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Currently Craving: Smothered Chicken Queso Casserole

Say goodbye to boring chicken! One of our most popular recipes of 2015, Smothered Chicken Casserole, gets a Tex-Mex makeover in this easy, cheesy recipe.
By Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer
Smothered Chicken Queso Casserole

When it comes to dinner recipes, I’m always looking for something that’s easy, tasty and family friendly. There are a handful of those recipes that I keep in the weeknight meal rotation, but I’m constantly on the hunt for ways to keep things fresh, so we don’t fall into a dinner rut.

One of Betty Crocker’s most popular recipes of last year—Smothered Chicken Casserole—is a staple in our house, so I decided to give it a little Tex-Mex makeover for something familiar but still new. It was an instant hit! It’s no wonder, seeing that it’s a chicken bake loaded with creamy queso rice, colorful veggies and plenty of extra cheese. Here’s how to make it!

First, heat the oven to 350°F and spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set the dish aside and gather your ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll need chicken breasts (halved), Old El Paso taco seasoning mix, Old El Paso diced green chiles, salsa con queso, half-and-half, red or orange bell pepper, shredded Mexican cheese blend and some cooked white rice. I also set aside some cilantro and tomatoes for garnish.

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Next, in a large bowl, stir together the salsa con queso, half-and-half and diced green chiles. Then, stir in the chopped pepper. Reserve 1/4 of this sauce mixture.

Stir the rice into the remaining 3/4 of the sauce mixture. Place the rice mixture in the prepared baking dish and top with the chicken.

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Top the chicken with the reserved 1/4 of the sauce mixture.

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Top the casserole with the shredded cheese.

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Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the chicken is completely cooked through and registers 165°F.

Cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped tomato and cilantro, if you’d like. You can add more toppings, too—lettuce, avocado, sour cream and salsa are all great options. If your family likes dishes on the spicier side, try sprinkling a few pickled jalapeños on top!

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