Chicken With Rotel Recipes

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Chicken with Rotel Recipes is a compilation of some of the best recipes to use this popular canned vegetable. I’m sure most of you love cooking and trying new recipes. You probably have a good amount of favorite chicken dishes that you love to make for dinner. This can be simple main dishes, flavorful appetizers and even simple desserts.

Rotel Chicken Bake

An EASY cheesy Rotel Chicken Bake is exactly the satisfying, super-fast meal you’ll want on busy weeknights. Simple spices, cheese, and Rotel tomatoes combine with tender chicken breasts in a hands-off baked chicken dinner that only takes you 5 MINUTES to get in the oven. With countless possibilities for sides and the cheesy, salsa flavor that the whole family will love, you’ll be the hero of dinner time with minimal effort.

Rotel Chicken Bake – The EASY Way!

Chicken bakes are a go to in my house for a reason – they are always delicious and even better EASY. This Rotel chicken bake is definitely both of those things in one super quick, ultra kid-friendly recipe. It will literally take you 5 minutes to put it in the oven, but when you pull out cheesy, tender chicken breasts, it will be hard to believe it was so stress-free!

Bonus – it is super easy to customize too. Just switching up the Rotel or the cheese is a fast way to make it exactly how YOUR family likes it, without any extra effort. Your kids will love it and you will definitely love the fast, one-dish cleanup.

WHAT IS ROTEL?

If you have never tried Rotel tomatoes with green chilies, you are totally missing out! They’re a Texas based brand that make canned diced tomatoes with green chiles. They make a few different varieties including original, mild, spicy, and cilantro lime. You can find them near the other canned tomatoes in almost any grocery store. They are an absolute go-to for adding quick, super flavorful tomatoes to tons of dishes.

WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE!

  • So Fast! – At most you will have to slice a chicken breast or two. The rest is just season, layer, and bake! Easy!
  • One Pan – It all bakes in one dish that makes clean up a breeze after dinner.
  • Tastes Great – The BEST part about this Rotel chicken bake is the flavor! Everyone will gobble up the juicy cheesy chicken.
  • Versatile Leftovers – The flavors in this easy Rotel chicken are super easy to repurpose into another meal like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, etc!
  • Family friendly – In addition to being a huge time saver for busy families, it is also a dish that will make everyone happy, from the picky eaters to the hungry teenagers.

What to Serve with a Cheesy Rotel Chicken Bake

Since this dish has the classic flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine, it will pair well with many traditional or spiced up side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.

SIDE DISH IDEAS

  • Green Salads – add avocado, shredded cheese, corn, and top with my jalapeno ranch dressing as a perfect, healthy side for the Cheesy Rotel Chicken Bake.
  • Grains – My easy Mexican rice or chipotle cilantro lime rice are so perfect to under cheesy Rotel chicken!
  • Potatoes – Easy extra creamy or green chile cheddar mashed potatoes would both be so good!
  • Baked asparagus – super easy, tasty, and healthy.
  • Vegetable medleys – Cajun roasted veggies or Mexican Roasted Veggies are both super flavorful and can roast in the oven with your chicken bake.
  • Beans – Simply seasoned canned black beansMexican crock pot refried beans, or crock pot black beans are all super tasty with this cheesy, easy chicken dinner.
  • Buttermilk cornbread or Mexican cornbread – both pair with the flavors in this dish.

You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner. 

Recipe Notes

This Rotel Chicken Bake recipe is as simple as promised! Just one pan and 5 minutes of prep for a family friendly meal.

In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.

Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.

INGREDIENTS + SUBSTITUTIONS

Ingredients to make cheesy Rotel chicken bake including chicken breasts, cheese, spices, original Rotel, and green onions
  • Chicken Breasts – I like using chicken breasts for the Rotel Chicken Bake, but any boneless skinless chicken will do. If you are using tenderloins or cutlets, the bake time will be less so check it early to avoid overcooking it.

    When choosing any chicken, make sure you are beginning with even sized pieces. You can easily slice the chicken in half or pound out the thicker spots so that they are even and will bake evenly.
  • Rotel – I love the classic Rotel! But you can use any brand of canned tomatoes with green chiles. If you like you could also use the fire-roasted, Mexican style, Hot, or really any variety of Rotel!
  • Shredded Cheese – I keep it simple with shredded cheddar, but you can definitely use a Mexican blend, Monterey jack, or pepper jack for some spice. Just choose a cheese that will get gooey and melty!
  • Spices – A blend of chili powder, cumin, salt, and garlic powder make this whole dish sing.
  • Optional Garnishes – Top the Rotel Chicken with one or more based on your family’s preference! Chopped, fresh cilantro, green onions, or sour cream will garnish for added flavor and color.
How to make easy Rotel Chicken 1)season and arrange chicken in a casserole dish 2)top with rotel tomatoes 3)sprinkle cheese over the top 4)bake and serve with garnish

Recipe Tips

  1. Use Same-sized Chicken breasts – To make sure the chicken in your Cheesy Rotel Chicken Bake will be juicy and perfect, it is REALLY important to start with pieces that are the same thickness and size.

    Butterfly or slice large ones in half to make them even and quicker to cook. Or you can simply pound the thicker parts with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin so they are same width. I recommend covering the chicken with plastic wrap before pounding to keep everything clean.
  2. Use a Large Casserole Pan – Another key tip to even cooking is a large pan. You want to use a casserole dish, or oven safe pan with sides, that allows you to lay the chicken breasts in flat, without overcrowding or layering them. A pan that is too small will make the chicken bake take longer to cook.
  3. Drain the Rotel – Your Rotel chicken bake will be tasty if you forget this step, but I highly recommend draining the tomatoes before adding them to the chicken. Leaving them undrained will create a more watery sauce since the chicken releases moisture while it bakes too. Draining off the excess liquid will give you a saucier final product.
  4. Bake Covered – We personally love the ooey, gooey flavors of this this Rotel chicken bake. It’s just full of cheesy goodness! Getting that stringy, melty cheese is done by baking it covered until the last 10 minutes or so. BUT, if you like the idea of crisp cheese instead, bake it uncovered the whole time! Both are super tasty!
  5. Don’t overcook – One of the main reasons for dry, stringy chicken is overcooking. For this recipes it is as simple as not leaving it in the oven too long! After you’ve remove the foil, let it bake for 5 more minutes, then check the temperature with a meat thermometer if possible so you pull them out at the perfect 165°F.

Recipe Short Cuts

If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!

  • Use Chicken Chunks – Cubed chicken pieces will not only make your easy Rotel chicken bake faster, but it makes serving quicker too. Just scoop and serve!
  • Pre-shredded Cheese – Grate it yourself ahead of time, or just buy a package of your favorite pre-shredded cheese to make assembling this so much faster.
  • Use a spice blend – If you have taco seasoning or Mexican blends in your cupboard they can add big flavor super fast without measuring separate spices. My homemade fajita seasoning would be a great option to season a Rotel chicken bake super easily. Swap in 1-2 teaspoons to coat all the breasts.

Recipe Variations

If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!

  • Spicy Rotel Chicken Bake – Make as directed but add a pinch of cayenne to the seasoning blend, or swap out original Rotel with the Hot variety, and use pepper jack cheese on top.
  • Loaded Cheesy Rotel Chicken Bake – Make as directed, mixing in 1/2 cup corn and 1/2 cup black beans to the rotel before topping with cheese.
  • Creamy Rotel Chicken Bake – Mix 4 ounces of cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sour cream with the drained Rotel tomatoes, then proceed with the recipe as directed!

Freezer Meal Instructions

Making this Rotel chicken bake recipe into a freezer meal is simple! Follow the steps below and you can store this recipe in the freezer for up to 6 months.

  1. Season the chicken breasts and add the drained tomatoes over the top.
  2. Store in a freezer safe bag or freezer friendly container.
  3. Freeze.
  4. When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.
  5. Drain off any excess liquid.
  6. Top with cheese and bake as directed in the recipe.

Rotel Chicken Bake Leftovers

If you have leftovers after making easy Rotel chicken, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.

To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:

  • in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
  • in the freezer up to a month

LEFTOVER RECIPES

Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!

  • Rotel Chicken Nachos – Spread tortilla chips on a sheet pan and sprinkle chopped up Rotel chicken on top. Add more cheese, and other toppings like beans, corn, olives, and jalapenos. Bake at 350°F until the cheese is melted and serve.
  • Rotel Chicken Quesadillas – Combine chopped leftovers with extra shredded cheese between two flour tortillas. Crisp in a warm skillet on both sides until the cheese is melted and everything is hot. Slice into triangles and serve immediately with some sour cream to dip!
  • Rotel Chicken Stuffed Peppers – Chop up leftovers and combine with either white or brown rice at a 1:1 ratio. Add a splash or two of chicken broth if it seems dry. Half bell peppers and remove the stems, ribs, and seeds. Place in a casserole dish and fill with the chicken and rice mixture. Top with more cheese and bake covered for 35-40 minutes or until the peppers are tender.
  • Rotel Chicken Burritos– Combine leftover Rotel chicken with leftover rice and beans in a pan to warm through. Lay out a large tortilla and add the chicken mixture topped with salsa or cheese, the fold.

CHEESY CHICKEN ROTEL IS A FAMILY FAVORITE

Cheesy Chicken Rotel makes me wanna hop in the pan and wrap myself in cheese and spaghetti. Yep, this comfort food classic is that good. If you’ve ever had this throwback recipe, then you know what I’m talking about. New to this recipe? Well, let me tell you how to create a ooey-gooey pasta casserole packed with tender chicken, spicy tomatoes, and more.

a baking pan of chicken spaghetti casserole

CHEESY CHICKEN ROTEL – PUT ON YOUR FAT PANTS, PEOPLE.

I almost didn’t put this recipe for on the blog. Why? Because everyone probably has their own version.

But that’s ok. Before this life is over, I plan on trying them all. So keep them coming. Cheesy Chicken Rotel is THAT good. Seriously…this pasta recipe is perfect for weeknight dinner, parties and potlucks. You name it, this tried and true recipe is ALWAYS a hit.

Made with convenient pantry ingredients and wholesome chicken–and my trust sidekicks Velveeta and Rotel–you can count on this recipe when you need a comforting, filling meal with little fuss.

And yes, my food blogger status is likely to be revoked once word gets out I am using Velveeta. 🙂

shredded chicken, cubed velveeta cheese, and rotel tomatoes

INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE:

  • Chicken – I used 2 pounds of chicken breasts. You can use whatever you like, see more ideas below.
  • Salt + pepper – Just a pinch.
  • Spaghetti
  • Rotel canned tomatoes – For this recipe we used the Mild version. You do you.
  • Cream of chicken soup and / or cream of mushroom soup – 2 cans.
  • Velveeta cheese
  • Milk
  • Cheddar cheese – Because.
  • Hot sauce – Totally optional, but it gives this dish just a little kick.
  • Onion powder + chili powder.

A word about the bird: Use whatever chicken you’d like. I started with 2 pounds of chicken breasts. I gently poached them in seasoned water, cooled, and shredded them. You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken, or even premium canned chicken in a pinch.

You won’t need much salt and pepper in this recipe because most of the ingredients already contain salt. The tomatoes, soups, cheeses…all have their own flavor.

TIP: Cook the spaghetti in the same cooking water you prepared the chicken in. The pasta soaks up all that flavor and makes your dish taste even better.

spaghetti in a pot of water

You can make this casserole with whatever type of pasta you have on hand. Using spaghetti is the classic way that I’ve always had it.

Not a fan of “cream of” soups. You can make homemade if you’d like. Me? I figured since I’ve already committed to using Velveeta, a little cream soup works for me.

#velveetaforlife (NO, this is NOT a sponsored post. Although Velveeta is welcome to back the truck up to my kitchen door. I’ll be waiting.)

overhead picture of a pot with velveeta cheese sauce

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN ROTEL:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Next, in a large pot, add 3 quarts of water. Stir in a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts and bring the pot to a VERY low boil on medium-high heat.
  3. Cook the chicken gently until it is no longer pink in the center. Remove from the water and let cool. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Set aside.
  4. Bring the cooking water to a boil. Add the dry pasta and cook to package directions for al dente (about 9 minutes). Drain, reserving about 2 cups of the pasta water.
  5. Reduce the stove top to low. In the same pot (now drained and empty), combine the undrained tomatoes, soups, cubed Velveeta, hot sauce, onion powder + chili powder.
  6. Cook and stir until the cheese mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and fold in the prepared chicken and spaghetti. Add the milk and 1 ½ cups of the reserved pasta water (more as needed).
  7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top.
  8. Next, bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

I’m getting hungry again just thinking about this yummy recipe. It is definitely one of my favorites.

TIP: The addition of milk and pasta water helps make the sauce creamy. The pasta will absorb the sauce while baking, and this step keeps it from becoming too dry.

rich and creamy pasta with chicken

This recipe makes a lot! This was enough for my family for 2 nights. You could even make up a batch on Sunday evening and have plenty of lunches for the week.

You can also prepare this in two smaller baking dishes. One for now, one for the freezer. Before baking the frozen one, let it thaw in the refrigerator for several hours, then pop in the oven until heated through.

overhead picture of a cheeesy pasta recipe

TIPS + IDEAS FOR BEST RESULTS:

  • Cut the chicken breasts into smaller cutlets or strips before adding to the water to reduce the cooking time.
  • Cook the pasta in the chicken cooking water for extra flavor.
  • Don’t be tempted to add extra salt. The ingredients in this recipe already contain a lot of flavor. If you want more salt, add it to your portion before eating. 🙂
  • Want it spicier? Use the Hot Rotel tomaotes and add additional hot sauce.
  • Cube the Velveeta cheese to make melting easier.
  • Try this recipe with ground beef instead of chicken for a fun twist.
  • Chicken Rotel is also great with other types of pasta. Think penne, rotini, and more.
  • Serve with buttery garlic bread and a green salad for a complete meal your family and friends will rave about.
a bowl of comforting chicken spaghetti

Cheesy Chicken Rotel

A classic comfort food featuring tender chicken, spicy tomatoes, creamy cheese sauce, and spaghetti.

PREP TIME45 mins

COOK TIME30 mins

TOTAL TIME1 hr 15 mins

COURSEMain Course, Pasta

CUISINEAmerican

SERVINGS12

CALORIES413 kcal

INGREDIENTS  1x2x3x

  • 2 pounds chicken breast boneless, skinless, cut into strips for cooking
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 16 ounces spaghetti dry, uncooked
  • 10 ounces Rotel tomatoes undrained
  • 10.5 ounces cream of chicken soup
  • 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pound Velveeta cheese cubed
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup milk more as needed
  • 1 ½ cups reserved pasta cooking water
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese shredded

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside.
  • Next, in a large pot, add 3 quarts of water. Stir in a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts and bring the pot to a VERY low boil on medium-high heat.
  • Cook the chicken gently until it is no longer pink in the center. Remove from the water and let cool. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Set aside.
  • Bring the cooking water to a boil. Add the dry pasta and cook to package directions for al dente (about 9 minutes). Drain, reserving about 2 cups of the pasta water.
  • Reduce the stove top to low. In the same pot (now drained and empty), combine the Rotel, soups, cubed Velveeta, hot sauce, onion powder + chili powder.
  • Cook and stir until the cheese mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and fold in the prepared chicken and spaghetti. Add the milk and 1 ½ cups of the reserved pasta water (more as needed).
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top.
  • Next, bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

VIDEO

NUTRITION

Serving: 1gCalories: 413kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 34gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 1195mgPotassium: 606mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 641IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 349mg

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