When it comes to dinner ideas, the dutch oven is key. This super simple southwest chicken casserole in the dutch oven is a hearty at-home one-dish dinner to satisfy those weekend cravings.
Really now, this is not an ordinary southwest chicken casserole. It’s more of an over-the-top one-dish recipe with mounds of seasoned rice, beans, tasty chicken, and of course, loads of melted cheese.
As soon as you bite into this cheesy, creamy goodness, its explosive flavor will hit, and all your worries will be put on hold as you wrap your mind around this flavor punch of Mexican goodness.
What is the best chicken for this recipe?
We are using chicken breasts because they can be made quickly on the stovetop. You can also use chicken tenders, or make a whole chicken and shred it with a fork!
How to make a southwest chicken casserole
Bake chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet with a little salt and chili spice. For exact measurements, see the printable recipe card below! Or follow
While the chicken is baking, bring four cups of water to a boil in the dutch oven with two cups of rice and taco seasoning. Once the water begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook until the water is absorbed, about 15-18 minutes.
Once the chicken is cooked through, allow it to cool slightly, then cut the breasts in half and shred with a fork—season chicken with chili spice and the juice from one key lime.
To assemble, I layered the ingredients one at a time. Start with a thin layer of salsa on the bottom.
Next, spread a layer of chicken, then canned black beans, rice, cream cheese, green onions and cheddar cheese. Repeat the layers until the dutch oven is full.
Make sure to top the last layer with cheese. Leave the dutch oven uncovered and bake at 350°F until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.
Top with some more green onions, fresh cilantro, sliced avocados and sour cream.
NOTES: This recipe is not complete without cream cheese. Leave cream cheese on the counter to soften before spreading on its layers.
Have hunters in the family? Consider making this venison casserole next!
Dutch Oven Chicken Casserole
Mexican chicken casseroles such as this are a very hearty, inexpensive meal. Substitutions to make this vegan-friendly are simple enough as well.
Omit the chicken, replacing it with chickpeas. Chickpeas have a good flavor and are a great source of protein.
Or, kick it up a notch with a thin layer of jalapenos on top. Regardless of the route you choose, it will be a hit whether you are serving family or friends.
Make sure you leave a comment letting me know how it turned out! And for more great meal inspirations, check out some of my most popular ones below.
- Venison tacos
- Steak & potato skillet
- Bacon wrapped and stuffed backstrap
- Tuscan Chicken recipe
- Cajun roast Chicken
- Chicken pot pie (with homemade biscuits)
Southwest Chicken Casserole
- 3 cooked chicken breasts halved and shredded
- 2 cans of black beans drained 15 oz
- 2 cups of rice
- ½ cup of green onions
- 1 brick of cream cheese
- 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- Taco seasoning chili powder, cumin and salt
- 1 key lime
- Green and red onions avocados and sour cream for garnishing.
- Prepare rice in the dutch oven by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil with the rice along with 2 tbsps of taco seasoning.
- Once at a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let it cook for 15-18 minutes until water is absorbed.
- Season chicken generously with salt, chili powder, cumin and juice from one key lime.
- Begin layering in the ingredients, starting with salsa, then chicken, beans, rice, cream cheese, green onions and shredded cheese.
- Repeat the layers until the dutch oven is full.
- Top with cheese, then bake at 350°F for 15 minutes uncovered or until cheese is melted.