Southwest Chicken Bake is juicy chicken breasts topped with a southwest seasoning, veggies and cheese. It takes just a few minutes to prepare and it’s a real crowd pleasing dish.
Baked chicken recipes are my go-to for easy family dinners or hosting a meal. You can elevate the flavors in so many ways. Like Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, Sheet Pan Chicken and Potatoes and Oven Baked Chicken Breasts.
This southwest chicken recipe is one of our family favorites. It’s a one pan dish that’s got juicy, tender chicken breasts covered with crisp vegetables, almost like a salad, and cheese to finish it all off.
How to make Southwest Chicken Bake
Simple ingredients and simple instructions are all you need to make this hearty, delicious meal for your family.
- Corn – You only need 1 cup and can use frozen or canned, or even fresh if you have access to it.
- Black beans – You don’t need a whole can, just about half of one. Add the remaining beans and corn to some jarred salsa and serve with some tortilla chips for a before dinner snack.
- Green pepper – Bell peppers are often used in southwest style cooking, and they add some color as well. Remove the membrane and seeds and chop it up.
- Tomatoes – I like Roma tomatoes because they aren’t super juicy. Slice and remove the seeds and pulp, then cut into strips and dice.
- Diced green chiles – for heat and flavor.
- Cilantro – This is one of those take it or leave it ingredients that you either love or hate. You can use parsley instead, but it’s nice to have some fresh herbs.
Southwest Chicken Bake Assembly
- Chicken – Two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast is roughly 4 large breasts. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and taco seasoning. You can use a packaged seasoning or make your own homemade Homemade Taco Seasoning. It’s basically the same as a southwest seasoning, but is more readily available.
- Assembly – Arrange the chicken breasts in a large casserole dish, 13×9-inches. Spoon the topping (beans, corn, peppers, tomatoes) evenly on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Cheese – I used Colby-Jack cheese because I didn’t want a sharp cheese flavor, but still something that was nice and melty. Pepper Jack for more heat, or plain Jack for something more mild.
- Bake Southwest Chicken uncovered at 375 degrees for about half an hour. If you have a digital meat thermometer on hand, check the internal temp. It should be 165 degrees. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Squeeze a little lime over the top for a burst of freshness.
What to serve with Southwest Chicken
Southwest Chicken Bake has some delicious Tex-Mex style flavor, so it will be complemented by side dishes with the same types of flavors.
I almost always serve chicken bakes with some type of rice dish, like Mexican Rice or Garlic Cilantro Lime Rice. It’s a hearty dish with a lot going on so you don’t need to add a lot of hearty sides, maybe just a Garden Salad.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- You could totally make this southwest chicken bake into a southwest chicken casserole by chopping up the chicken and combining it with some pasta and adding more cheese. Like a southwest mac and cheese.
- Make sure to pat and dry the chicken with paper towels before mixing it with the seasonings. Don’t wash it – it’s not necessary and just spreads bacteria around the kitchen.
- Temperature testing is important with chicken, especially white meat. Too low and it’s not safe to eat, and too high you have dry, rubbery chicken. You want to get it just right at 165 degrees.
Make ahead, Storage and Reheating
Make ahead – you can prep the chicken with the seasoning about a day in advance, and prep the topping as well, storing it separately.
Storage – Store leftover southwest chicken in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
Reheating – Reheat in the individual portions in the microwave, or larger portions in the oven at 350 degrees, covered with foil.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Slow Cooker Crack Chicken Sandwiches
- Kung Pao Chicken (Better than Take Out!)
- BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs
- Honey Lemon Roast Chicken
- Chicken Taco Casserole
Southwest Chicken Bake
- 2 pounds chicken breasts boneless skinless (4 medium sized)
- 1 cup black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn frozen or canned, thawed/drained
- 4 ounce canned diced green chiles
- 1 green pepper seeds and membranes removed, diced
- 2 large Roma tomatoes seeds and membranes removes, diced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- 1 cup colby jack cheese shredded or more if desired
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Set out a 13x9-inch baking dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine black beans, corn, green chiles, tomato, bell pepper and cilantro. Set aside.
- Spray the large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the chicken breasts in the dish and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and rub into both sides. Spread the black bean mixture evenly over the top, and then the cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked (165 degrees F) and the mixture is bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Additional minced cilantro can be used for garnish.