One Dish Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole

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Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole is the perfect one pan dinner recipe for busy weeknights or any night that you want a quick and easy dinner that’s full of flavor!

Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole

I’m always trying to think of quick and easy dinner ideas. I make a really easy slow cooker salsa chicken but sometimes, I forgot to set the slow cooker so this One Dish Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole is perfect.

I like to use homemade salsa and homemade taco seasoning but your favorite jarred salsa and a packet of taco seasoning also work just fine.

Why you’ll love this Salsa Chicken Casserole

  • One dish – it’s easy to make and all in one casserole dish!
  • Minimal ingredients – only 7 pantry staples.
  • Family favorite – you can use whatever “heat” of salsa your family likes.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Casserole Dish – I like one with a lid for storing leftovers.
  • Tongs – to easily handle chicken without getting your hands dirty!
  • Silicone Spatulas – I use these for everything. They’re heat safe.

Ingredients you’ll need to make this One Dish Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole

Below is a list of ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this casserole. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • CHICKEN – Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which is approximately 1 pound. Trim off any excess fat/tendons and butterfly them (slice them in half) so they cook faster).
  • RICE – I use Ben’s Original rice. I haven’t tested with others.
  • WATER – I use water but you can sub in chicken broth for even more flavor.
  • SALSA – I use my homemade blender salsa when I have it on hand but I also like Herdez or Mateo’s jarred salsa. Use whichever heat you like best.
  • BUTTER – You’ll melt a bit of butter to add to the rice/water mixture.
  • TACO SEASONING – Again, I like homemade taco seasoning so you can control what goes into it, but you can also use a favorite packet.
  • CHEESE – I usually suggest shredding your own cheese, like a colby jack or monterey jack, but for something like this I often pick up a bag of Mexican blend shredded cheese.
One Dish Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole is perfect for busy week nights or any night that you want a quick and easy dinner that's full of flavor! | Persnickety Plates

How to make Salsa Chicken Casserole

STEP ONE: First, add the rice, melted butter, water, and one teaspoon of the taco seasoning to the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.

STEP TWO: Next, add the trimmed chicken breasts to a large zip top baggie with the remaining taco seasoning, close, then shake to evenly coat. Lay the seasoned chicken onto the rice mixture and press down with a spatula to tuck it into the water. Pour the salsa over the top.

STEP THREE: Finally, cover the casserole dish with foil and bake at 375° for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, open the oven, give the rice a stir, sprinkle the cheese over the top, recover, and then bake an additional 15 minutes.

One Dish Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole is perfect for busy week nights or any night that you want a quick and easy dinner that's full of flavor! | Persnickety Plates

How should I store leftovers?

Leftovers should be stored covered in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

It’s been an hour and my rice isn’t done. Why?

First, try baking an additional 15 minutes. I’ve had a couple people say this and I can’t figure out why but I think it is due to variations in rice. I suggest using Ben’s Original rice as that is what I’ve tested it with.

Need more chicken casserole ideas? Try these:

Homemade Cheesy Chicken Fajita Casserole
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Crock Pot King Ranch Chicken
Spinach & Artichoke Dip Chicken Casserole

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One Dish Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole is perfect for busy week nights or any night that you want a quick and easy dinner that's full of flavor! | Persnickety Plates

One Dish Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
One Dish Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole is perfect for busy week nights or any night that you want a quick and easy dinner that’s full of flavor!
4.42 from 36 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 262 kcal


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts trimmed & butterflied
  • ¾ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 Tablespoon butter melted
  • 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning divided
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Pour the uncooked rice, melted butter, water, and 1 teaspoon of the taco seasoning into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Stir to combine.
    ¾ cup uncooked rice, 1 ¾ cup water, 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning, 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Place the butterflied chicken breasts and remaining taco seasoning into a large zip top bag and shake to fully coat.
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Lay the seasoned chicken breasts on top of the rice and pour salsa over the top. Tuck the chicken breasts into the rice mixture. Cover with foil.
    ½ cup salsa
  • Bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, open, sprinkle with cheese, recover, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Open and test rice to make sure it's tender. If not, bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
    1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • Stir rice then serve.


Serving: 1gCalories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 22gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 430mgPotassium: 379mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 386IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 142mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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On the Border Copycat Salsa - the only salsa recipe you need! | Persnickety Plates

Or maybe you’ll like…
Blender Salsa (On The Border copycat)

salsa chicken burritos

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

McCormick's Organic Taco Seasoning Mix

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  1. Joylyn says

    Would this work well for a freezer meal? Can you cover with foil and then freeze?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Great question! I’m terrible at freezing meals but hope to start before Baby #2 gets here in a few months. I think it should work fine covered with foil. I would bake it first and then freeze, then thaw overnight before re-heating but I’m wondering if the rice will hold up. I wish I could be more help, it’s not something I do often (…ever) & need to get better at!

    • Martha Christian says

      I have made similar recipes with no problem freezing. Thaw overnight in refrigerator…should be fine.

  2. Sandee says

    I made the salsa chicken casserole and after the 30 minutes in the oven it was still very soupy. Has anyone else had this problem? I double checked the ingredients and I had them all right so I’m not sure what is wrong with it. I took the foil off and I’m cooking it longer hopefully it will absorb the liquid

    • cynthia cullen says

      I had the same problem

    • Stephanie says

      I’m having the same problem! :/ Did it work after you took the foil off?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Sorry you had issues. How’d it turn out? I’ll have to make it again soon – I haven’t had this problem!

  3. JB says

    Do you use quick cooking rice or regular rice?

  4. Kylie says

    4 stars
    This was so delicious & easy! My husband was particularly impressed which doesn’t happen often. It took closer to an hour for the rice to cook but was worth the little extra time. Highly recommend for a quick & tasteful dinner!

  5. Laura says

    If freezing, I recommend using chicken or veggie broth instead of water. It helps keep the rice moist and adds a bit more flavor. Thanks.

  6. Carol Mueller says

    trying to see recipe but its not coming up. I clicked on “to see recipe” but all i got were comments

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hmm, that’s odd. I just tried & it displayed fine. Can you try again? If it doesn’t work I can email you.

  7. Nora Bellingham says

    5 stars
    Very good. Used chicken broth instead of water. Rice was perfectly done in 45 minutes. Added cilantro when I served it. We’ll be having it again.

  8. Katja Beh-Forrest says

    4 stars
    This is so delicious. It’s customizable and perfect for any weeknight or meal prep day. I did have have an issue with the liquid not being absorbed all the way in 45 minutes, but I continued cooking for 10-15 minutes and it was finished. I’m adding this to our meal lists.

  9. Michelle says

    5 stars
    This was such an easy throw together meal and the rice and chicken cooked perfect! I added some red pepper flakes for heat and used a spicy salsa. I will definitely make again!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yum, love the heat when I’m cooking for myself. Thanks!

  10. Miller says

    Can you make this dish in the crockpot

  11. Tina says

    5 stars
    I would definitely cook the rice first. Made it the 1st time without cooking the rice and the rice never cooked. Made it the 2nd time but cooked the rice first. Soooo effing good

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’m glad you liked it! Which rice did you use in the first round? I always use Uncle Ben’s and it works beautifully but I’m wondering if it varies by brand…

  12. Denise says

    5 stars
    Looks very yummy! Can’t wait to try it 😀

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