Cheesy Chicken Fiesta Casserole is filled with crispy coated chicken breasts and covered with a lightly spiced creamy cheese sauce. It’s all packed into one easy to bake, cheesy casserole. The perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family.
Cheesy Chicken Fiesta Casserole
Weeknights are pretty hectic for most families and quick and easy one-pan dishes are real lifesavers! And it’s hard to beat this simple cheesy Chicken Fiesta Casserole for a delicious dinner. It’s just a matter of coating the chicken with seasoning and crumbs then whipping up a yummy cheese sauce to bake it in. Because, if you’re like me, an ooey gooey cheese sauce makes everything taste better. I mean, just look at that creamy cheesy sauce!
The chicken is coated with a taco seasoning and cheesy cracker crumbs. You can use a mild seasoning or a hot seasoning depending on your heat preference. The sauce has two cheeses, cheddar and pepper jack, but if you don’t like the heat, change out the pepper jack for Monterey Jack and you’ll be all set. The cheeses are combined with half and half, green chiles and onions but I like to use a fat-free half and half to cut calories.
Easy steps to make this Mexican-inspired chicken casserole
- Gather your ingredients to prepare the chicken. Just 4 large chicken breasts, taco seasoning (see notes in recipe section to make your own) and Cheez-Its.
- Make the Cheez-Its, or any cheesy cracker or chip, into crumbs by either placing in a large plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin or using a small chopper. I swear by my Ninja chopper and use it for grinding nuts, pestos and even nice cream.
- Place chicken in bag and toss to coat. Place in prepared 9×13-inch baking dish.
To prepare cheese sauce
- In a large skillet, heat butter and saute green onions for 3-5 minutes.
- Pour cream into skillet and stir to mix.
- Add cheeses, stirring to melt.
- Add green chiles.
- Stir and pour over coated chicken.
- Bake. When you serve the chicken, make sure when you dish it out with all that yummy cheese sauce!
Serve with cilantro rice and black beans for a real Mexican fiesta. Psst! Don’t forget to spoon that sauce over the rice too – oh it’s so good!
Now take a bite and savor the crispy chicken that’s coated with a lightly spiced creamy cheese sauce. You’ll be going back for seconds in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions & Tips
Can I make this casserole in the morning? Yes, most certainly! This casserole can be prepared early in the day then refrigerated until dinner time. Take out 30 minutes prior to cooking to bring closer to room temperature then add 5 minutes on to cook time.
Can it be frozen? Definitely yes! I like to place mine in baggies that hold just what my husband and I can eat. Just defrost in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave.
Pro-Tip: This recipe can be adapted to your family’s taste. Don’t like too much heat? Try subbing the jalapeno jack with Monterey Jack cheese. Don’t have Cheez-Its on hand, any cracker will do such as Ritz, or even flavored chips like Doritos.
Side dishes to complete this Cheesy Chicken Casserole dinner
Cilantro Rice from 2 Cookin Mamas – fresh cooked rice is seasoned with lime juice and tossed with cilantro for a Mexican flair.
Roasted Corn Salad from 2 Cookin Mamas – a lighter side dish featuring fresh roasted corn & a rainbow of vegetables topped with citrusy lime vinaigrette.
Instant Pot Black Beans from My Stay at Home Adventures – start the beans mixed with seasonings and broth in the Instant Pot when you start baking this casserole and everything will be ready at the same time.
More easy chicken dinners for the work week
Cheesy Chicken Fiesta Casserole is filled with crispy coated chicken breasts and covered with a lightly spiced creamy cheese sauce. It's all packed into one easy to bake, cheesy casserole. The perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family.
- 1 cup Cheez-Its crumbed
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts or 8 small
- 4 green onions chopped
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 cups fat-free half & half
- 1 cup Pepper Jack shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 can 4 oz chopped green chiles, do not drain
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13x9x2-inch baking dish by spraying with a non-stick spray.
Crumb Cheez-Its by placing into large ziploc bag and seal. Using a rolling pin, just roll over it in different directions until there are only fine crumbs left. You can also save time by grinding it in a small chopper. I like the Ninja Chopper, works well and easy to clean.
Mix crumbed mixture with the taco seasoning in the same bag.
Place the chicken pieces, one at a time, in the bag and shake to coat.
Place chicken into prepared pan in a single layer. I like to pat the remaining seasoned crumbs left in the bag onto the chicken.
In a medium skillet, melt butter and sauté green onions until tender.
Stir in half & half, cheeses and green chiles.
Pour over chicken then place in oven, uncovered, and bake for 45 minutes.