Put this healthy casserole on the table in under 30 minutes. Quick ‘n Easy Cheesy Chicken Taco Casserole combines a variety of Tex-Mex flavors with the ease of a dump-and-bake recipe!
Looking for a healthy, yet easy weeknight meal? You’re in the right place! This simple casserole takes about 10 minutes of hands on time and 15 minutes of cooking, which means that you can put this baby on the dinner table in just under 30 minutes.
This chicken taco casserole recipe is largely made with shelf-stable foods like canned beans, corn, and canned chicken. This makes it a great emergency dinner — with so many pantry staples, you can throw this together without a great deal of planning. I love having a few of these on-hand. You can find a few more emergency dinner ideas here and here.
A last but not least reason to love this one is the fantastic flavor. The combination of crunchy tortilla chips, melty cheese, and taco flavoring in the filling is a winner. Also, here’s my tip: my family actually likes this better as leftovers! We love the way that the flavors get even stronger and more well-acquainted by the next day. It’s one of my favorite recipes for taco night!
What do I need to make Chicken Taco Casserole?
Canned Chicken: I love making this with canned chicken because I always have it on hand. You can also use rotisserie chicken, or left-over shredded chicken breasts. You’ll need roughly 2 cups of whatever chicken you choose to use.
Black Beans: I used no salt added canned black beans. You could use just regular cooked black beans if you’d like. In that case, you’ll need about 1 3/4 cups. As a substitution, pinto beans also work well!
Corn: I used regular canned corn. You could use frozen or fresh corn if you’d like. In that case, you’ll need about 1 3/4 cups.
Taco Seasoning Mix: If you aren’t using a packet, you’ll need about 2 Tbsp of taco seasoning. Feel free to adjust the amount of seasoning to your family’s taste. My family likes heavily seasoned stuff, so you may need to decrease the amount for your family. If you want to make your own homemade taco seasoning, I love this recipe.
Picante Sauce: This is another place you can adjust for your family. I use mild picante sauce when I’m serving this to the kids, but there’s no reason you can’t use medium or hot if that’s what your family likes! Try out salsa verde for a completely new flavor.
Tortilla Chips: I like white corn tortilla chips, but any will work. If your family is gluten-free, you can sub the tortilla chips with gluten-free ones to make this recipe work for you.
Cheese: I love fiesta blend (or Mexican blend) cheese for anything Mexican. Cheddar cheese or mozzarella will also work!
Toppings: The casserole in the pictures is topped with fresh jalapeños, tomatoes, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, and olives. Some of our other favorite taco fixings include sour cream, chopped avocado, or guacamole. There’s something for the entire family!
How do I make Taco Chicken Casserole?
Step 1 | Make the Filling
Start by draining the corn, beans, and chicken. Then, combine them with the taco seasoning and salsa to form the casserole mixture.
Step 2 | Assemble the Casserole
In your 9×13 baking dish, layer the bottom with crushed-up tortilla chips. Spread the chicken mixture over the chips and smooth it out evenly.
Step 3 | Toppings
Top the mixture with cheese and jalapeños if you’re using them.
Step 4 | Bake
Bake the casserole at 350° for 15-20 minutes. The casserole is done when the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Step 5 | Enjoy!
You can serve this with tons of toppings! Either spread them on yourself, or let the whole family use their favorite toppings on their own serving. Green onions, black olives, pico de gallo, chopped onion or bell pepper, and sour cream are all a great option as well.
What to serve with easy taco casserole
While this can be eaten as a complete meal on its own, you can add some sides to fill things out. My family loves these recipes:
Mexican Rice – This recipe is not only authentic (it comes straight from Pueblo, Mexico), it’s pretty easy and it tastes great! If you don’t want to put the work in, Knorr makes an excellent option as well!
Refried Beans – These beans taste like you got them from the local Mexican restaurant. They can be made in 15 minutes or less!
Cornbread – Homemade cornbread is a buttery, delicious delight. This recipe from Bless This Mess is absolutely fantastic!
Beef Taco Casserole
You can turn this chicken taco bake into a beef taco casserole with just one additional step. Just brown 1 lb ground beef and follow the instructions on the taco seasoning package to make taco meat. Then, follow the instructions for the recipe, subbing the taco meat in for the chicken.
Turkey Taco Casserole
Want a lighter version of the beef taco casserole? Just sub ground turkey in for the beef. Just brown 1 lb ground turkey and follow the instructions on the taco seasoning package to make taco meat. Then, follow the instructions for the recipe, subbing the taco meat in for the chicken.
Pork Taco Casserole
If you just sub leftover pulled pork for the chicken in the original recipe, you can make a delicious mexican pork casserole.
Vegetarian Taco Casserole
To make this vegetarian, drop the chicken and sub in one can of pinto beans to fill the recipe out. Just toss the corn and both types of beans in the taco seasoning, and follow the instructions from there!
I do not recommend freezing this casserole. The tortilla chips get soggy during the defrosting phase, which I find off-putting.
You can store this in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week. My family actually prefers this as leftovers!
Not as written. However, if you want to make it gluten-free, use McCormick taco seasoning and a gluten-free brand of tortilla chip.
Yes! My husband swears this tastes even better the second day, once the flavors have gotten well acquainted. Just place individual portions of your casserole into airtight containers, and enjoy lunch or dinner for a whole week!
Chicken Taco Casserole
- 2 cans chicken
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can corn
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- ½ cup picante sauce
- 1 cup tortilla chips
- 1 cup grated cheese
- toppings (jalapeños, tomatoes, olives, sour cream, guacamole, etc)
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Drain corn, beans, and chicken.2 cans chicken, 1 can black beans, 1 can corn
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the corn, beans, chicken, taco seasoning, and picante sauce.1 packet taco seasoning, 1/2 cup picante sauce
- In a casserole dish, layer the bottom with crushed tortilla chips.1 cup tortilla chips
- Spread chicken mixture over tortilla chips.
- Top with cheese and jalapeños.1 cup grated cheese
- Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Casserole is done when cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Allow to cool slightly, then serve with toppings of choice.toppings (jalapeños, tomatoes, olives, sour cream, guacamole, etc)