This Chicken & Rice Enchilada Bake w/ Cotija Sprout Slaw is easily one of my newest favorite meals. So many flavors and texture and it is FILLING. The perfect post-workout meal. Have you ever finished a workout and just feel completely famish? Yeah, me too! This recipe makes a big ole batch perfect for meal-prep to save you from those famished moments. A few different cooking batches and methods but all in ONE POT. Sometimes the toughest part fo meal-prep is the week’s worth of dishes after the batch cooking. There are minimal extra dishes required here, a bonus with such a yummy meal!
The grocery list.
Chicken & Rice Enchilada Bake
- olive oil — my favorite cooking oil!
- chicken thighs — chicken breast or even ground chicken or turkey would be an easy substitute here. Chicken thighs are our favorite for a dish like this!
- salt — always season your meat with a good dose of salt!
- cracked black pepper — pepper rounds out the flavors and adds a depth to your seasoning.
- smoked paprika — I think smoked paprika is my all-time favorite spice. The smokiness a subtle sweetness is my favorite.
- garlic powder
- zucchini — not only does this add extra green color to the dish but a good dose of vegetables and nutrients. Plus, zucchini it basically water and take on the flavor of whatever they’re in so it’s the ideal veggie to sneak in for picky-eaters.
- sweet onion — add just a subtle flavor and texture crunch.
- jasmine (or basmati) rice — we love both rice and always have them stocked in the pantry.
- bulgur — this is an ingredient I have had in the pantry for a long while and was never 100% sure how to use it. I’ve been experimenting with it and it tucks nicely into this dish. If you don’t have, just add another 1/2 cup of rice!
- chicken bone broth — you could use water but the broth not only add flavor, it adds an extra hit of nutrients and protein.
- creamed corn — it’s slightly sweet and add pop of crunch in each bit.
- enchilada sauce — the bake is not the same without this ingredient, don’t swap it!
- sharp cheddar — use whichever cheese is favored in your house. A Mexican blend would work really well with this dish we just happen to always have sharp cheddar because it’s our favorite.
- jalapeño — we love the heat! Leave it out if you cannot handle the spice.
- Avocado — the perfect cool and creamy element for this hot and spiced dish.
Cotija Sprout Slaw
- brussel sprouts — I love using this ingredient in a unique way. Typically, we roast or cook brussels and it’s always nice to use it in a new way.
- olive oil — if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a hundred more times, Cobram Estate olive oil is so good you could drink it straight from the bottle.
- lemon juice — adding a pop of acid is always a great way to brighten a dish.
- cotija cheese — this salty cheese is often used in Mexican inspired dishes and has a special place on your plate in this dish.
More meals, fewer dishes.
This is a one pot wonder! Aside from the one skillet, you are dirtying a cutting board, knife and at max two bowls. One bowl to toss the chicken (or you could do that right on the cutting board!) and one bowl to make the sprout slaw. That’s not a bad batch of dishes for the whole lot of meals and yumminess coming from this Chicken & Rice Enchilada Bake w/ Cotija Sprout Slaw recipe.
Serving sizes are always slightly challenging for me to nail down for ya’ll. Truth be told, my gauge is off because Mat eats much more than the average human. I’ve had to stop serving friends or family when they come over for dinner because I don’t know how to make a normal sized plate. This recipe made 6 Mat-sized meals and 2 Sammy-sized meals. I’m giving this a guess of 6-8 servings and hope that range helps you prepare for your family and your week ahead!
Looking for more meal prep ideas?
Here are a few to try:
Lastly, if you make this Chicken & Rice Enchilada Bake recipe, be sure to leave a comment! Above all, I love to hear from ya’ll and do my best to respond to every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of your dayyyummm good recreations is my favorite!
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds ButcherBox chicken thighs (boneless / skinless), cubed
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 whole zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then into half moon slices
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups jasmine (or basmati) rice
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 4 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 can creamed corn
- 8 ounces enchilada sauce
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- Avocado, sliced for serving
Cotija Sprout Slaw
- 2 cups brussel sprouts, shaved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup cotija cheese
- Preheat a large cast iron skillet or oven-safe skillet** over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan to heat.
- Toss the chicken cubes with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder. Working in batches cooking the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side. Move the first batch to a bowl or plate and cook the remaining raw chicken. Remove all the chicken from the pan and set aside. (The chicken is just going to be browned on each side, it does not need to be fully cooked as it will continue to cook in the oven.)
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. Add the sliced zucchini, cook for 3 minutes until lightly browned. Add the onion and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the dry rice, bulgur and chicken broth. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- When the rice is cooked, add the chicken to the skillet along with the creamed corn and enchilada sauce. Toss to combine and smooth the top.
- Add the cheese to the top of the mixture with slices of jalapeños.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- While the bake is in the oven, prepare the Brussel sprout slaw. Toss the shredded Brussel sprouts with olive oil, lemon juice and cotija cheese.
- Remove from the oven, cool for 10 minutes before serving (it's LAVA hot!).
- Serve topped with Cotija Sprout Slaw and slices of avocado.
**Use something with a lid in order to properly cook the rice before placing the whole pan in the oven. Ideally, a 12"+ skillet.
Nutrition Information: 10 servings 448 cals / 21g F / 25g C / 30g P
I can’t eat creamed corn, any suggestion for a substitute?
Sue, you can omit or swap it for something like black beans!
Thank you! I’ll try black beans ?
Any good cheese substitute. My husband is not a fan of the cheese on the Brussels. Love your meals though.
Abbey, you could use crumbled feta or goat cheese here as well!
This was SO good! thanks for sharing!!
PS: When you cook w chicken thighs, how much do you trim the fat/leave it for flavor?? Chicken fat is notorious for not always cooking well, so just wondering your take on it?
Miranda, we do typically get boneless / skinless. In that case, there are small patches of fat that I leave on for added flavor. If it were a full skin thigh I would remove the skin. I’ll update the recipe to note skinless for any future foodies giving this recipe a GO!
Made this at the fire station to feed our whole crew. Great recipe.
That’s what I love to hear Jacob, keeping your people WELL-FED
Do you use the same skillet you use to cook the chicken to boil the rice in the bone broth? Do you prefer a green or red enchilada sauce for this recipe?
Lauren, YES! Since my cast iron is a large one I was able to do it in the same pan. You remove the chicken for that part and it allows for extra room in there for the rice and broth but you get all the yummy flavor bits the chicken leave behind. I prefer green enchilada sauce and have linked the exact one I used in the recipe but it’s dealers choice, I left that one up to the maker since I know everyone has their preference and both would be amazing here.
Yum!! I added a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro before I baked it.
Douglas– great additions! So glad you liked it!
Hey! You write creamed corn but like to a whole kernel corn. Which do you prefer?
Yelena, I did use creamed corn in this recipe and loved the added volume and creaminess it gave to the bake. If you use regular corn I’d suggest add an extra 1/4 cup of broth before you bake to keep it moist.
This was sooo good! Quick and easy. I added freshly diced tomatoes, coriander and sour cream to serve.
Jocelyn, so glad to hear you enjoyed it and love those additions!
This was a huge hit with my son and partner. My son says it is his new favourite meal! It was super straightforward to prepare, thank you for another great recipe Sammy, keep them coming please!
Paula– love hearing this! So glad you and your family enjoyed it!
Yum! Do you think it would keep ok to make ahead of time and save the baking part for later in the week?
I suppose you could! The baking part is really just to set the extra liquids with the rice and melt the cheese. I haven’t tried this so be sure to report back if it works well.
Made this the other day. It was AMAZING. Even my picky 13yo ate it! SO. MUCH. FLAVOR! And the chicken thighs don’t get dried out like a boneless breast can. Delicious!
YESS! winning if we can get picky eaters eating!!
This was a great recipe! Love that there were leftovers. It’s getting added to our regular meal rotation! Thanks!
This is great! Used rotisserie chicken for ease, and added some poblanos to the zucchini and onion mixture. Delicious!
What are great way to make quick work of this recipe Hannah!
So excited to try this Sammy! Do you leave the zucchini and onion mixture in with the rice when you cook?! Does the zucchini hold up?
Rachel, yes I leave the veggies in while the rice cooks. The zucchini holds up well. I imagine if the slices were thinner they’d mush a little but I keep them fairly large.
What can be a replacement for bulgur?
Carly, you can simply add more rice to the recipe in place of bulgur.
Fab mid-week meal! I used an oven dish instead and it worked out great. Plenty of leftovers to fill up on before going to do today’s HWPO workout 😉 love your recipes! Keep them coming
Made this to take for my lunch and it’s so good! Didn’t have a big enough cast iron skillet, so I cooked everything separately and baked in a 13×9 dish.
KT, YES! I’ve had to do the same when doubling the batch. Happy to hear you enjoyed it!
My husband recommended that I check you out because he knew I was looking for new recipes and watching you guys on YouTube he thought your meals looked delicious! This was the first meal of yours that we tried and it was a total hit! Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try another!
Ridiculously good!! Used brown rice which extended the rice cooking time to about 45 mins but tasted incredible! Can’t wait to have the leftovers tonight (yes we polished off half of it in one night – it was a big training day ?)
Amelia– love the subs! It makes a lot but it still goes pretty quickly huh!?
448 cals / 21g F / 25g C / 30g P. Is this preserving?
Tyler, that is correct. This servings are just a suggestion of course, be sure to weigh/measure and log it yourself for more accurate account of the servings if you track your macros.
Thank you, This was amazing. It was inhaled by my crew. Loving your recipes. Thank You. ???
Annie, isn’t this recipe just the bomb?! so glad your whole crew loved it!
Been meaning to try this for a while and finally did. All I can say is daayuuummm! Why did I wait so long?! Definitely adding this to the rotation more! Absolutely superb and so simple too! Even my picky toddler loved it! Thank you!!
Dylan– reviews like this MAKE MY DAY!! thank you!
Cooked this last week and it was delicious! Has gone straight to the favourites list. Ended up making about 8 servings from the recipe.
Hey Sammy, this recipe is so good!!! I went half and half on creamed corn and black beans. The flavor was insane. Thanks for sharing all of these!
I just made this for dinner and it is AMAZING! So simple, And I love anything I can cook in my cast iron. My family eats a lot and the recipe made so much it almost didn’t fit in my cast iron. (I think I will always cook rice in chicken broth from here on out).
Wow! This is the first recipe I have tried of Feeding the Frasers, and it did not disappoint! ?? I shared your link with several friends. This one is definitely going in the “keeper recipes”! I ended up adding squash in addition to the zucchini as we have both fresh from our garden.
I wonder if you have made this ahead of time, kept in the fridge, and then baked it? Taking a big group trip soon and trying to do most of the prep before so I can spend the most time having fun with the group and not in the kitchen.
Kristie– that is a great idea!
When baking you leave covered or uncovered?
You’ll cook it on the stovetop covered to help cook the rice but then uncovered once it goes in the oven.
My husband and I both LOVED this recipe, and it makes a ton of food! I used my homemade enchilada sauce and even though I used chicken breasts they did not dry out at all. Thanks for the awesome recipe, Sammy 🙂
So glad you enjoyed it!!
Made this for my family of 6 tonight and there wasn’t one bite left! Even my youngest gobbled hers up. Thanks so much for the recipe! The slaw was perfect with the rice dish – I was skeptical but it all worked together really well! It’s officially on the regular rotation!!
Patricia, So happy to hear this was a HIT with the whole family! Glad you all enjoyed it! — Sammy
LOVED this!! FYI, I added some red cabbage to the shaved Brussels sprouts salad. Gave it a little color 😉
This was so delicious! Will definitely be adding it to my rotation of recipes.
Tried this recipe and loved it!!
Making it this week for a tailgate!!
Made this and the whole family loved it. Wondering, can I used leftover chicken thighs already cooked or would it be dried out.
Hi! Do you happen to know if this meal would freeze well? I’m starting my postpartum freezer stash of meals and this just sounds so good. Seems like everything would but I’m not sure about the zuccini (?)
I made this recipe as written (except I didn’t have a cast iron skillet… so I used a Dutch Oven instead) and it was SO DELICIOUS! I will definitely be making this again!
Cook rice in a separate pot?
Beav, you’ll cook the rice in the same pan as the veggies. -Sammy
I’ve made this once and thought it was great! If I was making it for a larger group and wanted to increase quantities by roughly half, how much should I adjust the cook time or other parts of the recipe?
Made this last night, and I was surprised by how much it made. I had to move everything into my 6qt dutch oven to bake lol. I couldn’t find just bulgur; I used a bulgur/red quinoa blend. It was a nice substitution. I also suggest adding some cilantro to the either the slaw or just as an additional topping. Gives it a nice added flavor. I like cilantro so I may be a little biased 🙂 Definitely a good meal to have lots of leftovers and/or feed an army 🙂
Gracie– so glad to hear it! Thanks for making it and sharing your experience with the recipe! Best, Sammy