Easy Burrito Casserole
Easy Burrito Casserole

Casseroles are comfort and this burrito casserole is no different. Make this baked version of your favorite chicken burrito for dinner this week and your family will love you for it!

Aside from ice cream, burritos are my favorite food. They are bold flavors and textures wrapped in a warm tortilla. But huge, filling, delicious burritos come with a slight downside: a food coma is likely, and leftovers rarely reheat well.

Enter Burrito Casserole: Seasoned rice, shredded chicken, beans, salsa verde, and cheese are layered in a casserole dish and baked until perfectly melted. Cut them into small, medium or generous portions and reheat any leftovers nicely.

What’s in a burrito casserole?

This dish is packed with ingredients typically found in a chicken burrito, but in the form of a hearty layered casserole.

Rice: White long grain rice is cooked al dente with chicken broth and tomato paste. The rice takes about 20 minutes to cook; However, you’ll save some time (and dirty dishes!) by cooking the chicken right on top of the rice at the same time. The chicken helps flavor the rice.

Chicken: The recipe calls for 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, but chicken thighs or even a combination of both would work. If using chicken thighs, trim off the fat.

Spices: The spices in the recipe are a mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Although tangy, the spice level is mild, making this dish easy for the whole family to enjoy. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to make it spicier.

Cheese: I like Colby Jack cheese in casseroles because it bakes to a pretty swirl of yellow and white, melts well, and its smooth flavor pairs well with most ingredients.

Tortillas: This casserole is layered with three large (10 inch) flour tortillas (bottom, middle, and top). To fit the round tortillas in a square casserole dish, I cut each tortilla into three long strips and overlap them slightly. To fill in gaps, I cut open an extra tortilla.

beans: Any vigorously cooked beans of your choice will do. I personally love the taste and texture of pinto beans. I use canned beans for this recipe, but cook your own if you’d like! Avoid soft varieties like large northern beans that fall apart easily. Rinse and drain the beans well before adding them to the casserole.

Delicious variations

Experiment a little! Here are some ideas for tasty variations:

  • Make it a vegetarian dish by omitting the chicken and adding an additional 15-ounce can of beans. Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock or water (add an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt if using water). Sauteed peppers and onions would be delicious too.
  • Make it spicier by adding 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  • Use smoked paprika powder instead of regular paprika.
  • Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried oregano to the rice to enhance the herbal flavor.
  • Do you have a cheese that you have a liking for? Feel free to use it as long as it melts well! Low moisture mozzarella is always a good choice – it melts beautifully. Use sharp cheddar for a bit of zing. Pepper Jack is an easy way to add a little spice. You need two cups. Extra cheese on top (before baking) is fine for cheese lovers.
  • Use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas for a nuttier corn flavor.
  • Black beans or kidney beans work in place of pinto beans.

How to store and reheat leftovers

Transfer leftovers to a container with a lid or cover the casserole dish tightly with foil. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Heat the casserole (leave the foil on top) in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes, until heated through. If you’re pressed for time, cut out individual portions and microwave them, covered, until heated through.

More spiced and baked recipes

  • Chile Relleno casserole
  • Mexican lasagna
  • Tamale Pie
  • Quesadilla Pie
  • Green chile enchiladas

Easy burrito casserole

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
50 minutes

total time
65 minutes

up to 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, shared

  • 1 Cup uncooked long grain white rice

  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 Cup Green chillies

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 cups store bought or homemade Salsa Verde

  • 3 (10 inch) flour tortillas

  • 1 (15 ounces) can Pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 cups grated Colby Jack cheese

Optional toppings

  • sour cream

  • Chopped coriander

  • Shredded lettuce

  • rolled avocados

  • Chopped tomatoes


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix the spices:

    In a small bowl, combine chili powder, paprika powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, and salt. You will use half of it to flavor the chicken and the other half in the rice.

  3. Season chicken:

    Place the chicken breasts on a large plate and rub them with 1 teaspoon olive oil using one hand. Sprinkle with about half of the spice mixture. Set it aside while you make the rice.

  4. Cook rice:

    Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the rice and the remaining spice mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

    Stir in the chicken broth, green chilies, and tomato paste. Place the chicken breasts (making sure all the tasty spices stick to the plate too) on top of the rice. Increase the heat to medium-high. Once it boils, reduce the heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Cook until chicken is tender and rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

  5. Shred the chicken and season the rice:

    Place the chicken breasts on a large plate and shred into bite-sized pieces using two forks or your hands (you may have to wait for them to cool slightly).

    Stir the rice, taste and season with more salt to taste. Add about 2 tablespoons of chicken broth if the rice looks dry and needs more liquid.

  6. Assemble casserole:

    In an 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ casserole dish, spread 1/4 cup salsa verde. Place a tortilla on top and cut as needed to cover the dish. Evenly spread a layer of half each of the beans, rice and chicken. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese and 1/2 cup salsa verde.

    Repeat with another layer of tortilla and remaining beans, rice, chicken, 3/4 cup cheese and 1/2 cup salsa. Add a final layer of tortilla and top with 1/4 cup salsa verde and 1/2 cup cheese.

  7. Bake and serve:

    Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

    Serve with optional toppings like sour cream, chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, diced avocados, and chopped tomatoes.

nutritional information (per serving)
743 calories
27g Fat
76g carbohydrates
47g protein
Previous articleCacio e Pepe
Next articleTomato Tortellini Soup With Italian Sausage
Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!