fyThe delicious combination of southwest ingredients is what makes this easy chili casserole recipe the perfect weeknight dinner. Everyone in the family is sure to love the ground beef, tomatoes, and green chilis in this flavorful one-pan meal. And the best part is that you can easily make it ahead of time and store the ingredients in the freezer until you’re ready to bake it for dinner.I found a version of this recipe in a cookbook put out by local homeschool families back in the days when my kids were younger. What sold me on wanting to try it was that the dry rice cooks up right in the casserole. One pot meals equal less dishes and less dishes make me very happy!I tweaked the recipe a bit to adapt it to a make ahead meal and my family’s preferences and here it is. If you like all in one rice bakes, you may also like our Spanish Rice Casserole, Beefy Rice Slow Cooker Dinner, or Sriracha Fried Rice.
Chili Casserole Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef, browned
- 1 cup onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 can green chilies
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup long grain white rice (uncooked)
- optional: drained can of corn
- Combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, green chilies, water, chili powder, salt, pepper, and optional corn in a large freezer bag.
- In a separate medium bag, add the uncooked rice.
- Remove excess air and seal the opening of each bag.
- Staple the bags together above the seal. Place the chili casserole ingredients in the freezer until you’re ready to start cooking.
- Transfer the frozen green chili casserole ingredients to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour the ingredients from the large bag into the baking dish and stir in the rice from the smaller bag.
- Bake for one hour, covered* until the rice is softened.
*Note that it is very important that this is covered when baked. We learned the hard one that the rice does not soften and cook properly if this dish is not covered in the oven.
Chili Casserole Recipe Ideas
This flavorful casserole is a great option for dinner because it’s so simple to make ahead. And on top of being easy to prepare, this dinner idea can also be adjusted to suit your own family’s flavor preferences. Try these recipe ideas as you’re planning your dinner menu to create a delicious meal your family is sure to love.
- Use different meat. Ground beef is a great option for quick and easy cooking. But if you want to change things up, you can also use shredded chicken, ground turkey, ground pork, or shredded beef in your chili casserole.
- Make it vegetarian. Replace the ground beef with a soy based meat substitute (we like Yves Mexican Ground Round for this) for a meatless version.
- Make it cheesy. If your family is a fan of cheese, you can easily turn this into a cheesy dinner! When preparing your ingredients, add some shredded cheese to a small freezer bag and staple it to the larger bag above the seam. When you’re ready to cook, top your casserole with the shredded cheese during the last 20 minutes of baking. There are a variety of cheeses you can pick for this dinner, including cheddar, Monterey jack, queso quesadilla, or fiesta blend cheese.
- Add some beans. Give your casserole a little more flavor and protein with the help of some beans. Pinto, kidney, or black beans all make great additions to this simple taco dish.
- Mix in some vegetables. Round out your casserole with the addition of a few more vegetables. You can easily mix in some corn, bell peppers, zucchini, or cauliflower.
Easy Chili Casserole Topping Ideas
One of the easiest ways to add extra flavor and texture to your casserole is to put a few toppings on the plate as you serve it. When serving your green chili dinner, consider setting out some of these toppings to let your family create their own personalized meal.
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced olives
- Pico de gallo
- Jalapeno peppers
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Chopped green onions
- Crushed tortilla or corn chips
- Chopped cilantro
What to Serve with Green Chili Casserole?
Since this dinner is prepared with meat, rice, and veggies, it’s a one-pan meal. That means you don’t need to plan any extra sides to serve along with your chili casserole.
But if you want to round out the meal with some side dishes, there are several great options to choose from while you’re putting your meal plan together. Consider serving these recipe ideas alongside your casserole:
- Mexican street corn
- Refried beans
- Black beans
- Side salads
- Roasted vegetables
- Sautéed peppers and onions
- Tortilla or corn chips
How Do I Store Green Chili Casserole?
I’d be surprised if you have any left when dinner is over because this green chili casserole is so delicious! But if there are some leftovers when dinner is through, you should store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy them again. Transfer the extras to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to four days.
The green chili casserole can also be frozen after it’s prepared. After baking your casserole, allow it to cool completely. Then, cover the dish with foil and wrap the entire pan in plastic wrap. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
Make sure to thaw the frozen casserole before reheating it. Leftovers can be baked in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through or warmed up in the microwave.
- 1 lb ground beef browned
- 1 cup onion minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 28 oz diced tomatoes
- 4 oz green chilies canned
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup long grain white rice uncooked
- optional: drained can of corn
Combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, green chilies, water, chili powder, salt, pepper, and optional corn in a large freezer bag.
In a separate medium bag, add the uncooked rice.
Remove excess air and seal each bag.
Staple the bags together above the seal. Freeze.
Preheat the oven to 375° and grease a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour the ingredients from the large bag into the baking dish and stir in the rice from the smaller bag.
Bake for one hour, covered until the rice is softened.