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overhead view of a casserole dish of southwest chicken and rice casserole topped with cheese and black olives

Southwest Chicken and Rice Casserole

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 3.5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Joanie Simon
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 65
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 - 10 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: casserole
  • Cuisine: southwest


A creamy, cheesy, southwest chicken and rice casserole made with salsa and sour cream, topped with black olives and melty jack cheese. A super easy family favorite main dish recipe.


  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white or yellow onion
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup jarred mild salsa (unless your family likes spicy!)
  • 4.25 oz can sliced black olives
  • 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups sour cream
  • 7 oz can diced green chilies
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
  • 16oz shredded monterey jack cheese, divided


  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Heat a medium sauce pot or dutch oven that has a lid over medium high heat and add in 2 Tbs oil
  • Once it’s heated, add in the 1/2 cup diced onion and 1.5 cups long grain white rice and stir frequently for five minutes until the onion is soft and fragrant and the rice is slightly toasted
  • Next, add in 2 cups of chicken broth and 3/4 cup of jarred mild salsa and stir until it’s all combined.
  • Then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with the lid and let it continue to cook over a low simmer until the rice has absorbed all the liquids (approximately 20 minutes).
  • Once the rice is cooked, remove the lid and stir the rice to break it up. 
  • Then, in a large bowl (or in the pot, if the pot is large enough) combine the rice with 4.25 oz can of sliced black olives, 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes, 1.5 cups sour cream, 7oz of diced green chiles, 3 cups of cooked diced or shredded chicken and half of the shredded jack cheese.
  • Mix that all together and put it into a large 13 x 9 inch casserole dish.
  • Smooth the mixture out in the casserole dish then cover it with aluminum foil and bake covered for 30 minutes at 350F.
  • After 30 minutes and the casserole is heated through, remove the foil, add the remaining 8oz of shredded jack cheese to the top of the casserole and bake uncovered for an additional 15 – 20 minutes until the cheese on top is melted, bubbling and slightly browned.
  • Remove the cooked casserole from the oven and allow it to rest out of the oven for at least 10 minute to allow the casserole to set.
  • Slice the casserole into square servings and serve topped with sour cream, guacamole, avocados, cilantro, or anything you like with southwest flair!