If you're a fan of hearty and flavorful meals, look no further than the Southwestern Chicken Casserole. This dish combines the rich, savory flavors of the Southwest with the comfort of a classic casserole. It's a popular choice for home cooks and healthy eaters alike, offering a satisfying meal that’s both nutritious and delicious.

Southwestern Chicken Casserole


To make this mouthwatering casserole, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
  • 1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cook the Chicken:
  • If you haven't cooked the chicken yet, you can do so by boiling or baking it until fully cooked. Once cooled, shred the chicken using two forks.
  1. Cook the Rice:
  • Prepare the brown rice according to the package instructions. Set aside.


  1. Sauté the Vegetables:
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and minced garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  1. Mix Ingredients:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, cooked rice, black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes with green chilies, sautéed vegetables, sour cream, and salsa. Mix until well combined.
  1. Season the Mixture:
  • Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper to the mixture. Stir well to ensure even seasoning.

Layering and Baking

  1. Layer the Casserole:
  • Spread half of the mixture into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese over the top.
  • Add the remaining mixture, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese evenly on top.
  1. Bake:
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Tips for Customization and Healthier Options

  • Low-Fat Cheese:
  • Use low-fat cheese to reduce the calorie content without sacrificing flavor.
  • More Vegetables:
  • Add more vegetables like zucchini, spinach, or mushrooms for added nutrition and texture.
  • Whole Grain Substitute:
  • Replace white rice with quinoa or farro for a whole-grain option.
  • Spice Level:
  • Adjust the spice level by adding more or less chili powder and hot sauce according to your preference.

Serving Suggestions and Storing Leftovers

  • Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve the Southwestern Chicken Casserole with a side of guacamole, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro for a complete meal.
  • Storing Leftovers:
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through.


The Southwestern Chicken Casserole is a versatile and flavorful dish that's perfect for any occasion. Whether you're a home cook looking to impress or a healthy eater wanting a nutritious meal, this casserole has something for everyone. Give it a try and enjoy the delightful blend of Southwest flavors!

Ready to elevate your cooking game? Share your creations with us on social media and join our community of cooking enthusiasts. Happy cooking!

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