Chicken Enchilada Casserole (“Stacked” Chicken Enchiladas)

April 28, 2014 by Ali

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 | #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 | #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 | #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 | #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 | #mexican #glutenfree

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

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | #mexican #glutenfree

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

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | #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 | #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 | #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. :)


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

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: About 8 servings


  • 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


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.

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole | #mexican #glutenfree

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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103 thoughts on “Chicken Enchilada Casserole (“Stacked” Chicken Enchiladas)

  1. I have been looking for a better way to make my chicken enchiladas, I must try these. They look outsiding.

    - Jacque Canell

  2. Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn? I happen to have flour on hand, just wondering if the flavor and consistency will be off by substituting ? Thanks

    - Lisa

  3. This was also VERY good – my husband loved it. I only had a pyrex glass pan in that size, and wasn’t deep dish enough for all of the layers. Question: where did you get your white baking dish as in the photos? I really need something like that for a lot of other needs. Thanks!

    - Anne Meissner

  4. I made this tonight and it was delicious. Thumbs up from everyone, even my 5yr old. Thanks for the great recipe!

    - Jolie Carlile

  5. I would like your recipe for your red sauce for the chicken
    Ench. Cassarole.


    - Dian

  6. Sorry one more comment. The main recipe calls for 3 cups sauce but the sauce only makes 2 cups. Modify or you will not have enough.

    - Anita

  7. Oh my that sauce just gets better

    - Anita

  8. Ali is right about the chili powder Mine is fresh so I used 3 tbsp. just right for us. I layered mine with an oil spray on the bottom then the tortillas chicken sauce then whatever other goodness I added so the chicken got most of the sauce. Bottom was crispy as was the top. Very good. Don’t be afraid to play with this. She is right it’s about the sauce! Thanks for his good addition to my recipes.

    - Anita

  9. I made these yesterday and divided the recipe into two disposable 8×8 inch foil pans. I froze one for later and we ate one for dinner last night. Great recipe!

    - Madison

  10. OMG
    Made the whole deal tonight and used leftover BBQ steak. My son who DOES not eat Mexican food at all LOVED the dish! LOVED the sauce. ASKED me to make it with chicken.
    I thank you I thank you I thank you!
    Oh, the rest of the family loved it. Also, I gave everyone a lime to squeeze on top and that was a good add on.
    Did I say thank you…Yummo!

    - Alli

  11. So, this is my first time in your blog because a blog I followed linked to this recipe and WOW! Talk about delicious looking. I love how this is stacked because I’ve had the worst luck when you have to roll the tortillas. Can’t wait to give this a try and look forward to reading more in the future.

    - Maria @ The Good Life

  12. I need to figure out how to make this Paleo-friendly. It looks so yum!

    - Felicia

  13. I have made lots of recipes from pinterest, but this is the first time I have commented. That’s how good this is! I made this for dinner tonight and it was soooooo good. I think it really is because of your enchilada sauce! Delicious! This will now be in my rotation of yummy recipes that my whole family loves (even my 4 year old picky eater!).

    - Christel Jones

  14. Could beef be used instead of chicken? Would the sauce still be good with it?

    - Melissa

    • Yes, you could definitely use beef with this recipe (and the same sauce)! Just be sure that it is cooked ahead of time. :)

      - Ali

  15. I made this recipe tonight and my boyfriend loved it so much that he made sure I wrote a comment.
    It was really easy to make and delicious! Thank you!

    - Lauren

  16. This might be a weird question–but did you “cook” the corn tortillas before you added them?

    - Alex W.

  17. you’ll probably never read this, but I made this tonight and my husband complimented me over 10 times on it. He’s a man of few words and most dinners are ‘that was good’. So this recipe is a keeper for sure.

    P.S. the secret to this recipe tasting so good is the HOMEMADE enchilada sauce.

    - HeidiG.

  18. Does this freeze well?

    - Shelby

    • Ideally I recommend freezing it BEFORE being cooked, if you need to freeze it. Then let it defrost and thaw before cooking. But you can also freeze the leftovers and rewarm them later. So yes and yes. :)

      - Ali

  19. I made this tonight for dinner and we LOVED it! The sauce was a bit too spicy for my boyfriend, but he said he loved it and had extra helpings. :) I added diced tomatoes as a topping at the end, but otherwise didn’t change a thing–thanks for sharing! :)

    - Megan

  20. Made this tonight with the homemade enchilada sauce. It was delicious. I used Rotissere Chicken to save time. Also, last 10 minutes, topped it with Jack Cheese and Feta cheese. Family loved it.

    - Michelle Verkerk

  21. Your enchilada receipt looks easy and this

    - June

  22. This is a delicious recipe. However, I found 20 minutes in the oven (plus a few minutes to melt cheese on top) was inadequate. If you don’t start with piping hot chicken, I would recommend doubling the time. The last two words “Serve warm” should say “Serve when completely heated through and hot” “Warm” chicken is an invitation to food poisoning.

    - Carol

    • Carol, warm cooked chicken is not an invitation to food poisoning. Stop scaring people with inaccurate information. Thank you

      - Karen C

  23. someone recommended this and i’m glad I made it! looks and tastes great. Will look at your other recipes thanks. :)

    - Z

  24. Hi! I received this Pin from a friend and cannot wait to make this! I have all ingredients ready to go and will be putting this together this morning! Looks wonderful!

    - Pam

  25. Hi Ali – I made your Chicken Enchilada Casserole with the homemade sauce last night and I know this will become a go-to dish! YUM!!! To make it even more weeknight-friendly, is it possible to do some of the steps the night before? For example, could I assemble the casserole, refrigerate overnight, and then do all of baking the next day? Or would it be better to bake it for the first 20 minutes, refrigerate overnight, and then when I’m ready to serve, reheat covered, top with the last layer of cheese, and then bake (uncovered) to melt the cheese? Will the tortillas get too soggy? I’d love to know what you think! Thanks so much :)

    - Janelle

    • Hi! I wanted to let you know that I made this as a make ahead meal for dinner last night. I prepared the casserole the night before, threw it in the fridge and baked it the next day. The tortillas were not soggy. They didn’t crisp up like some other posters said (preparing the dish as intended), but the texture was still nice. I would prepare it this way again because the taste was still quite good and the convenience of having it made the night before is really key for me.

      - Candace

    • I would love to know this as well. :)

      - Vanessa

  26. This is the best mexican dish ever!! Thanks for the recipe:-)

    - Nikki

  27. I made this for my family on the weekend and we all loved it! I did make a few changes, replacing the chicken for ground beef but it worked out well, just the same. Will definitely be making it again! Thanks :)

    - Vivienne Krstic

  28. It would be great to have the nutritional composition for this recipe – thanks!

    - courtney

  29. oh wow Ali! I’m making this for dinner tonight! can’t wait!

    - TidyMom

  30. My husband said this is maybe the best thing I’ve made. Definitely use the homemade sauce!

    - emilyaegraves

  31. Hi Ali, this looks delish! I’m making it right now!!! Do you know how well it would freeze? I know rolled flour tortillas do not do so well, but corn and stacked?? Hmmm. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!!

    - Melissa

    • Worst case scenario, the tortillas may crack just a bit. But I have frozen it before and it turns out great, so I’d say go for it!

      - Ali

  32. We have vegetarians, dairy-free and gluten-free members in my book club … I think you’ve solved my what-to-serve? question quite nicely!

    - Sadye

  33. This looks so good and different from other Mexican casserole-esque dishes. The chicken looks so good too – do you have a favorite method of cooking it for dishes like this ?

    Thanks for the great looking recipe!

    - Kate

    • Yes! I actually love using my Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken recipe (on the site). Or if I’m in a big hurry, I’ll shred a rotisserie chicken. :)

      - Ali

  34. I can’t wait to try this recipe. It looks scrumptious!!!

    - Rose Barrette

  35. Just put this in the oven. Can’t wait to try it! And I made your red enchilada sauce…delish! I come across recipes that call for enchilada sauce and I never seem to have it. Thanks for the great recipes!

    - Cime

  36. Is it better to boil the chicken or bake it for this recipe?

    - Krissi

  37. This is beautiful! If it tastes half as good as it looks, then it’s gotta be sensational!! I can’t wait to try your enchilada sauce! I just opened a can yesterday and thought, “there has got to be a better option!”

    - Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

  38. Wow, Ali! I am loving the idea of making chicken enchiladas without ending up so frustrated with cracking corn tortillas. All the beans and veggies are an added bonus. Nice one!

    - Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic

  39. Amazingly delicious! I could eat Mexican food every day of the week!

    - Meredith

  40. Gosh those darn corn tortillas, SO hard to work with, but SO good. Gorgeous as always, and love that they’re gluten free!

    - Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps

  41. I think you’re my spirit animal. A whole week devoted to Mexican?! Sounds like heaven on earth. I can’t wait to try making homemade enchilada sauce. Thanks!

    - Sara

  42. I’m so with you about Cinco de Mayo! Summery Mexican food, yum!

    - Karen @ SoupAddict

  43. Ali, after reading this recipe… you’re my new best friend!

    - Danielle

  44. Maybe you should just go ahead and celebrate from May 1st- May 6th just to make sure you got enough birthday and Cinco de Mayo fun in! That’s what I would do! My husband loves enchiladas, I wonder what he would think of this? Hmmm :)

    Sammi at Sammi Sunshine- A Food Blog

    - Sammi @Sammi Sunshine

  45. Excellent! Wondering if this would make a good freezer meal? And also, wondering if if would be good with a verde sauce instead of a red sauce? Thanks, love your site!!!

    - Jordan H

  46. I have a love/hate relationship with corn tortillas, and this looks like an excellent way to convert it into a love/love relationship! Looks fantastic :)

    - Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron

  47. Yes! It’s my favorite foodie holiday as well! I am more than sure these will be going on our table on Cinco de Mayo!

    Funny that I am heading to Torreon’s tomorrow to satisfy my mexican craving…and I am obsessed with their stacked enchilada’s!

    - Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files

  48. This looks delicious! Wondering how it would freeze- have you ever frozen it to eat later? Thanks!

    - Pam

  49. wow! Looks soooo yummy! I love a good casserole, and this enchilada one looks like a perfect addition to my menu plan for next week :)

    - Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog

  50. This looks like the ultimate crowd pleaser! Love the ease of the casserole vs. rolling up individual enchiladas.

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  51. Soften corn tortillas for a few seconds in hot oil. Then either layer or dip in sauce to roll

    - Laney

  52. Stopped by to find this sauce recipe after you mentioned it on instagram. What a cute gif you’ve made there! :)

    - Rachelle @ Mommy? I'm Hungry!

  53. I could so make this without the chicken and it would be fantastic!!

    - Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

  54. Um, so making this for dinner tonight! Gorgeous!

    - Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain

  55. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Enchiladas are a traditional food in my family so I grew up eating them, what we do to prevent the corn tortillas from ripping (and add better flavor)is we deep fry them and then stack and layer them.

    - Dee

  56. YUM! I have to pin this.. PINNING!

    - Maggie Unzueta @ Mama Maggie's Kitchen

  57. Pinned and totally making!!

    - danielle

  58. Ali, I am now very, very much craving this dish! Gorgeous pictures! Pinned

    - Sommer @ASpicyPerspective

  59. I love making this for a crowd, it’s so easy but so comforting and everyone always digs in. Nice gif in action :)

    - Heidi @foodiecrush

  60. Oh my!! Enchilada meets Lasagna! Brilliant!! Mexican anything is a favourite of mine. This looks great!

    - Rebecca @ it's a nourishing thing

  61. I am filling in my meal plan for the week…always need something Mexican and something make ahead, this is perfect! And I can totally understand what you are saying about corn tortillas not rolling great, I struggle with that too! Stacked enchiladas for the win :)

    - Aggie

  62. Loooove this dish! So perfect for weeknight dinners!

    - Jenny Flake

  63. This is an awesome dish, love everything about it! Definitely making this with your homemade sauce :)

    - Amanda

  64. I am so with you, this is the best food week of the year! Who could not love Mexican?!? This casserole look KILLER. Plus, I am not a fan of the rolling of traditional enchiladas, so this is perfect!

    - Tieghan

  65. This looks great! I actually think I prefer stacked enchiladas to rolled, so much easier and you get so much stuff packed in each bite!

    - Annie @Maebells

  66. I want this right now for breakfast!!! I need my husband to go out of town so I can make this for dinner. ;-)

    - Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

  67. Hello!

    Is it possible to love love love Mexican food and hate cilantro? Because that’s me. I grow it only for my mom. But I guess that’s how cilantro it…or hate it =)

    This recipe looks simply divine and I can’t wait to try it instead of heading over to Chipotle (as tempting as that may be!!!)


    - Laura @ Raise Your Garden

  68. Stacked enchiladas are so perfect for weeknights when I just can’t be bothered with rolling them! These look AMAZING!

    - Marie @ Little Kitchie

  69. Oh man,you’ve done it again! Another delicious recipe that makes me want to skip the gym and face plant into cheesy goodness! I love enchiladas…and my husband is obsessed (sometimes I feel like I compete for his love of Mexican food!) So these are perfect! Pinned!

    - Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness