Salsa Chicken Casserole

$8.58 recipe / $1.43 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.57 from 105 votes
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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

Top view of Salsa Chicken Casserole  with wooden spoon scooping some out

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Salsa Chicken Casserole

4.57 from 105 votes
Salsa Chicken Casserole bakes in one dish for a easy, mess-free weeknight dinner with a LOT of flavor! 
Servings 6
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice ($0.33)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed ($0.52)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($1.39)
  • 1 16oz. jar salsa ($1.99)
  • 1 cup chicken broth ($0.15)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.03)
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs. total) ($2.99)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($0.94)
  • 2 green onions, sliced ($0.17)


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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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.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 529kcalCarbohydrates: 54.2gProtein: 38.68gFat: 17.73gSodium: 1098.3mgFiber: 10.12g
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Close up of Salsa Chicken Casserole  being scooped out with wooden spoon


Step By Step Photos

rice, corn, beans and salsa added to casserole dish
Add 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.

chicken broth and seasoning added to casserole dish
Add 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.

raw chicken being cut into chunks with knife
Cut 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.

chicken chunks nestled on top of other ingredients in dish
Push the chicken pieces down into the rice mixture – probably more so than I did here (I learn as I go, too).

baked chicken casserole on stove top
Cover 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 and onions added to top of casserole
Once 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!

Finished Salsa Chicken Casserole
Want to look closer? Why not! nom.

top view of Salsa Chicken Casserole
Easy dinners make me happy.

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  1. Okay I commented about how this took so long I didn’t care how it tasted. About an hour and a half for us at which point we just threw cheese on top and called it done because we couldn’t wait any longer. It’s actually pretty good like surprisingly good. I think next time I would just cut the chicken even smaller, try raising the temperature, or just replace it with cooked ground beef. It’s good and low effort. But an hour and a half is a long time for us to wait when we are hungry

  2. I’ve been trying to make this for an hour and 15 minutes now with thawed chicken and I even cut them into like 5 chunks each. The chicken is at about 145 degrees now meaning that it’ll take another 15-30 minutes to fully cook. A simple easy meal is turning into a nightmare and everyone is unhappy because they are so hungry. At this point I don’t even care how it tastes because it’s taking so long. I’ve wasted half my night waiting for this to cook. If you have 2 hours to spare sure, try it. If your gunning for that 1 hr mark skip this recipe. I’ve never had a recipe with a such poor timing before.

  3. So far, looks easy, tasty & economical. Looking forward to making it this week & looking for more.

  4. I had such high hopes for this recipe as it sounded tasty and easy to make. BUT, the rice was not done, even after 1.5 hrs in the oven AND adding more broth.

    If I keep the recipe, I will cook my rice separate and figure out something else.

  5. Thank you for this recipe! I found it while searching for Trim Healthy Mama Mexican dishes. Making the rice to be brown rice rather then white rice will fit the criteria.

  6. I use 3 chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces, double everything else.  Makes enough for dinner and lunch for 2 adults and 2 starving, hockey playing teenagers. Cooks fine in 1:15, which I expected for a larger amount. I also just mix taco seasoning in with the chicken broth first. 

  7. I made this as directed, except I added some extra south West spice mix I had on hand from another recipe, and cooked it in an enameled cast iron pot with a lid. Came out perfectly, rice was tender and fully cooked by an hour.

  8. 375 for 1 hour works fine for me, the rice even can be a little mushy even depending on how careful I am with dumping excess liquid in. I cut the chicken up into bite sized pieces also.

  9. I am not sure what folks are talking about, mine cooked at 375 for 1hr 15 and it was fine. I probably could have taken it out sooner. Pretty good recipe. It’s a casserole after all, it isn’t meant to be Michelin star. Hearty and will feed a family.