, fresh cilantro and lime wedges. You can also serve this salsa verde chicken recipe with hot sauce, additional salsa, sour cream, etc.
How to Make Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole:
Prepare the Salsa Verde up to 5 days in advance if you’re making it homemade. If not, use store-bought green tomatillo salsa and proceed forth!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add the bell peppers, garlic, chopped chicken, chili powder, white rice, and corn to a large (13” x 9”) casserole dish or baking dish.
Stir in the salsa verde, chicken broth, and sea salt and stir well. Similarly, stir in half (1 cup) of the grated cheese.
Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, give everything a stir, then sprinkle with the remaining (1 cup) of grated cheese.
Turn your oven on the high broil setting and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is golden-brown.
Serve the salsa verde chicken and rice bake with any additional toppings, such as cherry tomatoes, avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, etc.
If you have leftovers, cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
You can also store leftovers in an airtight container.
The amazing thing about casseroles is they always taste better the next day, or the next few days.
In this sense, you can always make this chicken casserole recipe days in advance and also enjoy it for days on end.
And that’s it! Cheesy Chicken, a flavorful easy recipe and one-pot meal that the whole family can enjoy!
If you love the concept of this meal, also check out my Turkey Black Bean Enchilada Skillet.
More Amazing Mexican Food Recipes:
- Instant Pot Carnitas
- Small Batch Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
- Crock Pot Carnitas Burrito Bowls
- Instant Pot Chile Colorado
- Crock Pot Barbacoa Beef Tacos
- Instant Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
It’s a dump and bake kind of life!
Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 to 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup uncooked white rice*
- 1 cup frozen fresh, or canned corn
- 1 ¼ cups salsa verde
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp sea salt to taste
- 2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese divided**
- Prepare the Salsa Verde up to 5 days in advance if you're making it homemade. If not, use store-bought green tomatillo salsa and proceed forth!
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the bell peppers, garlic, chopped chicken, chili powder, white rice, and corn to a large (13” x 9”) casserole dish or baking dish.
- Stir in the salsa verde, chicken broth, and sea salt and stir well.
- Similarly, stir in half (1 cup) of the grated cheese.
- Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, give everything a stir, then sprinkle with the remaining (1 cup) of grated cheese.
- Turn your oven on the high broil setting and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is golden-brown.
- Serve the salsa verde chicken and rice bake with any additional toppings, such as cherry tomatoes, avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, etc.
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