Creamy, zesty, and irresistibly cheesy, southwestern chicken casserole lets you feed your family classic Mexican food effortlessly and easily!
If you love Mexican food, whip up this quick and easy southwestern chicken casserole using prepared and packaged foods that tastes like you're south of the border.
Table of Contents
- Mexican and Southwestern Recipes
- Why You'll Love This Southwest Chicken Casserole
- Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- How to Make Southwestern Chicken Casserole with Rotel
- How to Cook Chicken for Chicken Casserole
- What to Serve with Mexican Chicken Casserole
- Make Ahead
- How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
- More South of the Border Recipes
Mexican and Southwestern Recipes
We love Mexican food in our house, whether it's the standard tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or a dish that incorporates all our most loved south-of-the-border flavors. This Mexican casserole with chicken has all of our favorite ingredients, including taco seasoning, lots of cheese, and spicy Ro-Tel tomatoes.
Why You'll Love This Southwest Chicken Casserole
This chicken casserole is easy to make, using canned, prepackaged, and already prepared food. Using pre-made ingredients will save you so much time!
You'll love how much time you'll save on those nights when your family all has a different schedule. Chicken casserole with Rotel heats up well, so people can eat it when they get home.
Since it's made with hash browns, it's also a great southwestern breakfast casserole.
It freezes well and is great for taking to work for lunch.
- Hash Browns with taco seasoning
- Cream of Chicken Soup
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
- Rotisserie Chicken - leftover chicken can also be used
- Tortilla Chips - use your favorite flavor
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Cheese - You can substitute Cheddar cheese with a Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack.
- Chicken - You can substitute the chicken with browned ground beef, shredded leftover turkey, cooked Mexican chorizo sausage, or cooked breakfast sausage.
- Hash Browns - Refrigerated is great so you don't have to thaw them. I recommend Simply Potatoes brand for this casserole. If using frozen hash browns, remember to allow time for thawing them and thaw them according to the package instructions.
- Rotel - You can substitute Rotel with salsa, canned diced tomatoes for a milder flavor, and hot Rotel for an extra kick of heat.
How to Make Southwestern Chicken Casserole with Rotel
- In a large bowl, combine rotisserie chicken (or leftover chicken), soups, tomatoes, and hash browns that have been seasoned with 2 tablespoons taco seasoning.
- Mix well.
- Crush half of the tortilla chips and place in the bottom of a baking dish that has been sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray.
- Spoon half of the chicken mixture on top of the tortilla chips.
- Sprinkle half the cheese over chicken mixture.
- Place the rest of the chicken mixture over the cheese.
- Cover with the remainder of the tortilla chips that have been lightly crushed.
- Finish with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees or until ingredients are bubbling and top is nicely browned.
How to Cook Chicken for Chicken Casserole
In case you don't want to use rotisserie chicken, you can make this casserole with cooked chicken. Here's the best way to prepare chicken for this casserole:
- Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a baking dish.
- Season them with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle olive oil over the chicken.
- Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until done (internal temp is 165°F).
- Cool the chicken to room temperature.
- Use forks to shred the chicken.
You'll need 2½ cups of baked shredded chicken for this recipe which is about ¾ pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Prepare the casserole without baking it. Keep it refrigerated until ready to bake. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator before preheating the oven.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
To Store Leftovers: Cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days
To Freeze Unbaked: Wrap the dish with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw the unbaked casserole in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
To Freeze Leftovers: Cool the casserole completely. Transfer the leftovers to a freeze-safe airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
To Reheat: Cover the dish with foil and bake it at 325°F for about 15 minutes or until warmed through. You can also reheat it in the microwave on HIGH in 30-second increments until warmed through.
More South of the Border Recipes
Beef Tortilla Stack is like a Mexican lasagna with layers of tortillas, beef, and cheese.
Turkey Enchilada Casserole with ground turkey, green chilies, black beans, and two kinds of cheese.
Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla with perfectly seasoned shredded chicken and sharp Cheddar cheese.
Crispy Baked Tortilla Chips made with flour tortillas are great to serve with this casserole.
There's more! Take a look at my easy Mexican food recipes here on 2CM!
Southwestern Chicken Casserole
- 1 pkg 20-oz refrigerated hash browns (I used Simply Potatoes brand found in the diary aisle)
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 can 10.5-oz condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 can 10.5-oz condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can 10-oz Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
- 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 10-13 oz tortilla chips, lightly crumbled (
- 2 ½ cups cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×11-inch baking dish by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray.
- Place hash browns in a large bowl and flavor with taco seasoning. Add soups, undrained Rotel tomatoes, and shredded chicken. Stir well.
- Lightly crush ½ of the tortilla chips into the bottom of the baking dish, spreading evenly. Pour ½ of the potato-chicken mixture on top of the chips and top with ½ of the cheese.
- Repeat the potato-chicken layer then add the remaining tortilla chips. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until top is brown and the ingredients are bubbling.
- Serve hot.
This post has been updated with new photos and more helpful information. It was first published on July 29, 2015.