Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole

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


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.


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.


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!


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!


4.9 from 24 reviews
Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 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
  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


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


Or give this yummy white chicken enchiladas a try!


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


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  1. Magdalena says

    I made this dish a few times and it has been a huge hit every time! Everyone just loves it. It tastes delicious and it’s so easy to make. I froze it too and it was great once heated up.

    I love your site!

  2. Michelle says

    I rarely comment on recipes before I try them, unless I have a question about an ingredient or method.

    But this recipe just looks too good to not comment on even before I make it.

    Guess what will be for dinner at my house tomorrow?

  3. Tami says

    Made this recipe last night and we all had seconds. It is very filling with the beans but we still went back for more. I used a very flavorful roasted chile taco sauce instead of enchilada sauce and a little green chile enchilada sauce. That gave it a ton of flavor. I was suspicious about the corn and cheese together but the corn added a nice sweetness. I just discovered this blog on Pinterest but plan to make of your recipes. Yum!

  4. Sophia says

    Made this tonight, so delicious! Didn’t have Monterey Jack cheese unfortunately but simply doubled the amount of Cheddar cheese and it worked brilliantly. Will definitely be making this again.

  5. Margaret says

    I was thinking of using your white chicken enchilada sauce in this recipe instead of the red enchilada sauce. So everything in this recipe stays the same except omit this sauce and substitute with your white sauce. what do you think? Margaret

    • says

      I think that sounds great Margaret, not sure about the quantities but play it by ear. I’d love to hear how it turns out. :)

  6. Stella says

    My husband and I really enjoyed this dish. I did alter it a bit to suit our taste and use what we had on hand. I halved the recipe because it’s just the two of us. I had no enchilada sauce on hand so I made my own from scratch. I used white rice, but Basmati would have been great! Wish I’d had some on hand. I left out the corn and used canned black beans instead of refried. I debated seasoning the chicken with spices as some have commented, but decided against it as I don’t really like my food too spicy. The recipe calls for shredded chicken but I just cubed up some chicken breast and browned it in an oven proof frying pan. Then I skipped the step of mixing everything in a bowl and just mixed it all in the frying pan. One less dish to wash! I didn’t use all the enchilada sauce because I wasn’t sure how “soupy” the casserole might be. I just used enough to get the ingredients nice and moist. Then I popped it in the oven for 25 minutes. When we plated our individual portions, we ladled more of the enchilada sauce on top and that worked out nicely. Wonderful recipe! Thank you for sharing it!

  7. Raquel says

    I have that boil in a bag Basmati rice, so I’m curious as to how much two cups of dry basmati rice is cooked rice in cups? Plan to make this for tomorrows dinner.

  8. Rexanne says

    Hi Jo,
    I was scouting out recipes to cook in my new crockpot casserole. This looks great, and I’m going to adapt it for my new gadget.
    I’ll let u know how it works out.
    Thanks for blogging it.

  9. Jo says

    wow, this really does look lovely. I am going to attempt a smaller portion of it as it is only me and my 6 year old daughter in the house. lol Can you freeze any leftover? I mean if you haven’t already used frozen chicken breast that is. Even if I half the recipe I’ll still have a lot of leftover and I don’t like binning food.

  10. Jenn says

    Made this for dinner a few weeks back and it was great. Plus we had a lot of left overs. Next time I will use black beans, I thought the rice and refried made it too filling, and maybe took away from the chicken enchilada sauce taste? I think I want something less heavy feeling? I forgot to add the corn, but I’m sure it would have made it that much better, so I hope I don’t forget next time!
    Found the link on pinterest, this will definitely go into the rotation.

  11. Aqua says

    Thank you Jo for your inspiring casserole recipe! I was looking for a way to use up some leftover chicken and rice.

    I didn’t have refried beans, but substituted can of Heinz BBQ chipotle beans.
    Only had mozzarella but it worked out good. No enchilada sauce, used a can of tomato sauce & low salt taco seasoning. mixed 3/4 of the corn right in, and saved the rest for the topping. (It was purdy too!)

    Served with a dollop of sour cream, and some green salad on the side. Mmmm.
    Even my kids loved it, and I can’t wait to try it using the original ingredients.

    Thanks again,

  12. Danielle says

    Hi Shannon,

    I’m making this for dinner tonight but I only have brown rice. Can I use that instead of using Basmati rice? If so, should I still use 2 cups of rice?


  13. bbglo says

    This is the second recipe that I’ve tried and both were delicious! It’s super easy to prepare too. I only used one 15 oz can of enchilada sauce because I didn’t want to waste a second for just a 1/3, and halved the rice. The can of refried beans I found had jalapeños in it, an added bonus. I warmed up a couple of sprouted grain tortillas to serve it with, which I highly suggest. Thanks for sharing!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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! :)

  19. 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.

  20. 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


      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!

  21. Alivia says

    Making this tonight for company and I can not wait! Do you suggest a 9×13 or an 8×8 since I don’t have a round corning ware dish! Thanks so much!

  22. NikkI says

    I made this last night with leftover white rice, a roast chook and added a diced chipotle pepper. Yummy! In Australia its hard to find any of your awesome Jack cheeses so I bought a 4 cheese mix and it was still great. You guys in the the U.S. do the best Mexican hands down!

  23. Christina says

    Made this yesterday, tastes good but mine came out mushy. Do you under cook your rice? Mine seemed to keep cooking and become swollen and mushy. But overall still a good recipe. Thanks.

      • Donna Smietana says

        I made this last night for dinner & it was amazing!! A friend was over & he & my hubby both loved it, in fact the friend had me copy the recipe for his wife. I made it just like you did, except I didn’t have Basmati rice, so I used brown rice instead, cooked as directed on package & it wasn’t mushy at all. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, as it will be on our regular menu

  24. Lori says

    Everyone loved this, and my gluten-free son can now get his Tex-Mex ‘enchilada’ fix!
    I used Hatch brand “Tex-Mex” GF enchilada sauce, but otherwise no changes. This recipe is now in Family Favorites. Thanks!!

  25. Emily M. says

    This is in the oven right now and I cannot wait to eat it! I didn’t use the beans because my husband HATES beans, but I plan to heat some up to eat with mine :) Ours is also a bit runnier because I am the master of paying attention ;) and didn’t notice until it was too late that my enchilada sauce cans were 15 oz instead of 10 oz, but I am sure it will still be delicious!

    I am so excited I found your blog and am sure many of your recipes will make it into our rotation!!

  26. Maria says

    Thanks for this recipe. My boyfriend and I tried it tonight and it’s a keeper! We also added some chopped onions, red and green peppers to sneak in more veggies. It’s delicious.

    • says

      Interesting idea, I think chili beans would be great, might give it a bit of a different flavor, but it will be delicious nonetheless. :)

  27. Justine says

    I’ve just made this recipe for dinner and it tastes great! However, I couldn’t find any kind of enchilada sauce, so I made it with fajita sauce. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a replacement for the enchilada sauce?

    Thank you!

  28. Hope says

    I wonder if quinoa would work as a sub for rice. my husband is carb-phobic :\ and i debating on black beans or refried, i have both but can’t decide which would be tastier!

  29. Lisa says

    Do you think sharp cheddar rather than white cheddar would work? This looks delish! I have everything on hand except the white cheddar.

  30. Addy says

    Oh, and I used jasmine rice because it’s what I had. Omg. There may be nothing left for my fiancé when he gets home.

  31. Addy says

    I just thought you should know I love/hate you for bringing this into my life. I made some adjustments : canned chicken (I know it’s terrible for you but I was feeling LAZY) and mixed the corn into the corn mixture, mainly because I didn’t read it close enough. So fantastic.

  32. Amy W says

    I made this for dinner tonight… I read all the comments & made a few adjustments, added more corn, mixing most of it in, reserving about 1/4cup from a 15oz can for topping, I added more cheese (because why not?), & I served it with optional flour tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, & salsa. It is AMAZING! I am soooo picky! I only eat rice with sushi & I haaaaaaaate casseroles but something about this made me want to try it & I’m so glad I did! My boyfriend proclaimed “I COULD EAT THIS FOR DAYS!” And I just love it! Thanks for posting, I can finally say there is a casserole I like! :)

    • says

      Sure you could, you’d still get the flavors, you might want to replace the chicken perhaps with some of your favorite vegetable.

  33. Jo O'Connor says

    Hi this looks so yummy. Just wondering, how do you cook your chicken before you shred it? Steam? Bake? Grill? Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Most of the time I’ll just cook it in boiling water, but many times I’ll just buy a roasted chicken and use the meat from that. Believe it or not sometimes that is the cheaper option.

  34. Ingrid Granberg says

    I’ve got these ready to go in the oven in an hour or so. Used homemade enchilada sauce, more corn, skipped the beans (didn’t have any on hand), and used plain long grain white rice. They smell great, and I can’t wait to try them! I thought about adding some pickled jalapeno as well, but was too lazy to get it out and chop it up.

  35. Elle says

    This sounds wonderful. I like green enchiladas, though. Would it work with green sauce? And I prefer black beans to refried beans. Wonder if that would work?

  36. Kathy says

    This sounds delicious! I don’t have basmati rice, would regular long grain rice or minute rice work ok in this recipe?

  37. says

    This sounds and looks fab, Im going to try a slow cook stove top version, with chicken cooked from raw within the ingredients? extra chillis added too ? Thankyou !

  38. Ellen McNatt says

    I saw you recipe and stopped. It looked so appealing. I plan to cook it this week. Does the Chicken Enchilada Rice Cassero freeze well if i plan to double the recipe.

  39. says

    Made this at the request of my eldest. Everyone loved it. We used Target’s Market Pantry brand Enchilada Sauce. It was actually really good. Even had a kick to it. The only changes requested is mixing the corn and all the cheese in with the chicken mix and then not having a topping. We’ll add more corn next time too…but that’s just personal preference.

    I was wondering if you could do this with different flavor profiles. For example, I wanted it to try it with normal roasted chicken and add mushrooms and cream of mushroom soup and swiss cheese. Or even do some kind of Italian version. Have you ever tried that?

    • says

      Glad you liked it. I haven’t not tried this particular recipe with different ingredients, but everything you mentioned sounds amazing. :)

  40. Martha Heard says

    I think I’m going to make this like chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce…probably add some green chiles…I think this will be supper tomorrow with some homemade guacamole and chips!! And of course some awesome margaritas!!!

  41. says

    Simple And easy dish…. Made twice one your way and other changed a couple things … Love the refried bean idea… If you like it spicier use refried spicy beans… I also cook my rice with butter but in my chicken broth left from Cooking chicken breast instead of water … Just for added flavor!!! Love this recipe .. So many ways to add to and make different !!! Looking forward to more your recipes !!!

    • says

      I tried Coop, Safeway and Superstore today, but could not find any enchilada sauce. Found a small jar, but not in a can. May I ask where you find it?

      • says

        Hi Jacquie,
        I just bought some at Sobey’s, I know Safeway has it too because I have bought it there before, just hard to find and when you ask any of the employees they can never tell you where it’s at. Usually I find it with all the Mexican ingredients.

  42. says

    This works. What a simple, useful meal. Why haven’t I thought of this? Don’t answer that. Laughing. A salad and a stack of fresh tortillas—-Look out dinner is here. Oh yeah and the sangria. Can’t forget

    • says

      You can skip the corn and just top it with some chopped tomatoes and/or chopped avocados after you bake it for a true Mexican dish. :)

  43. REE says


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