This Southwest Chicken Casserole is one of the most popular recipes in Cook Once Eat All Week — it’s absolutely delicious, loaded with veggies (but still kid-friendly), and incredibly easy to throw together!
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This Confetti Chicken Casserole recipe is actually from Cook Once, Eat All Week (my 2nd book) + while all the recipes in the book are absolutely delicious, this casserole is definitely a reader favorite!
So, I bet you’re wondering, “what exactly is Confetti Chicken Casserole?!” It’s essentially just a veggie forward chicken casserole, and it received the name “confetti” because, well, look at it! It’s loaded with tons of brightly colored veggies (think: red onion, red bell pepper, corn kernels, and kale). Not only does this casserole look beautiful, but the flavors of this casserole are really wonderful and bring a real Southwestern flair to the table!
Southwest Chicken Casserole Ingredients
This casserole is loaded with really delicious veggies, y’all. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 strips of bacon
- 1 diced red onion
- 2 diced red bell peppers
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 2 cups of frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups of shredded lacinato (sometimes called “dino”) kale
- 4 cups of cooked and shredded chicken (either from a rotisserie chicken or from 2 pounds of cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast)
- ½ cup of avocado oil mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 thinly sliced green onion
How To Prepare this Chicken Casserole
The process is REALLY easy! Here’s exactly how you’ll bring this really delicious casserole together:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook the bacon – slice the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces then cook over medium heat until crisp. Once crisp, remove the bacon from the pan and drain off the excess bacon fat.
- Saute the onion, peppers, and garlic – heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, until the vegetables are wilted and slightly browned.
- Combine the ingredients – in a large bowl, stir together the cooked onion and bell pepper mixture, corn, kale, chicken, mayo, salt and pepper until combined.
- Transfer to a casserole dish and top – transfer the chicken and veggie mixture to a 3-quart (9X13) rectangular casserole dish, then top with the cheddar cheese and bacon.
- Bake – bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, until the top of the casserole has browned.
- Let cool, garnish, and serve – after removing the casserole from the oven, let it cool slightly, then garnish with green onions and serve!
How to Reheat the Casserole
If you’re reheating an individual portion of casserole, your best bet is to heat it in the microwave for about 60-90 seconds per portion. If you’re heating an entire casserole, go ahead and pop it into a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes, until warmed through.
Confetti Chicken Casserole FAQs
While we do have chicken casserole recipes that call for raw chicken (think: Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole), this one does not. For this recipe, you’ll need cooked chicken. The easiest way to get your hands on cooked, shredded chicken is from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, but if you’d rather cook your own, feel free to pop 2 pounds of chicken in your slow cooker or Instant Pot!
You don’t! We really want the cheesy top of this casserole to get browned and bubbly in the oven, and covering it will keep it from doing that.
This Confetti Chicken Casserole is a complete meal all on its own, but because it is a lower-carb casserole, if you’d like to serve it over rice or stuff it into a baked potato (sweet or white!), feel free to do that!
The best way to store any leftover casserole you have is in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
If you want to freeze a whole casserole (say you made 2 casseroles at one time, enjoyed one for dinner, and plan to save the other for a busy weeknight!), make sure that you have the casserole dish sealed as best as you can. We recommend freezing it in a foil or metal dish so you can take it straight from the freezer to the oven – if you freeze it in a glass or ceramic dish there is a possibility of the dish shattering when you put it in the oven. You can also freeze the casserole in individual portions if you plan on grabbing, heating, and enjoying one serving at a time!
Confetti Chicken Casserole
- 6 strips bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 red onion diced
- 2 red bell peppers diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups shredded lacinato kale
- 4 cups cooked shredded chicken either from a rotisserie chicken or 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 large green onion thinly sliced, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add the bacon to a skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until crisp, then remove the bacon from the pan and drain off the excess fat.
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, until the vegetables are wilted and slightly browned.
- In a large bowl, stir together the onion and bell pepper mixture, corn, kale, chicken, mayo, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Transfer the chicken mixture to a 3-quart (9×13) rectangular casserole dish, then top with the cheddar cheese and bacon.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the top of the casserole has browned.
- After removing the casserole from the oven, let it cool slightly, then garnish with green onions and serve!