Mexican Chicken Casserole

This Mexican Chicken Casserole is one of our favorite easy recipes for Cinco de Mayo or any busy weeknight. It has layers of tortilla chips, creamy chicken, salsa, black beans, green chiles, fresh tomatoes and lots of cheese!

This dish is fantastic served with a side of Cilantro Lime Rice and Homemade Flour Tortillas. Sometimes I’ll add a garden salad on the side for some fresh veggies.  For more Mexican inspired recipes, try our famous Homemade Taquitos and Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas.

A plate filled with Mexican Chicken Casserole, rice, and corn.

We went to a birthday party a couple of weeks ago and my friend made this awesome casserole. I had two helpings. I hadn’t eaten breakfast, and it was really, really good. Don’t judge me.

When I went home, I immediately wanted to make it again! I followed the base recipe, but made some changes. It’s the perfect main dish for Fiesta night – just serve with your favorite Mexican side dishes, like my Mexican Rice or Slow Cooker Mexican Beans.

yellow casserole dish with blue and red flower, melted cheese and green onions, tomatoes

How to Make a Simple Mexican Chicken Casserole

Chicken Casserole recipes are perfect for busy weeknights because they can be so easy to whip up. The layers of flavors of this Mexican inspired dinner are simple yet incredibly tasty, and you can even serve this with tortilla chips for a delicious appetizer.

yellow casserole dish with blue and red flowers, creamy chicken casserole, melted cheese, tomatoes, black beans, green onions

What ingredients are in Mexican Chicken Casserole?

This Mexican Chicken Casserole only needs a few ingredients that you likely already have on hand:

  • Shredded or cubed chicken breasts – Try my Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe or make enough Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken to make enough to have on hand at all times. You can also whip up some flavorful Oven Baked Chicken Breasts (try them with taco seasoning instead!).
  • Salsa – your favorite brand is fine. As long as you like the flavor it will work great in this recipe.
  • Cream cheese – you only need 4 ounces, which is half of a brick of cream cheese. Make sure to buy the brick style and not the whipped. Also you want full fat for full flavor, trust me on this.
  • Diced green chiles – I only use half of the 4 ounce can because I don’t like things really spicy. You can use the who can if you want a little more kick.
  • Black Beans – pinto beans would be an easy swap for these if it’s what you have on hand. Again you only need half of the 15-ounce can. You can add them all if you want to bulk up the meal a little bit.
  • Sour cream – Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute.
  • Tomato – one medium to large sized ripe, red tomato. I prefer Roma tomatoes because they have a lot less juice, but you can use any tomato you can get your hands on. If you have extra, dice some up for a garnish.
  • Green onions – thinly sliced. Save some for garnish.
  • Shredded cheese – Shred yourself from a fresh block of cheddar. The taste is so much better than pre-shredded, and it melts better too.
  • Tortilla chips – This is a perfect time to use up those crumbs and broken pieces at the bottom of the bag.

Assemble and Bake

This delicious Mexican Chicken Casserole is easily assembled in layers, and takes just about 10-15 minutes of prep.

  1. Prep. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. You’ll want to also grease an 8 or 9-inch inch baking dish. You can use any shape – I like the oval – you just need it to be about 2 quarts in size.
  2. Cut up the chicken. Since the chicken is already cooked, just shred or cube the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. If you’re making this chicken casserole as a meal, I recommend cutting the chicken into cubes. As an appetizer, go the shredded route.
  3. Mix ingredients. Combine the cream cheese and salsa with the chicken until smooth and creamy over low heat in a large pan on the stove. Remove from the pan and stir in the black beans and green chiles. If you want to add a little more flavor, add a tablespoon of taco seasoning or garlic powder.
  4. Casserole Assembly: Layer crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of the baking dish, then the chicken mixture evenly. Next, layer sour cream, diced tomatoes, green onions and shredded cheese.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve as a meal with your favorite sides, or as a dip with tortilla chips.

collage of images showing the steps for making mexican chicken casserole

Mexican Casserole Tips and Tricks

Want to make this meal your own? This chicken casserole recipe is easy to customize!

  • For an element of crunch and texture, add a handful of crushed tortilla chips on top before baking.
  • Not a fan of black beans? Swap them out for pinto beans, or leave them out altogether and spread a layer of refried beans on top of the chicken mixture in the pan.
  • Play around with your favorite cheeses. Cheddar and Jack are my favorites for this recipe, but you could use and favorite melty cheese, like Fontina, Mozzarella, or Pepper Jack for a little heat. Add some crumbled Cotija cheese on top after baking for a Mexican flair.
  • Amp up the heat with some diced jalapeños in place of the green chiles.
  • Try some Doritos or another flavored chip instead of tortilla chips.

Make Ahead, Storage and Freezing

This is a great meal to take to a family in need! You can prep or fully bake ahead of time, and it travels well. Just make sure to include instructions for baking.

Can this casserole be made ahead of time? This recipe is a great make ahead option! Assemble the casserole and don’t bake it. Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Remove from the fridge while the oven is preheated, remove the foil and bake as directed.

How to store: Cool completely then cover and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat small portions in the microwave or larger portions in the oven.

Can I freeze it? Yes! This casserole will actually freeze really well baked or unbaked. Assemble the layers and just don’t bake it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. The double layer helps to prevent freezer burn. For a fully baked casserole, cool completely before covering and freezing. Thaw overnight in the fridge and set out while the oven is preheating and bake as directed. If already fully baked, just bake until warmed through.

fork with chicken black beans and creamy sauce, casserole serving on a black plate, green onions, tomatoes, mexican rice

More Casserole Recipes to Love

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A plate filled with Mexican Chicken Casserole, rice, and corn.

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Mexican Chicken Casserole is one of our favorite dinners, with layers of tortilla chips, creamy chicken, salsa, beans, and cheese!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 567kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded about 2 cups
  • 1 cup salsa your favorite
  • 4 ounces cream cheese ½ cup
  • 2 ounces canned diced green chiles half of a 4-ounce can; use the whole can for more kick
  • 7.5 ounces canned black beans half a 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 medium sized tomato diced
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar/jack cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8" square or round dish.
  • Place cooked chicken in a saute pan, add salsa and cream cheese and heat through until cream cheese is melted.
  • Add black beans and green chiles and heat through.
  • Layer ingredients in your prepared dish as follows: Crushed tortilla chips, Chicken mixture, Sour cream, Tomatoes, Green Onions, Cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with sliced green onions or cilantro and fresh tomato.

Notes

For the chicken, you can use shredded meat from a rotisserie or use any of our preferred methods:
Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking - more black beans or green chiles, more/less cheese, greek yogurt for sour cream, etc.

Nutrition

Calories: 567kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 42gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 918mgPotassium: 675mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1233IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 422mgIron: 3mg
Keyword mexican chicken casserole

 

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Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. OMG, what a cass., proud of you pretty woman! Thx a bunch! So happy I found you! Bless you and yours!!!

  2. I use cream of chicken soup instead of cream cheese, and add green peppers/onions.
    I save the sour cream to put on the top after it’s served.

  3. We’ve made this a few times with different variations and it always turns out great! I like to add some onion and peppers to the chicken mixture.

  4. I made this, but it was just OK. The sour cream, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese was overwhelming for a main dish. I brought out a bag of chips and we used it as a dip instead of our main meal. This is basically a nachos topping, not a main dish.

    1. I appreciate your honest feedback. Everyone has different tastes. I love this as a dip, which I talked about in the post. However it can totally be a main dish, too.

  5. Great recipe our social club really enjoyed it with taco scoops. Could you please give me the nutritional information.

    1. Hi Sylvia, I’ve updated the post with some nutritional information. Please keep in mind that I am not a nutritionist or dietitian and all nutritional info is approximate. The serving size will vary based on how you’re serving the dish (dinner meal versus appetizer).

    1. Love this recipe! We use it quite often. I double the carrots and celery and add minced onion flakes to it and use Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice. After a couple hours check it to see if it needs a little bit more water added.

  6. Hi, looking forward to trying this recipe tonight. Super stoked. I don’t have green onion but hopefully purple onion works. Seems simple enough even for me. 🙂

    1. If you don’t mind the flavor of raw purple onion, then it’s a totally fine swap. It won’t cook enough in the casserole. I’d recommend sauteeing the onions first to soften them.

  7. Hi Looking forward to using trying this recipe for a party. I do not see on this recipe how many it serves. 6? 8? Thanks

  8. Excited to try this recipe for an upcoming party. Can you tell me how many this serves? I don’t see that info in the recipe

    1. Hi Tina, thanks for your comment. We have been working on updating the recipes to include the nutritional content.

  9. I don’t often print off a recipe to make again, but this one is going into my recipe notebook. Thanks for this yummy and fresh idea!

  10. I’m not much of a casserole maker but I made this for dinner and it was delicious and easy. I have to avoid gluten and it is hard to find gluten-free casserole recipes. I wasn’t sure if I would like the fresh tomatoes in this but they were like fresh, tasty jewels in this dish. I did add about a teaspoon of cumin in the cream cheese mixture and it added a nice flavor. I, also, had a ripe avocado, so I sliced it up and put it on top of the hot casserole. This will be in my go-to warm and comforting regular recipes from now on. Thank you!

  11. I was searching for a chicken casserole that wouldn’t be too expensive AND easy to make. I ran across the “Mexican Chicken Casserole”. I adore Mexican food and this recipe was a win~win!!
    I do have to wait to buy the necessary ingredients but I do have chicken in the fridge. Can’t wait to taste this recipe and I will post my “taste test” outcome after my meal.
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!

    1. You are so welcome Kay Y~H Thorson, thank you so much for taking the time to leave some positive feedback. yes, please let us know.

  12. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Love the ingredients and am sure my family will enjoy it. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

      1. Thank you for the recipe! I didn’t have enough salsa so I added a can of Rotel and a package of taco seasoning too. What a yummy recipe!

  13. This is so easy and delicious. I did it without the tortilla chips though. Thank you so much for an amazingly flavorful casserole

  14. Made this exactly as the recipe states and wow! Best Mexican casserole I’ve had in a long time! The fresh tomato and green onion added so much depth of flavor! This is definitely going to be added to our rotation. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I made this today with minor substitutions due to what I had –white onion instead of green, no green chiles, canned petite diced tomatoes (well drained), added 1/2 pkg taco seasoning to my cooked chicken, and took the suggestion to add some crushed tortilla chips on top before baking for crunch.

    Also, I served it with additional toppings: fresh chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream, diced onion, black olives, and taco sauce. This turned out amazing and people can customize it to their own tastes. Total win!!

  16. I made this but added taco seasoning and put torn up tortillas on the bottom instead of chips, and it was good — but really soupy. Wonder what I could’ve done different to prevent that from happening?

    1. I’ve always made mine with tortilla chips and it’s never come out soupy. Perhaps the tortillas are the difference?

  17. Made this. Used Ranch Style beans and rotes bc all I had in hand. It was really good. Hubs loved it

  18. This is such an easy and quick meal to make. My family and friends love it! It’s a staple meal in my household now.

  19. Made this recipe for Mexican night at church. it was quick and easy. I already had cooked chicken frozen and a lot of the ingredients on hand. I didn’t have the green onion or a fresh tomato so i substituted Rotel thinking that would get it the tomato and peppers. I also added about 1/2 package taco seasoning because i thought it might not have that mexican flavoring without it. This was just an OK recipe. Even adding the extra taco seasoning it was bland. I would add more taco seasoning if i made again and probably leave the chips out.

  20. I Sauteed chicken, sprinkled with some old bay, and a half an onion and half a green pepper. Used a layer of white rice on the bottom instead of chips. Used pinto beans instead of black beans. added a few shakes of tobasco sauce to the mix before I layered. Taco cheese on top.

  21. I had a recipe –can’t find it, that had red and yellow bell peppers, black beans, broth, salsa, chicken and a finely diced pablon0 pepper. With the bell peppers it adds a lot of color.. Sometimes left out pablano and used green chilies. Will use your recipe and toss in some diced sautéed bell peppers and onions.

    1. I think you could with ground beef! But you’d want it to be really lean and drain it really well to avoid it getting too greasy.

  22. Didn’t seem special when I was putting it together, but after baking, the flavors all changed. And yum!!!! Will definitely make this again!

  23. Made this for dinner last night. Turned out amazing and delicious. Brought some for lunch for me and my co-worker today. He liked it so much he washed MY dish too!

  24. Hey Kristin! Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe. I made this last night, I had to modify to what I had – used thighs, only 1 cup of shredded cheese, and 8×8 square dish. Added 3 more green onions cause that’s how I roll. I guess I overlooked the recipe for boiling the chicken but I diced it up, tossed it with veg oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and pan cooked it. This was a fast dinner and so freaking good! I can’t thank you enough for sharing! I will warn everyone this recipe is dangerously delicious. I don’t usually eat a lot for dinner but this recipe is so yummy I ate 2 helpings and my kid’s leftovers after I was already stuffed… and I’m not even embarrassed, it was so good! I look forward to trying some of your other recipes. You are so talented!

  25. My family really enjoyed this Mexican Casserole!! Easy to put together… I cooked the chicken in the microwave and it was a little dry… or try another cooking method for the chicken:(

  26. Kristin, this is a great recipe. Didn’t change a thing and it was delicious! Will make it again and again! Thanks for posting. @cantstopcooking

  27. Made this for dinner last night. My wife and I loved it. Substituted greek yogurt for the sour cream to make it a little less rich. Could not tell the difference.

  28. Recipe needs a few more details:
    1) state chicken to be cooked ahead of time
    2) state how many servings and how long it takes total
    3) state how to prepare pan and pan capacity, square and round 8” pans are different capacity – I used 2 qt pan – too small
    4) cream cheese is measured by weight, not volume – state how many ounces to use

    1. You should read through the recipe before you make anything. It states cooked chicken. She’s a busy mom so one would think this is a quick recipe. Spray the pan with cooking spray or butter it. She said an 8 inch square or round pan, not a 2 quart pan. 1/2 cup equals 4 ounces. Serving size depends on you and anything else you serve with it. Sheesh, you need a Snickers bar!

      1. For real she did a great job on the recipe! If you some how manage to mess this up don’t blame her! Just be nice tell her thanks and move on

    2. I want to make this tonite. I wish that you would have stated how many servings this recipes serves. I like to have plenty of leftovers for the next day. Maybe double the recipe.

  29. I seasoned my chicken with taco season and sauteed it. I get my skillet rather warm on med high, coat it with butter and brown the outside of the chicken. Just a minute or two on each side. I then reduced heat to low and cover with a lid. I then let the chicken just barely simmer until it starts to fall apart to touch. The chicken is amazingly juicy and tender. I also used rotel tomatoes because there isn’t much of a selection of green chillies here. My chicken mixture ended up being slightly juicier than I wanted to put on the chips so I added a 1/2 to 1 cup of rice into my chicken, cream cheese, and salsa mixture which made for a nice taste and texture for the casserole. I would assume that if one added too much rice the dish would become too dry so be careful. Tasty and easy dish to fix.

  30. I’m assuming that the chicken in the Mexican chicken casserole is cooked prior to baking. Is that correct?

  31. I made this with rotisserie chicken…and added pico de gellio. It is fabulous! Definitely going to be making it again!

  32. Made this a couple of nights ago. It was yummy, but next time I think I’ll use hot salsa for a little more flavor, and add corn as well. Jalapeños on top was a nice addition.

  33. I. Made this tonight, it was delicious, only I used rotell tomatoes because it already has green Chile and tomatoes.Everyone loved it,thanks!!!

  34. I’m from Belgium and made this for our American-Mexican friends and we LOVED it all!!!
    Thank you for sharing!!!

  35. Do we rinse and drain the black beans or just put them straight in from the can? And have you ever tried using a rotisserie chicken before…in case I am feeling extra lazy haha?

  36. My husband and I are Empty Nester’s and I love to try out new recipes on him. I made this tonight for dinner and we both loved it! It is definitely going to be a top contender for casserole recipes at our house! It was delicious and so easy!

  37. made this tonight without the chips (didn’t have on hand ) everyone thought it was great will make again

  38. This is my favorite recipe on Pinterest! I don’t use the green chilies or green onions. I kinda but my own touch on it and it’s fabulous!! Thanks

  39. Hiya, I was just wondering if this would be possible to do in a slow cooker ??? If so what do I need to change and how much more liquid do I need to add???? Also how many people does it serve??? Thank very much, it looks gorg by the way !!!! xoxoxo

  40. I’ve made this several times and my family liked it. Do you think it would freeze well? Or would the chips get too soggy?

  41. Several weeks ago I took this to a neighbor as a thank you for cleaning up the mess in my yard after a tree fell during an ice storm. I’m still hearing about how good it was. My own kids love it so I’m making it again tomorrow for my son’s church youth group Cinco de Mayo party.

    You mentioned three meals, one bag o’ chicken. I’d love to have the other two recipes Thanks!

  42. I made this a few nights ago and it was DELICIOUS! I thought it needed a extra “kick” (we like things spicy), so I added a couple shakes of cayenne, cumin, and paprika to the chicken mixture when it was in the saute pan. So happy we found this recipe!! Thanks.

    1. No, it does not get soggy. For me it did not. they love it as left overs for the next day.

  43. Ummm, can we say delicious? And I pinned the pic of the finished casserole because it was so pretty! Looked like it was from a magazine!

  44. This looks and sounds absolutely fabulous! Must try!
    I’m assuming this recipe is using cooked chicken (the stuff you boiled earlier)?
    Thanks!

  45. Yum! This sounds so wonderful. I think I have all of the ingredients but the chips here, and I am going to try this for suppper tonight. High five to you!