Spicy Southwest cheesy chicken bake

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:31 p.m. ET

This chicken bake is spicy, cheesy and packed with Southwest flavor. Serve it with some cooked rice for a family friendly meal.

Spicy southwest cheesy chicken bake

Casseroles are such an easy way to get dinner on the table. One dish, all your bases covered. This Southwest-inspired chicken casserole is spicy and cheesy. Need to tone down the spice level for the kids? Just leave out the chipotle and use a bit less jalapeño, it'll still be a dinner hit.

Spicy Southwest cheesy chicken bake recipe

Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and minced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped (optional for some extra heat)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 pound cooked and shredded chicken breasts
  • Avocado, green onions and/or cilantro, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion and peppers and cook for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  4. Add the flour and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  5. Add the flour and combine with the ingredients in the pan with a spatula. Cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add the chipotle chili, chicken broth and milk. Stir to combine and cook for about 3 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the diced tomatoes and salt and pepper. Stir to combine and turn the heat off.
  8. In a deep baking dish, spoon in enough of the sauce mixture to coat the bottom.
  9. Next, layer some of the shredded chicken on top. Top the chicken with a handful of the tortilla chips and then sprinkle some of the cheese over the chips.
  10. Continue layering in that order until all the ingredients are used up.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbly.
  12. Remove from the oven and top with desired garnishes before serving.

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