Chicken Enchilada Casserole (“Stacked” Chicken Enchiladas)

This chicken enchilada casserole recipe -- a.k.a. "stacked chicken enchiladas" -- is simple to make, gluten-free and also easy to adapt to be vegan. Oh, and it's also CRAZY good.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

My favorite foodie week of the year has finally arrived.

Yes, I’m well aware that most people I know get more excited about their annual Thanksgiving turkey-a-thon.  Or the arrival of summer grilling season out in the back deck.  But in my book, the best time of the year is when the rest of the world gets excited about eating what I basically crave on a daily basis — Mexican food!!!

Si, amigos.  

Anything that goes with chips and salsa is my happy place.

So I’m taking full advantage the week leading up to Cinco de Mayo (which serendipitously happens to be my Dos de Mayo birthday week) to have a little Mexican food fiesta on the blog, beginning with one of my favorite recipes — Chicken Enchilada Casserole.  Also known as Stacked Chicken Enchiladas.

This is basically a riff on my recipe for The Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever, made of course with my favorite homemade Red Enchilada Sauce.  But this version is slightly faster to make and also gluten-free!  It’s also easy to adapt to be vegan and dairy-free.  And easy to load up with your favorite toppings galore.  I made it for some friends this weekend and they basically agreed that every single one of you has to try it.  ;)

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

When I began converting my favorite enchiladas to be gluten-free a few years ago, one of the first problems I ran into was those darn corn tortillas.  Yes, yes, I know all of the tricks to warming them correctly so that they don’t tear.  But they can still be a pain to work with when it comes to enchiladas.  So one time I decided to try just stacking them with the other ingredients like a casserole…and the rest was enchilada history.

This truly is such an easy way to prepare enchiladas!  And it’s also easy to serve to a crowd, especially when people get all indecisive about whether they want a “half” or a “whole”.  Just have them cut out the slice of their choice.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

If you happen to be vegan or dairy-free, these taste great with just adding extra beans and/or roasted veggies in place of the chicken and cheese.  Actually, my friend who taught me this recipe years ago was dairy-free and swore by adding lentils to her enchiladas instead of cheese.  Whatever works for you!

But whether you eat everything, or are on a gluten-free or vegan diet, you must try my homemade red enchilada sauce with these.  It is without a doubt what “makes” this recipe.  And it is super easy to make!!  All you basically need are a few spices, some vegetable or chicken broth, a bit of flour (you can sub in GF all-purpose flour), and it’s ready to go with just about 5 minutes of prep.  Pretty pretty please, don’t skip this step.  ;)

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

So to make the enchiladas, you’re basically going to literally stack the ingredients however you’d like.  I usually do a layer of enchilada sauce, then tortillas…

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

…then black beans and corn (or whatever other ingredients you’d like)…

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

…then green (or sauteed diced yellow) onions and shredded cooked chicken…

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

…then your cheese.  And then repeat two more times, so that you have three layers.

I then finish the enchiladas with a layer of tortillas topped with enchilada sauce.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes.  Then uncover and sprinkle with a little more cheese, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted.

 

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

Then pile on your favorite toppings, like avocado, fresh cilantro and more green onions.  Sour cream might also be lovely.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

Then serve it up!  It’s definitely not quite the same “look” as traditional enchiladas.  But holy smokes, are they good.  And they make this Mexi food lover very, very happy.  :)

Enjoy!!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (a.k.a. "Stacked" Chicken Enchiladas)

This chicken enchilada casserole recipe (a.k.a. "stacked enchiladas") are simple to make, gluten-free, and MUY delicioso.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups red enchilada sauce (I highly recommend my homemade red enchilada sauce recipe, which can be made gluten-free*)
  • 16 corn tortillas, halved
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 6 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
  • 4 cups (about 1.5 pounds) shredded cooked chicken
  • 3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Pour about 3/4 cup enchilada sauce in the baking dish, and spread until the bottom of the dish is coated. Top with a layer of about 8 tortilla halves so that the entire dish is covered. Sprinkle evenly with about 1 cup black beans, 1/2 cup corn and a fourth of the green onions. Then sprinkle with a heaping cup of the chicken, and about 3/4 cup shredded cheese. Repeat with a second layer of tortillas, then sauce, then beans, corn, green onions, chicken, and cheese. Then a final layer of tortillas, sauce, beans, corn, green onions, chicken and cheese. Then conclude with a final layer of tortillas and sauce (reserving about 3/4 cup of cheese to add partway through baking). Cover the pan with aluminum foil, then bake for 20 minutes.

Remove pan and remove aluminum foil. Sprinkle the top of the enchiladas evenly with the remaining 3/4 cup of cheese, then return to the oven (uncovered) and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove pan, and sprinkle with avocado, cilantro, and remaining green onions. Serve warm.

*If you are not using my enchilada sauce and would like this recipe to be gluten-free, be sure to check the label of store-bought sauces to find one that is GF.

*To make this recipe gluten-free, be sure to check the labels of all ingredients to double-check that they are made gluten-free.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | gimmesomeoven.com #mexican #glutenfree

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Comments

1 3 4 5
  1. Aimee — March 26, 2015 @ 1:23 pm (#)

    I made this for my boyfriend who’s from New Mexico. He loves spicy food, so I made this but added in cayenne pepper as well to the enchilada sauce. It was amazing and he almost are the whole tray in one sitting! I left out the beans since he’s allergic but it was still yummy. Next time instead of cayenne I’ll add in hatch green chilies. This is a keeper!

    • Ali — March 26, 2015 @ 2:51 pm (#)

      Hey, that’s awesome!! (And I love to add a pinch of cayenne to mine too!) So glad you guys enjoyed it!

  2. Nan — April 5, 2015 @ 1:07 pm (#)

    Can this be frozen?  Sounds great, but too much for one person. 

  3. Catherine — April 5, 2015 @ 4:17 pm (#)

    I copied your enchilada sauce recipe from the Casa Blanca Restaurant  Website and I wondered why there is only chicken broth and no tomato sauce in it.  Sounds good but different.
    Thank you-
    Catherine

  4. Kylie Harbin — April 12, 2015 @ 4:59 pm (#)

    What casserole dish did you use for this?  Our biggest is a 9×13 Pyrex, and it was overflowing!  We are in desperate need of a good, big casserole dish :)

  5. margie schoch — April 25, 2015 @ 6:16 pm (#)

    Made is tonight along with the enchilada sauce… it was a hit! Everyone loved it!

    • Ali — April 30, 2015 @ 8:38 pm (#)

      So glad to hear that Margie!

  6. karen — April 27, 2015 @ 11:22 am (#)

    If I wanted to freeze this could I fully make it then freeze ? Thx!

    • Ali — April 30, 2015 @ 8:10 pm (#)

      Hey Karen! You sure can, though I think you’ll have better results if you bake them, cool them, and then freeze them. Some people prefer to freeze them with the sauce and cheese, but I think it’s better to add those right before baking. Just make sure you do a tight seal of plastic wrap and/or foil over them before freezing. Also, you’ll just need to add about another 30 minutes or so (maybe longer) to the baking time. Just keep an eye on them, and make sure they’re bubbling. Hope this helps! : )

  7. Hflores — April 27, 2015 @ 4:02 pm (#)

    So funny to see this as a new popular recipe, my mom used to make this and I have been doing it for years, mostly as a crockpot recipe, except I have never had anything written down as a recipe. My friend from New Mexico says this IS chicken enchiladas, when she came to Texas she asked why we rolled ours up?
    Anyway, love to see excitement on an old favorite.

  8. Amanda — April 29, 2015 @ 7:02 am (#)

    I made this last night but used bow tie noodles instead of the corn tortillas… Delish!!!

    • Ali — April 29, 2015 @ 9:29 pm (#)

      Happy you liked them Amanda!

  9. Glenda Yoder — May 1, 2015 @ 8:08 pm (#)

    Hi! This sounds delicious and I was wondering if it would work to assemble this one day and heat the next? 

    • Ali — May 1, 2015 @ 9:57 pm (#)

      Hi Glenda! I feel like the tortillas will dry out the longer they’re in the fridge, so I would either bake them within a few hours or so after assembling them, or assemble them (except for the sauce and cheese), freeze, then bake. OR, you could bake them entirely, let them cool completely, cover tightly, then freeze and reheat in the oven before you want to serve them. I hope this is helpful!

  10. Kathleen Seagram — May 5, 2015 @ 3:45 pm (#)

    Made this today and it was absolutely delishcious! My entire family loved it. A definite winner! Thank you!

    • Ali — May 5, 2015 @ 9:08 pm (#)

      Thanks Kathleen, I’m so glad to hear that!

  11. Amanda — May 5, 2015 @ 5:59 pm (#)

    This is an amazing casserole! I will be making this ASAP!!

  12. Traci — May 5, 2015 @ 7:09 pm (#)

    Please be aware the sauce recipe only makes maybe 2 cups…and you need at least 3 for this enchilada recipe so definitely double it.  I forgot to do that.  :-/

  13. Kathryn Doherty — May 5, 2015 @ 8:01 pm (#)

    Made this tonight for Cinco de Mayo and it was the perfect way to celebrate! Love the homemade enchilada sauce. Love homemade anything, and I will definitely never need to buy a can of that stuff. Just wish I had doubled the sauce so I could eat it with a spoon. I mean, um, have on hand for more Mexican food later in the week. Yes, that. Thanks for a great meal!

    • Ali — May 5, 2015 @ 9:06 pm (#)

      Thank you Kathryn, I’m so happy to hear that! : D

  14. Tori — May 7, 2015 @ 5:27 pm (#)

    Oh my word. Just finished having this for dinner and it was amazing!! And paired well with a Corona Light for our “Siete de Mayo” celebration! My boyfriend says you missed an opportunity to call it “Enchilasagna” :) Can’t wait to make it again!

    • Ali — May 8, 2015 @ 9:37 pm (#)

      Thanks Tori! And oh my gosh, “Enchilasagna,” that’s hilarious!

  15. Sharon vester — May 8, 2015 @ 2:20 pm (#)

    Tried this on my Bunco group last night & they liked it.

  16. Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) — May 10, 2015 @ 10:36 am (#)

    This is absolute perfection.  It is almost like lasagna.  I so want this!

  17. Lindsey | Lou Lou Biscuit — May 14, 2015 @ 11:40 am (#)

    I can’t describe my deep love for enchiladas. I agree with you that the tortilla softening is a big pain. I spray mine with vegetable oil and then put them in the oven for a few minutes, inevitably burning my fingers trying to form the enchiladas before the tortillas stiffen again. It’s quite clever to forgo that whole process with a casserole. I’m going to have to try this recipe! I like you toppings GIF. Very Fun!

    • Ali — May 14, 2015 @ 1:12 pm (#)

      Thanks for sharing, Lindsey! I hope you enjoy this one!

  18. Alicia — May 25, 2015 @ 1:59 pm (#)

    if I use a different enchilada sauce do I need to heat it up before adding it into the layers?

    • Ali — May 25, 2015 @ 4:40 pm (#)

      No, it should be fine! : )

  19. Tiffany — May 26, 2015 @ 11:53 pm (#)

    Can you use onions instead of scallions?

    • Ali — May 27, 2015 @ 12:45 pm (#)

      You most certainly can! : )

  20. Sarah — May 28, 2015 @ 4:06 pm (#)

    I have made this 3 times now (and just in the last month) but tonight’s came out like soup… And I have no idea what I did wrong… I will definitely try again in a couple of weeks!

    • Ali — May 28, 2015 @ 10:57 pm (#)

      Oh no, that’s so weird! Maybe the sauce needed to cook and thicken longer?

  21. Regina — June 1, 2015 @ 5:08 pm (#)

    I have a question.  I made this in 2 smaller pans so I can freeze it. Do I freeze the 2nd pan b4 or after I bake it?

    • Ali — June 2, 2015 @ 8:09 am (#)

      Hi Regina! I would assemble them without the sauce and cheese, then cover them tightly with foil, and put in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake them, remove the foil, top with the sauce and cheese, re-cover with the foil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown (with the cheese melted completely). I hope this helps!

  22. Maryellen — June 2, 2015 @ 6:10 pm (#)

    These received the highest praise from my 16-year-old son: the best enchiladas you’ve ever made! Thanks for a winner. 

    • Ali — June 2, 2015 @ 9:55 pm (#)

      Thank you, Maryellen, that is indeed high praise! : )

  23. Bon — June 4, 2015 @ 8:10 pm (#)

    Easy Chix Enchiladas 

  24. Allison — June 9, 2015 @ 5:00 pm (#)

    This is in the oven now and I can’t wait to eat it!!

    • Hayley — June 9, 2015 @ 8:10 pm (#)

      We hope you liked it, Allison! : )

  25. TK — June 18, 2015 @ 8:09 pm (#)

    The trick to using corn tortillas in enchiladas is to flash fry them in oil for 10 or 15 seconds, dunk in enchilada sauce, and then stuff and roll.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 18, 2015 @ 10:11 pm (#)

      Awesome, we appreciate you sharing!

  26. Kim C — July 1, 2015 @ 7:51 pm (#)

    Wow! We have had challenges going gluten free since our daughter was diagnosed with Celiac’s at the age of 18. This recipe is awesome and super easy! My family loves Mexican food and it seems so time consuming and expensive to make. I’m not a huge fan but am fast becoming one with this recipe! We ate leftover’s for the first time in years! Thank you so much for making me a beliver & hero!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 2, 2015 @ 8:30 am (#)

      That’s wonderful to hear, Kim, we’re so glad this recipe is a hit with your family, and especially with your daughter!

  27. Laurie — July 14, 2015 @ 10:21 pm (#)

    2 things to say about this.  1). MAKE the homemade red enchilada sauce.  It was so easy and so savory & delicious!  And make a double batch if you’re making it for these stacked enchiladas.  I used 3T of the chili powder & the heat was just right.  2). Loved this recipe, husband LOVED it and I bet it’s even better tomorrow!  Wouldn’t be the same without the black beans or the corn.  Delicious!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 15, 2015 @ 7:12 pm (#)

      Thank you Laurie, we really appreciate that, and are so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks also for sharing your tips. :)

  28. Jenn — July 15, 2015 @ 2:34 pm (#)

    I made this dish last night with the enchilada sauce. It was simply AMAZING!! I just raced home from running errands to eat the last of the leftovers but sadly just missed them as my husband ate them minutes before I pulled in the driveway. Bummer!! I’ll be making more of your recipes. Yum!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 15, 2015 @ 6:30 pm (#)

      Thanks Jenn, that’s so great to hear! : ) We’re very happy you and your husband enjoyed them (but sorry he didn’t leave you any leftovers!)

  29. Karley — July 19, 2015 @ 9:59 am (#)

    this has been my favourite dish to make since finding it on Pinterest. I’ve made it for many friends and it’s always gone! I also use the receipt for homemade enchilada sauce. That is so yummy too!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 19, 2015 @ 11:29 am (#)

      Thanks Karley, we’re so happy you and your friends like it! :)

  30. Jenna — July 20, 2015 @ 6:21 pm (#)

    My husband and I really like this recipe! The two of us have worked through most of the 9×13 pan in about three days (dinner once and a few lunches). I made it slightly different than posted because I was trying to use up what I had in my fridge. This recipe is so versatile and I love that I can change things up to suit our tastes. 

    I made a double batch of your enchilada sauce (but used only half the chili powder to keep the heat down). I used chicken fat in place of the oil and homemade chicken stock + water for the broth. I also added a bit of diced yellow onion (needed to use it up!). For the stack, I made only two layers, since three would have been overflowing in my 9×13! I used a mix of black beans and pintos instead of just black, along with the corn, chicken, cheese and green onions. I also added some leftover rice that had been made with turkey stock instead of water. Yum! I had a bunch of chicken and beans leftover since I only did 2/3 layers. This was good plain AND topped with avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, etc. We’ll make this often. Thanks!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 22, 2015 @ 11:58 am (#)

      Thanks Jenna, we’re so happy this was a hit with you and your husband! And thank you for sharing your take on it, it sounds wonderful! :)

  31. Lauren — July 21, 2015 @ 1:21 pm (#)

    Did you give the nutritional info/calorie count? I looked, but maybe I missed it. Even a ballpark estimate would be great.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 22, 2015 @ 11:49 am (#)

      Hey Lauren, unfortunately we do not offer nutrition facts/calorie info on our site at this time. A lot of the calorie calculators out there are inaccurate, and we don’t want to post anything that could be misleading. That being said, a lot of our readers like using My Fitness Pal, so you could give that a try!

  32. M.W. — July 25, 2015 @ 10:11 pm (#)

    Made these tonight.  Deeelicious!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 29, 2015 @ 10:01 am (#)

      Thank you, we’re so glad you liked them!

  33. Nora — July 30, 2015 @ 1:47 pm (#)

    Do you have the nutrition info; serving size; how many calories per serving; etc.  Nora

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 30, 2015 @ 2:28 pm (#)

      Hi Nora! Unfortunately we aren’t currently publishing nutrition facts on the site. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. But many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  34. Lori — July 31, 2015 @ 10:59 am (#)

    i made this for a birthday party, huge hit!!!  I made two trays (both fully cooked). I ended up freezing the second tray. How do I reheat it?  I wanted to serve it tonight for company. 
    Thank you!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 7, 2015 @ 12:11 pm (#)

      Hi Lori, we’re sorry for just now getting to your comment. We’re glad to hear these were a hit though! For reheating, we’d suggest just covering with foil and heating at 350 for 10-15 min (or until they’re bubbling).

  35. Sumi — August 10, 2015 @ 12:16 pm (#)

    Hey Beth I hate spicy food, so no, even with the green chiles, they aren’t spicy. You could add jlapnaeos, if you want them spicy. They were really good. It’s a good thing to do with those cheap chicken breasts that I told you about. I really couldn’t believe I got an entire pan of food out of just two breasts.

  36. Jessica — August 16, 2015 @ 9:02 pm (#)

    Will lentils need to be cooked if subbing for cheese? 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 17, 2015 @ 8:02 am (#)

      Hey Jessica! Yes, if you’re doing that, the lentils should be cooked.

  37. Emerson — August 22, 2015 @ 11:06 pm (#)

    how many people will this serve? i have to make it for my food tech assignment and the dish has to serve 2 people.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 24, 2015 @ 7:44 pm (#)

      Hi Emerson! The recipe states this will serve about 8 people, so we’d suggest just cutting it in half (and you’ll have some leftovers). Instead of a 9×13-inch baking dish, you can use an 8-inch baking dish. We hope this was helpful and that your assignment goes well (and that you find it tasty)! :)

  38. Kelli Taylor — August 23, 2015 @ 9:08 pm (#)

    My daughter and I just finished making this, it looks great! Used an enchilada sauce from Trader Joe’s, and it tastes delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe:) 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 27, 2015 @ 12:45 pm (#)

      That’s awesome Kelli, we’re so happy you both liked it — thanks for sharing! :)

  39. Bethany — August 31, 2015 @ 8:24 am (#)

    Holy effballs this is so delicious! I roasted a couple kinds of peppers, diced them and tossed those in because I’m in Asia and on a mission to figure out which ones I like. Success! Thank you for this recipe- and the sauce is too easy! Going to be a go-to. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 2, 2015 @ 10:22 am (#)

      Haha thanks Bethany! We’re so happy you liked both the sauce and the casserole! :)

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