South of the Border Chicken Casserole

Hey guys! Today I’m sharing with you a yummy casserole I’ve been in love with ever since I was a kid, South of the Border Chicken Casserole.

South of the Border Chicken Casserole | Recipe Runner | Cheesy comforting casserole full of chicken, rice, cheese, and green chiles for a little Tex-Mex kick!

This casserole became a family favorite way back when my sister was in the 4-H Club. Have any of you ever heard of that or were you in it? I think it was a little more popular back in the day, but it is still around and if you want to read more about it here is the link. So anyways, my sister was in the 4-H club and I remember that she had to make some kind of meal for a contest. The meal just happened to be this South of the Border Chicken Casserole (I have no clue where the recipe came from). While I don’t remember a whole lot about the contest itself I do remember she came home with a ribbon for this fantastic comforting Tex-Mex inspired casserole.

South of the Border Chicken Casserole | Recipe Runner | Cheesy comforting casserole full of chicken, rice, cheese, and green chiles for a little Tex-Mex kick!

I think the reason many people like casseroles so much is because of the comfort food factor. Who can resist a warm, creamy, cheesy, carb loaded dish? I know what you are thinking, how can this possibly be healthy. Well it’s definitely not the most healthy option you could have for dinner. I did however do many things to lighten it up as well as make it more nutritious, plus sometimes you just need a good comforting casserole for dinner, am I right?! To make the South of the Border Chicken Casserole I started by cooking a cup of brown rice. While the rice was cooking I mixed together light cream cheese, low fat cottage cheese, non fat Greek yogurt, cream of chicken soup (healthy request), diced green chiles, salsa, chili powder, garlic powder, and a little salt. Once the rice was cooked I added it, along with two cooked and diced chicken breasts, two diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, and a cup of monterey jack cheese. I poured the mixture into a baking dish, topped it with a little more cheese and some crushed tortilla chips, then baked it in the oven for about 30 minutes. When I pulled the casserole out of the oven it was bubbly and the cheese on top had melted into a perfectly golden brown crust. I’m the type of person that would peel that whole top layer of crusty cheese off and just eat that if no one was looking, don’t judge me, I’m sure plenty of you would do the same.

South of the Border Chicken Casserole | Recipe Runner | Cheesy comforting casserole full of chicken, rice, cheese, and green chiles for a little Tex-Mex kick!

I love how easy this casserole is to make. You pretty much dump everything into one big bowl and mix it up. Who doesn’t love a dinner that only uses a couple dishes?! Even though it’s summer and grilling is at the top of everyone’s list, I think we all still occasionally crave a warm, filling, comfort meal. If you have a craving for a creamy, carby, southwest flavored casserole that is easy to make and leaves you feeling full and satisfied, then you must try this South of the Border Chicken Casserole. And hey, if 4-H thought it was good enough to win a ribbon, then it’s definitely good enough for me to share with you!

South of the Border Chicken Casserole | Recipe Runner | Cheesy comforting casserole full of chicken, rice, cheese, and green chiles for a little Tex-Mex kick!

South of the Border Chicken Casserole

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

6 servings

This Tex-Mex inspired casserole is filled with brown rice, chicken, green chiles, and cheese. It's sure to become a comforting family favorite!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 2 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (I used Campbell's Healthy Request)
  • 2 T. salsa
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1/8 t. garlic powder
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice according to the package instructions.
  2. While the rice is cooking combine the cream cheese, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cream of chicken soup, salsa, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together until combined.
  3. When the rice is cooked add it along with the green chiles, diced chicken, tomatoes, olives, and a cup of the shredded cheese to the bowl.
  4. Fold everything together.
  5. Pour the filling into a shallow 3 quart casserole dish.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and crushed tortilla chips on top.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

Notes

If you don't have brown rice white rice can be used instead.

Light sour cream can be used in place of Greek yogurt if you prefer.

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Comments

  1. This is THE perfect casserole Danae, and I can only imagine how good the leftovers would be.

  2. Anything southwest flavored is a favorite in my household. I Love that you lightened it up too! I definitely need to add this one to my dinner menu soon!

  3. Love these flavors! Aren’t casseroles from our childhood so good? Now that I know better, I also try to lighten them up. I always have to call my mom and get reminders on how they’re made :)

    • Childhood casseroles are the best! It’s funny, sometimes I’ll try describing one to my mom that she used to make and she’ll have no clue what I’m talking about!

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