Is there anything in life quite so beautiful as a gooey, cheesy casserole? Mexican Chicken Casserole says, “I think not.”

A healthy, easy Mexican chicken casserole recipe your entire family will love! Made with quinoa, fresh veggies, black beans, and cheese, this creamy, cheesy Mexican casserole has received dozens of glowing reviews!

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Now, ocean sunsets, the Grand Canyon, and every Tim McGraw song ever recorded might argue for the title and tiara, but I maintain that the casserole deserves recognition in the beauty department, especially at this most blustery time of year. 

Oh sure, casseroles are ultra oozy, lose their shape immediately when cut, and are generally a food photographer’s worst nightmare, but their inherent value as a one-dish meal that’s comforting enough to cure a broken heart is worthy of respect.

The creamy, cheesy Mexican chicken casserole’s allure is at a deeper level—and I don’t simply mean that they have a good personalities.

Healthy Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole. An easy recipe that's a favorite for many families! Creamy, cheesy, and packed with fresh veggies for a delicious and healthy meal.

5 Star Review

“This was delicious. Very easy to make without tons of chopping and fairly hands-off, just cook, combine and then bake. I also love that it’s perfect for lunch leftovers. Everything I love about a casserole, but that I don’t feel too terrible about eating because the base of its healthy whole ingredients.”

— Lauren —

Perhaps I am genetically disposed to love casserole recipes.

Growing up, my mom’s trusty 9×13-inch baking dish was among the most well-used and duly-splattered tools in our kitchen. 

Today, now that I’m the one doing the cooking, I am all about the casserole, especially when they are as delicious and simple as this easy Mexican chicken casserole.

Casseroles are a friendly way to cook in large quantities, hit every food group in a single pan, and generate yummy leftovers for the rest of the week.

Like Chicken Nachos, casseroles can also be adapted to suit any number of tastes and are categorically creamy and cheesy, leaving me with a welcome case of the warm fuzzies.

Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole. Made with quinoa, black beans, fresh veggies, and cheese, this gluten-free healthy chicken quinoa casserole is cheesy and delicious—a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

The only thing about casseroles I will not embrace: the ubiquitous cream of chicken soup. Hate me if you will, but that is a place I will not go.

Better Ingredients for Easy Mexican Chicken Casserole

Instead of the gobs of heavy, processed add-ins, this healthy, easy Mexican Chicken Casserole uses Greek yogurt (my secret healthy swap for sour cream!), real cheese, and a mix of fresh ingredients like bell peppers and canned pantry staples like black beans to create a healthy dinner that’s still reasonably easy to prepare on a weeknight.

Simply sauté the chicken and veggies, stir in the black beans and other ingredients into the chicken mixture, top with cheese, and bake!

To serve, feel free to pile on more favorite Mexican flavors and toppings, like salsa, green onions, green chilies, or crush tortilla chips.

DELICIOUS.

Recipe Adaptations

  • Mexican Chicken Casserole With Rice. I love using quinoa because of its high fiber and protein content, but if you’d prefer using rice, cooked rice (or farro or any other whole grain) can be swapped in easily to make Mexican chicken casserole with rice. All are healthy carbohydrates. See this Mexican Chicken and Rice for another version.
  • Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Casserole. Check out my Crock Pot Mexican Casserole (similar ingredients, but this one is already adapted to a crock pot, so I’m 100% sure of the results).
  • Instant Pot Mexican Casserole. Another nutrient-packed, easy Mexican dinner in one pot – WIN!
  • Mexican Chicken Casserole with Corn Tortillas. You might like this slow cooker Taco Casserole or this Chicken Tortilla Casserole, which have layers of them.
  • Mexican Chicken Casserole Dip. And if what you were actually looking for was a dip…Ben actually eats his casserole with tortilla chips, as if he were scooping up a dip (he does the same thing with this Mexican Casserole and Healthy Beef Taco Skillet). Naturally, I scolded him but then tried a bite that way myself.
Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole. This healthy, easy recipe will be your new dinner favorite! Made with quinoa, black beans, and fresh veggies, this creamy, cheesy healthy chicken quinoa casserole recipe is a keeper.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Mexican chicken casserole is fabulous leftover! Keep in fridge in airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheating Mexican chicken casserole in the oven at 350 degrees F until it’s warmed through. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to keep the top from becoming too brown. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave. Feel free to add a little more cheese on top!
  • To Freeze. Casseroles make great freezer meals! You can fully cook and then freeze the whole, or portions of, casserole for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe, airtight container. To reheat from frozen, thaw completely overnight in the refrigerator, and then reheat at 350 degrees F, about 20-30 minute cook time, until warmed through.

Meal Prep Tip

You can prepare the casserole elements in advance, then assemble and bake the day of. To save on prep time the day of, store cooked quinoa, cooked chicken, chopped veggies, and beans separately, then mix it together with the yogurt and cheese just before baking.

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

More Easy Mexican Chicken Recipes

Official Casserole Fan Club, member number one right here. Anyone else care to join?

We can wear sashes, create a secret handshake, and eat healthy Mexican chicken casserole directly from the pan, with or without tortilla chips.

All interested parties, raise your forks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Cook Casseroles Before Freezing?

Mexican chicken casserole would be baked prior to freezing. Foil pans work great for freezing casseroles because you can simply place them directly into oven after defrosting. Glass Pyrex dishes can also go from freezer to oven.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs for Mexican Chicken Casserole?

Yes! You can use chicken thighs or chicken tenders for Mexican chicken casserole instead of chicken breasts, or a combination of the two, if you prefer dark meat.

How Can I Make a Vegetarian Mexican Casserole?

While I have only tested the recipe as is, you could try swapping the chicken for plant-based “chicken,” or omit the meat entirely and supplement additional beans and quinoa to fill up the dish.

Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken for Mexican Chicken Casserole?

Rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut. You would skip the chicken sauté step in the recipe, and instead add the rotisserie chicken in along with the beans.

A healthy, easy Mexican chicken casserole recipe your entire family will love! Made with quinoa, fresh veggies, black beans, and cheese, this creamy, cheesy Mexican casserole has received dozes of glowing reviews!

Mexican Chicken Casserole

4.99 from 68 votes
Healthy, easy Mexican Chicken Casserole made with quinoa, fresh veggies, black beans, and cheese. It's ultra creamy and crowd-pleasing!

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 55 mins

Servings: 6 –8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 large breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic about 2 cloves
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (15 ounces) well drained
  • 1 can black beans (15 ounces) , rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese divided
  • Fresh cilantro for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large casserole dish (9×13 inch or similar) with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Place 2 cups water and quinoa in a large saucepan, then bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • In a Dutch oven or similar large, deep sauté pot, heat the olive oil over medium high. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper. Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Continue to sauté until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and drained tomatoes and cook 1 additional minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the black beans, reserved quinoa, Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly in the pan. Top with remaining cheddar and mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot, about 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil, then continue cooking until the cheese is lightly browned, about 3 to 4 additional minutes, watching carefully so that the cheese does not burn. Let rest 5 minutes, sprinkle with chopped cilantro, and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 277kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 24gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 39mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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229 Comments

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  1. I made this recipe and loved it! Do you think it would hold up in the freezer if I baked the casserole then froze it once cooled? I’m about to have my first baby and prepping meals for postpartum. Thank you!

    1. Hi Sarah, it is absolutely freezer-friendly! I actually froze half after I made it, and the leftovers still tasted great. I recommend thawing overnight in the refrigerator. You can then reheat it in the oven (you may want to cover it with foil and add a little extra cheese on top) or warm up individual servings in the microwave (which is what we did.) I hope this helps!

  2. Hi, recipe looks great. Was wondering if you can taste the yogurt? My husband doesn’t like yogurt. Thanks!

    1. Hi Maggie! With all the other flavors in the casserole, the yogurt definitely doesn’t take over. You could also use sour cream here if you prefer. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. I am not a casserole person but this is one of my favorites. I usually add a poblano and some jalapeños. Instead of 1 9 X 13 I usually make 2 smaller square casseroles and put one in the freezer.5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you’ve enjoyed it, Mary Elizabeth! Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  4. Good but pretty spicy! If I were going to make it again I would tone down the chili powder. Nice to have a healthy Mexican option though :)5 stars

  5. I love this, it’s one of my absolute go-tos. So hearty and warming! I sometimes add extra veggies if I have stuff to the fridge, but whatever I do to it it’s delish!5 stars

    1. Hi! I have never tested this recipes in an instant pot! Have you checked out my instant pot chicken enchiladas? https://www.wellplated.com/instant-pot-chicken-enchiladas/

  6. Made this tonight to repurpose some leftover grilled chicken in my fridge and it was delicious! Instead of adding raw chicken I just tossed my cooked chicken in the sautéed veggies and spices when I added the tomatoes and garlic. Honestly this would even be good without meat for our Meatless Mondays. Definitely a keeper!5 stars

    1. Hi Nancy! It is absolutely freezer-friendly! I actually froze half after I made it, and the leftovers still tasted great. I recommend thawing overnight in the refrigerator. You can then reheat it in the oven (you may want to cover it with foil and add a little extra cheese on top) or warm up individual servings in the microwave (which is what we did.) I hope this helps!

  7. I saw this recipe and had to make it! It is fantastic! I had never cooked quinoa before but it was so easy! The only tweaks I made was added some corn and black olives and used low fat (not fat free) Greek yogurt. My husband and I are blown away at how delicious this is! I will definitely make again and again! Thanks so very much for posting!5 stars

  8. This was delicious. Very easy to make without tons of chopping and fairly hands-off, just cook, combine and then bake. I also love that it’s perfect for lunch leftovers and looks like it will remain moist and not get dried out in the fridge, but also not start getting all watery. Everything I love about a casserole, but that I don’t feel too terrible about eating because the base of it is decently healthy whole ingredients.5 stars

  9. This was so easy and yummy! For those who
    prefer a vegetarian “meat”, use the tofurky plant based chick’n!!5 stars

  10. First off, I love your blog and cookbook. We’ve made and enjoyed so many of your recipes including this one several times.

    We want to cook double the portions this week and give one casserole to a friend who’s having a tough time and serve one casserole to a friend who’s visiting. The friend who’s having a tough time told me if a dish is at all spicy, his wife and kids won’t eat it. My memory is that this isn’t spicy at all, but it’s been a little while and I have different tastes than them so maybe I just haven’t noticed it. Do you feel there’s any cause for concern? If so, is there something you would swap out for the chili powder/any other spices that could be problematic?

    The second friend is vegetarian. It seems to me that if we took out the chicken, this would be something he’d really enjoy, but I’m curious if you think that would be too big an item to simply take out and there’s something else you’d recommend swapping in.

    Thank you so much for running this awesome blog.5 stars

    1. Hi Jonathan! So glad you enjoy the blog and cookbook! Really appreciate your support. When in doubt, leave out the chili powder or reduce it significantly, because we all have different taste, what is spicy for some, won’t be spicy for others. While I haven’t tried it myself without chicken, you could probably skip that too. Or maybe use some sort of plant based meat to replace it. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  11. Hands down this is so great! I needed to bake it for a friend who just suffered a heart attack so I made a few tweaks and soaked my own beans and cooked them so it wouldn’t have the salt and I didn’t add salt to the recipe as it called for. She still loved it and I was asked several times for the recipe from people she raved it too. I think I may even add riced cauliflower to sneak in for my husband 😉5 stars

  12. This was very tasty! I never knew how yummy greek yogurt tasted in Mexican food and acts as a great sub for sour cream. Thanks for the awesome recipe!5 stars

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