This Chicken Rice Bake is a fun twist on the family classic! Perfect for busy weeknights or when family and friends come over for dinner!
10 minute prep Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken and Rice Bake bursting with cheesy sweet heat the whole family will go crazy for.
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake
While Homemade Salsa usually gets all the love, have you tried Salsa Verde?!! It’s fresh, bright, tangy, with a kick from the jalapenos or serrano peppers. It is stand alone delicious like in my 3 Ingredient Salsa Verde Chicken or I love pairing it with honey like in my Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas and many more because it is more tart than red salsa.
These chicken enchiladas continue to be one of my most popular recipes, receive rave reviews and pin like crazy so I thought it time I spin all of the palate pleasing sweet and spicy flavors of those enchiladas into an uber quick and easy rice bake that is sure to become another family favorite – especially when you don’t feel like stuffing and rolling tortillas.
Like in my enchiladas, your cooked chicken (you can get rotisserie, or whatever you have on hand), gets marinated for 10 minutes in salsa verde, honey, lime and a handful of my favorite Mexican spices such as cumin, smoked paprika and chipotle pepper. If you have been following along, you will notice I use a lot of the same spices in my Mexican dishes, so if you don’t have them all on hand, they are definitely worth collecting. I promise you will use them again and again!
In 10 short minutes, the chicken soaks up mega flavor and you are ready to add your cheese, green chilies, corn and sour cream. Mix it all together, (it will look kind of “wet” which is how it should be) top with more cheese and bake. Easy peasy!
Spicy honey lime enveloped layers of chicken and rice. One of my favorite flavor combinations with one of my favorite texture combinations. Win. Win.
Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken and Rice Bake. Easy never tasted so complexly delicious.
Ingredients for This Chicken and Rice Bake
This oven baked chicken and rice casserole comes together with minimal ingredients (most of which are spices!).
- Chicken breasts: I used meal prepped cooked chicken breasts for this recipe, but feel free to buy a rotisserie chicken from the store.
- Rice: You’ll need cooked long grain rice or brown rice for this recipe.
- Salsa verde: Homemade or store-bought works!
- Sour cream: Use full-fat sour cream for the most flavor (but light works too).
- Shredded cheese: I used a blend of Monterrey Jack and cheddar cheese.
- Canned corn: I’m sure frozen corn would work too, just be sure to thaw and drain before mixing into the casserole.
- Mild diced green chiles: Use spicier chiles for extra heat.
- Honey: Balances out the heat from the spices.
- Lime juice: Freshly squeezed or bottled juice will work.
- Spices: I used a mixture of chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and more!
How to Make Chicken and Rice Bake
This cheesy chicken and rice bake couldn’t be simpler to make! Here are the basic steps:
- In a very large bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Add cooked chopped chicken and let marinate 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix cheeses together. Then, add 2 cups of the cheese, salsa verde, rice, sour cream, green chilies, and corn to the chicken and marinade. Stir until evenly combined.
- Add chicken/rice mixture to a 9×13-inch casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until hot in the center then broil until cheese is golden.
Tips for Making Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Cheese: mix up the flavor profile by adding your favorite cheeses.
- Rice: use any kind of rice you’d like. Just note that it should be cooked before being added to this casserole.
- Chicken: chop or shred the chicken. Do whatever you prefer!
- Salsa: I LOVE salsa verde, but you cold try experimenting with other salsas.
Recipe Variations to Try
- Make it vegetarian: I love this oven baked chicken and rice as is, but you can easily make it veggie by omitting the chicken and adding in 2 cans of black beans (drained).
- Make it spicier: Amp up the cayenne pepper in this dish and / or use spicy diced green chiles.
- Add veggies: I kept things simple and added just corn to this dish. But feel free to add roasted veggies, other canned veggies, beans, etc.
Can I Prep This Chicken and Rice Bake in Advance?
Yes! You can assemble the casserole, cover it with foil, and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking it off.
How to Store Chicken and Rice Bake
Store leftovers of this cheesy chicken and rice bake in the fridge in an airtight container. Leftovers will last up to 5 days.
How to Reheat Chicken and Rice Casserole
I recommend reheating leftovers of this chicken and rice casserole from scratch in the oven or in the microwave. If reheating in the microwave, you may want to add a splash of water to the dish so that the rice doesn’t dry out.
Can I Freeze Chicken and Rice Bake?
Yes! Let cool to room temperature, then seal inside a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. It’ll last up to 3 months frozen. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight.
What to Serve with Chicken and Rice Casserole
This cheesy chicken and rice bake is a meal-in-one complete with protein, veggies and grains. So, you call dinner done or serve it with any of these additional sides:
- Bread: Garlic Bread, Dinner Rolls, or Garlic Parmesan Butter Breadsticks.
- Salad: Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch, Cucumber Tomato Salad, Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Apple Salad, Pear Salad, Roasted Butternut Squash Salad or Green Bean Salad.
- Vegetables: Roasted Parmesan Broccoli, Roasted Parmesan Asparagus, Roasted Butternut Squash, Roasted Carrots, Glazed Carrots, Roasted Cauliflower, Sautéed Brussels Sprouts, or Parmesan Roasted Root Vegetables.
- Fruit: Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette, Winter Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, Tropical Fruit Salad,or Pina Colada Fruit Salad.
Looking for More Chicken and Rice Recipes?
- One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Rice
- Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
- Thai Soup with Coconut Chicken and Rice
- One Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice
- Dijon Chicken, Cheddar, Broccoli and Rice Skillet
- Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
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