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.  :)

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

5
5 / 5 (25 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review »

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

530 comments on “Chicken Enchilada Casserole”

1 2 3 8
  1. 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!

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

  3. 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 is..love 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!!!)

    Pin!

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

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

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

  9. 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 :)

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

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

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

  13. Pinned and totally making!!

  14. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

  20. 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 :)

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

  22. 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!

  23. 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 :)

  24. 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!!!

  25. 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

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

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

  28. 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!

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

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

  31. 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!

  32. Pingback: Links I’m Loving – Cinco de Mayo | Girl on the Move

  33. 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!”

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

  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!

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

  37. 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!

    • 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. :)

  38. 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!

  39. 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!!

    • 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!

  40. Pingback: 6 Perfectly Easy Recipes for Cinco de Mayo - Eating Made Easy

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

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

  43. Pingback: Chicken Enchilada Casserole aka Stacked Chicken Enchiladas | What2Cook

  44. Pingback: Real Food Menu Plan 5.4.2014O'Boy Organic

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

  46. 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 :)

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

  48. Pingback: Enchilada Casserole | ritasfoodadventures

  49. 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 :)

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

    • 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.

    • Awesome – glad to hear it!