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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4.7 from 42 reviews

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 8 servings 1x

Description

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


Scale

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

*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.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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571 comments on “Chicken Enchilada Casserole”

  1. 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!

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

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  6. Pingback: Chicken Enchilada Casserole : Get Daily Recipes.com

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

  8. Your enchilada receipt looks easy and wonderful..love this

  9. 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.

  10. 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! :)

  11. Does this freeze well?

    • 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. :)

  12. 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.

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

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  17. 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!

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

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

  20. 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!).

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

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  24. 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.

  25. 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!

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  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. Oh my that sauce just gets better

  30. 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.

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

    Thanks

  32. Pingback: White Chicken Enchilada Casserole | Gimme Some Oven

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

  35. 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!

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  38. 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

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

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

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  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. Pingback: 15 Comforting Casserole Recipes - Gimme Some Oven

  47. 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 :)

  48. beautiful!

  49. 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.

  50. 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!