Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe is everything you love about chicken enchiladas…stacked into delicious layers instead of rolled up. And made with the best homemade enchilada sauce recipe.

The BEST Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Whenever anyone asks what food I miss most in the States, my instant answer is still the same as it was on week one after moving to Europe — Mexican food.

Oh my goodness.  I’ve been away from my favorite Mexican restaurants back home (with their glorious tradition of complimentary chips and salsa that we will never ever take for granted again) for going on eight months now.  And while I had wondered whether the Mexi cravings would begin to subside with time, they instead seem to be getting stronger and stronger.  Which means that the friendly owner of the Latin American grocery (where I make special trips to stockpile tortilla chips) now knows me by name, our food processor has now become known as the “salsa machine”, all of our Spanish friends have officially been introduced to our favorite margs, and I find myself digging back into the blog’s archives weekly to make my favorite Mexican dinner recipes.  And the latest fave?!

This easy chicken enchilada casserole recipe.

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, which is perfect for a party, or wrapping up to take 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 comfort food, wherever in the world life may find you.

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

The Best Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe

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

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.
  • Enchilada sauce: Homemade or store-bought.
  • Corn tortillas: We’ll cut them in half, in order to help them layer a bit more evenly.
  • Shredded cheese: Any kind of Mexican blend, Monterrey Jack or Pepperjack will do.
  • Toppings: Chopped fresh cilantro, diced red onion, thinly-sliced green onion, diced avocado, sour cream, extra cheese…whatever sounds good to you.

How To Make Stacked Enchiladas

How To Make Stacked Chicken Enchiladas:

To make this chicken enchilada casserole, simply:

  1. Cook your filling: Sauté the onion and bell pepper until soft.  Then stir in the green chiles, beans, corn, chicken and enchilada sauce until combined.  This will be your main filling.
  2. Stack your layers: In this order: enchilada sauce, tortillas, chicken filling, cheese, tortillas, chicken filling, cheese, tortillas, chicken, enchilada sauce and cheese.
  3. Bake: Covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered for another 10 until the cheese is melted.
  4. Garnish: Sprinkle on any of your desired toppings.  (I vote the more, the merrier for sure.)
  5. Serve warm: Or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  (The leftovers are fantastic!)

Easy Chicken Enchilada Bake Recipe

Possible Variations:

Looking to mix things up?  Feel free to:

  • use a different protein: cooked beef, pork, or shrimp would all be delicious in this recipe (or you could nix the meat entirely)
  • add more veggies: as mentioned above, extra veggies/greens would be delicious in this recipe, either sautéed or roasted
  • nix the cheese: I’ve made this recipe dairy-free multiple times in the past, and didn’t even miss the cheese with all of the other great flavors/textures happening here

The BEST Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Mexican Side Dish and Drink Ideas:

Let’s make this a meal!  Some classic Mexican recipes to go with this chicken enchilada bake could include:

Or as always, feel free to check out our Mexican recipe archives here on the blog for more inspiration.

Stacked Chicken Enchiladas

Love Enchiladas?  Check Out These Recipes Too!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Avocado

Enjoy, everyone!

Favorite Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This chicken enchilada casserole recipe is easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and full of the BEST flavors!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 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

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Mist a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, then bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove pan and remove aluminum foil. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes, until the cheese is thoroughly melted.
  6. 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.

All images and text ©

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

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531 comments on “Chicken Enchilada Casserole”

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  1. I made this tonight using your homemade enchilada sauce. It was delicious! It’ll be on regular rotation in my kitchen.

    Rating: 5
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  5. I have just put this into the oven and haven’t had a chance to eat any yet, but it smells great as it cooks. For the chicken I used split chicken breasts and ran them through the slow cooker for 4 hours on high with a bit of the chicken stock in the bottom to keep things moist. It worked perfectly! The chicken fell apart as I took it from the pot. I deviated a bit and put some chopped garlic in with the beans and corn then used only 1/4 tsp of garlic powder. I had put some kosher salt in with the garlic, beans and corn mixture so they could get to know each other a little better and thusly cut the salt in half for the enchilada sauce. I accidentally put the remaining cilantro and chives on top as it first went into the oven, so when it comes out it will be cheesy and bubbly, but no green accents on top. Oh well. it will still have the flavor!

    Rating: 4
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  7. Okay, this was fabulous!! First off, I had made pulled pork using my crockpot several days before, so I had leftovers for days to use in this recipe. The rub on the pork was similar to the enchilada sauce so it married beautifully without being too spicy. So good! Took the advice here and made my homemade enchilada sauce. It’s so easy and tasty I’ll never go store bought. This will be in regular rotation in my house! Thanks for sharing :)

    Rating: 5
  8. This recipe was easy to make and SUPERB!! The homemade Red Enchilada sauce is amzaing and totally makes the dish. I have used the red sauce for other dishes as well. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Rating: 5
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  11. This was amazing! My boyfriend immediately stated that we need to have this on a weekly basis. He had three HUGE helpings! And I will not deny I even went back for seconds! I used your crock pot shredded chicken recipe and the homemade red enchilada sauce recipe and OMG! Pure perfection :) I must also include that I love how easy it was to make. My 10 year daughter even cleaned her plate. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Rating: 5
  12. Hi! Really excited to make this. What’s the best way to cook the chicken beforehand?

  13. This was so good! I just pulled apart a rotisserie chicken so made prep time so easy! Definitely making again. Already sent the recipe to several friends.

    Rating: 5
  14. This casserole is AMAZING! I loved everything about it. So fresh and delicious. I plan on making it again soon.

    Rating: 5
  15. Absolutely delicious, made this last night exact to recipe (though I did use a store bought red sauce 🤐 and sprinkled black olives on top) and it was devoured. This will definitely be a staple and I can see switching it up with ground beef from time to time as well. Thanks for sharing

    Rating: 4
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  18. Terrific casserole. I absolutely loved it, so did my family. The only change I made was the addition of a can of chilies, and I used store bought sauce. Perfect.

    Rating: 5
  19. Living abroad and was craving some Tex-Mex”ish” food and found this recipe. Do the enchilada sauce, it is worth it. I used Lentils as it was all I could easily get my hands on, and the tortillas were corn, but the consistency of flour tortillas, and not green chiles, so chopped up some canned jalapenos. Having said that, it all worked out quite well and was not only a hit with my immediate family (who have been eating this style for years), but with the foreign family who do not tend to venture very far outside of meat and potatoes. Will definitely be using this recipe again. Thank you!

    Rating: 4
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  21. The whole family loved it! Thank you!

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  24. Enchiladas-are not my favorite Mexican dish but these were absolutely wonderful . I used already cooked grilled chicken strips and made the enchilada sauce from scratch. Next time I’ll assemble ingredients before I begin to lessen the time involved. May deliciosa! Thank you for the recipie. My sister mentioned the website when I said I wanted to bring a friend a get well dish.

    Rating: 5
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  26. Hi Ali, I’m a long timer reader, first time commenting. I’ve made this recipe many times over the past few years and it’s my absolute favorite dish from your blog! Also, I was in Barcelona last week with my family and used your travel guide. It was so helpful, thank you! We had amazing cronuts from Chok.

    Rating: 5
  27. I’m not able to eat peppers or onions – what other vegetables could work with this recipe?

  28. I love this homemade enchilada sauce! Looks at the photos! So delicious!

    Rating: 5
  29. Looks delish! Can’t live without some Mexican food in my life, either!

  30. I love that you do enchilada sauce without tomatoes! I will look for an opportunity to make this casserole.

  31. I loved it the first time – will love it again. Making it as soon as I make a batch of enchilada sauce – maybe for July 4? Ahh yes! With my favorite Gazpacho recipe (my own)

  32. Love this recipe! I’ve made it many times, even for people who claim they don’t like Mexican food and it has always been a success! I usually half the beans and saute some spinach with the onions. It was a nice surprise to see it at the top of blog especially since I came here today looking for this recipe again :)

    Rating: 5
  33. Would this work without tortillas as a low carb casserole?

  34. It’s been way too long since I’ve cooked something Mexican! You have so many great recipes on your blog…goodness! And I happen to have lots of extra corn tortillas on hand…this is the perfect recipe to use them in! :)

  35. Loved this recipe! I used pre baked beef roast cut up and green chile enchilada sauce. Will try next your red sauce and chicken. Its a favorite now thank you. Would send a picture of it if I could very pretty dish.

    Rating: 5
  36. I have made this recipe twice using the baked chicken breasts recipe and the red enchilada sauce recipe. Everyone in my family loves it! This recipe will be a staple at our house! Delicious!

  37. Can you assemble this and freeze it?

  38. Hi, I’m anxious to try this recipe to take to a weekly dinner/game night with friends. Is this something I can prep in a baking dish and leave overnight? Or, would the tortillas get soggy? Just curious if you’ve tried it. :)

  39. I made this for a group of friends and got rave reviews! I made it with flour tortillas Bc my husband doesn’t like corn tortillas (that’s another story- corn tortillas are the BEST) and it still tasted great. I use your chicken enchilada recipe and enchilada sauce in my regular rotation so I had to try this out. Thank you!!

    Rating: 5
  40. I love this recipe, this is my second time making it and I added jalapeños to it for some extra kick! I love it even more now! Thanks for sharing!

    Rating: 5
  41. Your recipe sounds great ….I need a recipe I can make ahead and freeze. I assume this would freeze well but wanted to ask.

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  43. It was easy to make and turned out to be a tasty, hearty dish! I’ve served it in flour bowls with sour cream and a little more cheese on top! and I also served it rolled in flour tortillas! and just as a dip with tortilla scoop chips!

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  45. I was very pleased with this recipe although it makes a LOT for just 2 people. I used an ear of fresh corn instead of canned since I had it in the house and I threw in a half jalepeno, seeded & deveined, since I needed to use it up. My husband thought it was too spicy but he tends to be a wimp when it comes to heat. I thought it was perfect. I could only find a 10-pack of corn tortillas but that amount seemed to work perfect. I would make again but only if I have more people to help me eat it.

    Rating: 4
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  48. I made it along with the homemade enchilada sauce. It was delicious! My husband added it to his favorite dish list.

    Rating: 5
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