This Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe is everything you love about chicken enchiladas…stacked into delicious layers instead of rolled up. Easy to customize and always so delicious!
Friends, have you tried my favorite chicken enchilada casserole recipe yet?
I first shared it on the blog about four years ago, as a stackable casserole riff on my favorite chicken enchilada recipe. And in the years since, it has continued to be a regular in my rotation, as well as a total fave with family and friends. It’s made with my favorite easy homemade enchilada sauce, which automatically bumps any enchilada recipe up a mega notch. It’s easy to customize with any of your favorite enchilada fillings. It makes a big batch, making this the perfect casserole to make for a party, or taking to a friend in need, or just having extras for leftovers. It’s made with corn tortillas and is naturally gluten-free. And it is downright delicious.
I’ve tweaked and updated the recipe a tad on my own over the years. So today, I thought I would bump this chicken enchilada bake back to the top of the blog and give it a quick refresh with some new photos and recipe tweaks. Because in case you’ve never tried it…it’s time. :)
Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe | 1-Minute Video
My Favorite Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe:
Alright, before we get to the full ingredient list, a quick word about the homemade enchilada sauce included in the recipe. In my opinion, it’s simply the best. It’s irresistibly delicious, and made in the New Mexican tradition (without tomatoes, which I love). It calls for a simply ingredient list that you likely already have in your pantry. And it’s absolutely worth the extra 5 minutes of prep time (plus 20 or so minutes simmering on the stove, which you can multitask) that it requires to make. Thousands of readers have made it and agree — it’s a total keeper!
That said, if you’re absolutely in a hurry, you can sub in some store-bought green or red enchilada sauce instead. But I’d urge you to go homemade if you can. The sauce is the main seasoning in this recipe, and makes all the difference.
Here’s my full post about how to make enchilada sauce. (*Also, be sure to note that this casserole requires a double batch of this sauce!)
Chicken Enchilada Casserole Ingredients:
As I mentioned above, the ingredient list for this recipe is super-flexible, so feel free to add in any of your favorite fillings for chicken enchiladas. I like to use:
Cooked chicken: Either from my recipe for baked chicken breasts, or I often just shred a rotisserie chicken.
Veggies: The recipe below uses a quick blend of onion, red bell pepper, diced green chiles and corn. But feel free to add any other favorite veggies to the sauté.
Beans: Two cans of your faves. I like to use one can of black beans, one can of pinto.
2 (15 ounce) cans beans, rinsed and drained (I used one can pinto, one can black beans)
1 (8 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
3 cups (about 1.5 pounds) shredded or diced cooked chicken
3 cups red enchilada sauce, homemade or store-bought, divided
12 corn tortillas, halved
3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, diced red onion, thinly-sliced green onion and/or diced avocado
Heat oven to 375°F. Mist a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté for 6-7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the diced green chiles, beans, corn, chicken and 2 cups enchilada sauce, and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pour about 1/2 cup of the remaining enchilada sauce in the baking dish, and spread until the bottom of the dish is evenly coated. Top with a layer of about 8 tortilla halves, so that the entire dish is covered. Top evenly with 1/3 of the chicken mixture, followed by 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Followed by a final layer of tortillas, chicken mixture, the remaining 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce, and cheese.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil, then bake for 20 minutes.
Remove pan and remove aluminum foil. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes, until the cheese is thoroughly melted.
Remove from the oven and serve warm, garnished with your desired toppings.
*To make this recipe gluten-free, double check the labels of all ingredients to ensure that they are certified gluten-free.
*This recipe was originally published in April 2014, and updated in July 2018.
So delicious I make this for my family a lot
This is so good. I love the flavor. My only advice is to have more than 12 tortillas on hand. I noticed that 12 tortillas wasn’t enough to cover each layer totally. Maybe it had to do with the size that i bought, but either way it doesn’t hurt to have more on hand. I will be making this again. 😋
Absolutely delicious! I’m not generally a casserole fan, but tried this for something different…even followed your recipe to make my own enchilada sauce. Whole family loved it.
such a great recipe. i wish you would answer your followers questions.
I tried this recipe and it turned out wonderful!!! My youngest son even ate seconds and he doesn’t normally eat, well anything, lol so it was a huge hit! Thank you!
Love this casserole. I made your enchilada sauce it is so good and very easy. I won’t be buying it at the store again.
I made this casserole tonight and it was a hit 😊
Delicious! This was my first time making a recipe from this blog and I was not disappointed. I used frozen corn, a rotisserie chicken and some store-bought enchilada sauce that I doctored up with more chili powder and smoked paprika, but I’m sure the homemade sauce is the best way to go. Either way, this is a great dish that feeds a lot of people when you want a lot of flavor but don’t have a ton of time. I will definitely be making it again!
Hi. Does this freeze well?
Oh so good! Had it in mind to make this recipe for a couple of months and it did not disappoint. Used your homemade enchilada sauce. This is definitely a keeper, but then so is everything else I have tried in your site 😁
Excellent receipe! Took longer than stated due to my first run with this receipe, and, I was pulling everything from the pantry. Had to sub the chili powder for some Fiesta chili I had put together before, but was excellent. Used flour tortillas rather than corn because that is what I had.
This receipe is 1 cup short on the Chix Stock if making homemade enchilida sauce, so add the extra cup and a tad more flour. Well worth the effort. Will make again.
Wow. This recipe is so delicious!! I’m new to cooking and wanted to try new, easy recipes. This has become a staple for sure!
Can you freeze this before baking, and then thaw and bake later?
I have frozen this and it’s just fine. Pretty much like a Mexican Lasagna.
…wait a minute, where’s the crushed garlic? A dish like this demands fresh garlic sauteed with the peppers!
This recipe is the BEST. I use the homemade red sauce. And I always grill the corn. I halve the black beans and double the corn. Sooo yummy. Must brooks for 6 min at end of baking time to make the top delicious.
I just made this for dinner and it was so easy and delicious! I used ground turkey because that’s what I had on hand. I love this method for making no-fuss enchiladas. I already passed this along to moms with children who love to help prepare dinner. Thank you for the great recipe!
Not bad! I’m not sure if I will do it again because it was a lot of work 1) grating cheese, 2) making the sauce, 3) chopping and prepping. But it is good! One thing I would note is that you do need to double her enchilada sauce to meet the recipe requirements. My bad that I didn’t notice and I wasn’t about to stop; making due with 2 cups was fine.
Very good! I was in a pinch so I used store bought enchilada sauce, and ground chicken instead of shredded… with one package of taco seasoning to add extra flavor. With a few modifications, it turned out very well!
Easy to make with the recipe for homemade enchilada sauce and delicious to eat. Everyone gives it a thumbs up!!
I made this for the first time tonight and it was so good.
I volunteered at our church to feed 9 people who are experiencing homelessness. They each ate a very large piece and I had one as well.
So much easier than rolling enchiladas, and it was so flavorful without needing a ton of seasoning.
This one’s a keeper!
Great recipe! A hearty casserole like this usually leaves me feeling a bit too indulgent, but I was able to load this with veggies and thoroughly enjoyed it. Big hit with my family.
SO GOOD!!!!!!! And super easy to make vegetarian!
This is seriously one of the yummiest things I’ve ever cooked. I made it vegetarian by sautéing some Impossible ground “beef” with the onion, in lieu of chicken. Definitely making this at least once a week from now on! I just can’t get over how good it is.
Could this be made as a freezer meal? Any advice?
I made the chicken mixture and now ready to assemble. Hoping it is okay to assemble several hours ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake. I made the homemade sauce but only ended up with under 2 cups. I must have simmered sauce too long. Ran for store bought and mixed it with my homemade. It looks good so far and expecting it to taste as good or better then it looks.