Salsa Chicken Casserole

$8.58 recipe / $1.43 serving

I’m still all about these easy, one dish dinners. This one is very similar to the ultra popular Taco Chicken Bowls, but it’s made in the oven and takes about an hour, as opposed to eight in a slow cooker. The directions go something like this: dump, stir, cover, cook, eat, be happy.

One little jar of salsa adds so much flavor to this dish that I almost feel like it’s cheating and the little bit of cheddar on top really made it rich and satisfying. Next time I might even try a little dollop of sour cream! Either way, this recipe was a no brainer to make and a definite tummy pleaser!

I used a couple Budget Bytes tricks to make it more affordable. As usual, I used reconstituted bouillon for the broth instead of canned chicken broth. I’ve also been buying big 2lb. bags of shredded cheese and then dividing them into four freezer bags (2 cups each, the same size as normal bags of shredded cheese) and this really saves me a lot. Then there’s the chicken. I still only buy my chicken breasts on sale. I can usually get them for $1.99/lb. (sometimes less!) if I really keep an eye out. I know not everyone will be able to find this deal, but it’s worth mentioning and looking out for!

Salsa Chicken Casserole

Salsa Chicken Casserole

4.8 from 58 reviews
salsa chicken casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $8.58
Cost Per Serving: $1.43
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup uncooked rice $0.33
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed) $0.52
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans $1.39
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar salsa $1.99
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.15
  • ½ Tbsp chili powder $0.10
  • ½ tsp oregano $0.03
  • 2 large (1.5 lbs.) chicken breasts $2.99
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.94
  • 2 whole green onions, sliced $0.17
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain and briefly rinse the black beans. Add the dry rice, black beans, corn, salsa, chicken broth, chili powder, and oregano to an 8×8 inch casserole dish. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into three pieces each. Push the chicken pieces down into the rice salsa mixture in the casserole dish. Try to push them down as far into the liquid as they’ll go. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil. Bake for one hour.
  3. Take the casserole dish out of the oven, test the rice with a fork to make sure it is tender. If it is not, recover the dish, return it to the oven, and bake for 10-15 minutes more. When the rice is tender, sprinkle the cheese over top and return the casserole to the oven for a few minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Add the sliced green onions on top after baking and serve hot.
If your chicken and frozen corn are still partially frozen, the casserole will take longer to cook. So, make sure they’re both thawed before hand.

Salsa Chicken Casserole

Step By Step Photos

dumpAdd the rice, beans, corn, and salsa to an 8×8 casserole dish. BUT, drain and rinse the beans first and thaw the corn first. I didn’t thaw my corn and it slowed my casserole down.

seasoningAdd a cup of chicken broth to give the rice enough liquid to cook in (it will also get some liquid from the salsa). I decided after the fact to add a little extra chili powder and oregano, but you don’t have to stir the other ingredients together first. Stir those spices right in.

chickenCut each chicken breast into three pieces. My chicken was still partially frozen (I forgot to put it in the fridge the night before). If it was completely thawed, I would have flattened these pieces out a little bit more.

nestle chickenPush the chicken pieces down into the rice mixture – probably more so than I did here (I learn as I go, too).

bakeCover the casserole dish tightly with foil to hold all the steam in, and bake it in a preheated 375 degree oven for one hour. After an hour, use a fork to test some of the rice and make sure that it’s tender. If it’s not, simply recover the dish and bake a little bit longer (10-15 minutes). If your chicken and corn were thawed (unlike mine), you probably won’t need to put it back in the oven.

cheese onionsOnce you know the rice is fully cooked, sprinkle some cheese over top and pop it back in the oven for just a few more minutes to melt the cheese. Then, when it comes out, add the sliced green onions on top. The end!

closerWant to look closer? Why not! nom.

Salsa Chicken CasseroleEasy dinners make me happy.


  1. kanza khan says:

    made this for dinner tonight and loved it. i am really interested in your baking recipes. its the step by step pictures which make me visit your blog so often.

  2. Eric says:

    I really enjoyed this recipe. Simple and easy and good comfort food. The rice needed a little extra time but nothing crazy. I want to make this again but i want to try boneless skinless chicken thighs, would it work with the same oven time?

  3. Linda says:

    I sprayed a 9×13 pan with Pam. Put cut up chicken in the bottom of the pan. Placed 2C of cooked rice, 1 can of retried beans, 2C salsa & 1C of chicken broth in a large bowl. Stirred mixture & poured it over chicken. Baked for 1 1/2hr. Tasted great.

  4. Melissa says:

    Only stopping eating this to say it is wonderful! And its so easy. We are a family of 5 until baby kraken starts to eat table food so I upped it a bit. 8 chunks chicken,1.5 cups rice,1.5 broth,1.5 salsa, 1.5 corn, kept the beans and spices same and added a half TBSP garlic powder. In a 9×13 pan and cooked for 70 minutes before cheese stage. Its awesome its perfect and it was easy. Thank you for this recipe!

  5. Tera says:

    This meal turned out awesome ! I even cut up the chicken the next day & made a burrito w it all, I did use brown minute rice & still worked great! Thank u!

  6. Jenni says:

    What kind of rice do you use? Can you use instant white?

    • I used regular long grain white rice. Instant rice cooks a lot faster than regular long grain white rice, so the baking time will differ. I haven’t tested it with that type of rice, so I’m not sure how long it would take.

    • Tera says:

      I used brown minute rice & turned out great !

  7. Lisa says:

    Was wondering, can you double this recipe?

    • Yes, but you may need to bake it longer depending on the size of your dish. It’s hard to say without testing it.

  8. Lisa says:

    Trying this recipe for my family tonight. Sounds great.

  9. Georgia says:

    Don’t have an hour for baking, so I’m going to make this with canned chicken in a covered skillet, and serve with cheese on top. Thanks for the idea!

  10. Stuart says:

    I followed the instructions to the letter and the rice came out hard as rocks. It was atrocious, an additional 10-15 minutes in the oven wouldn’t have come close to fixing it. I made sure that all of the steam stayed in the pan and the rice wasn’t even close to cooked.

  11. Kingdombound says:

    This recipe was a sure hit! Completely GOOD!! Enough said!!

  12. Sarah says:

    I’ve made this several times and it always turns out great. Today I added a little sliced avocado on top and it made it extra creamy and awesome! I used it in addition to the cheese, but if you wanted to make this without cheese, the avocado would probably make up for it.

  13. Hello Beth,
    I’ve been following your food blog for a while now and I’ve made some dishes here and there but this is the first time I post. I wanted to say thank you very much for these tasty recipes, this casserole was a success! I left it in the oven a lil longer n was a lil dry, but so delicious I’ll be making it again. I added a drop of sour cream on top and I’ll be buying some chips next time ;)
    Thank you once again!

  14. Lorraine says:

    After reading the comments, I’m not sure why anyone would do a food blog!

    This was delicious! I used six frozen chicken tenders from Target; I partially thawed the chicken in the microwave but tossed the corn in frozen. I used a three-quart casserole with a lid and did not lift the lid for an hour. Since my chicken and corn were half frozen, I baked it at 400 degrees for a half hour and 375 for the last half hour. Other than adding another 1/2 cup of chicken broth next time, I would make the recipe as written. We served it over a few Fritos with a dollop of sour cream. Would also be perfect served in a tortilla.

    Thanks for the recipe! It will nice to have a new addition to the monthly menu plan.

  15. Alyssa says:

    I had to take a break from eating a bowl of this casserole to post a comment about how great it is. I love how easy it was to throw together; it took about five minutes. Great for a weeknight where I really didn’t feel like cooking something elaborate. I used brown rice and after reading other comments, I was a little concerned about how it would cook, but I had no problems with it. The chicken turned out great and the flavor is amazing. I might add in some more spices and a jalapeno or two next time, but it’s delicious as is. It’s definitely being added to my rotation.

  16. Mingh says:

    This was very good! I used 2 cups of brown rice, red and black beans, 2 cups jarred salsa and 2 1/4 cups chicken stock. I added more seasonings: tumeric, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper. My rice came out perfect. I did microwave the salsa and the chicken stock so they were piping hot when I poured it into the rice mixture. My oven was also pre-heated.

  17. Hey Beth, I’m thinking of making this for some company we’re having over (4 people total). Any ideas on what I could serve along with it? I wouldn’t want to just have a casserole on the table by itself. Although, maybe that’s the point of a casserole? I’m kind of sort of trying to impress the company but still be myself. One person can’t eat pork or I would have made the herb crusted pork loin!

    • Have you made this one before or will it be the first time? Some people are having a hard time getting the rice to cook properly, so it would be a shame if that happened when you had company over. You might try the Southwest Chicken Skillet, which has virtually the same ingredients, but is cooked in a skillet on the stove top (and in half the time!). You could do something like Bold Black Bean Salad for the side (even though there are beans in the skillet, it’s still fresh, light, and cold so it contrasts), or maybe some cornbread?

      • Thank you, Beth!!! I have made this casserole several times before and have never had problems with the rice cooking properly – here’s hoping this won’t be the first time! The Bold Black Bean Salad looks perfect! I think I will have some cornbread available too, as you suggested.

  18. Claudia says:

    So I made this. Yet, I too put in frozen corn, because…time. So I did have to add a few extra minutes. The one thing I did differently was to cut up the raw chicken into about 1 inch pieces and I seasoned them with salt and pepper. I added it to the remaining ingredients and stirred them and tried to bury them a bit. It was so awesome, that I ate a lava hot spoonful right out of the oven, cause I’m a piggy. It has become a favorite midweek dinner. Thanks!

  19. Nicki says:

    I followed this recipe exactly as written. The rice was hard as rocks and the chicken was way over cooked after an hour in the oven.

  20. Kristin says:

    Hey! This was MY idea! ;)

    no but really- I do this, but with ground beef precooked already. I use cooked rice, jar (or one of the opened jars of salsa we don’t know what to do with after using a couple spoonfuls at one time), corn (or not!) taco seasonings, and cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack. I call it a “taco bake”. Personally, I would cook the chicken FIRST and shred it a bit before using it in a casserole.

  21. AMAZING, and so easy. Had no issues with the rice, I used brown rice and measured everything out perfectly. Remember to leave the foil on tight for AT LEAST an hour, no peeking!

    I think this may actually be healthy too…If you don’t overload it with cheese (which is hard).

    Thanks a bunch!

  22. sarra says:

    Is it okay to not use tin foil? I ran out last night.

  23. Karyn says:

    I was just wondering if you know the nutritional value of this meal? I am on weight watchers and just wanted to know how many points this would be. Thanks

  24. Steph says:

    I made this dish tonight and like some of the other comments about under cooked rice, I had the same issue. Even though I added 1 1/4 cups of broth. The rice that was under the chicken did not cook however the rice that surrounded the chicken pieces did cook. Has anyone tried instant rice? The rice issue was very disappointing but other than that it was REALLY good. I used homemade salsa that I had left over, added 1/2 tsp of cumin and topped it with monterey jack cheese. I served it with fresh guacamole and sour cream, delish! I thought about cooking this dish without the rice and just serving it over steamed rice, but cooking it all together gave it such great flavor.

    • Summer says:

      I have made this dish many times and sometimes I throw in a bunch of fresh spinach leaves on top of the rice mixture before I put the chicken on … I leave it covered for most of the cooking time … maybe uncover for the last 15 minutes (put cheese on at same time) and the rice is always done. Did you keep it covered?

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