Warm up a winter evening with this cozy nacho chicken bake! With chicken, rice, tomatoes, chiles, and corn all baked with lots of cheese and spices, this dish has “comfort food” written all over it.
Since most of the ingredients in this recipe come from my pantry or freezer, I like to pull it out when we are low on fresh produce and in need of a hot, dependable dish of delicious nourishment. Though the total cooking/baking time takes between an hour and an hour and a half, (depending on whether you already have your chicken cooked), the amount of hands-on time is only about ten minutes, so you can get other things done while this bakes peacefully in your oven, filling your kitchen with a delicious aroma.
I have had this recipe for so long, I don’t know how I haven’t put it on my blog before. I got it years ago from one of my husband’s co-workers, and over the years I have adapted it a bit, but right from the start it has been a favorite with my husband and son. I love pulling this recipe out and knowing that they will love it, and also that they will be filled up and nourished with warmth. With a husband who likes to exercise and an active, growing teenage son, fueling their bodies is a definite consideration!
After a very cold and snowy start to the winter, we have had a bit of a reprieve the past few days. Our snow has all melted, and the sun is shining brightly today. I must say, it really makes a difference when the sun is shining, and I also noticed that it was still light yesterday evening at 5:15, so the daylight hours are getting a bit longer! The nights and mornings have still been dark and cold.
When I take our dog out at night, if it is a clear night, I love to look at all the stars. A house down the road has some wind chimes, and if it is a windy night, I can hear their wind chimes faintly in the distance. If our dog smells something interesting, he can be outside for awhile, so sometimes I find myself standing out in the cold, staring at the stars and listening to the distant bells of the wind chimes for a few minutes. I probably wouldn’t be doing that if it weren’t for taking the dog out, and it is a few minutes when the world seems so peaceful and hushed, and I feel so small, and my problems seem to shrink in relation to the big dark night. Then I see the white paws of our dog trotting toward me in the dark, and we hustle into the warm house. In those minutes out in the cold night, I feel winter’s pure, cleansing hand on my shoulder.
If you are looking for a winter meal that is easy and filling, yet full of flavor and comfort, I hope you will give this recipe a try! I hope you all have a great weekend! I am hoping to get out into the sunshine later today! This recipe will also be at Angie’s virtual potluck, Fiesta Friday.
Chicken Nacho Bake
- 2 cups of cooked chicken, shredded or diced
- 1/2 cup of instant rice, uncooked (if you don’t want to use instant rice, use cooked non-instant rice)
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup (I like to use the low-sodium kind if I can find it, though it’s not necessary)
- 2 cups of frozen corn, partially thawed
- 1 can of chopped green chiles, undrained
- 1 package of taco seasoning mix
- 1 and 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar or 4-cheese Mexican blend
- 1 cup of tortilla chips, broken into small pieces
- Cilantro for garnish, if desired
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole or oven-safe baking dish.
Take 2 cups of corn out of the freezer and let it sit for a few minutes.
If your chicken is not already cooked, cook it in the way of your choice. I like to poach mine, covered, in a bit of water until it is no longer pink. Then either shred or dice the chicken into small pieces.
In the baking dish, combine the chicken, rice, tomatoes, soup, corn (it’s ok if it’s still a bit frozen), chiles, taco seasoning mix, and one cup of the shredded cheese. Stir well. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for about an hour, or until the rice is tender and the mixture is heated through and bubbly. Then top with the crumbled tortilla chips and remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Bake, uncovered, for about 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro if desired. Serve warm with more tortilla chips and salsa, a salad, and avocado (optional). Enjoy!