This Fiesta Chicken Casserole is an excellent casserole dish brimming with Southwestern flavors, corn, beans, cheese, pasta, and leftover chicken. With just less than 10-minutes of prep time, you can make this cheesy hearty dish for busy weeknights!
With all the festivities coming to an end, I know most of you are thinking about your fridge’s storage capacity. I’ve been there as well, and it’s a real bummer when you have to throw away delicious meats, especially chicken. But not in my house!
So I’ve partnered with Kroger to give you a simple yet family-approved weeknight meal using easily available ingredients. And not only that, but today’s Fiesta Chicken Casserole is also a fantastic dish to help you reduce food waste while freeing up your fridge space. Now let’s get cooking!
What Makes a Good Casserole?
We’re all aware of what casseroles are and I’m sure every home cook has her/his own special recipe. However, you might be intimidated by all the ingredients you need for the recipe, especially if you’re new to cooking. This is why I want to show you the five components of a good casserole.
This main ingredient makes the whole dish chunky and hefty and it’s also the base flavor for the whole thing. You can use different proteins from beef like this Ground Beef Casserole to plant-based proteins such as soy. We’ll use chicken for this recipe. If you have leftover chicken, don’t be afraid to use those in this Fiesta Chicken Casserole.
Cut up veggies are often included in the dish to give it an extra flavor and texture. This also acts as a flavorful stuffing for the whole dish. The usual veggies used for casseroles are corn and beans since they’re easily accessible and complements well with just about anything.
Potatoes are the common choice for casserole starch like in this Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole. It’s inexpensive and easy to prepare. But if you prefer other starches you can also opt for rice, pasta, or quinoa. This acts as a binder to a casserole dish.
This harmonizes all the ingredients together. You might wonder why some casserole dishes don’t have this listed in the ingredients it’s because it’s already in it. The natural juices of the meat and moisture of the other ingredients make the flavorful sauce itself. Or you can make your own sauce from scratch to control the flavor.
This is an optional ingredient for making casseroles but who doesn’t like cheese? If you can’t eat dairy, there are other alternatives such as plant-based cheese. This Fiesta Chicken Casserole recipe uses cheese for that drool-worthy extra cheesy pull!
Fiesta Chicken Casserole Recipe
This Fiesta Chicken Casserole is a fuss-free dinner casserole recipe with super simple ingredients. Trust me, you won’t have to spend hours in the grocery store looking for what you need for this recipe.
Our friends at Kroger makes shopping super convenient that you can do your grocery shopping online. Check out their website for deals, discounts, and everything you need for the recipe. Here’s what you’ll be needing for this recipe.
- Uncooked pasta (spiral or penne)
- Yellow onion, finely diced
- Minced garlic
- Unsalted butter
- Sweet corn, drained and rinsed
- Black beans, drained and rinsed
- Green chiles (optional but I like them in for a little bit of heat)
- Leftover or shredded chicken
- Jar salsa
- Smoked paprika
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Colby Jack Cheese
- Green onions for garnishing
Kroger Products You Might Want to Try
- Simple Truth Beans
- Simple Truth Corn
Give it Your Own Twist
Once you master this basic recipe, you can start giving it your own twist. To make it more sustainable, here are a few ideas for a tasty twist for this recipe using leftovers. I really hope that the idea of sustainable cooking catches on because it saves fridge space and money.
- If you’ve made too much pulled chicken from your Chicken Tostadas, throw those in. Any additional flavor will blend because you’re using the same meat.
- You can also play around with some leftover Pulled Pork to add an extra juicy texture to the dish.
- Leftover red beans from this Red Beans and Rice is a great addition to this Fiesta Chicken Casserole because of its flavor. You can swap the black beans for the red ones.
- Got some extra corn from your Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob? Dump those in as well.
- Look into your fridge and see if you can spare veggies that you should use up already. An extra dose of greens wouldn’t hurt like broccoli, spinach, green beans, carrots, and peas to name a few.
- Too many bell peppers from your Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers dinner? Chop them up and throw them in. you can also use your excess quinoa as an additional starch for this dish too!
What goes well with Fiesta Chicken Casserole? A lot! Although it’s already a hefty dish on its own. Because this best served in potlucks, I chose recipes that will be great for these kinds of activities. Here are my top favorite pairings for this recipe.
Extra Cheesy Pairing
Make this dish a little more cheesy with this easy Grits Recipe. Serve this as an add-on if you think this Fiesta Chicken Casserole needs a little more love on the side.
More Easy Casserole Recipes
How to Make Fiesta Chicken Casserole
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then grease a baking dish or casserole. You can equally use a cooking spray. Set aside. Start by boiling pasta in a large pot according to package instructions. Drain and place in a large bowl together with sweet corn, black beans, green chiles, shredded chicken, salsa, green onions, and ½ of the cheese. In a small bowl, add onions, butter and garlic, and microwave for about a minute. Then transfer into a medium bowl together with sour cream, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. Thoroughly mix.
Transfer the spice mixture to the bowl of pasta and fully combine. Spread the chicken pasta mixture into the prepared pan and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and heated through. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
Fiesta Chicken Casserole
- 2 cups (200g) uncooked pasta (spiral or penne)
- 1 15-ounce can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can green chiles, optional
- 2 cups (270g) leftover or shredded chicken
- 1 16-ounce jar salsa
- 1-2 stalks green onions to garnish
- 1 cup (113g) Colby Jack cheese
- ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons (10g) minced garlic
- ½ cup (115g) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon (2.71g) chili powder
- ½ teaspoon (1g) smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon (3g) ground cumin
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then grease a baking dish or casserole. You can equally use a cooking spray. Set aside.
- Start by boiling pasta in a large pot according to package instructions. Drain and place in a large bowl together with sweet corn, black beans, green chiles, shredded chicken, salsa, green onions, and ½ of the cheese.
- In a small bowl, add onions, butter, and garlic, and microwave for about a minute. Then transfer into a medium bowl together with sour cream, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. Thoroughly mix.
- Transfer the spice mixture to the bowl of pasta and fully combine.
- Spread the chicken pasta mixture into the prepared pan and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and heated through. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.