Chicken Fajita Rice Bake Recipe


Are you in the mood for a delicious meal that combines the vibrant flavors of fajitas with the heartiness of a rice bake? Juicy chicken, bell peppers, tender rice, melty cheese, flavorful chicken broth, and a dash of lime juice in one dish will surely kick up your senses. This Chicken Fajita Rice Bake is easy to make, packed with flavor, and sure to be a hit with the entire family. Let’s dive into this Chicken Fajita Casserole recipe.

Is a Fajita Casserole Healthy?

A fajita casserole can be a healthy option, especially when made with wholesome ingredients like rice, lean chicken, sour cream, chicken broth, and bell peppers. Chicken provides a good source of protein while rice offers essential carbohydrates for energy. 

The use of bell peppers and other veggies adds important vitamins and minerals, and by controlling the amount of seasoning, you can manage sodium intake. Opting for low-sodium seasonings and incorporating healthy fats like olive oil can enhance the nutritional profile of the dish, making fajita chicken a balanced and nutritious meal.

Is Fajita Seasoning the Same as Taco Seasoning?

Fajita seasoning and taco seasoning are quite similar but they are not the same. Taco seasoning has more chili powder and oregano. On the other hand, fajita seasoning contains more cumin. Fajita seasoning is also less spicy than taco seasoning.

While there may be slight differences between them, fajita seasoning and taco seasoning can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Chicken Fajita Casserole Recipe Ingredients

You don’t have to run to the nearest restaurant to fill your craving for fajita chicken. Gather up these ingredients to make classic chicken fajitas in your own kitchen.

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (shredded)
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning, divided
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • Lime wedges or freshly squeezed lime juice

Chicken Fajita Casserole Recipe Directions

Making Chicken Fajita Rice Casserole is pretty easy. You don’t even have to boil the rice in a separate pan or a rice cooker as the rice cooks right in the oven with the rest of the ingredients.

  1. Season the shredded chicken breast for a few hours or the night before preparing this casserole dish. Coat the chicken liberally using half of the fajita seasoning. Place it in a large bowl and store it in the fridge.
  2. Half an hour before cooking the fajita casserole, bring the seasoned chicken out of the fridge.
  3. When you’re ready to start cooking the chicken fajita casserole, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine your shredded cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. Set aside.
  5. Lightly coat the bottom of a skillet or pan with olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat.
  6. When it starts simmering, add the seasoned chicken fajita meat in a single layer to the prepared dish. Cook the pulled chicken breast strips for 5 to 6 minutes or until you don’t see any more pink. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan.
  7. Lightly spray a baking dish or casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Make the chicken fajita rice mixture next. In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, uncooked rice, thinly sliced onions, chopped bell peppers, chopped tomatoes, chicken broth, Greek yogurt, and about half of the shredded cheese. Give it a taste and add kosher salt if needed.
  9. Pour the rice mixture into the prepared dish and spread it in an even layer. Cook the fajita chicken casserole uncovered in the oven for 15 minutes.
  10. Stir the chicken fajita rice casserole well to distribute the ingredients.
  11. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
  12. Use a fork to fluff the chicken fajita rice casserole. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top of the dish. Place the dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes or just until the shredded cheese melts.
  13. Garnish the cooked rice fajita casserole with fresh cilantro and lime juice.
  14. Serve immediately.

Chicken Fajita Casserole Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • This Mexican Chicken Fajita Rice Casserole was specifically made with uncooked rice. Do not substitute with brown rice, cauliflower rice, or instant rice as those types of rice require different amounts of liquid and different cooking times. 
  • You can toast the rice grains to add just a hint of nuttiness and depth.
  • If you must use brown rice with this Chicken Fajita Rice Casserole, use 1 1/2 cups of brown rice and toast it first for 1 to 2 minutes. Use 2 cups of chicken stock or broth.
  • If you will be using instant rice, cook the instant rice first. Then mix the cooked rice with the rest of the Chicken Fajita Casserole ingredients, and spread evenly in a baking dish. Wrap the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re using instant brown rice, cook it first according to the package directions.
  • Using Spanish rice can increase the flavor of this Chicken Fajita Casserole.
  • If you don’t have chicken breasts, you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this Fajita Chicken Casserole. 
  • Rotisserie chicken is welcome too! Just shred the rotisserie chicken and season it like you would with the raw chicken.
  • Bell peppers are classic fajita veggies but you can add others along with it to make this Fajita Chicken Casserole even more filling. Use black beans, refried beans, pinto beans, corn, olives, shredded lettuce, or avocado. 
  • Aside from cilantro, you can also use various toppings such as salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, tortilla chips, or red pepper flakes.
  • Adjust the amount of seasoning to your preference. You can add just a hint of spice or go all out.
  • No Greek yogurt? Replace it with sour cream. You can also have sour cream on the side and use it as a dip for the Chicken Fajita Casserole.
  • Make fajita rolls by using the Chicken Fajita Casserole as a stuffing for flour or corn tortillas.
  • Instead of cooking the chicken in a separate pan, you can also do it directly on the baking dish or casserole dish. 
  • Add more shredded cheese over the top of the Chicken Fajita Rice Casserole if you desire.
  • This Chicken Fajita Casserole uses shredded cheddar cheese but you can use any shredded cheese that you enjoy. 
  • If you can’t find diced tomatoes with chilies, regular chopped tomatoes work just as well.
  • Chicken isn’t the only protein that you can use for this fajita casserole. You can substitute the raw chicken with ground beef or tofu.
  • Use taco seasoning if there isn’t any fajita seasoning available. Alternatively, you can make your own fajita seasoning by combining chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, dried oregano, ground cumin, and cayenne pepper.
  • Want to make your Chicken Fajitas creamier? Add cream of chicken soup to the recipe. You may use canned chicken soup or homemade cream of chicken soup. Simply mix it in with the chicken broth.
  • Use aluminum foil to cover the baking dish when placing the Fajita Chicken Casserole in the oven. The foil helps trap heat in the baking dish, cooking it better.

Final Note

If you love easy, flavorful meals, this Chicken Fajita Casserole is exactly for you. All you need is a baking dish with chicken, rice, and bell peppers cooked perfectly in chicken broth. Top it off with a lot of cheese, and sour cream, and then finish it off with a dash of lime juice and you’re good to go! Modifying it is easy too; use Spanish rice, add black beans, put tortilla chips, and all that. You won’t even find yourself looking for a side dish when you have this delectable Chicken Fajita Casserole in front of you. Try out this wonderful recipe today!

Feel like stepping up even further from this Chicken Fajita Casserole to other dishes? Check out our recipe collection!