This chicken taco casserole recipe is a quick, easy, no-fuss dinner solution for when you want the flavors of tacos, but don't have time to set up a taco bar. It's made with shredded chicken and black beans, a creamy taco spiced cheese sauce, and all your favorite taco fixings. Simply mix, bake and serve!
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I don't often make casseroles for dinner, but this one I love! It's so easy to make and the Mexican flavors are so delicious. It's one of those dinners that I know the whole family will love!
It works great for me to make ahead and use it during the week when I don't have so much time to spend in the kitchen. Sometimes, I will even make two batches. One for the week and then another to store in the freezer for an easy freezer meal.
If you like easy meals, you might also love this air fryer salmon, a simple recipe that cooks up quickly. I also like to use my slow cooker to prepare meals when I don't have a lot of time. This cabbage soup recipe cooks up all day and is ready to serve at dinner time with virtually no additional work.
Taco Casserole with Chicken Ingredients
With just 8 ingredients, you can make this Mexican casserole with chicken and have plenty of leftovers.
- Shredded chicken breast: To save some time, use a store bought rotisserie chicken or use cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs.
- Cream of chicken soup: This easy pantry staple adds creaminess to the sauce.
- Sour cream: Adds even more creaminess and a little tang to the sauce in the casserole.
- Diced tomatoes with green chiles: This adds a little heat to the dish. I like using Rotel, but any similar product will work.
- Black beans: Adding the black beans makes this casserole extra hearty and filling.
- Taco seasoning: Use a packet of the store bought or you can make your own too!
- Tortilla chips: Crushed over the top to make a crunchy crust.
- Cheddar cheese: Adds perfect cheesy flavor to this chicken taco bake casserole.
- Taco Toppings: Whatever you want to add! Garnish the top with some sliced jalapenos, fresh tomato and cilantro afterwards.
How to Make Easy Chicken Taco Casserole
Everyone loves tacos, and this simple casserole makes it even easier. There is very little prep, about 30 minutes to bake, and you can have this chicken taco bake recipe on the dinner table in about 45 minutes.
To make the casserole, combine the prepared chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, diced tomatoes, black beans, taco seasoning mix, and half of the shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl.
Use a spoon and stir until fully incorporated, paying special attention to the cream of chicken soup. Make sure all of the chicken is covered and all the flavors are evenly distributed.
Once it's mixed, transfer it to a greased 9x13 baking dish, spread it out evenly, and top with the remaining cheddar cheese and crumbled tortilla chips.
Add chopped tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro over the top for a pop of fresh color. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until that cheesy crust is bubbling and golden.
How to Serve Taco Chicken Casserole
This casserole is so filling and makes a meal on its own or you can serve it up with your favorite taco side dishes.
Don't forget to add on your favorite taco toppings to the top!! This is where this dish gets super fun and delicious! Keep it simple with your favorite jar of salsa or serve it up with fresh mango salsa for something a little different. Other ideas include sliced jalapenos, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and sour cream.
Vegetarian: Replace the cream of chicken soup with cream of celery or cream of mushroom and swap out the shredded chicken with an additional can of black beans and 1 ½ cups of cooked rice.
Shredded pork: Easily swap it out with equal amounts of other types of shredded or pulled pork.
Beef Taco Casserole: Turn it into a beef casserole by using shredded beef or with cooked and well-drained ground beef instead!
Spicy: Add some heat by using extra spicy taco seasoning or adding jalapenos into the chicken mixture.
Lower calorie: If you are looking to make this taco casserole recipe with fewer calories you can make a few swaps. It will change the flavor a bit, but still, be quite tasty. Use light sour cream, a reduced-fat condensed cream soup, and reduced-fat cheese as well.
How to Make Ahead
This recipe is perfect for meal prep. Make it a few days ahead of time or as a freezer meal to save for a quick dinner further in the future.
A few days: Simply prepare the casserole as directed except for the tortilla chips and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake, up to 24 hours in advance.
When you're ready to cook it, add the crushed tortilla chips and pop the casserole in the oven. The casserole will be cold so it will likely need an additional 15-20 minutes in the oven.
Freezer meal: To prepare chicken taco bake for the freezer, follow all the same instructions as above. You can store it in an airtight casserole dish or even in a freezer bag to transfer to a baking dish later on.
Store it in the freezer for up to three months.
When you're ready to cook it, remove the casserole from the freezer and allow it to thaw out overnight in the refrigerator before cooking it in the oven.
No matter which method you choose, just remember to not add the tortilla chips until right before you place the casserole in the oven, so they will stay extra crispy.
Taco chicken bake is even better served leftover!!
To store it, cover the top with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to four days or the freezer for up to 1 month.
For best results, reheat in the oven. I like to remove the old tortilla chips and replace them with fresh ones. It takes 15-20 minutes to reheat in the oven. You can also reheat in the microwave and top with crushed tortilla chips once it's reheated.
You can also repurpose it into a totally different meal! Use it as a filling for quesadillas, burritos, or even a topping for nachos!
- If you find your chips are getting too dark while the casserole is cooking, but the center isn’t done, loosely tent a piece of aluminum foil over the top while the casserole finishes.
- Freshly grated cheese is the way to go. Preshredded cheese has a coating to keep it from sticking together that also keeps it from melting nicely.
- Use a rotisserie chicken from the store to make chicken taco bake easier to prepare!
Here are some questions I frequently get about making chicken taco bake.
No, I don't recommend making this recipe with raw chicken. It will not cook up properly in the oven with the other ingredients. Plus the texture of the casserole is best with shredded chicken which you can't achieve using raw chicken.
There are a few visual indications that a casserole is almost cooked, but you can't rely only on them. Look for lots of bubbles along the sides of the casseroles which is where the hot air is escaping the casserole and also check the top which should be golden brown and slightly crispy.
If both of those things are happening then you will want to test the temperature in the center using a digital thermometer. It should register 165 degrees F to be considered safe to eat.
More Easy Main Dishes for Dinner
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Chicken Taco Casserole
- 3 cups chicken cooked and shredded
- 20 ounces condensed cream of chicken soup 2- 10 ounce cans
- 1 cup sour cream
- 10 ounces canned diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 15 ounce canned black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 ounce packet taco seasoning about 2 Tablespoons
- 5 cups tortilla chips crushed
- 2 cups shredded cheddar divided
- 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno pepper sliced
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 baking dish by coating with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, canned diced tomatoes and green chiles, black beans, taco seasoning and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese until fully incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with additional cheddar cheese, crushed tortilla chips, fresh tomato, jalapeños and cilantro.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the chips are golden brown and the casserole is bubbly throughout.
- Serve with additional fresh cilantro if desired.
This post was originally published in May 2021 and updated in February 2022 with new content.
This post was originally seen on Yellow Bliss Road where I am a contributor.