Mr. How Sweet is a man of many moods. He is not a man of many foods. He likes to eat a lot of the same foods. Surprisingly, he likes to eat a lot of the same foods together. In casserole form.

If his food does not come in casserole form, he has been known to mix and mash it together until it looks like it did. I think I’ve heard of other people doing this… other people who are 3-years old.

Don’t mind this slop-pile mess of ugliness. It may not be pretty, but it has a… delicious personality.

Some of the most unattractive foods are the tastiest. Just look at chocolate-covered bacon.

It really doesn’t get much easier than this. You can throw any ingredient in that you would like. I’m willing to bet that you will throw in more vegetables, but I won’t hold that against you.

In fact, I bet you can hide lots of veggies in here for veggie-haters. Except for me, of course. I’m a vegetable sleuth. You can’t fool me.
Not only is the rice bake fast and easy, it is healthy and nutritious too. It’s packed with lots of protein from the yogurt, chicken, beans and cheese. And other good stuff from the brown rice.

This recipe was born out of my desire to think outside the boring chicken box again. And to save Mr. How Sweet from a lifetime of plain, dry, flavorless chicken. I know I’ve said it before, but that just isn’t happening in this house. Even if it he wants it to. I wear the pants.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake

serves 4-6

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and shredded

4 cups cooked brown rice

3/4 cup frozen corn

1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup plain greek yogurt (you can use sour cream)

1 4 ounce can green chilis

1/2 cup chunky salsa

1 cup grated cheddar & monterey jack cheese (low-fat cheese works too!) + more for topping if desired

cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for cilantro and mix thoroughly to combine. Make sure the yogurt and cheese is stirred in throughout the entire bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with extra cheese if you would like. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

To make this process easier, I always have cooked chicken on hand, and use Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice. If you have those two things, this mean can be throw together in a matter of minutes! It can also easily be made ahead of time and reheated.

Who needs pretty foods?

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158 Responses to “Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake.”

  1. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — November 18, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

    Great casserole! I’ll have to add this one to the dinner rotation!


  2. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — November 18, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

    this is acutally pretty darn healthy if I used low fat cheese! MMMMMM love one pot meals!


  3. #
    Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie — November 18, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    This is the perfect quick and easy weeknight recipe!


  4. #
    jenna — November 18, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

    there is nothing like rice, beans and cheese :) mmmmmmmm….


  5. #
    Teri [a foodie stays fit] — November 18, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

    oh man, this looks SO good right now. And I think the husband will eat it since it’s off YOUR blog. I’ve told you he is very skeptical of blog recipes, right? Except yours. True story.


    • Jessica — November 18th, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

      Thank him for me. :)


  6. #
    Katrina — November 18, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

    Amazing recipe. I should make a bunch of these and freeze them for my boy!


    • Jessica — November 18th, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

      Yes, you should!


  7. #
    janetha g. @ meals & moves — November 18, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

    This is so funny because I can totally relate. All Marshall ever wants is either a casserole or something in the crock pot! Actually I make a mexican casserole so similar to this recipe, and ironically made it last night and ate it again today for lunch! It has lots of similar ingredients–that is how I know this one is a winner :)


  8. #
    Salah@myhealthiestlife — November 19, 2010 @ 12:08 am

    I love casserole….so much, and this is just another great casserole to add to the list!!


  9. #
    Nicole, RD — November 19, 2010 @ 1:04 am

    You don’t need pretty food…just DELICIOUS food! Save, this looks awesome!


  10. #
    Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life — November 19, 2010 @ 2:47 am

    Looks great! I would looooove this! I just wish my hubby wasn’t so darn picky about black beans…he cringes every time he sees them. :(


  11. #
    Tabitha (From Single to Married) — November 19, 2010 @ 4:11 am

    I’m a huge fan of casseroles so yes, I will be making this soon…


  12. #
    Monica — November 19, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

    Wow, it looks like I’m the first to try the dish before commenting. I made this dish last night. I had one faux pas however. I bought the Greek yogurt. Went to prepare the dish and notice the little word in fine print “honey” on the container! (I’ve done that before with the spreadable cream cheese; purchased chive instead of plain. Rahr) So, I thought Hmmm, give it a whirl. So I did! It was still delish! My husband really liked it, too. Next time I would make it as is, but in addition to including the salsa in the recipe, I would add a layer of salsa on top of the mixture, below the top cheese layer. It was a super easy recipe; one that will be added to my weeknight list of suppers! 4 thumbs up from my hubby and me! Thanks for sharing, Jessica!


    • Jessica — November 19th, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

      Glad you liked it! I can see how the honey yogurt would still be delicious.


  13. #
    andrea — November 20, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

    Made this last night for dinner…..Husband went nuts! Loved it! Thanks!


    • Jessica — November 20th, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

      Awesome! We are still eating leftovers – it’s even better the next day!


  14. #
    Elizabeth — December 2, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    I made this last night… delish! I’m drawn to anything ‘southwestern/mexican!’ I actually only used 2 cups of rice though and it turned out great. Thanks for sharing!


    • Jessica — December 2nd, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

      So glad you liked it!


  15. #
    Carlyn — December 4, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

    mmm I’m SO making this!
    If I were to buy a precooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, about how many cups of shredded chicken would be needed for this recipe?


    • Jessica — December 4th, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

      It depends on what you want. I prefer it to be a rice dish with less chicken, so for that I’d say 1-1/2 cups of chicken. But my husband prefers it as a chicken dish with less rice, so I’d say 2 1/2-3 cups of chicken for that.


  16. #
    jenn — December 24, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

    i’m subbing bacon for the green chiles…at least this time around :) (i have bacon, i don’t have green chiles…this time)


    • Jessica — December 27th, 2010 @ 12:44 pm



  17. #
    Melissa — January 17, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

    Just had this tonight! SooOooo yummy :)


    • Jessica — January 18th, 2011 @ 3:06 am

      Glad you liked it!


  18. #
    Lesley — January 23, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    So, for two nights last week I made two of your recipes; this one and the Chicken, Bacon, Spinach Flatbread Pizza. I am so impressed how yummy they both turned out! I just found your site, so I’m cruising through all the recipes. For this recipe, I added onion (both yellow inside and green on top), added Taco Bell Taco Sauce (Red Neck I know, but oh so good. Thank you Wal-Mart) and omitted the corn. I ate it with tortilla chips and was a happy camper. Thanks!


  19. #
    Nicole — March 20, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    Made this for lunch – DELISH! I had enough to make lunch for today, and 2 casseroles for the freezer.


    • Julie — November 1st, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

      I’m curious about freezing this meal. It looks great. I am trying to do some freezer meals and wonder if you cook it all and then freeze it, or toss it together, freeze and thaw and cook later. Thanks.


      • Nicole — November 2nd, 2011 @ 10:22 am

        I did not pre-bake the casseroles I froze and they were good. I added the cheese for the top just before baking though.

  20. #
    Lea — April 11, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    I loved this dish! Other than cooking the chicken and rice, it was so easy. I added extra chicken, put in a whole can of corn, and put some extra salsa inside and on the top before I put on the cheese.
    I will for sure make this again, but when I do it, I am going to probably halve the black beans, my family is not that big of a fan of them anyway, add at least half of another can of corn, chop in a tomato, and put in more rice.
    If you already have chicken that is cooked on hand, you cannot go wrong with this, it is good and filling and extremely easy. It fit into an 11 by 13 dish with plenty of extras.


  21. #
    yeni — May 26, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    Jessica, I’d like to make this for my hubby and 3-yo boy. Was wondering if it was spicy? Not sure if the chiles make is spicy?? My boy loves Mexican inspired meals, and these one-pot type of meals are great for little ones. Just want to make sure it’s not too spicy for him. Thanks!


    • Jessica — May 26th, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

      Nope, the green chilis usually aren’t spicy! They should come in a 4 ounce can!


      • yeni — May 26th, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

        OK, I think I have a can of those. Will be making this for lunch tomorrow. Thanks again!

  22. #
    Heidi @ The Balance Project — June 13, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was divine!! : )

    Another fabulous recipe!


  23. #
    Shandi — August 30, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    Made this tonight, only when searching in the freezer I realized I was out of chicken. SO improvising I used the Taco meat I froze about a month ago. It turned out awesome! thank you for such a easy and delicious recipe!


  24. #
    Lindsay — September 26, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    would this freeze well? Or would the rice become soggy when it is reheated?


    • Julie — November 2nd, 2011 @ 12:00 am

      I have the same question. Will it freeze well?


      • Jessica — November 2nd, 2011 @ 6:56 am

        I wish I could help out, but I never freeze anything. I don’t see why not though? Make it and freeze before baking?

        • Megan — January 5th, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

          I froze this in 2 serving sized containers and it held up really well. I don’t think I would try freezing it if you used white rice though. I put it together except the cheese and then added the cheese right before cooking.

          • amanda — February 4th, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

            I have frozen casseroles with white rice before and they turned out perfectly fine! I agree though don’t bake before freezing. :) My friend and I are adding this to our freezer cooking menu for this month! Can’t wait to try it! :)

  25. #
    Danielle — November 11, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    I love everything all of your recipes! I have chosen to cook this one for a friend who’s husband is very sick and may not make it. I hope it makes her tummy warm.


  26. #
    Kristina — January 19, 2012 @ 12:01 am

    This was delicious! The cilantro is a must!! I used leftover taco chicken from “our best bites”. Thank you!


  27. #
    Juliann — February 19, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

    I have made this a few times and have finally made it Perfection!
    I add tsp of chili powder & 1/2 tsp cumin & 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper to the 1 1/2 cups of light sour cream.
    1 can of drained rotel instead of chilis and the salsa (it was all I had the 1st time and I liked it to do it again)
    When the rice is in the bowl 1st I add 2 tbsp of chopped cilantro, & juice from one lime. Tastes like Chipotle rice this way and makes it even more flavorful
    Thanks for the recipe, it was great the way you had it and it was so easy to tweak it with what I have in the house


  28. #
    nigga — March 26, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    it tastes like my name


  29. #
    Ellen — May 15, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    What would be a good side dish with this?


  30. #
    Elizabeth — July 3, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

    I made this last night. It’s definitely a keeper! Super easy and easy to tweak to your liking. Next time I will add more spice as I found it to be just a tad bland, but overall a great easy dinner.


  31. #
    Sarah — October 14, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

    Have you ever done in the crockpot? Any substituions or tweaks if so?


    • Shelly — November 26th, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

      I was thinking the same thing while reading this, and here’s how I would do it. I would add the chicken, corn, black beans, salsa and any spices to the crockpot and cook. Then shred the chicken and stir in the remaining ingredients. I’ll be trying it this week!


  32. #
    Sarah — November 6, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

    This is one of those dishes I could easily throw together during nap time and then just shove in the oven before dinner. I’m curious though – this calls for cooked & shredded chicken prior to baking…could you make this with raw chicken? Well, duh, yes you CAN, but have you? How much longer would you adjust the cook time?


  33. #
    Amy, At the Pink of Perfection — December 8, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

    You cracked me up with the husband-3year old reference, mine is the SAME way. Everything goes into a bowl and mixed together. Ugh.

    I LOVE your blog, am so happy I found it!


  34. #
    Diane — February 2, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

    tried to make it this morning for lunch. but it came out really mushy. Still Very DELICIOUS though. i ended up stuffing little spoonfuls of it into some little corn tortillas. will definitely make again and try to figure out why mine was on the mush side


  35. #
    Lejla — February 3, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    Hello! This recipe looks incredibly delicious and I was hoping to cook today, I was just wondering that if I were to double the recipe would I just perfectly double every single ingredient, or would there be some ingredients that wouldn’t have to be perfectly doubled. Sorry, this question seems incredibly confusing. Thanks for your yummy food!


  36. #
    Jesslyn — April 4, 2013 @ 8:38 am

    How long does it take to make this?


  37. #
    Betty — May 23, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d
    like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.


  38. #
    Monica — July 20, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

    This makes a great freezer meal! Super tasty. We call it Chicken Fiesta Bake at my house!


  39. #
    Anthony S Curro — September 13, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

    I think we can use some chicken cutlets as well, since it has to be shredded


  40. #
    tiffany — October 4, 2013 @ 4:41 am

    This is one of my family’s very favorite dishes! In fact, I’d like to include it in a round-up post I’m doing of my family’s favorite recipes we have found online. I’d be including a link to your post and your blog name, but no information about the ingredients or recipe steps (to ensure that folks have to come to your site if they want to know how to make it!). I am also including a photo, but only in a collage form so that your individual photo cannot be swiped by others. Please do let me know if this isn’t ok for some reason. I hope it brings you a lot of traffic! Thanks for making and sharing something we love!


  41. #
    Amanda — December 5, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

    I know this post is a few years old, but just on the off chance someone sees it — what size casserole dish does this fit in? I’m trying to calculate ingredients/nutrition information per serving size, but it’s hard to estimate what a realistic serving would be before making it. Thank you!


    • Nancy — December 6th, 2013 @ 1:22 am

      I just made this tonight and funny that you should ask the size of the dish, I had the same question! I used a 13×9 as it was a bit too much for the square pyrex. I think it would have fit in the 11×8 but I didn’t want to risk it. I made it with the last of the turkey and it was delicious. I used the HOT Hatch 4 oz. can of green chiles and liked the perfect spicy-ness. I added a bit of cumin too.


  42. #
    Alyssa — December 17, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

    I made this for supper-yummy! I made it in the crockpot: used shredded cooked chicken, 1 cup uncooked brown rice (added 2.5 cups water), and all the other ingredients; cooked on high 4hrs with a stir about half way thru.
    Served with guacamole


  43. #
    Christine Zorn — January 27, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

    I made this with quinoa instead of the brown rice…it was excellent! My kids loved it…I’ll be making it again!


  44. #
    shurie — August 5, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

    This is a family favorite and I make it at least once a month. I’ve started adding taco seasoning to the chicken to make it more western . Anytime I ask the hubby his opinion on dinner this is what he wants.


  45. #
    Hyde — October 7, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

    Ok i just died laughing while reading this. Your husband and mine sound way too much a like. Mine has celiac which lessons what he can eat but he’s also supper boring! All he wants is rice and chicken, throw in some cheese and maybe corn (he wont eat any other veggies..) and he’s happy….it drives me crazy!!! Thanks for this recipe it sounds delicious and i’m so excited to search through the rest of your site!


  46. #
    Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents — October 18, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

    This was super good! I used white basmati rice, kidney beans (because I didn’t have black beans) and Greek yogurt. Super delish and very quick and easy.


  47. #
    Lindsay C — January 23, 2015 @ 8:49 pm

    This was so good! We’ve made it twice and have it on our ‘to make again’ list. Great for after work/the gym when we don’t have much time but want a yummy, filling meal!


  48. #
    Diana — July 4, 2015 @ 9:16 pm

    I know this was posted years y, but I had to leave a comment that this is delicious! Found it on Pinterest and just made it tonight for supper. To keep it quick, I used rotisserie chicken and frozen bagged brown rice. Even my picky husband liked it, said it was better than enchiladas, and faster too.




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