Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole – all the makings of a chicken enchilada but with rice. It’s simply delicious!

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By now I’m sure you’ve figured out that I love my Chicken Enchiladas. It is in fact my favorite Mexican food and it usually is my dish of choice whenever I make it to a Mexican restaurant, which lately is not often. While you can already find many different chicken enchilada recipes here on my blog, in no way does it deter me from coming up with new recipes for chicken enchiladas.

However sometimes my imagination lacks … well, imagination. I mean how many different ways can you roll up a chicken enchilada? But you know the saying I had a dream? I really did have a dream. About chicken enchiladas nonetheless! But not wrapped in a tortilla, but a rice casserole type of dish, with all the ooey gooey flavors of the enchilada.

So the next day after my big dream, off to the kitchen I went and started my enchilada adventure. I prefer to use Basmati rice, I simply love the flavor of it, so I decided to cook 2 cups of rice. Normally I only cook 1 cup of rice, so I don’t think I was expecting 2 cups of dry rice to give me so much cooked rice. But it’s all good, this is a good recipe, one that I don’t mind taking for lunch every single day of the week.

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Of course you cannot have chicken enchilada without the actual chicken. I used 3 chicken breasts here, but feel to free to use any part of the chicken you prefer, and shred it. After you took out your frustrations on that chicken and shredded it, smother it in some enchilada sauce. Now I buy my sauce, but if you prefer to make your own, feel free.

Because most chicken enchiladas will have refried beans, I was really on the fence about this ingredient. I just really didn’t know if it was going to make the rice all mushy and gross, but I also really wanted the flavor of some refried beans. So I went with it, I mixed in some refried beans and I did not look back.

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Of course one also needs lots of cheese with an enchilada, otherwise it’s no enchilada! I decided to use a white cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. I used a cup of each which I mixed together, then threw in a cup in the rice mixture and left a cup for the top of the casserole.

As you can see I also topped the casserole with some corn kernels, cause they’re so purrty, and I love corn!

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After you bake this baby, I dare you to wait until it cools off a bit before you dig in. It smells good, it’s got all the flavors of a chicken enchilada and it’s a gorgeous casserole. Not to mention I just made enough to feed the entire neighbourhood (yes I’m Canadian and that’s how we spell neighbourhood).

Now all you need for this yummy meal is a good cold pitcher of a Sangria!

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5.0 from 14 reviews
Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 cups dry Basmati rice
  • 2 cans (10 oz each) Enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso)
  • 1 can (16 oz) refried beans (I used Old El Paso)
  • 1 cup white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 can (11 oz) corn kernel
  • cilantro for garnish
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice. I cooked it with 4 cups of water and ¼ cup of butter.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  3. Mix the 2 cheeses together.
  4. In a large bowl mix the shredded chicken with the enchilada sauce, refried beans and half of the cheese. Add rice, season with salt and pepper if needed, and mix well. Pour rice mixture into a large casserole dish. Top with corn then with remainder of cheese.
  5. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese melts and is bubbly.
  6. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 431 Fat: 11.0g Saturated fat: 5.0g Trans fat: 0.0g Carbohydrates: 66.6g Sugar: 1.3g Sodium: 282mg Fiber: 15.5g Protein: 25.3g Cholesterol: 54mg

For another delicious Chicken Enchilada Rice dish try this One Pot Chicken and Sausage Rice Enchilada

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If you like this enchilada rice casserole, you might want to try a more traditional and simple 4 ingredient Chicken Enchilada Casserole:

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Or give this yummy white chicken enchiladas a try!

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How about a slightly healthier version? Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake!

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Comments

  1. says

    It was really good. What I like about this recipe is how versatile it is. Just wanted to throw a tip out there. If you throw the cooked chicken in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, you’ll get perfectly shredded chicken in 15-20 seconds.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  2. Leanne says

    For some reason I didn’t have high expectations for this recipe and WOW was I wrong. I literally JUST finished eating dinner (I had thirds) and had to say how good it is. I used white rice instead of the kind listed on the recipe because of price, and I used Old El Paso Hot enchilada sauce which gave it the perfect amount of heat. I was worried that this made too much but now after eating it I’m sooo happy for all the leftovers!

  3. Mom says

    This has real potential but it’s somewhat bland as-is even when I added a can of green chili peppers and boiled the chicken in burrito seasoning. Enchiladas even at Mexican restaurants sometimes lack a certain something in the flavor department. Nonetheless, my husband and mom like them so I tried this recipe. If I make this again, I will add more enchilada sauce and season the heck out of it (maybe siracha, maybe sazon, maybe even fajita seasoning). I’ll also serve with guacamole or at least avacado & sour cream with some green onion tossed in. It’s a nice base recipe though and I’m grateful for the chance to make something different tonight!

  4. Ashley says

    I made this today but a little differently. I cooked the chicken in the Crockpot with the sauce and then stirred in the cooked rice and topped it all with cheese. I taste tested and it’s great. I am just waiting for hubby to get home now! I’ve been craving chicken and rice lately but didn’t want to use cream of chicken. I love Mexican flavors so this is a nice compromise. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Ashley says

    I made this last night for my boyfriend and I as a last minute craving Mexican food meal. It was amazing! I didn’t use the beans because I don’t like them but it tasted great. Also, I just cooked the chicken on the stove in a skillet with salt and pepper and just took a fork and knife to it to shred it. My boyfriend loved this meal so much he went back for thirds and then ate leftovers today! :)

  6. says

    Have you tried freezing this for later? I’m thinking of making this without the cheese then freezing it. I’ll add the cheese when I heat it before serving.

  7. Carmin says

    This was absolutely amazing! I made some crockpot carnitas the day before and used the leftovers in place of chicken. I used Trader Joe’s black refritos and some frozen Iowa sweetcorn from this summer (about 4 ears worth). Since I had extra corn, I mixed it in and put some sliced black olives on top. Just wonderful!

    • says

      Hi Shannon, not a dumb question. Usually what I do is I buy a roasted chicken from my grocery store and use the breast for that, otherwise I’ll just boil the chicken breast or even just roast it myself in the oven with some seasoning and herbs. But boiling is probably the easiest.

      • Charlie Wilson says

        I have gotten away from boiling chicken to use in recipes. It is definitely easiest but I think boiling leaves the chicken without much flavor. I think it is better to bake it with skin on then remove the skin later. Season with herbs for even more flavor. In this dish other things are going to flavor the dish so maybe how the chicken is cooked is not that important. Haven’t cooked this yet but I will.

    • Kristin says

      Shannon,

      I do three pieces of frozen chicken breast in a crockpot, usually with a pack of taco seasoning, though for this recipe, you could do half of the enchilada sauce [& save the other half for when you're mixing everything else together later]. It makes it a bit more time consuming, but the chicken pulls apart with a fork SOO easily.

      Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

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