If you like easy casseroles, you’ll love this Ground Chicken Taco Rice Casserole. This taco rice casserole is naturally dairy free and gluten free, it’s easy to make and can also work as a great make-ahead freezer meal!
This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, nut free, soy free, and egg free.
As a busy mama, casseroles are my go-to these days. They are easy to make ahead and most of them store great in the freezer. This Taco Rice Casserole is no exception. My taco rice casserole is loaded with flavor – delicious taco seasoning, ground chicken, beans, corn, peppers, and onion come together for an amazing meal.
Keep reading to find out how to make this taco rice casserole. Find out how you can make it ahead and freeze, and get ideas for ingredient substitutions.
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How To Make Taco Rice Casserole
FOR THE DETAILED INGREDIENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD BELOW. This section will just give you a general idea of what goes into making this soup. The recipe card is what you should be following when making your soup though.
First, you have to saute your ground chicken with diced onion until fully cooked. You’ll then simmer it in your taco seasoning and water to really bring in the flavor.
This brings out some nice flavor in your meat and really gives it a chance to infuse with the caramel flavor of the onion.
After cooking your ground chicken you remove it from the pan and add in your diced peppers. Saute those until they are nice and tender.
Mix it all together with rice that has been cooked and bake in a casserole dish. This ground chicken taco rice casserole couldn’t be easier!
How to Freeze Taco Rice Casserole
Making this taco rice casserole for the freezer is really quite easy. Follow all of the steps in the recipe card, but stop before adding to a casserole dish. Instead add your taco rice casserole to a gallon sized freezer bag (I was able to get two bags out of this for two different meals). Lay your bag flat in the freezer and freeze until you’re ready to use.
When you want to make your frozen taco rice casserole, remove the bag from the freezer and defrost overnight.
Once defrosted, add it to your greased casserole dish and bake according to the instructions in the recipe card.
Ingredient Substitution Ideas
Here are some ideas for ways you can change up this taco rice casserole. I always like to encourage you to make your dinners your own. So here are some things you can change in this recipe without taking away from its flavor.
Ground Meat – You can really play with the flavors if you change up the ground meat. Use your favorite ground meat.
Beans – I used chickpeas because it’s one of my favorite beans, and what I had on hand. This soup would also go great with black beans, Kidney Beans, or really any other favorite bean.
Spice Level – I’m careful not to add too much taco seasoning because I don’t want to make it too spicy for my little 3-year-old. If you want to amp up the amount of heat, you can add some chili powder or hot sauce. You can increase the taco seasoning slightly, but be careful because too much will also increase the level of salt.
Cheese – Being dairy free, I don’t add any cheese to this dish. But if you are not dairy free or if you have a dairy free cheese you really enjoy, feel free to add some to the top. Add your cheese at the last 10 minutes of cooking so it melts but does not burn!
Taco Rice Casserole – Dairy Free and Gluten Free
- 2 1/2 cups already cooked rice
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 onion
- 2 Bell Peppers
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper – just a small sprinkle
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 can corn
- 1/4 cup taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup water
- Dice your onion and bell peppers and set them aside.
- Heat up a pan on medium heat with a tablespoon of oil and saute your onion and ground chicken. Mix throughout cooking to break up your ground meat. Once meat is 95% cooked, add in your taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about about 5 minutes at a simmer.Remove your meat and onions from the pan once cooked and add them to a large bowl.
- Next, add another tablespoon of oil to the same pan and cook your diced bell peppers. Add just a touch of salt and pepper while cooking to flavor your peppers. Cook them on medium-high heat stirring occasionally until they are cooked through and slightly golden brown on parts.Remove your peppers from the pan and add them to your large bowl.
- Drain and rinse your beans, drain your canned corn, and add both of them to your bowl.
- Mix everything in your bowl together very well then pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake in a preheated oven set to 375°F. Bake for 10 minutes, give it a mix, then bake for an additional 20 minutes without stirring. It's down when the edges are nice and golden and everything is warm through.
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