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Chicken Nacho Casserole combines layers of nacho chips, tender chicken, salsa, black beans, queso and more. You’re going to love this dish!
This super easy Chicken Nacho Casserole is part loaded nachos, part chilaquiles, and part casserole – and it all adds up to one very delicious dish!
You could serve it as a “heavy” appetizer for a game day party, and it’s filling enough to be served as an entrée too.
The casserole bakes up with layers of cooked chicken flavored with taco seasoning, salsa, peppers, onions, black beans, green chilis and queso in between crispy nacho chips. As it bakes, the ingredients meld together into a partly soft- partly crispy texture that you can cut with a knife and a fork, but it has a crunchy, cheesy top that resembles a platter of loaded nachos. It’s the best of many worlds in one dish.
Why You’ll Love Chicken Nacho Casserole
- So many delicious Tex-Mex flavors come together in a perfect way.
- You can make this quick and easy with store-bought ingredients for extra convenience, or go a little more gourmet with homemade versions of some the ingredients.
- You can easily modify this recipe to feed more or fewer dinner guests and to suit your tastes. Add more or less chicken if you’d like, or make it all-vegetarian by increasing the amount of beans and vegetables.
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Nacho chips – We chose nacho cheese-flavored chips (Doritos brand) but any firm, seasoned tortilla chip can work.
- Salsa – Make your own or chose your favorite brand of jarred salsa.
- Queso – Make your own or chose your favorite jarred brand of queso con salsa.
- Chicken – Buy a rotisserie chicken or roast one in the oven. I suppose you could even used canned chunks of cooked chicken if you have that on hand.
- Taco seasoning – Follow our recipe here to make a homemade version with spices on hand, or buy a packet of your favorite brand of taco seasoning mix.
- Vegetables – We used green bell pepper with red onion, but you can substitute any variety of bell pepper and onion you like. Canned black beans and chopped green chiles are also used in this dish.
- Cheese – In addition to the queso, you’ll use shredded Monterey Jack cheese in and among the layers of the casserole. You could substitute a pre-shredded Mexican blend instead for a different flavor.
- Toppings – The choice is yours, but we went with chopped fresh tomatoes, fresh cilantro, cubed fresh avocado, and sour cream for toppings, as well as more of the black beans and green chiles. Feel free to swap in other favorite nacho toppings if you prefer.
Special supplies needed
- Large saute pan
- 9x13x3-inch oven-safe casserole dish
How do I make Chicken Nacho Casserole?
- Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces, then toss with taco seasoning.
- Saute peppers and onions in olive oil, then add salsa and the cooked seasoned chicken to the mix.
- Layer nacho chips in a casserole dish with layers of the chicken mixture, queso, beans and chiles.
- Top with a final layer of nacho chips, black beans, green chilis and the shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
- Bake until heated through and the cheese is golden and melted.
- Serve by spooning out portions or cutting into squares and lifting with a spatula.
- Top with additional hot queso and black beans, green chilis, sour cream, diced tomatoes, cubed avocado and fresh cilantro.
Chef’s Tip – For a heartier meal, increase the amount of cooked chicken meat as you see fit. If your rotisserie chicken yields two pounds of cooked meat for example, feel free to use it all. There is no wrong amount to use in this dish.
Frequently asked Questions
Can I make Chicken Nacho Casserole ahead of time? This dish should be assembled just before baking to prevent the nacho chips from getting soggy.
How do I store leftovers? Store leftovers refrigerated for up to two days. Note that the bottom layers of chips will get a little soggy as they sit, but they will still taste delicious.
How do I reheat leftovers? For best results, place the baking dish in a 350 degree F oven to heat through.
You might like these other nacho-inspired recipes:
1 pound (2 cups) cooked chicken meat – supermarket rotisserie chicken or a homemade roasted chicken
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced large
1 cup green bell pepper, diced large
1 15-ounce jar any brand salsa (a little more or less than 15 ounces is fine) – or homemade
1 14.5-ounce bag “party size” Doritos nacho-flavored chips
2 15.5-ounce jars queso, divided (about 4 cups of any brand) – or homemade
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 7-ounce can mild chopped green chiles, drained (you can choose spicier if you’d like)
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Fresh tomatoes, diced
Fresh avocado, cubed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9x13x3-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking pan spray.
Cut up cooked chicken into bite sized pieces and toss with the taco seasoning mix. Set aside.
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the diced onion and bell pepper and cook for five minutes until somewhat soft.
Add jarred salsa and heat to hot.
Add cooked seasoned chicken and heat to hot. Remove from heat.
Place one third of the chips on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Sprinkle on half of the chicken mixture.
Heat one jar of queso to hot. We microwaved the jar (without the cover of course). Drizzle half of the jar over the chicken mixture then sprinkle on one quarter of the beans and chiles.
Layer another third of the chips and add the rest of the chicken mixture, the rest of the single jar of queso and another quarter of the beans and chiles.
Top with the remaining chips, one quarter of beans and chiles and all of the Monterey jack cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes and top with the last of the beans and chiles.
Heat the remaining jar of queso and drizzle over each portion. Then serve with chopped tomatoes, cut up avocado, fresh cilantro and sour cream.
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This recipe is very forgiving and you can use more or less of each ingredient or swap in some others. Just try to keep a similar proportion of wet and dry to what we have listed.