Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole

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    Bold flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine combined in this classic chicken and rice casserole make for an easy choice for weeknight dinner!

    Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole

    Bold flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine combined in this classic chicken and rice casserole make for an easy choice for weeknight dinner!

    This recipe is special to me because one, it was one of the first recipes I decided to post on the blog back in May 2011 and two, this Tex-Mex chicken and rice casserole recipe got me through a lot of college evenings.

    In fact, I would go as far as to say that it got me and my roommates through a lot of evenings.

    I would make this Tex-Mex chicken and rice casserole often because it fed a decent amount, it was flavorful, and the ingredients were fairly budget-friendly for college students.

    And it was still basically considered a homemade meal!

    So this Tex-Mex chicken and rice casserole definitely has a lot of memories tied to it and now I pass this recipe to you so you can create your own memories with it!

    Bold flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine combined in this classic chicken and rice casserole make for an easy choice for weeknight dinner!

    How to make Tex-Mex chicken and rice casserole

    It may seem like a lot of steps but it really isn’t.

    It’s almost kind of one pot on the stove then you put it into the casserole dish.

    I would go as far as to say that if you have a dutch oven, you could technically make everything in there and put it in the oven that way.

    Even better, if you have a large skillet that is oven-safe, you could do without the casserole dish.

    Tips for making Tex-Mex chicken and rice casserole a success

    You can’t mess this up! Casserole dishes are very forgiving and you can tweak to your own tastes.

    If you find that your rice isn’t cooked through all the way or something isn’t cooked through completely, just keep it in the oven a little longer but it should be cooked through with the high temperature and amount of time in the oven.

    Bold flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine combined in this classic chicken and rice casserole make for an easy choice for weeknight dinner!

    What if I can’t find the box of chicken flavored rice and vermicelli?

    To be honest, I’ve never had a problem finding it and I wouldn’t really know what to substitute it with if you can’t find it.

    If you’re in the boxed rice section, you could probably find a similar flavor or kind that you could substitute in.

    Or, maybe you could do plain box of rice and then put a chicken bouillon cube into the mixture and that would give it similar flavors.

    Can I use chicken thighs instead?

    Yes! I highly recommend chicken breasts over thighs.

    Bold flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine combined in this classic chicken and rice casserole make for an easy choice for weeknight dinner!

    Can I make this with another protein?

    Ground beef would be a good option or ground turkey.

    What toppings could be used when serving?

    Salsa, diced avocados, a squeeze of lime…so many possibilities!

    Bold flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine combined in this classic chicken and rice casserole make for an easy choice for weeknight dinner!

    Other casserole recipes you may enjoy:

    Enchilada pasta casserole

    Easiest three-cheese mac ‘n cheese

    Creamy Swedish meatball pasta bake

    Broccoli, rice, and chicken casserole

    Bold flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine combined in this classic chicken and rice casserole make for an easy choice for weeknight dinner! #casserolerecipe #casseroles #onepot #chickenandrice #texmex
    5 from 1 vote
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    Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole

    A tasty twist on a classic casserole! This Tex-Mex chicken and rice casserole has got bold flavors and is incredibly easy to put together!
    Prep Time: 25 mins
    Cook Time: 25 mins
    Total Time: 50 mins
    Course: Dinner
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 6
    Calories: 302kcal
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    Ingredients

    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 1: 6.9 ounce box of chicken flavored rice & vermicelli
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 1 3/4 cups water
    • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
    • 1: 15 ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
    • 1: 4.5 ounce can of chopped green chiles
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Mexican blend shredded cheese
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside a 9×13" oven-safe casserole dish and lightly spray it with cooking spray.
    • In a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat, add cooking oil and once heated, add the onions. Cook until tender.
    • Pour in the box of rice and vermicelli, including the seasoning packet.
    • Stir for two minutes then pour in the chicken broth and water.
    • Bring to a boil then bring down to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes.
    • After the rice mixture has cooked for 20 minutes (note: not all the liquid will have cooked away, it finishes in the oven), add in the chicken. It's okay it doesn't cook all the way through as it finishes up in the oven.
    • Remove from heat and add diced tomatoes, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir together.
    • CAREFULLY pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.
    • Bake for 25 minutes, covered, then uncover the casserole and sprinkle cheese on top and let it melt.
    • After removing from oven, let sit for 10-15 minutes. The waiting time is crucial because the liquid will continue to absorb into the rice and the casserole will have a thicker consistency.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole
    Amount Per Serving (1 Serving)
    Calories 302 Calories from Fat 36
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 4g6%
    Carbohydrates 41g14%
    Fiber 2g8%
    Sugar 4g4%
    Protein 26g52%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

    Photos by Jesse Reilly

  • 10 Comments
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    Comments

  • Miranda says:

    Do you drain the tomato and green chilies?

    • Julie says:

      No, I didn’t.

  • JenJ says:

    Yes please *chom8*

    • JenJ says:

      *chomp* stupid keyboard LOL!!!!!

  • Ellie says:

    How long do you cook chicken after adding it to rice mixture – before removing from heat and adding tomatoes, green chiles and spices?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      You don’t have to cook it; you put the entire mixture in the oven for 25 minutes and the chicken cooks then.

  • Susan says:

    So, you do drain the Chili’s and tomato’s?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      i didn’t drain them

  • Maxine Bol says:

    Julie,
    It was very very tasty!!! But mine came out a bit liquidy.

  • Merideth Girardi says:

    This recipe is so good that I have ordered groceries from four different places trying to find the rice a roni to make it but they are all sold out due to the coronavirus!! Highly recommend once you can find it again!

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