Easy, effortless midweek meal! Rice with shredded chicken cooked in a homemade enchilada sauce (or use store-bought!), topped with cheese. All made in one pot!

All you need is chicken, rice, tomato passata (or canned tomato) and a handful of pantry essentials to make this incredible flavour loaded, comfort-food-central meal. Oh wait – cheese. Of course you need cheese. This would not be “Enchilada” without cheese!

My key tip for making this is to take it off the stove while it is still quite saucy because the rice will continue to absorb water while it is resting – and even while you are serving it. You want it pretty saucy – not sloppy, but not dry. And please please please don’t overcook the rice so it is mushy!

One Pot Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole Recipe 
Everything you know and love about the flavour of Chicken Enchiladas.....but in the form of a rice casserole! And all made in ONE POT on the stove! I like the flow of this recipe because you don't need to measure everything out in advance. After cooking the bell pepper (capsicum) add the passata and chicken broth, then while that comes to a simmer you can gather all the spices. Saves time! This recipe makes a lot. Because it is carb heavy, I think it is enough to feed 6.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 13 oz/400 g chicken breast, about 1/3"/1cm thick, sliced horizontally into thin steaks (Note 1)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red bell pepper/capsicum, diced
  • 24 oz/680 g tomato passata or crushed canned tomatoes* (Note 2)
  • 3 cups chicken broth or water (750ml)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (250g)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper* (spicy - adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano*
  • 2 tsp cumin*
  • 1 ½ tsp coriander*
  • 2 tsp onion powder*
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups / 270g white rice (short, medium or long grain, (Note 4)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (about 125 - 150 g)
To Serve
  • Chopped cilantro/coriander optional
  1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in large skillet.
  2. Add chicken and cook each side for 2 minutes or until cooked, then remove onto a plate.
  3. Add extra oil if the skillet is looking dry. Add onion and garlic, cook for 1 1/2 minutes until starting to soften.
  4. Add bell peppers and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Add remaining ingredients except rice and cheese. Bring to simmer, then add rice.
  6. Stir, cover with a lid and turn down heat to medium low. Cover and cook until rice is cooked but not mushy and most of the liquid is absorbed - about 15 to 18 minutes. (Note 3). Do not stir while it cooks.
  7. Meanwhile, shred or roughly chop chicken.
  8. When rice is cooked, quickly stir chicken through, sprinkle with cheese then pop under broil / grill until golden and bubbly.
  9. Serve, garnished with fresh cilantro/coriander if desired.
Slice the chicken into thin steaks just so they cook faster on the stove. You could bash them thinner using a meat mallet or rolling pin if you prefer (place the chicken between cling wrap). Or if you had a bad day. It's very therapeutic.
Tomato passata is just pureed tinned tomatoes. Nowadays it is readily available in supermarkets, usually alongside pasta sauces. It costs just a tiny bit more, sometimes the same, as canned tomatoes. If you can't find it, puree canned tomatoes or use crushed canned tomatoes.
Add extra water if required because many variables can affect the amount of water required to cook rice. When you finish cooking, you want a bit of liquid left in the rice so it is a bit saucy. Also remember that the rice will continue to absorb liquid even when you take it off the stove.
This recipe is suited to short, medium or long grain (aka "normal") white rice. It is not suited to brown rice, risotto, calasparra (paella) rice or wild rice. I am pretty sure it will work with Jasmin and Basmati because they water to liquid ratio is the same and the cook time is similar. But I can't say with 100% certainty because I haven't tried it.

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