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.
I made this for my boyfriend who’s from New Mexico. He loves spicy food, so I made this but added in cayenne pepper as well to the enchilada sauce. It was amazing and he almost are the whole tray in one sitting! I left out the beans since he’s allergic but it was still yummy. Next time instead of cayenne I’ll add in hatch green chilies. This is a keeper!
Hey, that’s awesome!! (And I love to add a pinch of cayenne to mine too!) So glad you guys enjoyed it!
Can this be frozen? Sounds great, but too much for one person.
I copied your enchilada sauce recipe from the Casa Blanca Restaurant Website and I wondered why there is only chicken broth and no tomato sauce in it. Sounds good but different.
What casserole dish did you use for this? Our biggest is a 9×13 Pyrex, and it was overflowing! We are in desperate need of a good, big casserole dish :)
Made is tonight along with the enchilada sauce… it was a hit! Everyone loved it!
So glad to hear that Margie!
If I wanted to freeze this could I fully make it then freeze ? Thx!
Hey Karen! You sure can, though I think you’ll have better results if you bake them, cool them, and then freeze them. Some people prefer to freeze them with the sauce and cheese, but I think it’s better to add those right before baking. Just make sure you do a tight seal of plastic wrap and/or foil over them before freezing. Also, you’ll just need to add about another 30 minutes or so (maybe longer) to the baking time. Just keep an eye on them, and make sure they’re bubbling. Hope this helps! : )
So funny to see this as a new popular recipe, my mom used to make this and I have been doing it for years, mostly as a crockpot recipe, except I have never had anything written down as a recipe. My friend from New Mexico says this IS chicken enchiladas, when she came to Texas she asked why we rolled ours up?
Anyway, love to see excitement on an old favorite.
I made this last night but used bow tie noodles instead of the corn tortillas… Delish!!!
Happy you liked them Amanda!
Hi! This sounds delicious and I was wondering if it would work to assemble this one day and heat the next?
Hi Glenda! I feel like the tortillas will dry out the longer they’re in the fridge, so I would either bake them within a few hours or so after assembling them, or assemble them (except for the sauce and cheese), freeze, then bake. OR, you could bake them entirely, let them cool completely, cover tightly, then freeze and reheat in the oven before you want to serve them. I hope this is helpful!
Made this today and it was absolutely delishcious! My entire family loved it. A definite winner! Thank you!
Thanks Kathleen, I’m so glad to hear that!
This is an amazing casserole! I will be making this ASAP!!
Please be aware the sauce recipe only makes maybe 2 cups…and you need at least 3 for this enchilada recipe so definitely double it. I forgot to do that. :-/
Made this tonight for Cinco de Mayo and it was the perfect way to celebrate! Love the homemade enchilada sauce. Love homemade anything, and I will definitely never need to buy a can of that stuff. Just wish I had doubled the sauce so I could eat it with a spoon. I mean, um, have on hand for more Mexican food later in the week. Yes, that. Thanks for a great meal!
Thank you Kathryn, I’m so happy to hear that! : D
Oh my word. Just finished having this for dinner and it was amazing!! And paired well with a Corona Light for our “Siete de Mayo” celebration! My boyfriend says you missed an opportunity to call it “Enchilasagna” :) Can’t wait to make it again!
Thanks Tori! And oh my gosh, “Enchilasagna,” that’s hilarious!
Tried this on my Bunco group last night & they liked it.
This is absolute perfection. It is almost like lasagna. I so want this!
I can’t describe my deep love for enchiladas. I agree with you that the tortilla softening is a big pain. I spray mine with vegetable oil and then put them in the oven for a few minutes, inevitably burning my fingers trying to form the enchiladas before the tortillas stiffen again. It’s quite clever to forgo that whole process with a casserole. I’m going to have to try this recipe! I like you toppings GIF. Very Fun!
Thanks for sharing, Lindsey! I hope you enjoy this one!
if I use a different enchilada sauce do I need to heat it up before adding it into the layers?
No, it should be fine! : )
Can you use onions instead of scallions?
You most certainly can! : )
I have made this 3 times now (and just in the last month) but tonight’s came out like soup… And I have no idea what I did wrong… I will definitely try again in a couple of weeks!
Oh no, that’s so weird! Maybe the sauce needed to cook and thicken longer?
I have a question. I made this in 2 smaller pans so I can freeze it. Do I freeze the 2nd pan b4 or after I bake it?
Hi Regina! I would assemble them without the sauce and cheese, then cover them tightly with foil, and put in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake them, remove the foil, top with the sauce and cheese, re-cover with the foil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown (with the cheese melted completely). I hope this helps!
These received the highest praise from my 16-year-old son: the best enchiladas you’ve ever made! Thanks for a winner.
Thank you, Maryellen, that is indeed high praise! : )
Easy Chix Enchiladas
This is in the oven now and I can’t wait to eat it!!
We hope you liked it, Allison! : )
The trick to using corn tortillas in enchiladas is to flash fry them in oil for 10 or 15 seconds, dunk in enchilada sauce, and then stuff and roll.
Awesome, we appreciate you sharing!
Wow! We have had challenges going gluten free since our daughter was diagnosed with Celiac’s at the age of 18. This recipe is awesome and super easy! My family loves Mexican food and it seems so time consuming and expensive to make. I’m not a huge fan but am fast becoming one with this recipe! We ate leftover’s for the first time in years! Thank you so much for making me a beliver & hero!
That’s wonderful to hear, Kim, we’re so glad this recipe is a hit with your family, and especially with your daughter!
2 things to say about this. 1). MAKE the homemade red enchilada sauce. It was so easy and so savory & delicious! And make a double batch if you’re making it for these stacked enchiladas. I used 3T of the chili powder & the heat was just right. 2). Loved this recipe, husband LOVED it and I bet it’s even better tomorrow! Wouldn’t be the same without the black beans or the corn. Delicious!!
Thank you Laurie, we really appreciate that, and are so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks also for sharing your tips. :)
I made this dish last night with the enchilada sauce. It was simply AMAZING!! I just raced home from running errands to eat the last of the leftovers but sadly just missed them as my husband ate them minutes before I pulled in the driveway. Bummer!! I’ll be making more of your recipes. Yum!
Thanks Jenn, that’s so great to hear! : ) We’re very happy you and your husband enjoyed them (but sorry he didn’t leave you any leftovers!)
this has been my favourite dish to make since finding it on Pinterest. I’ve made it for many friends and it’s always gone! I also use the receipt for homemade enchilada sauce. That is so yummy too!
Thanks Karley, we’re so happy you and your friends like it! :)
My husband and I really like this recipe! The two of us have worked through most of the 9×13 pan in about three days (dinner once and a few lunches). I made it slightly different than posted because I was trying to use up what I had in my fridge. This recipe is so versatile and I love that I can change things up to suit our tastes.
I made a double batch of your enchilada sauce (but used only half the chili powder to keep the heat down). I used chicken fat in place of the oil and homemade chicken stock + water for the broth. I also added a bit of diced yellow onion (needed to use it up!). For the stack, I made only two layers, since three would have been overflowing in my 9×13! I used a mix of black beans and pintos instead of just black, along with the corn, chicken, cheese and green onions. I also added some leftover rice that had been made with turkey stock instead of water. Yum! I had a bunch of chicken and beans leftover since I only did 2/3 layers. This was good plain AND topped with avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, etc. We’ll make this often. Thanks!
Thanks Jenna, we’re so happy this was a hit with you and your husband! And thank you for sharing your take on it, it sounds wonderful! :)
Did you give the nutritional info/calorie count? I looked, but maybe I missed it. Even a ballpark estimate would be great.
Hey Lauren, unfortunately we do not offer nutrition facts/calorie info on our site at this time. A lot of the calorie calculators out there are inaccurate, and we don’t want to post anything that could be misleading. That being said, a lot of our readers like using My Fitness Pal, so you could give that a try!
Made these tonight. Deeelicious!
Thank you, we’re so glad you liked them!
Do you have the nutrition info; serving size; how many calories per serving; etc. Nora
Hi Nora! Unfortunately we aren’t currently publishing nutrition facts on the site. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. But many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
i made this for a birthday party, huge hit!!! I made two trays (both fully cooked). I ended up freezing the second tray. How do I reheat it? I wanted to serve it tonight for company.
Hi Lori, we’re sorry for just now getting to your comment. We’re glad to hear these were a hit though! For reheating, we’d suggest just covering with foil and heating at 350 for 10-15 min (or until they’re bubbling).
Hey Beth I hate spicy food, so no, even with the green chiles, they aren’t spicy. You could add jlapnaeos, if you want them spicy. They were really good. It’s a good thing to do with those cheap chicken breasts that I told you about. I really couldn’t believe I got an entire pan of food out of just two breasts.
Will lentils need to be cooked if subbing for cheese?
Hey Jessica! Yes, if you’re doing that, the lentils should be cooked.
how many people will this serve? i have to make it for my food tech assignment and the dish has to serve 2 people.
Hi Emerson! The recipe states this will serve about 8 people, so we’d suggest just cutting it in half (and you’ll have some leftovers). Instead of a 9×13-inch baking dish, you can use an 8-inch baking dish. We hope this was helpful and that your assignment goes well (and that you find it tasty)! :)
My daughter and I just finished making this, it looks great! Used an enchilada sauce from Trader Joe’s, and it tastes delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe:)
That’s awesome Kelli, we’re so happy you both liked it — thanks for sharing! :)
Holy effballs this is so delicious! I roasted a couple kinds of peppers, diced them and tossed those in because I’m in Asia and on a mission to figure out which ones I like. Success! Thank you for this recipe- and the sauce is too easy! Going to be a go-to.
Haha thanks Bethany! We’re so happy you liked both the sauce and the casserole! :)
OMG! I just made this and I think it may be the best thing I’ve ever made! Thank you for the wonderful recipe. I cooked my chicken with a can of Rotel tomatoes. I used that stock, putting it in the blender to liquefy for the enchilada sauce. It was so easy and the entire recipe turned out great!
Thanks, we’re so happy you liked these!
Have you ever tried making these with ground beef?? My dad is coming over for dinner tomorrow and only likes “real” (LOL) meat.
Hey Cara! We think your dad might go for these more instead!
Is it possible to substitute the chicken with ground turkey?
Yep, we think that would be fine — we hope you enjoy!
Ali, I haven’t read all the comments so don’t know if anyone else used the crock pot for this like we did…temperatures are still in the 3 digit range here in Southern CA and it’s too hot to use the oven. I followed all directions, layering in the slow cooker, putting the last layer of cheese on top, and cooked on low for 4 1/2 hours. It was PERFECTION!!! My husband is Mexican and rates this 5 stars….highest possible. Thanks!
That’s awesome Karin, we’re happy this worked out well in the crockpot — thanks for sharing with us! We’re so happy you and your husband liked it (and that’s an awesome compliment from him especially)! :D
Made this tonight and it was SO good!! I made the homemade enchilada sauce which is killer (doubled recipe). And after it was done I put a dollop of sour cream on top with the cilantro & green onion. Very filling too! This will be a good crowd pleaser ! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!
Thanks for sharing Irene, we’re happy you liked this! :)
I will try this recipe. ( Mainly for the sauce recipe, as I already get the layering concept). I’ve never used corn but it makes perfect sense, so I will throw some on in. I usually do chicken, black bean and mexican infused rice ( Cash & Carry). If I roll enchiladas, I soften them, one at a time in boiled water, careful not to do it too long, or they become complete mush. I used to do the oil method, but hated adding the unnecessary extra calories. Just thought I’d pass that on to your peeps. ( You are possibly already aware.) Can’t wait to try this sauce recipe!
Thanks for sharing, very cool! We hope you’ll find that you like the sauce!
Wow! Tried this and it was so so excellent! Rave reviews and two people finished off what I expected 4 to. Glad it is a generous recipe. Don’t know how to send my picture!
Thanks Karen, we’re so happy you liked it! Are you on Instagram? Just add the hashtag gimmesomeoven Or you can tweet it @gimmesomeoven :)
Do you use soft or hard tortillas for this recipe?
Soft corn tortillas – we hope you enjoy the recipe!
i three this recipe and it came very good even my boyfriend loves it and so easy to do
Thanks Stephania, we’re happy you and your boyfriend enjoyed this!
Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn?
That should be fine Alicia, we hope you like the recipe! :)
I made this recipe for dinner last night for my boyfriend and I, and it was a total success! We both loved it and couldn’t get enough. I even took some in to work today for lunch. Thank you so much for this easy and delicious recipe!
We’re so glad to hear that Gracie, thanks for giving the recipe a try! :)