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This casserole combines some of the best aspects of Mexican food. There’s no tortilla chips or tacos, true, but in one dish you get savory refried beans and rice, zesty enchilada sauce and hearty chicken, and plenty of ooey-gooey melty cheese. It’s easy to make, but even easier to enjoy and it goes well with any of your favorites toppings, so bring on the salsa, sour cream, and cilantro!

This is an ideal dish to make if you happen to have leftover chicken and rice in the fridge because you’re really just dressing up those ingredients by stirring a few things together. Refried beans, enchilada sauce, and some shredded cheese turn those basic ingredients into something zesty and comforting.

That’s the base of the dish, but a topping of corn kernels adds a contrasting pop of sweetness and a blanket of more melty cheese tops it off.

In other words, it’s everything you want from a casserole – it’s easy to make, it’s filling and comforting (thanks to the hearty rice base), and plenty cheesy but not overwhelmingly so.

Serves 6

10m prep time

30m cook time

  • 6 cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (about 3 breasts)
  • 1 (20 oz) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 (16 oz) can refried beans
  • 1 (11 oz) can corn, drained
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving (optional)
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. To a large bowl, add the chicken, enchilada sauce, refried beans, and half of the cheese. Add rice and some salt and pepper. Stir together thoroughly and pour into a baking dish.
  3. Top with corn and remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly and lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with sour cream and chopped cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Nums The Word.