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:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Remove pan, and sprinkle with avocado, cilantro, and remaining green onions. Serve warm.
  6. *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

Leave a Comment:





Comments

  1. Megan — May 19, 2014 @ 11:26 pm (#)

    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! :)

  2. Shelby — May 22, 2014 @ 11:07 am (#)

    Does this freeze well?

    • Ali — July 18, 2014 @ 4:34 pm (#)

      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. :)

  3. HeidiG. — May 22, 2014 @ 4:53 pm (#)

    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.

  4. Alex W. — June 6, 2014 @ 11:39 am (#)

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

    • Ali — June 6, 2014 @ 12:08 pm (#)

      Hi Alex,

      Nope, I did not cook the tortillas since they essentially come pre-cooked in the package.

      ~Ali

  5. Lauren — June 15, 2014 @ 8:50 pm (#)

    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!

  6. Melissa — June 24, 2014 @ 1:46 pm (#)

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

    • Ali — July 18, 2014 @ 9:34 am (#)

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

  7. Christel Jones — June 27, 2014 @ 7:53 pm (#)

    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!).

  8. Felicia — July 3, 2014 @ 1:09 am (#)

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

  9. Maria @ The Good Life — July 13, 2014 @ 1:08 pm (#)

    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.

  10. Alli — July 14, 2014 @ 7:54 pm (#)

    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!

  11. Madison — July 19, 2014 @ 6:50 am (#)

    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!

  12. Anita — July 26, 2014 @ 7:55 pm (#)

    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.

  13. Anita — July 26, 2014 @ 8:23 pm (#)

    Oh my that sauce just gets better

  14. Anita — July 26, 2014 @ 8:27 pm (#)

    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.

  15. Dian — July 30, 2014 @ 9:18 am (#)

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

    Thanks

  16. Jolie Carlile — August 3, 2014 @ 6:38 pm (#)

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

  17. Anne Meissner — August 11, 2014 @ 4:52 pm (#)

    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!

    • Ali — August 12, 2014 @ 8:24 am (#)

      Awesome, Anne! And that baking pan is from Crate & Barrel. I have two of their baking pans and love them! :)

  18. Lisa — August 15, 2014 @ 6:30 pm (#)

    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

    • Ali — August 15, 2014 @ 7:29 pm (#)

      Flour will work just fine. Enjoy! :)

  19. Jacque Canell — August 18, 2014 @ 7:39 am (#)

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

  20. Dottye — August 23, 2014 @ 1:55 am (#)

    Your recipes are wonderful and I look for them every day. They are explained so perfectly. Thank you so much.

  21. Marika — August 25, 2014 @ 5:22 pm (#)

    I made the casserole and in the end it was delicious!!! The initial problem was the red enchilada sauce recipe. I made triple the recipe to have enough for the casserole. After adding 8 Tbls (1/3 less than called for) McCormick brand chili powder, and doubling the remaining spices, the sauce was very grainy and bitter. The problem was the chili powder. I added 12oz of a tomato based chili sauce, about 1.75 oz of 85% Lindt Cacao Chocolate, 1 tsp sugar and 2 Tbls pureed chipotle in adobo. Once the sauce had a good taste and texture, I followed the rest of the recipe except for using 4 ears of fresh corn. I sautéed the kernels in extra virgin olive oil (if I had more time, I would have grilled the corn instead). It was truly delicious! Using the corn tortillas gives a depth of flavor. I am trying to locate a finer grind of flavorful chili powder. No luck yet.

  22. DeVon — August 26, 2014 @ 8:09 am (#)

    Wow, I made this last night, what a fantastic recipe. The homemade sauce definitely is worth taking the time to make. This will be on the monthly rotation for sure.

  23. Joanna — September 9, 2014 @ 12:44 pm (#)

    Hello! I just made these for me and my husband and they were so good I decided it was necessary to leave a comment. I halved the recipe in an 8×8 pan since I was only cooking for two. I ran out of sauce so I skipped the final layer of tortilla+sauce. I just topped it with extra cheese. It was soooo delicious. Served with sour cream & diced avocado. Hubby loved it too which is always a plus. Thanks for a great recipe! Love your blog :)

  24. Danielle — September 9, 2014 @ 5:53 pm (#)

    beautiful!

  25. Tracey — September 10, 2014 @ 3:28 am (#)

    Wowsa, what a hit, the whole family and their plus ones devoured this will use this again and again. The sauce is definitely the key.

  26. Mallory @ Total Noms — September 11, 2014 @ 9:38 am (#)

    I made this last night and it was SO GOOD! My husband, best friend and I each went back for seconds. I’m so excited to have the leftovers for lunch today, and probably dinner tonight! Thanks for the great recipe!

  27. Gina startup — October 11, 2014 @ 6:46 am (#)

    i went to make this recipe last night and just when I needed recipe your server went down. My timing is unbelievable will make sure I make hard copy versions evreytime from now on. I used another recipe with similar ingredients.

    • Ali — October 11, 2014 @ 11:10 am (#)

      Hi Gina,

      So sorry about that! Yes, yesterday was a nightmare of technical difficulties. The recipe (and the site) is back up and running today though. Hope you enjoyed your recipe, and that you can try this one in the future. It’s one of my favorites! :)

      Thanks for your understanding.

  28. TOP - 99999 Wonderful Quotes — October 14, 2014 @ 7:39 pm (#)

    This looks so easy and delicious! Thank you so much for posting this recipe! What a lovely recipe to wake up to :) I will definitely be trying this this week. I love Indian food and making home-made Naan will be perfect!  :))

  29. Bobby patterson — October 15, 2014 @ 10:46 pm (#)

    This dish was absolutely delishes! My kids devoured it. At first I thought the sauce was to salty. But the sweetness of the corn complimented it well. The only thing I omitted was 3 tbl of chilli powder instead of 4. I give this recipe 5 stars. For being homemade it was really no labor at all. 

  30. Erin — October 17, 2014 @ 9:16 pm (#)

    This was delicious! My daughters had seconds and thirds! Definitely a keeper. 
    Thanks!

  31. Vickie — October 18, 2014 @ 2:18 pm (#)

    Hi, this looks great! Can this recipe be cooked in a crock pot/slow cooker on low and turn out okay? I do not use my oven in warm weather (San Diego County.) Thanks!

    • Ali — October 18, 2014 @ 5:58 pm (#)

      Hey Vickie! I haven’t tried making this in a slow cooker, but imagine it would work. Let me know if you try it!

  32. Gabi Bartlett — October 28, 2014 @ 6:58 am (#)

    Hi,
    I made this dish last night including the enchilada sauce. Loved it so did my teenage sons. The only problem is that it turned out very salty. I stuck to the recipe also when making the sauce. I cooked the chicken with a little salt and pepper prior to shredding it. Maybe that was the problem. I will be making this again just adjusting the salt. Thanks for a great recipe. Greetings from Germany. Gabi

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