Smokin’ Queso Chicken & Rice Casserole: A Flavor Explosion!

Have you ever craved a dish that combines the richness of cheese, the smokiness of chicken, and the comfort of rice? Look no further than our mouthwatering Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole! This Mexican-inspired recipe is guaranteed to become a family favorite. Let’s dive into the details of this flavor explosion and learn how to make it right in your own kitchen.

chicken breast on a spatula over a baking dish with text overlay

A Delectable Cheesy Delight

Imagine tender, juicy chicken smothered in the creamiest queso sauce. As the chicken bakes, the cheese seeps into the rice and black beans, creating a truly irresistible combination. The spices added give just the right kick, perfectly complementing the flavors of the dish. And let’s not forget the crispy, golden cheese on top that adds the perfect crunch. One bite of this casserole, and you’ll be hooked!

baking dish of queso smothered chicken topped with tomatoes

How to Make Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice

Creating this tantalizing dish is easier than you think. With a few simple ingredients, you’ll be able to whip up a cheesy masterpiece in no time. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag. Pour a bottle of mesquite marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together a jar of salsa con queso, heavy cream, and Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles. Reserve 1 cup of the cheese mixture.

  4. In a large bowl, stir together cooked rice, black beans, taco seasoning, and the remaining queso mixture. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Spread the rice mixture into a baking dish. Place the seared chicken on top of the rice and pour the reserved queso over the chicken.

  5. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake. Remove the foil from the pan and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the casserole. Bake uncovered until the rice is bubbly and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.

  6. Garnish with chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and green onions.

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Here are some commonly asked questions about our Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole:

  • Can I use any type of chicken? Absolutely! Chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken tenderloins all work great in this recipe.
  • What kind of rice should I use? You can use any cooked rice you prefer, such as long grain white rice, brown rice, instant rice, or basmati rice. For extra flavor, cook your rice in chicken broth.
  • Are there any variations or additions I can make? Certainly! You can add onions, bell peppers, corn, or green chilies to enhance the flavors to your liking.
  • Can I make this casserole in advance? Yes! Assemble the casserole, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to bake, bring the pan to room temperature and follow the cooking instructions.

plate of Mexican chicken and rice

What to Serve with Baked Chicken and Rice

To complete your meal, pair our Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole with these mouthwatering side dishes:

  • Top the casserole with sour cream, chopped avocado, a squirt of lime juice, and salsa for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Serve it alongside a Mexican Chopped Salad, where the fresh flavors and creamy texture of the avocado perfectly balance the richness of the queso sauce.
  • For a delightful kick, bake a batch of our famous Green Chile Beer Cheese Muffins, offering an ideal blend of heat and sweetness.
  • And don’t forget the tortilla chips and homemade salsa to round out the Mexican fiesta!

Ready to indulge in the cheesy goodness of our Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole? Head over to Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ and embark on a culinary adventure that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

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With our Queso Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe, you now have a versatile and flavorful dish that will impress your family and friends. Follow the simple steps, and you’ll be rewarded with a cheesy, smoky, and comforting meal that is sure to become a favorite at your dinner table. So why wait? Fire up the grill and get ready to experience the magic of Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ!