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 50 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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. sarra says:

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

  11. 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

  12. 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?

  13. I’m a weirdo and hate rice (much to my family’s dismay) so I made this with quinoa. Oddly, it took longer to cook than an hour (which mildly overcooked the chicken) but it was still very tasty and I would absolutely make it again! Total cook time was 1.5 hours with the quinoa, FYI.

  14. just found your recipe via this site – i hate when spammers do this!

    looks good though – i’m pinning from YOUR site

  15. Sarah says:

    After reading all of the comments about the rice/chicken not being cooked all the way, I decided to tackle this recipe. It just looked so good and so easy, how could I resist?

    Mine came out just fine, and it is DELICIOUS. Topped with some sour cream and eaten with a few tortilla chips, this dish is so freakin’ good. I bet it will make good leftovers too.

    Here’s some areas that might have caused the problems others spoke of. These are problems I’ve made with recipes like this in the past:

    ~ chicken is too thick (flatten it between two pieces of wax paper with a rolling pin)
    ~ not enough/eyeballing how much liquid to use
    ~ not pre-heating your oven
    ~ not following directions properly (covering the dish with foil is key in this case)

    I hope some of the people who had trouble with this dish will give it another shot. It’s really good with minimal effort, and I know I’ll be making it again.

  16. Teri Grady says:

    Yum! I just finished eating dinner, hubby going back for thirds! Keeps saying “Wow! This is really good!”

    Those with complaints about rice. Remember ovens are all different and elevations can be a huge factor,…you must learn to adapt. I live in the desert, below sea level and I have a crappy oven. I know that when I make a rice in the oven I need more liquid. If a recipe calls for 1 cup, I put in 1 1/4 cup.

    Those who have issues with raw chicken when you have already cooked the chicken for 40 minutes. Um…. Do not uncover the dish…Beth said cover the dish for 1 hour, then check.

    Great dish, Beth. Thank you so much!

  17. Lynsay says:

    I also followed the instructions exactly and the rice still isn’t cooked after 1 1/2 hours. :( disappointing.

  18. Jessica says:

    Made this for dinner tonight. Didn’t change a thing and it was exactly what I’d hoped it’d be! Added a dollop of sour cream and feasted. Best of all, it was just for two so an 8 dollar dinner will last for a few meals. Thanks Beth!

  19. Michelle says:

    I love this recipe! I used the “Knorr Mexican Rice” sides pack because I had no rice me at the time and it worked perfectly! I had no problems with the rice cooking. Thank you!

  20. I absolutely love this recipe! It’s super easy to make and there is so much flavor and it’s great for leftovers!!! Thank you!

  21. adam says:

    The people who had raw chicken and uncooked rice at an hour in were doing something wrong. My chicken was way over 160 degrees in about 40 minutes but the rice wasn’t soft enough till about 50 minutes. Our oven does cook a little hot but not that much.

  22. Mandy says:

    rice still not cooked after 2 hours in the oven. Had to make my family grilled cheese instead.

  23. Danielle says:

    I made this tonight and it’s delicious! I did double it for my family of 5 and cut the chicken into medium size chunks. I cooked it in a large rectangular casserole dish and it was done in an hour and fifteen minutes. The only thing I changed was to use 4 cups of chicken broth (for a doubled recipe) so the ratio of liquid to rice would be 2:1. Don’t leave out the scallions! They add a nice pop!! Thanks for sharing!!

  24. Sara says:

    Do you use minute rice? That is what I have on hand. I don’t usually make casseroles with rice, but am so confused by all the varying comments about if it gets done or not.

    • I did not use minute rice. I’m not quite sure why some people have had such a hard time getting the rice to cook through.

      • Susan says:

        Indian Basmati rice is the PERFECT rice to use for this recipe. The Basmati rice doesn’t take as long to cook and it turns out soft and fluffy. Just remember to cover the casserole while it is cooking. I added about 1/4 cup extra chicken broth.

    • Denise says:

      I used brown minute rice when I made it and it came out great!

  25. Sabrina Duncan says:

    Would this recipe call for the rice that takes like 25 minutes to cook or could I use minute rice?

  26. Cassandra says:

    How would substituting quinoa for the rice work out?

    • Hmmm… I’m not sure because it cooks different and much faster. That would take some experimenting before I could suggest a substitution method.

  27. YuMM! Making this right now! I threw in some orange bell pepper (use up what I’ve got!) and cumin because I’m a cumin addict. Can’t wait for this to come out of the oven. Love your site and have tried a bunch of your recipes! Thanx. :)

  28. Emily says:

    Can I prepare this and cook this in advance then freeze the whole casserole and re-heat it again a few days later? I’m looking for make ahead freezer casseroles. The crockpot takes too long!

    • I think it would work better if the cooked casserole was frozen in portions. It might take a very long time to reheat from frozen in the oven if kept whole.

  29. Rockys Mom says:

    Has anyone made this a day or two ahead of time and not put the cheese on until almost through cooking? It looks like a great motorhome meal that I can make and cook on arrival.


  30. Cathy T says:

    I doubled the recipe and added an extra cup of water. I also added a can of green chilies. I seasoned the (cubed) chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper–before adding to dish. It was great! Thanks for posting!

  31. Rachel says:

    One of the best recipes we have tried in awhile, and so easy for a busy evening! My husband and I love spicy food, so I did add a little chili powder/chipotle dry seasoning to the chicken before baking for a little extra kick, but an hour in the oven cooked this perfectly and it is even better for leftovers today! Thanks for the great recipe!

  32. Blanca Noemi Perez says:

    Wonderful recipes, and great for the budget!! I’m really enjoying this site!!! Thanks again !!!

  33. I would love to make this but I do not have green onions nor can I have beans, will use low sodium broth because on dialysis & have to watch certain nutrients. Do you think this will still be good? Thanks

    • Well, that’s a lot of changes, so it definitely won’t be the same. :) Whether it’s good or not might be a matter of personal opinion.

  34. sarie says:

    Thanks for sharing. This was so easy! It turned out great. My family loved it.

  35. LaShawn says:

    This was pretty good..I added a dolip of daisy sour cream and that really made it taste good! However Next time I will season the chicken. It tasted a bit bland.

    • Susan says:

      I added some daisy sour cream, too! If you poke a bunch of holes in the chicken with a fork it will absorb more of the flavor from the salsa and also tenderize the meat.

  36. First and last time I have used this sight for a recipe. First I made this exactly as instructed and it does not fit in an 8 x 8 pan. Ran over and made a huge mess in my oven. Second, after an hour the rice wasn’t even close to being done and the chicken in the middle was still raw! This was just a frustrating and messy recipe. Not worth the trouble. Too much time needed to cook and especially for clean up.

    • Diana says:

      Yes, this was my experience as well. It took literally 2 hours to cook which made for a late dinner for my hungry fam. Everything was raw at the 1 hour mark. I feel it may cook closer to the 1 hour mark if it were in a 9×13 pan.

      Overall the flavor was very good, but I would add salt next time. I used homemade canned salsa, organic free range broth, and organic beans and corn.

  37. Kris10 says:

    Love this recipe. My fiancé loves it! I started making it today when about 20min into baking my power went out :( I moved it into metal baking dishes, covered it in foal and threw it on our grill for 45 min. It came out great.

  38. Rachelle says:

    Omg! I just mixed this all up and put it in my slow cooker! It smells Devine! I used cannellini beans instead of the black and tinned corn. Can not wait to eat it! :)

  39. Jerisha says:

    I loved the recipe but as others have said previously the rice doesn’t cook throughly. I followed the recipe for the most part but made the following changes and it came out great. I used Rotel instead of salsa. Then I mixed the Rotel, chicken broth, corn and seasons in a separate bowl. I put the rice in the bottom of the dish then put the chicken in and poured everything over the top that way the rice stayed covered at the bottom. I covered the dish with foil very tightly making sure to tuck the ends under the handles. I cooked for an hour and 30 minutes instead of 1 hour and I did use plain white rice. When the time was up I followed the rest of the recipe and topped it with cheese and onions and returned it to the oven for ten minutes and it was perfect! I served this with a drop of sour cream on top too.

  40. I was just curious if I used raw chicken should I go ahead and boil it first before putting in the dish?

    • The chicken I used for the recipe was raw. :) It’s in the oven for an hour, so it has plenty of time to cook through.

  41. Bill R says:

    Going to try this tonight. Will get raw chicken, but wondering if using shredded cooked chicken would be ok? Maybe next time.

  42. Dorothy says:

    This is the first recipe I made from this site. I have made it a couple of times and my husband loves it. I found other recipes that I personally like better but this works well because it is pretty easy and I can get it on the table in a reasonable amount of time for the least amount of work.

  43. Charley says:

    It was yummy. I used a bag of instant quick cook brown rice & chicken tenders. It was what I had on hand.

  44. Brianna Anderson says:

    Made this tonight for my in laws… they loved it, so thank you! :) very Yummy!

  45. karen says:

    i made this last night, very easy and quite delicious. The chicken was very very moist. I did rub a little taco seasoning on the chicken to give it a little more flavor, but otherwise, followed recipe as is !

  46. Alyssa Gonzales says:

    Would it be fine if I used canned corn instead of frozen?

  47. This recipe is awesome! Just wanted to say I’ve been making it and modifying it and it tastes great.

    As for the uncooked rice problem some people are having, I think it just needs a little more liquid. I actually use water instead of chicken broth and just add as much as I think it needs. Just takes a little playing around with.

  48. Joanna says:

    I use quinoa instead of rice and canned corn (drained) instead of frozen and it works just as well!! This is a family favorite. I make it once a week. (The quinoa takes a little longer to cook)

  49. Joanna says:

    I use quinoa instead of rice and canned corn (drained) instead of frozen and it works just as well. This is a family favorite.

  50. Ashley says:

    Made this with 5 bone-in chicken breasts (skin removed) and it turned out perfectly!

  51. Crystal says:

    This was so easy and delicious. I did substitute out the white rice for the Minute brand brown rice and it turned out well. It was done along with the chicken as stated in the recipe at one hour. No problems and tasted great. Thanks for sharing !

  52. Amber says:

    I made this recipe and it was absolutely delicious (and easy!) Because it made so many servings, I had it almost every day of the week, and each time it still tasted great. Thanks for the share.

  53. Susan says:

    Made this tonight, but after an hour and 20 minutes, the rice is still not anywhere near done. I jacked the oven temp up to 400 degrees, hoping it will do the trick in another 15 minutes or so. If not, I won’t make this one again.

    • Beth says:

      Mine has been in for 1.5 hours now and still crunchy rice, so disappointed. Would have started dinner way earlier if I had known.

  54. I made this tonight and it was pretty good! I used regular white rice and it did need the extra 15 minutes. Also I used a medium hot salsa and with the chilli powder it had quite a kick to it which we liked. Thanks for the recipe!

  55. Valatie says:

    I will definitely try this with chicken but has anybody tried to make the recipe using ground beef

  56. Alisha says:

    This was a great casserole. My boyfriend and I loved it! I used a 9×13 casserole dish and thin sliced chicken breasts, and it was perfectly cooked within an hour. I will definitely be cooking this again!

  57. Do you think canned corn would work just as well as the frozen corn? Also, I keep seeing people chopping up the chicken into smaller pieces. Do you recommend that as well? Love this site & all the recipes. It has become a staple when we meal plan!

    • Hmm, canned corn will be a bit softer and usually just isn’t as pretty, but aside from that I think it will still work. You can cut the chicken into a few pieces before adding it in, but I would avoid cutting it too small or else you won’t get those nice long shredded strands when you shred it at the end.

  58. Joan says:

    This casserole is DELICIOUS! I made it tonight, and my BF loved it. Unfortunately, as reported by others, the rice did not cook consistently — some of it was underdone and some of it was thoroughly cooked. I did stir all the ingredients well. I don’t understand why that happened. Any ideas?

    • It’s probably just the way the pan is heating in the oven. I suspect the outer edges cook faster than the center. I’m not quite sure how to make it cook more consistently, though. :/

  59. Lynnette S. says:

    I made this tonight, and it was yummy! I used a 9X13 baking dish though, and sliced my chicken thinner (next time I will cut it into bite size pieces). The only thing I altered ingredient-wise…I added some crushed red pepper for a little extra zing! Thanks for sharing the recipe =)

  60. I have the casserole in the oven at the moment, I can’t wait to taste it.
    Your fan in Dominican Republic.

  61. Yvette says:

    I just prepared this recipe tonight and it was just amazing! I found all the ingredients here in Finland, and I will continue following more recipes from budget bytes :) I used this time whole wheat rice, and since we are just two, I did the recipe for 3 servings. Also, I placed a hot water tray on the bottom of the oven to keep the chicken moist… it never fails.

  62. Catkins says:

    Found this on Pinterest and made it tonight. Super easy and delicious. Doubled the batch to have enough for leftovers. Thanks for the site. Always looking for recipes that are inexpensive, easy and flavorful.

  63. Found this via Pinterest & tried it tonight! It was SOOOO good & super easy to make! It is definitely on the repeat list! Thanks for sharing!

  64. Jamie says:

    I have been making this for quite some time now and have been meaning to comment on it. This recipe is so easy, delicious and healthy. I make it at least twice a month and my family loves it. Thanks again for another amazing recipe Beth. I am so glad that your Budget Bytes career is taking off for you and allowing you to spend more time at it and less with your other job. Congrats!

  65. Heather says:

    Making this for the second time today but chopping the chicken into smaller pieces for a more casseroley feel. Delicious! Can’t wait for the cookbook Beth, I love your recipes! :)

  66. Lesley says:

    Any idea if elbow noodles would work? I do not have any rice on hand.

    • Hmm, I’m not sure. The liquid/pasta ratio might be different and I’ve never tried baking pasta in the oven.

  67. jennifer says:

    Do you happen to have the nutritional info for this?

  68. brandi w says:

    This is in the oven now…smells amazing! I wish i had read the comments before trying it, because i used brown rice, and of course its not done yet…i hope its still yummy with a little more cook time!

  69. Dani says:

    I loved this! I kept out the beans since my guy hates them and used brown rice. It ended up taking about an hour and 45 minutes with the brown rice. Just wanted to say that with all the moisture I think it would be hard to overcook the chicken for those using brown rice and having to cook longer. Mine came out juicy and falling apart, very similar to chicken in the slow cooker. Delicious!

  70. Esther says:

    Forgo to say, I will make quesadillas out of the leftovers today!

    • Heather says:

      That’s a good idea, I never would have thought of that! I will have to try that out.

  71. Esther says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious! My husband kept saying, “Oooh this would be great with a tiny bit bit of sriracha.” He has easten plenty of hot sauce sauce but never sriracha before your recipes:) I agree the chicken would have better texture if I had shredded it or cut into smaller pieces but that is just a personal preference.

  72. Alexander C says:

    Tried this the other day except I made the salsa myself. Turned out excellent. Great simple recipe. I look forward to trying out others from this site.

  73. Erin says:

    Anyone tried canned corn as opposed to thawed corn? I want to make this tonight but I’m worried the frozen corn won’t be thawed.

    • You can thaw it quickly in the microwave or just run some water over real fast in a colander. Frozen corn thaws quickly. :)

    • Jamie says:

      I use frozen corn and don’t even bother to thaw it. Corn thaws so quickly and works out every time.

  74. Barbara W. says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!

    made this recipe last night..super delicious and really easy!!!

    It was missing a little something my husband said maybe cilantro…I think I will had that next time!!

    Had some leftover, had for lunch today…delicious!!!!

    Glad I found this website.,….tomorrow I am going to try and make the Dragon noodles and the glazed pork chops!!!

  75. Tried with brown rice and after an hour and a half the rice was only half-cooked! Hoping it will work better next time with regular rice. Wondering if it needed to be instant rice?

    • Brown rice requires more moisture and a longer cooking time than regular white rice, which is why it didn’t work out for you. You could probably use instant brown rice with no problem, though.

  76. Samantha says:

    Hi! Has anyone tried to make this with quinoa?? I’d like to try it tonight! Or maybe add some chopped sweet potatoes?? We try not to eat white rice!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi all! I made it tonight with quinoa instead of rice, threw in some peppers, onions and minced garlic…. And it was incredible!

  77. Teresa H says:

    Another budget idea is a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies instead of a jar of salsa. I used that and 1/2 a chopped onion and a chopped jalepeno. So yummy!

  78. Elisha says:

    I just made this for dinner n I checked it at 45min n the rice was really overlooked idk what I did wrong. Flavors great but mushy rice is a no go. I used jasmine rice, cut up chicken thighs n also added some canned diced jalapeños n siracha n it does have great flavor just need to check it at 30min next time.

  79. melinda B says:

    I just made this tonight and was delicious! I replaced the rice with quinoa and I worked out great. I added some cayenne pepper, hot sauce and chopped up a fresh jalapeno. Might add 2 next time.

  80. LauraAnna says:

    My child cannot have corn, due to allergies. Is there something I can use in its place?

  81. melissa says:

    Very simple dish to make the only change i made was chicken tenders instead of breast and I forgot the green onions on top but still great. This recipe did take a little longer to cook but all in all really good.

  82. Kate says:

    I made this today with brown rice & it came out great! I microwaved the brown rice in some chicken broth for 10 minutes beforehand, and it came out perfect and on-time. Delicious!

  83. wow! another inexpensive, easy, super tasty recipe! i may end up ditching all my other recipe websites in favor of yours!

  84. Karin F says:

    I made this dish and while it tasted really good, my rice came out undercooked in some spots and overcooked in others. Any ideas what I might have done wrong?

    • Hmm, maybe just make sure it’s really well stirred before it goes in the oven so there are no clumps of rice. That might help.

  85. This looks amazing!! We are making this tonight and will post the results on our page! Thanks for sharing your lovely dish!

  86. Derek says:

    You could even do this in your crockpot. Do it in the am or the night before and then put it in the crockpot

  87. Derek says:

    I would make my own salsa and use fresh beans. Bottled salsa has added sugar, and preservatives. Fresh beans are a low cost way to bring this to a new level.

  88. I have a random question. Do you think I could have everything prepped and ready to pop in the oven but keep in the the fridge until time to cook? I have company coming over tomorrow and want to find something I can prep then have my husband throw in the oven for me. Cooking and him aren’t the best of friends but he can preheat and toss in the oven like a champ.

    • Yes, you could probably do that, although starting it out cold from the fridge like that will likely increase the cooking time. Without having tried it, I’m not sure how much longer you’ll need to bake :P

  89. pameel says:

    Could you leave the rice out of this recipe, I just can’t do rice. Or could something else be substituted.

    • Well, the Taco Chicken Bowls are pretty much the same thing, but spooned over rice instead of with the rice mixed in, so I think it would work. It will probably be a bit waterier, though, because the rice is not there to soak up the moisture… so you’ll probably want to skip the chicken broth.

  90. FANTASTIC! Made this tonight for my family and they gobbledygook it up. Will make again. Thank you for sharing.

  91. Catherine says:

    Do you think quinoa would work instead of rice? I only have brown rice and didn’t factor the extra time it will need.

    • Hmm, honestly I’m not sure. I haven’t done a lot of cooking with quinoa. I’ve only cooked it on the stove top, so I’m not sure what adjustments might need to be make for the oven.

      • Catherine says:

        I tried it quinoa and it tasted great. Followed everything else exactly just used 1 cup quinoa instead of 1 cup rice. I plan on making it again this week. Thanks for a great recipe!

        • Awesome! Thanks for letting us all know that it works with quinoa! :D

        • Tracy T says:

          What a great idea to use the quinoa! Did you have to adjust the baking time or did you use the quicker cooking quinoa? I am always looking for new uses for the “heat in the microwave,90 second quinoa” since I bought it by mistake. Thanks to anyone with advice.

  92. Andrea says:

    I was wondering if you could make this without the rice? Would the recipe change a lot?

    BTW I love your website, I have been on a budget lately and your recipes are so easy and so cheap to make!! Thanks so much!!

    • Well, you would have to adjust it some because the rice soaks up a lot of the moisture. You could probably just bake some chicken in salsa and beans without the broth, though. And it wouldn’t have to bake as long because you only have to wait for the chicken to cook through and not for the rice to cook (which takes much longer than the chicken). Maybe a half hour or so in the oven.

  93. Michelle says:

    This looks delicious. I wonder if there is a way I can partially precook brown rice so I could use it without overcooking the chicken. I might have to experiment, since I don’t think I have any white rice.

    Also, just so you know, I saw these pictures on a different link, not crediting you. and here is the pin that led me there. I think you can report the pin if you go to it yourself. Just thought you might want to know.

    • Thanks for the heads up! I’m in the process of trying to contact them because they’ve stolen a LOT of my content. :(

  94. Rachel says:

    Would Picante sauce work instead of salsa?

  95. Ashley says:

    Has anyone tried boneless pork chops instead of chicken?

  96. Jennifer says:

    I made this for my fiancée last night. When I asked him this morning how he liked it, he simply pointed to the empty casserole dish in the sink. Ate the whole thing. Super yummy :)

  97. Was a hit! I sprinkled some cilantro on at the end for a fresh finish. Great!

  98. WOW i made this recipe for the first time last night and it came out amazing, soooo flavorful and filling with so little effort!! I substituted brown rice and used 3 large chicken thighs instead of the chicken breast. I cooked it at 400 instead of 375 because of the extra meat and the brown rice and it took about an hour and 40 minutes. Thanks for the amazing recipe!!!

  99. Sarah says:

    Tried this last night and it was wonderful! There’s actually a frozen meal that I often buy for work lunches (Smart Ones Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans) that is very similar to this, only more expensive and less tasty. From now on I’ll make this and freeze it myself instead :) Thanks for the great recipe!

  100. Julie C says:

    I made this again (yes a week later! haha!). This time I used 20oz of chicken tenderloins since I bought them on accident instead of breasts. This time, some of the rice in the middle wasn’t totally cooked while the outside was cooked totally, I think it was because I had too much chicken. I used a larger pan than 8×8… maybe 8x12ish? So, I would say if you have a lot of meat, do it in a bigger pan to give your chicken some room :)

  101. Chloe B says:

    I made this the other day and it was amazing! The family and I are still chowing down on left-overs. I was bad though… I altered the recipe just a little :( I didn’t have frozen corn so I used canned corn and I had extra salsa left over so after adding the chicken I used the left over salsa to cover what wasn’t fully submerged in the mix. But still its AMAZING and super easy to make even when coming home from a long day at work.

    • Altering the recipes is a GOOD thing! :D I love it when people make changes to fit their needs. That’s what cooking on a budget is all about :)

  102. Julie C says:

    This was really delicious. I didn’t use the beans because I’m not a fan of them, and used white rice (I thought it was common knowledge that brown takes at least twice as long to cook as white!). I used boneless skinless thighs since that’s what I had in the freezer. Mine was completely ready to go after an hour as written. I’m looking forward to the leftovers for lunches this week. This will definitely be one of my new go-to recipes in those weeks when cash is especially tight.

  103. Diana says:

    Just tried making this last night and it came out great! The only issue I had was that I switched out brown rice for white and brown rice takes forever to cook! Other than that, this was super delicious and I will definitely be making this again!

  104. I tried it with brown rice. WORD OF CAUTION. It took almost DOUBLE the time to cook it! It was yummy! Thicker than I thought it would be, but I liked that about it. Perfect with a dollop of sour cream!

  105. Anonymous says:

    Made this tonight — easy and delicious! I substituted long-grain brown rice, used bone-in chicken thighs (breasts were very expensive at my grocery store) and just used water instead of chicken broth (no need to add more flavor to this very tasty dish). It took about 1 hr 15 min for my rice to fully cook, so not too much longer than the recipe states.

    • Derek says:

      I bet the thighs came out great. More flavor, and won’t dry out. Dark meat much better for this especially for those reasons.

  106. This came out perfect! No extra time added, followed recipe word for word. (except I used bullion powder) All 4 boys in my house really enjoyed it!! Thank you Beth for such a quick, easy, budget friendly recipe!!

  107. Anonymous says:

    Cut the chicken up into bite size pieces to avoid undercooking. And don’t use regular brown rice.

  108. This looks so yummy and family friendly, which is what I think I like about this the most!!

    Will definitely be trying this out!

  109. Liz P says:

    Ate it tonight for supper and it was SOOO YUMMY!!

  110. Anonymous says:

    Cooked exactly as instructed and my chicken came out still raw, too… Hoping I don’t overcook it. I have no idea how much longer to put it in for.

  111. MamaClark says:

    Zaycon Foods sells antibiotic/hormone free and cage free chicken breasts. You can sometimes catch a sale where they’re $1.79/lb but you have to buy in bulk. Split it with a friend and save!

  112. Liz P says:

    SUCCESS!! It just needed a bit more time and liquid and now with the melted cheese, OMG it looks awesome! :D

  113. Liz P says:

    I cooked mine as instructed at 350 for an hour and the rice and even the chicken was still uncooked….I don’t know what I’ve done wrong but I’ve put in it for another 30 mins and I’ll see what it’s like then. Kind of disappointed but it smells wonderful…even uncooked!! :p

    • Recipe reccomeds 375F. Maybe that’ll help? Mine is in the oven and can’t wait! :)

  114. Kess says:

    This is great. I made it last night, (half batch in a bread pan) and actually forgot to put the cheese on – it was still great.

    I remembered this time with the leftovers though, and the cheese does make it amazing!

  115. I spent some 20 mins on this post and found amazing information. Thanks for this.. Hope to see more like this in future. I was searching some info on b school

  116. I just made this with hot salsa, a pinch of cayenne pepper and used a mix of sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. Talk about HOT and SPICY…Delish! To cut down on some of the sodium content, I also used black beans in the can that were lower sodium and reduced sodium fat-free chicken broth. This is not for the faint of heart – if you like it hot and spicy, this is the way to go! With a touch of sour cream and the green onions to top, this is the ATOMIC BOMB! Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmm.

  117. I made this tonight and it is delish! I didn’t buy to spicy of a salsa so next time I would add something to boost the heat. This one is a keeper. Thank you for sharing!

  118. Cari – Definitely use the instant brown rice. Another reader tried it with regular brown rice and it did not cook fully. I’m not sure how much extra time it will need to bake because of the fact that it will be cold when it goes into the oven. Check the texture of the rice at 45 minutes (in case the instant brown rice cooks extra fast) and if it’s not done, keep adding 15 minutes to the baking time until it is tender.

  119. Cari Hartman says:


    I want to make this for dinner tomorrow night, I have both brown rice and instant brown. Do you think I could either assemble it this evening to allow it to take less cooking time or can cook the rice ahead? I’m having company for dinner so I want it to turn out good.

  120. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t recommend doing rice in a crockpot because it’s just too tricky to time it along with everything else that would be in with it. I’d also be afraid it’d be too gummy.

    We buy a lot of those flash-frozen breasts — they tend to be cheaper than fresh in my area — and the directions on them to say cook them frozen for about 45 minutes. I’m going to try this yummy recipe with those, and I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    BTW, Beth, I love your site! I’ve made who knows how many of your dishes :)

  121. I tried it with Jasmine rice, and it was delicious, but it needed about 1 1/2 cups more liquid and about 25 more minutes. I found that the chicken was juicy and properly cooked, even with the extra cooking time. It does indeed make excellent lunches to take with to work! I’ll definitely be making this recipe again.

  122. Anonymous – I think if you used a crock pot you could pretty much just follow the directions for the Taco Chicken Bowls. I’ve never done it with the rice in the crock pot too, but I think it would work!

  123. Anonymous says:

    Could you do this in a crock pot? How long would you cook it?

    • LauraAnna says:

      As the writer said at the very start of the article, “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.”

  124. Made this last night! I doubled the recipe, added 1 chopped red pepper, and used chicken tenders instead of breast. My rice was still a little firm after an hour (even though the chicken and corn were thawed) so I put it back in for 12 minutes and then it was perfect. We all loved it.

  125. I used plain white rice (not instant)… brown rice does take quite a bit longer to cook than white rice normally, so I’m not sure how long it would take with this method.

  126. I put this in with uncooked brown rice and after an hour the rice wasn’t cooked at all. Did you use instant rice when you made it?

  127. Jennifer – I think it might be difficult to stir in smashed beans like you can the whole beans. I think you’re better off using whole.

  128. I just made a big batch of (not) refried beans. Do you think they would work in this, in place of the canned beans?

  129. This looks fabulous. I might have to try (but shred the chicken)

  130. Kathy, i bet you could use bone-in thighs and it would be amazing. It may add to the cooking time, but the bones would add to the flavor too!

  131. I don’t know which one I like better know, the chicken bowls or the casseroleeee :O I guess I will have to make both and see! :D

  132. Looks great. I’m in Canada, where boneless, skinless, chicken breasts are super-expensive, unfortunately.

  133. Liz P says:

    Mmm this looks delish! I love your taco chicken bowls and this looks even better…think I’ll be making this on the weekend. YAY!! LOVE your site Beth :)

  134. Excellent! I’ve been buying my chicken breast at Sam’s – they’re usually $1.99 or $1.88 there!

  135. Mina – I think this would freeze excellently!

    • Laura V says:

      I’d love to make several pans of this and freeze them for other families! Now, would I put it all together and freeze without baking first? Or would I bake it all first, let cool,freeze, and then just thaw and warm back-up?…worried about drying it out.

      • I think I would bake, cool, then freeze. As long as you keep it covered while reheating, I don’t think it will dry out. I think baking first is a better idea because it already takes quite a while to bake as is, so if you try to bake it from frozen it will take even longer and possibly not bake evenly because the center will take so long to reach temperature. That’s just my guess, though, I’ve never tried it.

  136. How well do you think this would freeze? It looks amazing for work lunches!

  137. Looks fabulous and easy peasy! I wonder if Instant Brown Rice would work??? I may have to try it and report back.

    • I used a cup of brown rice with about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, because I wanted a soupier base. I had to add on about an extra thirty minutes, and the rice was perfect. There actually wasn’t much liquid leftover by the time we’d pulled it out to cool, either.

      • Dana says:

        Just made this and it was amazing!! Cut chicken into bite sized pieces, added half a packet of taco seasoning and used 10 min success right. Everything was cooked perfectly in 1 hour. Added some diced jalepenos and sour cream on top to serve. Delicious and so easy for a weeknight meal.Thank you for a new recipe in our rotation!

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