Black Bean Chicken Bake pairs tender chicken with a Southwestern spice blend and a zesty combination of corn, green chiles, black beans, and melty cheese for a family-friendly weeknight meal with minimum effort and maximum flavor!
Some of the most popular recipes on this website are chicken bakes, and this black bean chicken bake recipe is a new one to add to your rotation!
Just like my Santa Fe Chicken Bake, Rotel Chicken Bake and Cheesy Bacon BBQ Chicken Bake, it all starts with juicy chicken breasts. To those we add savory seasonings, black beans, corn, green chiles, and red onions, along with melted cheddar and a squeeze of lime juice just before serving.
The best part? It’s so easy to make and it tastes great!
My chicken bake recipes are popular thanks to their simplicity, wholesome ingredients, and family-friendly status and this black bean chicken recipe checks all of those boxes too. It’s a hearty dinner on its own or you can even use it as a filling for tacos or burritos. (I share some more serving ideas below!)
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Tried-and-True – Chicken bakes are kind of my thing, which means I’ve got the formula down to a science. You can feel confident knowing this recipe will be a winner!
- Southwestern Flavor – I love Tex-Mex dishes, but adding those diced green chiles really gives this Black Bean chicken some Southwestern flair.
- Quick and Easy – After just 10 minutes of prep time, this chicken bake is ready to go in the oven!
- Kid-Friendly – Choose mild green chiles and this recipe is zesty without being spicy. The whole family will love it!
- One-Dish Dinner – Protein and veggies all in one dish? Sign me up! You can pair your Black Bean chicken bake with some rice to bulk up your dinner or serve it on its own for a light meal.
This Black Bean Chicken recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few minutes of prep for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use for how to make this Black Bean Chicken bake to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Canned white corn – I like white corn for its flavor, but yellow is absolutely fine too. You can also use frozen corn instead of canned.
- Canned black beans – You can use canned, or make my Crockpot Black Beans from scratch. Pinto beans are another option here.
- Diced green chiles – These come in mild or hot versions—choose whichever one your family prefers.
- Cilantro – If you’re a cilantro hater, you can omit this.
- Red onion – I like the milder flavor of red onion in this recipe, but feel free to substitute yellow, white, or vidalia onion if you have it on hand.
- Chicken breast – Cut in half horizontally or pounded to a thin consistent size. Other boneless, skinless cuts like chicken thighs, or chicken tenderloins will also work well.
- Seasonings – Salt, ground cumin, and garlic powder.
- Shredded cheddar cheese – Monterrey jack, Colby jack, or a Mexican blend also work with the flavors in this recipe.
- Lime juice – For some bright citrus flavor.
Make sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full quantities and ingredients list.
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!
- Crock Pot Black Bean Chicken – To make this recipe in the slow cooker, just add all of the ingredients to your crock pot and cook for 3.5 to 4 hours on low.
- Spicy Black Bean Chicken Bake – For more heat, add diced or sliced jalapeños or use hot green chiles.
- Dairy-Free Black Bean Chicken Bake – Skip the cheese for a lighter, dairy-free version of this recipe.
Recipe Step by Step
I am going to highlight a few key steps in the recipe here, but make sure to jump down to the recipe card for comprehensive instructions on how to make our Black Bean Chicken bake.
- Step 1 – Place the chicken in a baking dish and season.
- Step 2 – Add the corn, beans, cilantro, onion, and green chiles.
- Step 3 – Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
- Step 4 – Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese has melted.
- Make sure the chicken is thin – To help chicken cook more quickly and evenly, buy chicken breast that are thin, or you can pound them or slice them horizontally.
- Use a large casserole dish – You’ll need enough space that you can lay the chicken without it overlapping.
- Don’t overcook the chicken – The best way to prevent this from happening is to use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. The internal temp should read 165˚F when it’s done.
- Let the chicken rest – This step is super important! Allowing the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes lets all those amazing juices redistribute throughout and it makes a big difference in flavor and texture.
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!
- Pre-Cut Veggies – You can often find diced onion in the produce section or salad bar of your grocery store. These pre-cut veggies will make prep even faster!
- Black Bean Salsa – Black bean salsa often has corn, cilantro, jalapeños, and red onions in it, making it a great shortcut for this recipe. Just spoon it over the chicken, add the cheese, and you’re done!
- Prep in Advance – You can assemble this Black Bean Chicken recipe a day ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake it.
Freezer Meal Instructions
Making this Black Bean chicken 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.
To freeze before cooking
- Prepare the recipe according to the instructions in a freezer-safe baking dish or large freezer bag. (Do not bake it.)
- Seal tightly.
- Thaw in the refrigerator, then bake according to the original recipe instructions.
How to Freeze Black Bean Chicken Bake After Cooking
- Prepare the recipe according to the instructions and bake it.
- Cool the casserole completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or bag.
- Seal tightly.
- Thaw in the refrigerator, then warm it up in a 350ºF oven or the microwave.
What to Serve with Black Bean Chicken Bake
Since this protein based dinner has the delicious flavors of Southwestern cuisine, it will pair well with many of your favorite Tex-Mex side dishes.
Choose one or several of these side dishes to create a wholesome, well-rounded dinner. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
Black Bean Chicken Bake Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making this recipe, 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
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Black Bean Chicken Salad – Pile the chicken, beans, corn, and cheese onto a bed of lettuce for a satisfying salad.
- Black Bean Chicken Quesadillas – Heat up some tortillas in skillet or on griddle with a little oil, top with diced chicken and the bean and corn topping, and additional cheese.
- Black Bean Chicken Wrap – Wrap up all the ingredients in a tortilla for a delicious work lunch.
- Black Bean Chicken Casserole – Buy a tube of polenta and slice it into pieces. Layer the slices in a casserole dish, then dice the chicken and add it, along with the black bean mixture and additional cheese, over the top. Cover and bake at 350ºF until the chicken is warmed through. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
- Black Bean Chicken Pasta – Boil up some pasta and toss it with the chicken and other ingredients. Top with cotija cheese for a delicious pasta dish!
No, it’s not necessary to cover the chicken while baking this recipe.
To properly pound chicken, place the chicken breasts between two pieces of parchment paper. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, gently hit the chicken until it’s an even thickness.
No, canned green chiles are different than jalapeños. Green chiles are milder in flavor and have a slightly sweet taste, while jalapeños are spicier. You can substitute diced jalapeño peppers for the canned green chiles, if desired.
Yes, you can use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. It’s important to note that the cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken thighs, so check the internal temperature with a thermometer to ensure it has reached 165˚F before serving.
More EASY Chicken Bake Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my easy chicken recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- 15.25 ounce canned white corn, drained (1 can)
- 15 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed (1 can)
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles, (1 can)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro, or more for garnish
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion , (about 1/2 onion)
- 2 pounds chicken breast, see note
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp lime juice, (about 1 lime)
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- In a medium bowl, combine corn, black beans, green chiles, cilantro, and onion and mix.
- Season the chicken breast on both sides with salt, cumin and garlic powder, then lay flat in a large baking dish. Spoon the corn mixture over the chicken and top with cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked (165˚F internal temp.)
- Remove from the oven and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and garnish with additional cilantro.