Salsa Verde Chicken

4.79 from 76 votes
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This Southwest-inspired Salsa Verde Chicken is a delicious casserole packed with bite-sized chunks of juicy chicken, black beans, sweet corn, and tender rice, all smothered in a cheesy salsa verde sauce!

While you’re here, grab this recipe for Crock Pot Salsa Verde Chicken, too! My Avocado Tomatillo Salsa is also a great choice. If you love this casserole, be sure to try my Baked Salsa Chicken and King Ranch Chicken Casserole for more delicious, easy-to-make family meals!

Close-up shot of chicken casserole topped with avocado slices and cilantro.


Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole

Salsa verde chicken is not just another chicken casserole—it is a fantastic fusion of flavors and textures, merging juicy chicken with rice and the rich depths of black beans, cheese, and corn, making it a perfect blend that is both hearty and delicious.

The standout ingredient here is undoubtedly the salsa verde. Traditionally used to complement various Mexican dishes, it’s a refreshing alternative to the well-known red salsa. Made from tangy tomatillos, it provides a slightly tart edge, perfectly contrasting the creamy cheese in the dish.

Chicken and rice, as a combination, have been adored across all cultures for simplicity and comfort, but what sets this casserole apart is the infusion of the Tex-Mex spirit – a cuisine known for its bold, spicy flavors and hearty ingredients. With the addition of black beans, there’s a layer of earthy richness, and the sweet pops of corn add a fantastic texture.

What Is Salsa Verde?

Salsa verde is a tangy and delicious Mexican sauce that goes well with almost everything! It’s similar to red, tomato-based salsas, but it uses green tomatillos as the base instead of tomatoes. This salsa variation usually includes green chilies, as well. In this salsa verde chicken recipe, those flavors of the sauce turn this dinner into a cozy tex-mex meal!

Overhead shot of a salsa verde chicken garnished with avocado, limes, and cilantro.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To create this mouthwatering salsa verde chicken recipe, you’ll need some simple ingredients, including basic seasonings, chicken breasts, veggies, and rice.

  • Olive Oil: For sautéing. You can also substitute avocado oil, coconut oil, or other high-temp oils.
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: You’ll need to cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.
  • Garlic Powder, Paprika, Oregano, and Cumin: These dried spices intensify the flavors.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: To season the chicken.
  • Onion: You’ll need one small yellow onion, finely diced. White, red, or sweet onions may be substituted.
  • Fresh Garlic: Mince the garlic, or use a garlic press. You can also use a tablespoon of garlic paste.
  • Rice: This recipe uses ¾ cup uncooked long-grain white rice.
  • Canned Black Beans: Rinse and drain one can of black beans.
  • Corn: I use frozen corn for the best flavor and texture. Canned corn is perfectly fine to use.
  • Chicken Broth: I use low-sodium chicken broth; you can also substitute homemade chicken broth, vegetable broth, etc.
  • Salsa Verde: You’ll need 1 cup of tomatillo salsa.
  • Cheese: This recipe uses 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar.
  • Garnishes: Add color and flavor by garnishing the finished casserole with salsa, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and diced avocado.

How To Make Salsa Verde Chicken

This easy-to-follow recipe will help you make a delicious, hearty chicken and rice casserole that everyone will love.

  1. Sauté the Chicken. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet. Season the chicken with garlic powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Then add the chicken pieces to the hot oil and cook for 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Sauté the Aromatics and Rice. Add the remaining oil to the hot skillet and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and cook until just softened. Stir in the garlic. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute or until lightly toasted.
  3. Add the Remaining Ingredients. Stir the beans and corn into the onion mixture. Season with salt. Then add the chicken broth and salsa; bring mixture to a simmer. Stir in the previously cooked chicken and 1 cup of shredded cheese until melted.
  4. Bake. Remove the skillet from heat. Cover the skillet with foil, and bake for 45 minutes at 375˚F.
  5. Top with Cheese and Broil. Remove the skillet from the oven. Set the oven to BROIL. Remove the foil from the skillet, and sprinkle the casserole with the remaining shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned on top, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Serve. To serve this dish, set out the desired toppings and allow people to choose their own!
Side shot of a skillet with salsa verde chicken and rice.

Recipe Tips

  • Spice it up. Want more of a spicy kick? Try adding a bit of cayenne, a spoonful of canned green chilies, or a touch of your favorite hot sauce!
  • Chicken options. If you have boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, feel free to substitute! Chicken thighs are dark meat, which means that they are tender and full of flavor.
  • Add veggies. If you like, feel free to sauté some extra vegetables to add to this casserole. Bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and even zucchini can make great additions!
  • Rice options. If you’d like to use brown rice, cook it in the oven, covered, for 45 minutes, then bake uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Stir, top with cheese, and broil for few more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serving Suggestions

I love to add several garnishes to our salsa verde chicken. Some of the things I like to include are sour cream, cilantro, sliced black olives, pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla chips, etc.

A fresh and cool helping of Cilantro Vinaigrette Coleslaw makes a tangy contrast to the comfort-food goodness of salsa verde chicken. I also like a crisp contrast with a creamy baked casserole, so these healthy Baked Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Chips are a great option.

Lastly, for dessert, you have got to try my white chocolate chip cookies for an easy (and amazing) dessert that doesn’t require a lot of time to make!

Overhead shot of a skillet with salsa verde chicken casserole garnished with avocado, limes, and cilantro.

Storing Leftovers

Place leftovers in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 1 month.

To reheat, transfer leftovers to a covered ovenproof dish, add a splash of water, and bake at 375˚F until heated through.

More Chicken Recipes To Try

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4.79 from 76 votes

Salsa Verde Chicken

This salsa verde chicken is an easy and delicious casserole with juicy chicken, tender rice, beans, and corn cooked in a smooth salsa verde sauce with cheese.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6


For The Casserole

For Garnish, Optional

  • salsa
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • diced avocado
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  • Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-safe pan or skillet set over medium-high heat. I use this 3-quart pan with a lid.
  • Season chicken pieces with garlic powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Add chicken pieces to the hot oil and cook for 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  • Add remaining oil to the hot skillet and set over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in the onions and cook for 2 minutes, or until just softened. Stir in garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
  • Add rice and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, or until rice is lightly toasted. Stir in beans and corn; season with salt.
  • Add chicken broth and salsa; bring mixture to a simmer. Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese until melted. Stir in previously cooked chicken.
  • Remove from heat. Tightly cover with foil or a lid and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and set the oven to BROIL.
  • Remove foil from skillet; stir the casserole, then sprinkle the top with remaining shredded cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned on top, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and top with salsa, cilantro, lime wedges, diced avocado, etc.
  • Serve.


  • Kick Up the Heat: For extra spice, add cayenne, green chilies, or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Use Chicken Thighs: Boneless chicken thighs are a flavorful substitute for chicken breasts.
  • Veggie Boost: Toss in sautéed veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini for added texture.
  • If using brown rice: You will need to add 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth instead of 1-1/4 cups. You will also need to cook the casserole for 45 minutes, covered, then uncover and continue to cook at 375˚F for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven; stir, top with cheese, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1224mg | Potassium: 751mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 318mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Jonna says:

    This was delicious. I doubled the seasoning and cooked 2 lbs of chicken (we like and need our protein). I added a tbsp of chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to add some smoky heat. I also used sushi rice since that’s the only rice I keep in the house.
    Garnished with sliced green onion, avocado, a few dashes of hot sauce and a dollop of sour cream.

    1. Katerina says:

      That sounds fantastic! Doubling the seasoning and adding chipotle peppers must have added great flavor. Using sushi rice is a nice touch, and the garnishes sound perfect. Thanks for sharing your delicious variations! 🙂

  2. Bridget says:

    I have made this before and loved it!!
    My question is if it can be frozen, and if so is it best to do the full cook, then freeze & just thaw & reheat?

    Hoping to get my freezer stocked with good food & would love to add this one in

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! To freeze the casserole, I think it’s best to cook it first, cool it to room temp, cover it tightly in freezer wrap and aluminum foil (or place it in airtight storage containers), and freeze it for about one month.

  3. Laura Mueller says:

    This was absolutely delicious. I’ll be making again this week!

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m so glad to hear that! It’s always great when a recipe becomes a repeat favorite. Enjoy making it again this week! Thank YOU! 🙂

  4. Natalie says:

    Made this for the first time tonight and it was a huge hit! The only modification I made was to increase the fresh garlic (always) and dried seasoning (eyeballed it) and to use half extra sharp cheddar and half monterey jack. We topped with sour cream, a Hatch chili pepper blend, and avocado. Very good. Thanks!

    1. Natalie says:

      I should also note that I made the recipe with recommended quantities (though approx. 1.20lb chicken) and it fed 4 adults and 1 child with a small serving of leftovers. We also had fresh veggies on the side.

    2. Katerina says:

      Great job on making it a hit with your changes! More garlic, a mix of cheeses, and those tasty toppings sound delicious. Glad you enjoyed it. Thank YOU! 🙂

  5. Colette Beighley says:

    So good! The chicken was great all by itself. But the entire recipe is a winner!

    1. Katerina says:

      That’s awesome to hear! Glad you enjoyed both the chicken and the whole recipe! Thank YOU! 🙂

  6. Julia Ratoza says:

    I have made this recipe exactly as your recipe many times, and we love it. My question is, can I double this recipe in the same casserole dish, or is it better to use a 2nd casserole dish. Im concerned about the rice cooking evenly if I double the rice to 1-1/2 cups.
    Much Thanks,

    1. Katerina says:

      It’s great that you love the recipe! When doubling it, it’s better to use two casserole dishes instead of one. This helps the rice cook evenly. If you use one large dish, the rice might not cook the same throughout. Two dishes ensure even cooking and temperature control. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Enjoy your cooking! 🙂

  7. Glenn says:

    Excellent combination of flavors and textures. I added some mushrooms while sautéing the onions. Definitely making this again , thank you for the recipe!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank YOU! I am very glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  8. Jennifer says:

    Family favorite!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I am very happy you and your family enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  9. Jamie says:

    Cooking the rice in the casserole instead of Ahead of time didn’t work. 😭😭😭😢😢😭😭. Toasting only for a minute didn’t do the trick.

    1. Katerina says:

      Oh no! ☹️ It should definitely work, though. It always does; judging by the comments, it’s worked for others, too. I am going to assume that maybe there wasn’t enough liquid. Do you remember if you used 1-1/4 cups of broth plus a cup of tomatillo salsa?

  10. Diane says:

    Can I prep this the day before, and bake it the next day? Looks amazing and can’t wait to try it. Thanks

    1. Katerina says:

      Hi! Yeah, absolutely. Follow down to step #7, remove it from the heat, let it cool, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to cook, remove it from the fridge about 20 minutes before putting it in the oven.

      1. Diane says:

        Thank you!!! I’m so excited to try it this week!!