Monday, August 29, 2011

Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole

I don’t know about you, but after a rough day, I crave comfort food. And when it comes to comfort food, I like it as carb-y and cheesy as possible. Not exactly healthy, I know. But that’s why it’s comfort food, right? I mean come on, who ever wanted carrot sticks and bean sprouts after a hard day? Unless maybe they were tossed in an Asian-inspired dish and smothered in peanut sauce. In which case, sign me up.

But what if comfort food could be healthy(ish) and comforting at the same time? What if you could still satisfy the craving for carbs and cheese and stick-to-your-ribs casseroles without completely destroying your waistline? That would be a good thing right?

I thought so. And so I tried today’s recipe. One, because it looked ridiculously good. And two, because it wasn’t nearly as unhealthy as it would appear at first glance. This casserole is full of good things. Chicken and brown rice and chiles and black beans and corn and salsa. All healthy. Sour cream (I used reduced-fat) makes it a little creamy, and just a little cheese makes it gooey. All you have to do is stir everything together and bake until bubbly.

One bite and I was in love. This Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole is complete comfort food, but it doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. Serve it up with a salad on the side and you’ve got a meal that will comfort your belly… and your conscience.

One Year Ago: Grilled Portobello Paninis and Sautéed Spinach with Peanuts

Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole
Adapted from How Sweet It Is


2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
4 cups cooked brown (or white) rice
1 cup corn
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, etc.), plus extra for the topping

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, rice, corn, black beans, chiles, sour cream, salsa, and cheese.  Mix well.

Transfer the chicken mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.

Serves 4 to 6.


  1. This sounded so good, I made it for my lunch today! But...I had cooked a beef brisket over the weekend so subbed shredded beef for the chicken - VERY good. Since I thought the beef might need a bit more oomph, I used jalapenos, added some cumin.

  2. Ann - As always, your adaptation sounds delicious! I love the idea of adding shredded beef to this recipe. And cumin is my favorite spice ever. So yeah, I'm loving your ideas!

  3. you have to cook the rice first don't you?

  4. Anonymous - Yes, the rice needs to be cooked first.

  5. It's been getting cold here- this was the perfect dinner last night! I thought this was more like 8 servings- Nick and I literally only got through like a 1/4 of this between the two of us for dinner. It'll be making daily appearances for lunch- can't wait!!

  6. Heather - Good to hear from you! I'm glad you and Nick enjoyed this one. I'm not surprised it seemed like more servings than what we got from it - I have to base my portions on Stan-sized meals, and he eats a lot!

  7. Christine Kawsky WickenheiserFebruary 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Katie, I just started making your recipes and Now I'm obsessed! Made this tonight and the whole family loved it! Hope you are well and keep the recipes coming! :)

  8. A little late to the game.... But I made this for me and my husband and it made a LOT! chicken is cooked, rice is cooked, everything is combined.... Can I freeze the part I didn't cook for another time?



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