Take dinner South of the Border with this One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole! It’s a satisfying, family-friendly dinner that’s packed with flavor, and it can be customized a number of ways. It’s ready in 30 minutes and there’s only one pot to wash!

Mexican rice casserole in a skillet

I grew up eating a lot of casseroles and still love them to this day. They take me back to my childhood and they’re so comforting!

Many of the ones that my mom made required multiple pots and pans and a multitude of prep work.

I prefer to streamline the process because I hate doing dishes and taking extra steps that just aren’t necessary.

I created this easy recipe for Crockpot chicken and rice several years ago and it was life changing. I decided to take the same basic technique to the stove top to get even more flavor by browning the aromatics.

This Mexican rice casserole has a delicious South of the Border twist. It’s packed with chicken breast, beans, veggies, cheese and plenty of flavor.

I love that this recipe is easily made vegetarian, or you can try my one pot broccoli rice casserole or Mexican quinoa for even more options. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mexican chicken and rice casserole

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This Mexican rice casserole is an easy, satisfying dinner that’s packed with flavor!
  • There’s minimal prep and it’s made in just one pot for easy clean-up.
  • It’s naturally gluten-free and may easily be made vegetarian or vegan.
  • It’s great for meal prep and customizable with your favorite ingredients.

Recipe ingredients

Mexican rice casserole ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Rice. This recipe has only been tested with long grain white rice, so I don’t recommend substituting it with any other type of rice.
  • Chicken breast. Substitute the chicken breast with ground turkey or beef, or omit altogether to make this recipe vegetarian.
  • Chicken broth. Sub the chicken broth with vegetable stock to make this Mexican rice casserole vegetarian. Water may be used instead of stock, but it does not lend any flavor to the dish.
  • Seasoning. Use my homemade taco seasoning or your favorite store bought brand, just be careful that store bought brands contain more sodium.
  • Diced tomatoes. For maximum flavor, use fire roasted diced tomatoes, preferably low sodium.
  • Beans. Use any type of your favorite beans. If making this recipe vegetarian, add an additional can of beans or more veggies if desired.
  • Corn. Use fresh or frozen corn, or sub with your favorite veggies such as bell pepper, diced chilis, etc.
  • Cheese. Omit the cheese to make this recipe dairy-free.

How to make Mexican chicken and rice casserole

This meal is so quick to prepare, and there’s barely any chopping.  

To make this a true 30-minute meal, chop your onion and garlic and get them cooking while you cube your chicken breast.  

Pro tip: Be sure to use regular white rice, not quick cooking rice or brown rice as cooking times and amount of liquid vary.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

How to make Mexican chicken and rice casserole
  1. Cook the onion for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into 1″ cubes and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until no longer pink.
  4. Add the garlic, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the rice, beans and corn and bring to a boil once more, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and top with grated cheese and cilantro.
Mexican chicken and rice casserole

FAQs

What type of rice is best for rice casserole?

Different types of rice require various amounts of liquid and cooking times, so they’re not interchangeable.

Long grain white rice is essential for this Mexican rice casserole recipe as its made in just one pot with a specific amount of liquid and cooking time.

Can I make this Mexican rice casserole vegetarian?

Simply omit the chicken to make this recipe vegetarian, and omit the cheese to make it vegan.

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: Be sure to use regular white rice, not quick cooking rice or brown rice as cooking times and amount of liquid vary.
  • The chicken may be substituted with ground beef or turkey, or omitted altogether to make this recipe vegetarian.
  • Customize this recipe with your favorite veggies such as bell pepper or chilis to kick up the heat!
  • Mexican rice casserole is great for meal prep and keeps in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Spoonful of cheesy Mexican rice casserole

More one pot dinner recipes you’ll love:

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram!

Mexican rice casserole in a skillet

One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole

One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole is cheesy, satisfying and so easy to make! It's on the table in 30 minutes and there's only one pot to wash!
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast optional; see notes for substitutions
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning sub with your favorite store bought brand but adjust the amount if high in sodium
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 15 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes preferably low sodium
  • 2 cups chicken stock sub with vegetable broth if desired
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 15 ounces black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn thawed slightly if frozen
  • 1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese or your favorite
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro optional; for serving
  • lime wedges optional; for serving

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saute pan. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until starting to soften.
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 medium yellow onion
  • While the onion cooks, cut the chicken breast into 1" cubes and season with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet with the onion and saute 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken has lost most of it's pink color. Add the garlic, spices, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the rice, beans, and corn and bring to a boil once more. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed and the rice is done.
    1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 15 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes, 2 cups chicken stock, 1 cup white rice, 15 ounces black beans, 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • Remove from heat and top with the grated cheese and chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and enjoy!
    1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, lime wedges

Notes

  • Pro tip: Be sure to use regular white rice, not quick cooking rice or brown rice as cooking times and amount of liquid vary.
  • The chicken may be substituted with ground beef or turkey, or omitted altogether to make this recipe vegetarian.
  • Customize this recipe with your favorite veggies such as bell pepper or diced chilis to kick up the heat!
  • Mexican rice casserole is great for meal prep and keeps in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 477kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 436mg, Potassium: 766mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 731IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 197mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

**This recipe was originally published in February 2016. Step by step photos have been added and the text has been modified to include more recipe information.

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