Fiesta Chicken Casserole

30 minutes, no pre-cooking required!

Casserole is the quintessential comfort food. I don’t know whether it’s because you get a hot and bubbly complete meal out of one dish or because they tend to be not so light-handed on the carbs and the cheese, but they just have a way of warming you right up. This Fiesta Chicken Casserole is no different – it has a zesty kind of comfort that’s easy to love, but the quick preparation time wins some major points as well.

One thing that’s so great about casserole is that it’s more or less a one-dish dinner, which is why I tend to favor ones that don’t have a lot of prep involved. What’s the benefit of pulling a complete meal out of the oven if you first have to chop and sautee and boil a bunch of stuff? This one is more of a “dump and bake” operation. While it does require pre-cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie anyone?), you don’t even have to boil the rice ahead of time.

You just stir together the ingredients – some instant rice, chicken, Ro-Tel, black beans, corn, sour cream, and of course some cheese – and season it with a generous amount of taco seasoning, before covering the dish with foil and putting into a hot oven.

Thirty minutes in there and you’ve got a zesty and comforting meal to sit down to! There’s so little work to be done here (as in, little more than stirring ingredients together) and yet you still end up with a creamy, delicious filling meal. It’s a bake that’s totally worth throwing a fiesta over.

Fiesta Chicken Casserole

Serves 6; 30 minutes

Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 (10 oz) can Ro-tel, do not drain
  • 1 cup instant rice
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated and divided
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, Ro-Tel, rice, 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, milk, corn, and black beans.
  3. Pour mixture into baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly, 5-10 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups.