Chicken Taco Casserole

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Chicken taco casserole is an easy-to-whip-up dinner with cilantro lime cauliflower rice, Mexican-seasoned shredded chicken, a creamy salsa, fresh pico, and a dollop of guacamole!

a white plate of chicken taco casserole with guacamole on top

Today we’re talking about the final recipe in our “Quick and Healthy Weeknight Dinners” series! This series highlights 3 different dinner ideas that are all ideal for the back-to-school parent, busy professional, and folks who prefer to meal-prep as much as possible.

One key to breezy weekly meal planning is to thread the same basic ingredients throughout multiple meals. In this example, we’re using shredded chicken as the protein for all three dinners! Two of our dinners also call for cauliflower or jasmine rice. In each dinner post, I’ve provided several tips for what steps you can prep in advance so that mealtime is quick and painless.

In case you missed them, here are all the recipes from this series plus the two bonus recipes to help you make the basic components:

  1. Chicken Teriyaki Bowls
  2. Twice Baked Loaded Sweet Potatoes
  3. Chicken Taco Casserole
  4. Basic Cauliflower Rice
  5. Basic Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

I truly think I saved the best for last! When I performed the live demo of all these recipes on FOX Daytime in San Antonio for their “Back to School” special, the crew rushed up after the show to grab bowls of this chicken taco casserole. It wasn’t even warmed-up and they were raving about it!

Our family loves this casserole, too. Spicing up your dinner routine with some Mexican flair is a great way to avoid healthy food boredom (i.e. that “if I look at another salad, I might cry” feeling).

This chicken taco casserole dish is made-up of 4 different layers: cilantro lime cauliflower rice, Mexican-seasoned shredded chicken, a creamy salsa, then fresh pico after it comes out of the oven. I also like to add a dollop of fresh guacamole on each plate!

Ideas on how you can meal-prep this dinner for fast assembly:

  1. Make and then season your slow cooker shredded chicken ahead of time.
  2. Make and then season your cauliflower rice.
  3. Buy pre-made pico, salsa, and guacamole.

Like we talked about in the Chicken Teriyaki Bowls, if you are looking for more starches in your meals or have hungry men and/or teenage boys at your table, I recommend you swap the cauliflower rice for Jasmine rice. In the versions I make at home, I make half of the casserole with cauliflower rice (for me) and the other half with white rice (for my Austin).



Chicken Taco Casserole

a white plate of chicken taco casserole with guacamole on top
  • Author: Cassy
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 4 cups jasmine or basic cauliflower rice, cooked
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh salsa
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups fresh pico, for final plating
  • guacamole and cilantro for garnish


  1. Mix the rice with the lime juice and chopped cilantro. Spread the seasoned rice evenly into the bottom of a 9×12 baking dish.
  2. Mix the shredded chicken with the chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. Spread the seasoned shredded chicken evenly over the rice in the baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the salsa and coconut milk. Pour this mixture over the chicken and rice in the baking dish. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  4. Before plating, spread the fresh pico evenly over the casserole. Garnish individual plates with guacamole and cilantro.

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  1. anna says:

    I love how you have made our evenings easy and healthy. I have a question about the rice (either kind) – is it cooked first or put in the casserole raw? This looks yummy! Thanks!

  2. anna says:

    sorry just saw it says make the rice then assemble!

    1. Cassy says:

      No sorry needed, Anna! I hope you love the dish!

  3. KT says:

    Question: do I cook the shredded chicken before putting it in the casserole? I know that seems like a really basic question but I’m “kitchen-challenged”.


    1. Cassy says:

      I’m here for you, then! Yes, all the ingredients are cooked before they’re put into the casserole. Check out my “slow cooker shredded chicken” for a super easy recipe for the shredded chicken. I hope you love the dish and feel like a kitchen wizard instead 😉

  4. KT says:

    Never mind. I re-read it. Apparently I’m also reading challenged

  5. Jennifer says:

    Hi! Just found your awesome site! Won’t the cauliflower rice get mushy in the oven if you’ve already cooked it?


  6. Rebecca says:

    This looks so good! Any substitute for the coconut milk? I was thinking maybe plain greek yogurt but I’m not sure.

  7. Angie says:

    Wish the recipe said COOKED jasmine rice. Just made without cooking it first (had no idea) and now have to throw away all the chicken;(

    1. Kelly says:

      I’m sorry Angie. It doesn’t say it in the directs but somewhat mentions it before the recipe. I will update the recipe.

  8. Leslie says:

    Hi Cassy! Do you think this would freeze well? I’m looking for a casserole type dish I can make ahead and bring to paleo friends expecting a baby. I would like to fill their freezer with food they can easily reheat. Would you recommend any of your recipes for this purpose? Thanks so much!

  9. Rebecca says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I used the slow cooker shredded chicken recipe and did the casserole with jasmine rice. I also added a diced zucchini to the rice mix. It was awesome. A winner for the whole family.

  10. Kim says:

    I made this tonight… loved it! I would have never thought to mix coconut milk with salsa 🙂

  11. Melissa says:

    I made this tonight with some store bought salsa and already shredded chicken. It had a creaminess that I miss since giving up dairy. It was delicious! And so easy!
    Thank you!!!!!

    1. Cassy says:

      Awesome! You’re so welcome, Melissa!

  12. Cindy says:

    This was delicious! I used the jasmine rice. If someone doesn’t like spicy (I’d rate this as medium), you may want to use a little less chili powder and a mild salsa. Cooked as the directions state, though, I was amazed at how good this was.

    1. Cassy says:

      Glad you liked it, Cindy!

  13. Elise says:

    What are the nutrition facts for this recipe? I’m excited to try it!