Easy and delicious Mexican-inspired chicken casserole, using canned chicken . . . lots of variations for whatever ingredients you have, and a stovetop version.

Mexican Chicken Casserole

This delicious recipe for a spicy Mexican-inspired casserole using canned chicken comes from Diane Dashevsky aboard S/V Always $umthing (I love that name!).  It was inspired by the Oh-So-Good Chicken on AllRecipes.com that had been advertised on The Boat Galley, but changed to use canned chicken and make it a bit more boat-friendly.

See the notes below the recipe for how to make it without an oven.

If you’re not familiar with canned meat, read my tips on using canned meats for the best results.  And you can make your own sour cream with non-refrigerated ingredients if refrigerator space is an issue.

If you have someone who is allergic to milk — or you’re just out of the ingredients — this is also great without the sour cream and cheese.  Dave loved it!


Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil OR canola oil OR butter OR margarine
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream (or make your own)
  • 4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese OR other cheese
  • 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms OR large can of mushrooms
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa OR 2 cups of diced tomatoes, green peppers, spicy peppers (optional, to taste) and onions (mixed together, with more tomatoes than anything else)
  • 2 cups cooked rice (any type)
  • 1 (12-ounce) can chicken OR turkey OR ham (you can also use cooked and diced fresh or frozen chicken, etc.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. While the oven is preheating, saute mushrooms in oil until just golden.
  3. Turn heat off and add everything EXCEPT the chicken to the pan and stir to mix.
  4. Drain the liquid from the can of chicken and add the chicken. Mix it in very gently, trying not to break up the pieces.
  5. Put the mixture in a greased baking dish (a loaf pan or pie pan both work well).
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cheese just starts to brown.
  7. Cut into quarters and slide a spatula under each section to serve.

If you don’t have an oven, heat the mixture without the chicken in the skillet over low heat. When the cheese is melted, turn the heat off and VERY GENTLY mix in the drained chicken. Put the lid on the pan and wait 2 to 3 minutes for the chicken to warm through, then serve.

Easy and delicious Mexican-inspired chicken casserole, using canned chicken . . . lots of variations plus a stovetop version.

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  • Mid-Life Cruising!
    Posted at 28 August 2011 Reply

    This sounds delicious! I have a feeling we’ll be going through a lot of canned chicken once we begin cruising. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Waterwoman
    Posted at 02 September 2011 Reply

    Love the idea of the canned chicken. I can’t eat rice, but will use “riced” cauliflower (been doing if for years)and I’m sure it will come out wonderfully.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    • boat babe
      Posted at 26 June 2012 Reply

      Hey Water Woman, I would love to hear about the riced cauliflower……Can you share with us?

  • Mid-Life Cruising! on Facebook
    Posted at 24 January 2012 Reply

    Thanks for reminding me of this recipe. Gonna try it tonight .. seriously!

  • Diane Dashevsky on Facebook
    Posted at 28 February 2013 Reply

    Sold another cookbook for ya this week! 🙂

  • Michelle Beatty on Facebook
    Posted at 28 February 2013 Reply

    they now have low sodium Tuna…im looking for the low sodium chicken next..:)

  • Jessica - MJ Sailing
    Posted at 28 February 2013 Reply

    We used canned chicken on our boat all the time, and I love it! Right now we mostly used it to make chicken quesadillas or BBQ chicken pizza, but I have a feeling it will be used in more and more recipes when we leave the U.S. Actually doing a provisioning trip today, and I’ll have to make sure enough cans are in my basket!

  • Nicola
    Posted at 13 January 2014 Reply

    This sounds yummy….wish I could copy & paste from these posts so I could save this in my files (not the first time I’ve wished this for this site, with all of the great info I’d love to copy & paste into an email for may husband too!!! I will figure out a way to snag it & then may bake this in the next couple of days…we do have an oven on the boat!
    Thanks again for another great idea!

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 13 January 2014 Reply

      Unfortunately, I had to make the site “no copy” as bots were copying literally every article and posting them on other sites. It’s the only way I’ve come up with that actually works to protect my work.

      But there still is a way to make a copy: Use the PDF button at the bottom of the article. You can save it as a PDF or if you want to copy and paste into some other document, you can then copy from the PDF screen that comes up.

      Since the bots can’t figure out how to do the PDF trick, I have it so that real people can make a copy!

  • Nicola
    Posted at 13 January 2014 Reply

    Snagged the PDF! Thank you!!! Yummy yummy! I’m sitting here on the boat with homemade garlic knots (new invented recipe…hope it turns out ok!) and water heating to cook up some tortellini. Long busy day today so I’m cutting myself some slack on dinner.

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