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Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole

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!

Casserole dish of chicken and rice casserole with a wooden spoon scooping some of it out.

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.

That’s it! 

No additional cooking, no crazy techniques…just dump, bake, cheese coma! Perfect for busy nights.

horizontal photo of casserole dish of mexican green salsa chicken casserole

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.

Wooden spoon scooping out some chicken and rice casserole

Optional Additions:

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.

Serving Options:

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.

Beautiful photo of mexican chicken casserole with napkin and limes to the side

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.

Scoop taken out of green salsa casserole

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:

It’s a dump and bake kind of life!

Casserole dish of chicken and rice casserole with a wooden spoon scooping some of it out.
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4.70 from 20 votes

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole

A delightful cheesy Mexican-inspired chicken and rice casserole featuring tomatillo salsa verde. Put it on repeat for busy evenings!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 371kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

  • 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**

Instructions

  • 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!
    Green tomatillo salsa blended in a blender
  • 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.
    Solid ingredients for the casserole in a casserole dish
  • Stir in the salsa verde, chicken broth, and sea salt and stir well.
    Chicken broth being poured into a casserole dish with casserole ingredients
  • Similarly, stir in half (1 cup) of the grated cheese.
    Casserole ingredients in the casserole dish, ready to go into the oven.
  • 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.
    Casserole out of the oven
  • Turn your oven on the high broil setting and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is golden-brown.
    Chicken casserole out of the oven with cheese on top.
  • Serve the salsa verde chicken and rice bake with any additional toppings, such as cherry tomatoes, avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, etc.
    horizontal photo of casserole dish of mexican green salsa chicken casserole

Notes

*I use basmati white rice. Go with a long-grain white rice for best results.
**Use your favorite cheese such as cheddar, mozzarella, jack cheese, etc.
If you have leftovers, cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 6) | Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 14g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Salsa verde chicken casserole collage for pinterest
Recipe Rating




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Amber

Friday 31st of March 2023

Hi! I am planning on using cooked rotisserie chicken and wanted to know if you still bake it the same amount of time since I’ll be using cooked chicken rather than uncooked. Thanks!

Julia

Monday 3rd of April 2023

Hi Amber! Yes, you'd bake the casserole for the same amount of time because the rice still needs to cook :) Hope you enjoy! xo

Marty

Wednesday 15th of March 2023

So you do not have to pre-cook the rice? Just throw it in with all the other stuff?

Julia

Wednesday 15th of March 2023

That's correct! As long as you're using white rice, there is no need to cook the rice ahead of time :) Hope you enjoy the casserole! xo

Kyara

Tuesday 14th of June 2022

This meal was a easy to make! I had minimal dishes which is always a plus. Next time I want to try it with the basmati rice! I did make a mistake when I went to check on the dish and stir while it was in the oven, it was looking soupy, so I made a pot of rice on the side to soak it up. But once the dish was out of the oven and had rested a bit the dish was perfect! So don't be like me and trust the processes.

Julia

Wednesday 15th of June 2022

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Kyara! This is so helpful to others who are looking to make the recipe. I'm happy it all worked out and that you enjoyed it! For what it's worth, I'm the same way as you - always looking o be sure everything is going correctly, lol. Anyway, thank you for the sweet note! xoxo

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