Queso Smothered Chicken & Rice

Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice – this easy Mexican chicken and rice is sure to become a family favorite! Smoky chicken baked on a bed of cheesy rice and black beans and topped with a spicy cheese sauce. One bite and you will be blown away! Serve with a chopped salad for a meal the whole family will love.

chicken breast on a spatula over a baking dish with text overlay

Plain Chicken participates in affiliate advertising programs. We may earn a commission when you make purchases through links on our site.

Remember this recipe.

Pin this recipe to your favorite board now to remember it later!

Pin This Recipe

Cheesy Mexican Chicken & Rice Casserole

OMG! Let me tell you about the incredible taste of my Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole! It’s like a flavor explosion in every single bite, and I can’t get enough of it. The tender, juicy chicken gets smothered in the creamiest, dreamiest queso sauce you can imagine – it’s like a cheese-lover’s paradise! And that rice? Oh, it soaks up all that cheesy goodness, becoming a delectable, base for the chicken. The spices I’ve added give it just the right amount of kick without being overwhelming. The best part is the crispy, golden cheese on top that adds that perfect crunch! I promise you, one bite of this casserole, and you’ll be hooked. It’s the ultimate comfort food that brings smiles and satisfaction to everyone at the table.

baking dish of queso smothered chicken topped with tomatoes

How to Make Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice

This dish is super easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. Place boneless skinless chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag. Pour a bottle of mesquite marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 3 minutes per side. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together a jar of salsa con queso, heavy cream, and Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles. Reserve 1 cup of cheese mixture.

In a large bowl, stir together cooked rice, black beans, taco seasoning, and the remaining queso mixture. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Spread the rice mixture into a baking dish. Place the seared chicken on top of the rice and pour the reserved queso over the top of the chicken. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake. Remove the foil from the pan and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the casserole. Bake uncovered until the rice is bubbly and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Garnish with chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and green onions.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can use any chicken in this recipe that you prefer. Chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken tenderloins all work great.
  • You can use any cooked rice that you prefer. Long grain white rice, brown rice, instant rice, or basmati rice are all delicious.
    • Cook your rice in chicken broth for extra flavor!
  • Here is our recipe for Homemade Taco Seasoning made with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper: https://www.plainchicken.com/homemade-taco-seasoning/
  • Variations/Additions:
    • onions
    • bell peppers
    • corn
    • green chilies
  • Can I make Chicken and Rice Casserole in advance? Yes. Assemble the casserole and cover the pan with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
    • When ready to bake, bring the pan to room temperature and bake as directed.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
plate of mexican chicken and rice

What to Serve with Baked Chicken and Rice

This casserole has quickly earned a spot in our dinner rotation. The whole family loves it! Need some side dish ideas? I’ve got some mouthwatering suggestions to make it a complete meal! We love to top this dish with some sour cream, chopped avocado, a squirt of lime juice, and salsa.  To complement the creamy and cheesy goodness of the casserole, I recommend serving it with our favorite Mexican Chopped Salad. The fresh flavors and creamy texture of the avocado perfectly balance the richness of the queso sauce. For an extra kick, whip up a batch of my famous Green Chile Beer Cheese Muffins – it’s the ideal blend of heat and sweetness! And don’t forget the tortilla chips and homemade salsa!

Looking for more side dish ideas? Here are some popular recipes from the website:

Cheesy Rotel Asparagus

Cheesy Rotel Asparagus – easy baked asparagus recipe loaded with tons of Mexican flavors. Low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free. Super simple…

Southwestern Green Beans

Southwestern Green Beans with Rotel- only 4 ingredients and ready in about 20 minutes! Oven-roasted green beans, Mexican Rotel tomatoes,…

Killer Refried Bean Bean Dip

Killer Refried Bean Dip – only 5 ingredients! Refried beans, hamburger, taco seasoning, salsa and Velveeta. Can make on the…

chicken breast on a spatula over a baking dish with text overlay

Queso Smothered Chicken & Rice

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice – this easy Mexican chicken and rice is sure to become a family favorite! Smoky chicken baked on a bed of cheesy rice and black beans and topped with a spicy cheese sauce. One bite and you will be blown away! Serve with a chopped salad for a meal the whole family will love.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle Lawry’s Mesquite marinade
  • cups cooked rice
  • 1 (10-oz) can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Tbsp taco seasoning
  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 (15-oz) jar salsa con queso
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  • Place boneless skinless chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag. Pour a bottle of mesquite marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 3 minutes per side. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together a jar of salsa con queso, heavy cream, and Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles. Reserve 1 cup of cheese mixture.
  • In a large bowl, stir together cooked rice, black beans, taco seasoning, and the remaining queso mixture. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Spread the rice mixture into a baking dish. Place the seared chicken on top of the rice and pour the reserved queso over the top of the chicken.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil from the pan and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the casserole. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rice is bubbly and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Notes:

photo of two types of mesquite marinade
  • I use Lawry’s Mesquite marinade. I buy it at Walmart and Kroger.
    • Can substitute McCormick’s Grill Mates Mesquite Marinade Mix.
  • You can use any chicken in this recipe that you prefer. Chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken tenderloins all work great.
  • You can use any cooked rice that you prefer. Long-grain white rice, brown rice, instant rice, or basmati rice are all delicious.
  • Here is our recipe for Homemade Taco Seasoning made with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper: https://www.plainchicken.com/homemade-taco-seasoning/

Steph

Remember this recipe.

Pin this recipe to your favorite board now to remember it later!

Pin This Recipe
plate of mexican chicken and rice with text overlay
baking dish of queso smothered chicken and rice with text overlay
plate of mexican chicken and rice with text overlay

Categories:

Tags:

You Might Also Like

See All Mexican

Rotel Rice

Rotel Mexican Rice – effortless to make and packed full of amazing flavor! White rice, butter, chicken broth, taco seasoning, cumin,…

Mexican Chicken Soup

Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe – comfort food at its best! Tender chicken, a medley of beans, corn kernels, cream of chicken…

Comments

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating