Ground Chicken Taco Casserole with rice is sure to satisfy every Tex-Mex stirring in your soul but in the healthiest of ways. Turns out, you don’t need those tortillas after all. This is a gluten-free casserole made with quick-cooking, taco-seasoned ground chicken, brown rice, hearty black beans, and melty cheese. Top it with your favorite taco toppings and get ready to experience the perfect combination of fresh and flavorful!
Extra bonus? This casserole comes together after just 20 minutes of prep time. Your new favorite medium for family dinners and healthy eating!
WHAT’S IN HEALTHY CHICKEN TACO CASSEROLE?
- Ground Chicken – Yes! Ground chicken actually exists and it’s way faster and easier to make than baked chicken! You can find it alongside the ground turkey in the poultry section of your grocery store. And, if you’d prefer, feel free to sub in ground turkey here!
- Taco Seasoning – You can use store-bought taco seasoning or homemade taco seasoning for this Chicken Taco Casserole. If you use our homemade taco seasoning blend, you’ll need 1/4 cup in place of 1 (1 ounce) packet of store-bought seasoning.
- Brown Rice – Brown rice gives the casserole body and helps to keep you feeling full. If you only have white rice, this is a perfectly fine substitute.
- Black Beans – Black beans give this casserole a nice creamy texture. You could also use red kidney beans if you’d like. Whichever type of bean you intend to use, do not forget to rinse them before adding them to your casserole!
- Taco Sauce – We used Ortego Thick & Smooth Mild Taco Sauce. You can typically find it near the taco shells in the grocery store.
- Cheese – Ok, ok. We know cheese isn’t the healthiest ingredient in the world, but if we’re going to call this meal a taco casserole, it’s pretty much a “must.” The cheese also helps to bind the casserole ingredients together, so really, it’s serving a higher purpose. This recipe calls for both Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese. Try buying it in a block and grating it yourself for creamy and extra flavorful results. Love cheesy things? Try our über cheesy, over-the-top delicious Mexican Doritos Casserole on your next cheat day!
- Green Onions – Green onions are mild in flavor and require no pre-cooking or sautéing on the stovetop, keeping the prep extra minimal for this easy Chicken Taco Casserole! Not a fan of onions? No problem. Leave ‘em out entirely.
- Taco Toppings – Once your Chicken Taco Casserole is hot out of the oven, top it just like you would your favorite taco! Add tomatoes, cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, an extra sprinkle of onions, and even some finely shredded lettuce if you’d like. The world is your oyster, here — top it to your heart’s content!
HOW TO MAKE TACO CASSEROLE
- Knock Out the Prep – Once you have your prep work completed, Chicken Taco Casserole comes together fast. Preliminary items include preheating the oven, cooking the rice, grating the cheese, straining and rinsing the beans. And, of course, chopping up the desired taco toppings!
- Cook the Ground Chicken – The chicken for your Chicken Taco Casserole is extremely easy to make! Cook it just like you would ground beef on the stovetop, add the taco seasoning. Ground chicken takes about 7 minutes to cook through.
- Assemble the Casserole – Add all of the ingredients (minus half the cheese and the taco toppings) to the casserole dish and stir to combine. Then, top with the remaining cheese and cover the dish with foil.
- Bake – Bake the Chicken Taco Casserole for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes more.
- Add the Toppings and Serve! – Scatter your favorite taco toppings across the top of the casserole, serve and enjoy!
5 MORE TACO RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Southwest Chopped Chicken Salad Tacos is a salad in a taco! It features Southwest chopped chicken, black beans, corn, extra lettuce, and more. It’s all housed in a flour tortilla and topped with a creamy cilantro lime dressing.
- Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos come together easily with less than 10 minutes of prep time and feature Mexican shredded chicken all dolled up with fresh ingredients and a simple blend of spices.
- Healthy Taco Salad features flavorful ground turkey, crisp lettuce, tortilla strips, a homemade Catalina dressing and more!
- Tacos al Carbon is made with full-flavored flank steak marinated in a simple cilantro-lime marinade and cooks quickly on the stovetop! The dish comes together fast for the perfect weeknight dinner.
- Stovetop Taco Soup is a quick, family-friendly dinner perfect for chilly nights. This is an Easy Taco Soup Recipe you can put on the table in less than 30 minutes, with maximum flavor and minimal prep.
A healthy chicken taco casserole featuring ground chicken, brown rice, black beans and fresh taco toppings like diced tomatoes, sour cream, and cilantro.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 1/4 cup TAK's Tex-Mex Seasoning or 2 tablespoons store-bought taco seasoning
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 (26 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup store-bought Taco Sauce such as Ortega Taco Sauce
- 4 green onions chopped, separated
- 1 1/4 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese separated
- 1 1/4 cup freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese separated
- 4 Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
- 2 tablespoons Mexican crema or sour cream optional
- Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready a greased, 9x13" casserole dish.
Add the Canola oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and allow it to come to temperature. Add the ground chicken, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon or spatula. Sprinkle TAK's Tex-Mex Spice Blend over the chicken, and sauté about 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
Transfer the cooked chicken to the casserole dish, and add in the rice, black beans, taco sauce, half of the chopped green onions, 1 cup of Cheddar and 1 cup of Monterey Jack. Mix to combine.
Top with the remaining Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes covered. Remove the foil, and bake for 5 minutes more.
Scatter diced tomatoes, cilantro and remaining green onions across the top of the casserole. Drizzle with Mexican crema (or sour cream), if desired. Serve and enjoy.