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How to make a Microwave Mexican Casserole

by Stephanie

This Microwave Mexican Casserole is something I often put together when I have leftover rotisserie chicken and especially with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving when we want something a bit different than the traditional Thanksgiving leftovers.

Title image with a bowl of the Microwave Mexican Casserole and the pan in the background.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just leftover chicken or turkey for this casserole. Use frozen chicken like grilled, diced, or pulled chicken. Leftover taco meat or ground beef and even fajita meat are also great alternatives. You can really put your own spin on this casserole to make it your own.

I also use up the leftover crushed tortilla chips or ripped up corn tortillas that are too small and fragile to be used anymore. This casserole is a great way to use up a few things still hanging around the kitchen.

What’s in a Mexican Casserole?

This casserole has no rules. I just use foods I traditionally use when I cook TexMex or Mexican along with salsa, and then layer them together.

  • rice
  • beans
  • corn
  • corn tortillas
  • salsa
  • peppers and onions (frozen bag)
  • cheese
Close up spoonful of Microwave Mexican Casserole

How do you make a Mexican Casserole?

My basic layers are:

  • rice
  • beans
  • meat

Between each of these three layers I add cheese and ripped up corn tortillas and salsa.

Collage of 9 photos showing each layer to make the Microwave Mexican Casserole

I start with a layer of rice, and then I go from there. Usually I buy the $1 packages of Knorr’s rice – either Mexican Rice, Taco Rice, or Spanish Rice. It’s very easy to make in the microwave. You just add 2 cups of water and cook for 10 minutes, and it’s done. Then, I start layering the casserole together.

Next is a can of pinto beans or black beans as well as a can of corn. Sometimes I switch out the beans for Ranch Style Beans, which are also known as Chili Beans.

Don’t forget to add cheese and ripped up tortillas between the layers. I also add one layer of frozen bell peppers and onions and a layer salsa in the middle.

Usually the meat layers are leftover rotssierie chicken, but I’ve used frozen fajita meat, frozen chicken, canned chicken, leftover turkey, leftover taco meat, and even plain ground beef.

The final two layers are salsa and cheese.

How do you cook a Microwave Mexican Casserole?

This part is easy. Since the ingredients are all precooked, you don’t need to worry about getting to a certain temperature. So, I cook the casserole for about 8-10 minutes on High so the cheese is melted, and it’s hot throughout the casserole.

More Tex Mex / Mexican Recipes to make in the Microwave

Microwave Mexican Casserole
Yield: 6 servings

Microwave Mexican Casserole

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked Mexican rice
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken, taco meat, etc.
  • 1 can pinto beans (or black beans), drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 16 oz colby jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 16 oz jar salsa
  • 1 cup frozen bell pepper and onion mix
  • 12 corn tortillas, cut into strips


  1. Prepare the rice in a 2 1/2 quart baking dish in the microwave.
  2. Once the rice is done, begin layering.
  3. Drain the beans and cover the top of the rice.
  4. Drain the corn and add over the beans.
  5. Pour half the jar of salsa over the top.
  6. Top with a layer of shredded cheese.
  7. Add a layer of corn tortillas torn into strips.
  8. Top with a layer of frozen peppers and onions.
  9. Next, add the layer of meat - shredded chicken, turkey, taco meat, etc.
  10. Add the second half of the salsa jar.
  11. Top with torn corn tortilla strips.
  12. Add the last layer of cheese.
  13. Microwave for 7-8 minutes on HIGH, until cheese is melted and casserole is hot all the way through.


Substitute shredded, diced, or frozen cooked chicken or turkey. You can also substitute with fajita meat or taco meat.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 952mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 30g

Any nutritional information on justmicrowaveit.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate.

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