Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner?  How about a tasty Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake?

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? How about this tasty Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake?A few weeks back, my wife took Robbie down to visit her parents in central Pennsylvania while I stayed here at home with the dogs.  I love having the baby around, but man those few days were awesome!  I was able to get some work done, and I actually got decent sleep for the first time in weeks.  I missed Laura and Robbie, of course, but I did enjoy my few days of bachelor-style living.  (I also had curling games on 3 of the 5 nights that they were gone…so it was good that Laura had some help with the baby.)

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? How about this tasty Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake?Our neighbors knew that I was holding down the fort alone, and they invited me over for dinner one night.  (Yes, one of the two that I wasn’t at the curling club.)  We wanted to mix up dinner and make something we’d never made before.  Somehow the idea of a Texas Frito Pie came up.  I have no idea how it came into the conversation, but we decided to go for it.  Back when I lived in Baton Rouge, my neighbors made Texas Frito Pie for me one night, so I was vaguely familiar with the idea.

If you’re not familiar with Texas Frito Pie, then the first thing you need to know is that it’s not fancy.  This is the ultimate in rustic food.  You literally pour half a bag of Fritos chips into a casserole dish and then top it with your favorite chili.  Finish it off by sprinkling the remaining half bag of chips on top of the chili along with some cheese.  Toss it in the oven for 30 minutes until it’s nice and melty, and boom.  Texas Fritos Pie.  It was an amazing comfort food meal, and we ate it while sitting around chatting about how we all missed Laura and the baby.

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? How about this tasty Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake?You guys know by now that we love tacos around our house.  We don’t just do Taco Tuesday here.  Sometimes it’s Taco Monday, Taco Tuesday and Taco Thursday…all in the same week.  As I’ve mentioned before, almost anything can be turned into a taco.  Taco Burgers.  Taco Pizza.  Slow Cooker Tacos.  Pretty soon, I’ll have to invent a taco dessert.  But for today, we turned the taco into a casserole of sorts.  For this Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake, you pretty much just take your favorite taco fillings and stir it all together in a bowl.

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? How about this tasty Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake?And then (somewhat like the Texas Fritos Pie), you crumble baked corn tortillas on the bottom and top of the casserole filling.  The result is one heck of an awesome meal.  This Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake is not fancy at all.  But it’s good.  Like really good.  Like you want to stick your face in the casserole dish and lick it clean kinda good.  (Don’t worry, I won’t judge you one bit if you lick the casserole dish.  It’s been done before!)

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? How about this tasty Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake?What is your favorite casserole-style recipe?  (Please tell me it involves tacos!)

Have you ever made a Texas Fritos Pie?

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? How about this tasty Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake?

Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner?  How about a tasty Southwestern Chicken Taco Bake?
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 565kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 6” corn tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ Tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 medium yellow onions diced
  • 1 poblano pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
  • 4 6-oz. cans chicken breast, drained
  • 1 15-oz. can corn, drained
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped and divided
  • 1 cup mild cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 cups pepperjack cheese shredded and divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Spread corn tortillas on 2 baking sheets. Brush both sides lightly with canola oil. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until tortillas are crispy. Let cool and then break into 1-2” pieces.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with cooking spray and then spread half of tortillas in bottom of dish; set dish and remaining tortillas aside.
  • Using a large skillet, add the olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic, onions and pepper. Saute for 6-7 minutes, stirring often, or until onions begin to soften.
  • Transfer into a large bowl and add cumin, chili powder, diced tomatoes, canned chicken, corn, black beans, chicken stock and sour cream. Stir until well combined.
  • Add half of cilantro, cheddar cheese and half of pepperjack cheese. Stir until well combined.
  • Spread mixture into baking dish on top of tortillas.
  • Top with remaining pepperjack cheese and reserved tortillas.
  • Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes and then top with remaining cilantro before serving.

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37 Comments

  1. This Southwestern chicken taco bake sounds yummy! I like the fact that everything is put together and baked. Sounds easier than making individual tacos. I understand about having time off from having kids around. My hubby and I babysat our grandkids a couple of weeks ago for a weekend and when our daughter came to pick them up both my hubby and I were wiped out.

    1. Yeah, I’m right there with ya, Dawn. Sometimes you just need a nice and easy ‘bake it all up together’ kind of recipe. And the weekend of kid watching? I feel ya there! Sometimes we come out of the weekend more exhausted than when it started…haha. 🙂

  2. I love tacos too, David! One just reserve ‘Taco Tuesday’ for Tuesdays, right? And with countless combos, you can totally mix it up. Loving this taco bake, everything all in the one dish! Easy to eat and easy to clean up! My kinda recipe. I’ve never made a Texas Fritos pie, but I have heard of throwing chili into a bag of Fritos and calling it a day (though, I’ve never done that before, either). I think I need to start expanding my Taco recipes, ’cause all this sounds delicious and now I’m getting hungry, lol.

    1. I hear ya, Dawn! Tacos are so darned versatile…and they make for a great way to use up almost all kinds of leftovers. Except soup. I haven’t tried soup tacos. Maybe you could crumble taco shells on top of the soup? 🙂

  3. David I love rustic food and this CHICKEN TACO BAKE looks so good!! Food doesn´t have to be pretty for me to like it, although I do like eating out at fancy restaurants too 😉 Glad you got some needed sleep.. now you´re ready for the next round!!
    ps. perhaps you can visit Portugal in the next year and get some really good sleep in 😉

    1. This is about as rustic as you can get, Johlene! Oh, and about as easy as you can get. It’s just mix it all up, dump it in a casserole dish and cover with taco shells. Hmmm…Portugal, eh? Keep talking. I could be convinced. 🙂

  4. I haven’t ever heard of a Texas Frito Pie – I so have to ask my sis if she has – back in college when I existed on tofu and ramen, she existed on chips and chips – every sort, every which way! I know if she hasn’t heard of a Texas Frito Pie – she might just go ahead and make it and lick the bowl clean – though I prefer your version with taco ingredients and corn tortilla chips instead of Fritos! Fantastic recipe my friend! Way more comforting than my usual casserole involving leeks, bacon and cauliflower cream!
    BTW – I am eagerly waiting for that taco dessert you mentioned… 🙂

    1. Oh, I know your sis has heard of Texas Frito Pie. You can’t avoid it! I’m not saying it’s the healthiest thing out there, but it sure is unique. This taco bake was inspired by that version…but I think it’s much more flavorful! But don’t sell that casserole of yours short…it has bacon in it! Bacon makes everything better. 🙂

  5. Sounds like you had an awesome relaxing time and I am glad you did. This chicken taco bake sounds fantastic and a great meal for a small crowd. Can’t wait to see your taco dessert recipe. But, taco ice cream works for me, too 🙂

    1. I did indeed have a nice relaxing time, Linda. All by myself. Well, myself and my pillow. It was amazing! Taco ice cream, huh? Ok, ok. Now my interest is piqued. I need to figure out how to make this creation…and fast!

  6. I am very familiar with the famous Texas Frito Pie! I haven’t thought of it in forever! I love this casserole idea and what a great idea to use some chicken! It sounds like your bachelor vacation was fun and relaxing!

    1. My one-person bachelor vacation was quite epic, Rachelle! Who ever thought a one-person staycation would be so great? Oh, and you know you are craving some Texas Fritos Pie now. Like you kinda want it for dinner tonight, right? Haha! 🙂

  7. Hi David! This would be a great dish for a party! I love all things chili/taco! I would use freshly cooked chicken as I am not big on canned meats…just me. Happy 5 month birthday to Robbie!

    1. This would indeed be a great dish for a party! Perhaps a Mexican-themed party? You know, for Cinco de Mayo? Along with some Mexican beers of course. 🙂 Freshly cooked chicken would be an excellent switch in this recipe…I’m all about that! Oh, and thank you for the happy 5-month wishes to the little man. He’s changing so much right now!

    1. Thanks so much, Jess! Busy weeknights seem to be the norm now…so it’s nice to have a handful of quick and easy go-to recipes. This taco bake is one of those…and it’s quite delicious! 🙂

    1. Definitely give this one a shot, Kushi…it’s a nice and easy weeknight dinner. And it makes for some pretty awesome leftovers, too!!

    1. Hey, we both love some Mexican food, Dannii…so this one falls right into that category. And as far as baby-free sleep? I need some more of that! (which probably won’t happen until he’s 18…ugh…)

  8. I’ve heard of Texas frito pie and I’ve had it once, a looooong time ago… I remember it was absolutely delicious. So this casserole is totally calling my name! Taco anything rocks the dang house and I’m willing to bet this southwestern chicken taco bake rocks ALL the houses in the neighborhood. (<- Does that makes sense?) Anyways, who cares about pretty when you will be too busy swan diving your face into a casserole dish of this deliciousness? Gimme gimme! I don't really have one favorite casserole, but I'm thinking this will quickly become a part of my top 2. 😉 Cheers, buddy!

    1. Heck yeah, Chey! We’re all about some tacos around here. And as if tacos weren’t already easy, this casserole makes ’em even easier. It totally rocks all the houses in your neighborhood…and the neighborhood next to yours, too! (<-Does that make sense?) Taco madness in the house! Cheers back at ya! 🙂

  9. Curling? 3 nights out of 5? David, you were wasting your time! Trust me, I would have been sleeping all this time (Although some strange people may say that sleeping is wasting your time). Even though I’m not a tacos guy (I’ve tried tacos just few times in my life – not my thing), this dish looks absolutely delicious. I would even try a bit. So if you decide to send me to sample – one little (3-4 pounds) container would be enough:)

    1. Hah…you know, you might be right there, Ben. All those nights curling could have been spent sleeping. But then again, if I didn’t leave the house at all during the winter, then I might have been one grumpy dude. Curling at least made me feel like I had a social life…even if it was a small one! We’ll get you liking tacos for sure…maybe you just need to eat them in casserole form! 🙂

  10. I guess “fancy” is a relative term, David. My version of this is to take a single-serving bag of Fritos, open it, ladle in some chili, and top with cheese. Eat with a plastic spoon. I’ve decided not to tell my family about this post, otherwise, they’ll start demanding to eat at the dining room table. 😉

    1. Seriously, Jeff…a plastic spoon? Man, you had me believing in the fancy part until you went there with the plastic spoon. 🙂 Hope you are doing well, my friend!

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