Recipes » Main Dish Recipes » Southwestern Style Chicken

Southwestern Style Chicken

A quick family casserole good for busy weeknights. Combines bright southwestern flavors with cheddar cheese. A kid favorite!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
This southwestern style chicken is a quick family casserole good for busy week nights. Combines bright southwestern flavors with chicken and cheddar cheese. https://www.lanascooking.com/southwestern-style-chicken/

This southwestern style chicken is a quick family casserole good for busy week nights. Combines bright southwestern flavors with chicken and cheddar cheese.

Every once in a while I find a recipe that turns out so well I can’t wait to make it again. I love those, don’t you?

This southwestern style chicken is a quick family casserole good for busy week nights. Combines bright southwestern flavors with chicken and cheddar cheese. https://www.lanascooking.com/southwestern-style-chicken/

This Southwestern Style Chicken is definitely one. I first tried it out on a Wednesday night and it was so awesome that I made it again on Saturday.

It easily fits the quick and easy category and it’s definitely kid-friendly. Especially if your kids like tacos!

Of course, you know that I had to tweak the original recipe, don’t you? That original recipe was called “Mexican Chicken,” but by the time I’d thrown in some black olives and used cheddar cheese, it didn’t seem quite right to label it “Mexican.” It became somewhat more international, I think, thus the title Southwestern Style Chicken.

I also thought about using Monterey Jack instead of the cheddar, but honestly, I don’t think it would be quite as good with jack cheese. There’s just something about that combination of enchilada sauce and cheddar that’s pretty unbeatable. I hope you’ll give this one a try and let me know what you think.

How to Make Southwestern Style Chicken

To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a casserole or baking dish with cooking spray and set it aside.

Seasoned chicken breast pieces on a board.

Next, you’ll need to cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and toss them with some taco seasoning. You can use a purchased taco seasoning, or mix up your own. I’m including my taco seasoning recipe for you. It’s easy to put together and keeps a long time in the pantry.

Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Cook the chicken until it’s a little browned and has stiffened up. Don’t worry about cooking it all the way through, it will finish cooking in the oven. You just want to get some good browning on it at this point.

Adding ingredients to cooked chicken in a pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, enchilada sauce, black olives, cilantro, and green chilies. Turn the mixture into the prepared casserole or baking dish.

Topping the casserole with grated cheddar cheese.

Top the mixture with the grated cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove from the oven and scatter green onions over the top.

Serve with warm flour or corn tortillas – whichever you prefer. I usually serve with sides of buttered, whole kernel corn and guacamole salad.

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This southwestern style chicken is a quick family casserole good for busy week nights. Combines bright southwestern flavors with chicken and cheddar cheese. https://www.lanascooking.com/southwestern-style-chicken/

Southwestern Style Chicken

A quick family casserole good for busy weeknights. Combines bright southwestern flavors with cheddar cheese. A kid favorite!
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Southwestern
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 generous servings
Calories: 679kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (use 1 package of purchased or see recipe below to make your own)
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 10 ounces purchased canned enchilada sauce
  • 10 large black olives sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 4 ounces canned green chilies diced
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • 5 green onions chopped

For the taco seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

To make the taco seasoning:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container.

To make the casserole:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Coat a casserole or baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Toss the chicken with the taco seasoning. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook, stirring, until chicken is almost cooked through. It will finish cooking in the oven.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, enchilada sauce, black olives, cilantro, and green chilies. Turn the mixture into the prepared casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the grated cheese.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and scatter green onions over the top.

Notes

Serve with warm flour or corn tortillas. I like to serve this with sides of corn and a guacamole salad.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 65g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 2511mg | Potassium: 1051mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2249IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 467mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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12 Comments

  1. This looks SOUL-warming. Yum. I love ooey-gooey cheesy casseroles…especially when they’ve got a little kick. Bookmarking.

    1. You know, Nancy, at first I was skeptical about the cheddar with the enchilada sauce. I mean, you just naturally think of Monterey jack or a true mexican cheese, don’t you? But I have to say, it’s really a knockout combination. I don’t think it would be nearly as delicious with a different cheese.

  2. Sounds so good…and nothing wrong with easy; I need some of that right now!

    Thanks too for mentioning my Cilantro Rice. It is deceptive. You think it’s just rice of sorts…and then I almost finished off the entire dish with ‘just one more bite.’ Wish I was kidding. :)

    1. You’re welcome, Barb. Your cilantro rice recipe is so good. It goes perfectly with lots of mexican/southwestern recipes. This one included!