Mexican food. Enchiladas. Easy casserole.
My husband and I are big fans of Mexican food so I tend to cook it often. Even if I only have rice, beans, and a jar of salsa handy, I can always whip up something quick that vaguely imitates Mexican food. It’s not fancy by any means, but it works for those days when we have a craving but I’m feeling lazy in the kitchen.
You know what’s great about this enchilada casserole? (Besides everything.) You don’t have to make the enchilada sauce and you don’t have to roll tortillas. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for that (and I’ve got recipes to prove it). This meal is a perfect option for when you’re craving those delicious enchilada flavors and you want a quick recipe (you know, for those lazy days… we all have them).
Have you ever had a dry casserole? I have and it’s not pretty. If you think about it, it kinda makes sense as to why that can happen easily and often. Many casserole recipes call for you to pre-cook the ingredients, place them into a baking dish, and then bake. Essentially this means that you are cooking everything (or almost everything) twice, which might result in dried out meats or a pasty center.
This casserole is NOT dry. It’s loaded with enchilada sauce and refried beans which helps to keep the chicken and rice nice and moist. I suppose all that delicious cheese on top makes for a great barrier too. 😉 Also, it’s only in the oven for about 20 minutes and the less time it’s in there the less time it has for drying out.
The corn is an awesome addition. Not only does it add a bit of texture, but it also tastes great with the flavors going on here.
The chiles and Pepper Jack cheese add a hint of heat. Seriously, it’s not spicy, but it does add great flavor. However, if you literally want zero spice then feel free to omit the chiles and use another kind of cheese like cheddar or Monterey Jack.
You know what else is fabulous about this meal? It’s a great make-ahead meal AND it reheats well. Oh, and it makes a crapload of food. My husband ate the leftovers for lunch (for a whole week) and apparently his lunch smelled good enough from across the table that his co-workers were asking for the recipe. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. 😉
Chicken And Rice Enchilada Casserole Recipe
(About 12 servings)
- 2 cups rice, uncooked (I used brown rice)
- 1 pound chicken breast
- salt and pepper (to season the chicken)
- 1 can (10 ounces) Enchilada mild sauce
- 1 can (16 ounces) spicy refried beans (you can use normal if you can’t find spicy)
- 1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles
- 2 cups Pepper Jack cheese, shredded (equivalent to 8 ounces)
- 1 cup corn
- Cook the rice according to the directions on the package and then set it aside.
- Cut the chicken into small pieces.
- In a large skillet, add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, remove the skillet from the heat and add in the enchilada sauce, refried beans, green chiles, and cooked rice. Mix all of the ingredients well.
- Pour the chicken and rice mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. (Really any size baking dish will do as long as it can all fit.)
- Sprinkle the corn on top of the mixture.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the corn.
- Bake it in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the inside of the casserole is hot.
Adapted from: Jo Cooks
Here are some other excellent enchilada recipes.