Mexican Chicken Casserole is a creamy dish made with chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, salsa, Mexican seasonings, cheddar cheese, and tortillas. It’s an easy layered dish that can be as spicy (or not spicy) as you’d like. It’s perfect for busy nights or Mexican-themed pot-luck dinners.
What is Mexican Chicken Casserole?
This chicken casserole recipe is easy to make. You can put it together in 30 minutes and then bake for another 30 minutes. All-in-all it’s a one-hour dish that can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to eat. It’s easy to make a double batch and keep half of it for a rainy day when you’re too busy to cook.
- 4 cups cooked chicken, diced: You can buy pre-cooked chicken or poach it to use for this recipe.
- 1 cup cream cheese: Soften the cream cheese before using it so it mixes in easily.
- 1 cup sour cream: You can use full-fat or no-fat sour cream in this recipe.
- 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped: Be sure to wash and dry the parsley before using it to remove any grit that’s been collected.
- 1 garlic clove, minced: The garlic should be fresh and smell pungent, and not dry at all.
- 2⁄3 cup salsa: You can use your favorite brand of salsa for this dish.
- 1 teaspoon cumin: Bottled cumin powder works well for this recipe.
- 1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder: The combination of these three spices gives this dish its Mexican flavor.
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika: You can use smoked or non-smoked paprika here.
- 2 cups cheese: Cheddar cheese or a blend tastes best with these flavors.
- 8 tortillas: You can use flour or corn tortillas, based on your preference.
How to make Mexican Chicken Casserole:
Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
1. Preheat the oven.
2. Combine chicken with all of the ingredients listed except for the 1 cup of shredded cheese and tortillas.
3. Brush your baking pan with olive oil and place 2 tortillas on the bottom. Top with the chicken mixture, add 2 more tortillas on top.
4. Repeat until you fill up the dish, placing tortillas as your last layer.
5. Sprinkle another layer of cheese on top.
6. Bake at 180C/350F for 30-35 minutes.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best Mexican chicken casserole you've ever had.
- This recipe uses no soup for flavor. Instead, it has cream cheese and sour cream.
- A good brand of salsa to use is Rotel.
- You can substitute some of the cream cheese or sour cream for Velveeta cheese for a cheesier flavor.
- You can make this dish keto-friendly by using corn tortillas instead of flour. It’s a great low-carb recipe this way.
Can I make Mexican Chicken Casserole in an instant pot?
If you’d like to use the oven for a side dish or just love using your instant pot, you can definitely make this recipe in one.
Combine all the ingredients and then layer tortillas, chicken mixture, and more tortillas until you reach the top. Sprinkle cheese on at the end and then seal the lid. Cook for 20 minutes, carefully release the pressure, then remove the lid. Serve immediately.
What other types of meat can I use with this dish?
If you’d like to substitute chicken breasts, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken, ground turkey, ground chicken, chicken thighs, ground pork, or ground beef. Any of these will work great. You can also remove the meat entirely and add more vegetables or firm tofu.
What other ingredients can I add?
To make this casserole more robust, you can add rice or other vegetables
Try some corn, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, kale, beans, or quinoa.
How to store:
Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat it in the microwave with 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.
To freeze the entire casserole, wrap it in aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Label it with what it is, how to cook, and the date. Labeling will help you remember later. Remember that if you cook it from frozen, it will take longer to cook in the oven without thawing first. Keep the foil on until the last 30 minutes of cooking so the top can brown.
What can I top Mexican chicken casserole with?
Add a crunchy layer after cooking by sprinkling Doritos, fried onions, or tortilla chips, on top. You can even add tater tots before baking and they’ll be nice and crispy when done.
What can I serve with this dish?
You can serve cornbread, crusty white bread, dinner rolls, roasted vegetables, or a fruit salad with this casserole.
Can I make this casserole in a crockpot?
Yes, you can make this dish in a slow cooker. Follow the instructions and layer the ingredients in the bowl of the crockpot instead of a casserole dish. Place the lid on top and cook on high for four hours.
- 4 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 1 cup cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2⁄3 cup salsa sauce
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups chees
- 8 tortillas
- Combine chicken with all of the ingredients listed except for the 1 cup of shredded cheese and tortillas.
- Brush your baking pan with olive oil and place 2 tortillas on the bottom. Top with the chicken mixture, add 2 more tortillas on top.
- Repeat until you fill up the dish, placing tortillas as your last layer.
- Sprinkle another layer of cheese on top.
- Bake at 180C/350F for 30-35 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 646Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 820mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 32g