This south-of-the-border inspired Mexican Salsa Chicken and Rice Casserole is a one dish meal packed with flavor. Salsa, roast chicken, Spanish rice and vegetables are mixed together and baked until bubbly with lots of gooey cheese on top. Top each serving with sour cream or guacamole and homemade pico de gallo and it’s a homemade fiesta.
This easy casserole is a hearty and filling one dish meal. I often assemble it, cover and chill for those days I need to have something ready to go into the oven as soon as we get home from our busy day. I love serving this with a side of homemade pico de gallo and a drizzle of crema or sour cream. Guacamole is optional but, perfection with this dish, too. Depending on the brand of Spanish rice used, the level of heat and even the color could vary slightly so adapt the spices as needed. If your personal preference is a milder level of heat, use cheddar cheese soup and a mild salsa. If spice is your thing, use the fiesta nacho soup and a medium or hot salsa to kick things up, the choice is completely yours.
If you choose to make this casserole in advance as I sometimes do, allow it to warm to room temperature or add 10-15 minutes to the baking time so it will cook completely through. Bake until the cheese is golden and the casserole is heated through and bubbly around the edges.
See it at The Weekend Potluck here
- 2 (5 oz) packages Spanish flavored rice, cooked and cooled
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small poblano pepper, seeded and diced
- Olive oil
- 1 (10 3.4 oz) can cheddar or fiesta nacho cheese soup
- 1½ cup 2% or whole milk
- 8 oz onion & chive cream cheese, softened
- 3-4 cup rotisserie chicken, roughly chopped
- 1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, drained
- 1 cup thick and chunky salsa
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp dark chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- ½ tsp lemon pepper
- 1½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Topping suggestions:pico de gallo. sour cream, guacamole
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium size skillet over medium-high heat, saute the diced onion and poblano pepper in a couple of drizzles of olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened and beginning to brown then remove from the heat.
- In a stand blender whip together the soup, milk and cream cheese until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cooked rice, onion and pepper, blender sauce, chicken, pinto beans, salsa and seasonings. Mix well then pour into the baking dish.
- Top with the shredded cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes until bubbly.
- Rest for 10 minutes before serving with pico de gallo,and a dollop of sour cream or fresh guacamole.