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.
Hi there, then can this made in advance?
Hi Heather! If making this in advance, we suggest assembling them without the sauce and cheese, then covering them tightly with foil, and putting them 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). Alternatively you could assemble them in the morning and cover them in the fridge, and then bake them that evening (take them out so they can come to room temperature before baking, or you will just need to bake them longer. We wouldn’t make them more in advance than that though, as we do think they would get soggy. We hope all of this is helpful, and that you enjoy!
If all the ingredients start out cold (sauce, chicken prepared ahead of time and refrigerated), will that change the baking time at all? The first time I made this casserole, both the sauce and the chicken were warm when it went in the oven, and it turned out great. I’m not sure how much to compensate for cold ingredients. Thank you for a great recipe!
It might need to bake a little longer if everything has been refrigerated for a while, but it’s hard to say how much longer (we’d just do extra increments of 5 minutes to be safe). We hope you enjoy! :)
Loved this recipe but was not a fan of the sauce. I made it exactly according to the instructions but with less chili and more cayenne to add a bigger kick. The sauce was too powdery in taste and maybe could’ve use a hint of sugar. Overall, I loved this recipe and thought it was a great spin on classic enchiladas but I will definitely be using a difference sauce recipe next time. Thanks!
We’re sorry to hear you didn’t care for the sauce, Melissa, but e’re glad you enjoyed the enchiladas! We appreciate you giving both recipes a try!
Can we use retried beans since we don’t like black beans?
I appreciate your time.
Yes, definitely! We hope you enjoy!
This casserole was OUTSTANDING. Made this last night for my family of five iuding three picky twenty-somethings… everyone loved it. I shredded rotisserie chicken breast, plus used Frontera red enchilada sauce, (found at Target). I added 2T chili powder for a little heat. Also used a bigger 10 x 13 Pyrex which held all the ingredients better. Otherwise followed the recipe exactly. It was really delicious.
We’re so happy you enjoyed it, Laury — thanks for sharing! :)
Can we substitute beef or pork for the chicken?
can this be reheated to serve the next day?
Hi Barbara, yes, you could use beef or pork instead of chicken, and yes, you can reheat this the next day. We hope you enjoy!
Hi, I just made this for New Year’s Eve last nigh. It was great! Thanks for a very detailed recipe. I was wondering, had you ever tried this with different enchilada sauces? The one I thought of was mole or also using both red and green sauces.
We’re happy to hear you enjoyed it, Alice! We haven’t tried this with different enchilada sauces but we bet it would be delicious with a verde, a mole, or some combo of red and green sauces. :)
This looks positively delightful as someone who could never ever grow tired of Mexican food. I’m just wondering about the dish dimensions?
Thank you, Gabbi — we hope you enjoy! We used a 9×13 dish for this.
This dish is my new obsession. I made it for my Bunco night in December and everyone loved it. Made it again yesterday and I just can’t stop eating it. The sauce is so easy to make and so delicious. I wouldn’t change a thing.
We’re so glad to hear that, Amy — thanks for sharing with us! :)
I made this with my verde cream sauce and added sautéed spinach with the corn. It was a hit!
We’re so glad to hear that!
Just made these tonight! Delicious and super easy. Followed recipe exactly and came out awesome. Was pressed for time, so used canned sauce, but will definitely be making your recipe next time. Family loved it!
It’s a keeper
Thanks for sharing with us, Missy — we’re so happy it was a hit with your family!
Doing this tonight! Added a small can of green chilis and one small sautéed white onion to the bean/corn mixture.
Then topping with a small seeded jalapeno before covering with lots of cheese to cook:)
Thanks for an amazing base enchilada recipe ! Oh, and the sauce is easy perfection!
Awesome, Chris — we’re so glad you enjoyed the sauce and the casserole! :)
If this is posted on MyFitnessPal ……where is the nutrition info and calories listed?
Hi Michelle! To figure out a rough estimate of the calories/nutrition info for this recipe (via MyFitnessPal), you would just need to enter in each ingredient and amount.
What’s the calorie content per serving?
Hi Susan! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
This is the ONLY recipe I use for enchilada night at our house. I parboil and shred my own chicken lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. I will sometimes add diced green chiles to the chicken like in your other enchilada recipe. I also have not used store bought enchilada cause for over a year because of your Red Enchilada sauce recipe. You guys rock!
We’re so happy you enjoy the sauce and these enchiladas, Tonya! :D
Hey! This looks great. I’m a bit of a novice and have a question that might be obvious to someone with more experience. Should the black beans and corn be pre-cooked before adding them to the dish? Do they come packaged dry? Are they in a can? I’ve enjoyed cooking several of you recipes, and I am looking forward to cooking this one too!
Thank you, Asher — we hope you enjoy it! And we drain the corn and beans from the can, then rinse and drain again. They are already pre-cooked so you don’t need to do anything other than what the recipe says. :) We hope this helps!
What is the nutritional content for this recipe?
Hi Rachel! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
I wish I had put two and two together and realized the recipe for the enchilada sauce doesn’t make enough for this casserole. My sauce just finished and I’m now realizing it didn’t make 3 cups. Doh! Can’t give up now here I go to make another batch… Hope it turns out as yummy as it looks!
Ahh, we’re sorry, Lyuda — we hope you guys still enjoyed everything!
Any idea what the calories per serving for this dish?
Hi Katie! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
Could this recipe be cooked in crockpot?
Hi Donna, we haven’t tried it, so we aren’t entirely sure. We think you could try spraying the bottom of your slow cooker and then layering everything and cooking on low for 4-5 hours. If you try this, let us know how it turns out!
This is a family favorite now!! Made it for the first time two weeks ago and my nine year old son requests it daily!!! YUM!!!
We’re so glad to hear that, Natasha! :)
I am using southwest chicken in the refrigerated section, corn, red beans layered over burritos. I put sour cream on top with salsa and cheddar cheese then did another layer. Put in oven to bake with cheese on top. Hoping for s good turnout. Plan to serve with lettuce tomato salsa sour cream. Wish me well. Winging it!
Hi Judy! We think that sounds yummy, we hope you enjoy these! :)
Wow!!!! Best enchilada dish I every had….and it’s even gluten-free!!!!!!!
Thank you, Kathleen, that’s such a nice compliment! :)
It was a hit!!
My whole family loved this, including my picky 9-year-old boys! But next time we will cut the enchilada sauce in half…it was too watery.
Thanks for sharing, Kylie, we’re glad your family enjoyed it! We’re sorry the sauce came out a bit watery. It sounds like maybe it just needed to cook a bit longer and thicken up?
This dish was yummy and not very difficult at all which is always great esp as a busy mom. The only complaint I had when I made this (mine may be the only one that has done this) was that when I took the foil off after the 20 min of cooking, several places of the top layer tortillas had stuck to the foil and made it not look half as good as these pictures show. My pan may have been a bit more shallow tho? Either way still a super yummy dish and nobody really cared what it looked like anyways
Thank you for sharing with us, Kelly, we appreciate your feedback! Yes, it sounds like maybe your pan was a little shallower, but what you could also do next time, is just lightly drape the foil on top, so the top of the casserole is covered but not closely, if that makes sense. We’re glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I’m very excited to make this recipe but was wondering what you thought about using Salsa Verde Doritos in place of the tortillas?
Hi Dannon! Hmmm, we haven’t tried that before so we’re not sure. The Doritos are a very different texture from the tortillas, so we’re not sure how they would hold up, but you’re welcome to give it a go and see!
This looks so good and easy. I’m trying to fill my freezer with meals my hubby can reheat while I’m laid up. Have you tried freezing this casserole? Suggestions how to assemble for the freezer?
Thanks, Sharon, we hope you enjoy! They can either be baked and then frozen once cooled, or assembled, (unbaked), then frozen and baked later. If you’re freezing them after assembling, just leave off the sauce and cheese that go on top. If you bake these and then freeze them (again, just make sure they’ve cooled completely before popping them into the freezer), top with the sauce and cheese, and bake (covered) for about 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes (or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown). We hope this is helpful!
Someone in a comment suggested adding tomato sauce, and that was a great addition. It added a bit of depth to what was already a great recipe. Love that I don’t have to buy the canned stuff!
Awesome, sounds delicious!
Love this recipe. So delicious and so easy, definitely in the rotation.
So i found this recipe on pintrest a long long time ago and loved it. I went to make it again to and realized it was from your blog. I only just discovered your blog this summer and started to follow it. I just thought it was so funny how this recipe I’ve always loved it from a blog I only just discovered but should have a long time ago. I definitely won’t forget this time! I love this blog now!!
I made this tonight using your homemade enchilada sauce. It was delicious! It’ll be on regular rotation in my kitchen.
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!
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 :)
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!!
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!
Hi! Really excited to make this. What’s the best way to cook the chicken beforehand?
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.
This casserole is AMAZING! I loved everything about it. So fresh and delicious. I plan on making it again soon.
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
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.
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!
The whole family loved it! Thank you!
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.
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.
I’m not able to eat peppers or onions – what other vegetables could work with this recipe?
I love this homemade enchilada sauce! Looks at the photos! So delicious!
Looks delish! Can’t live without some Mexican food in my life, either!
I love that you do enchilada sauce without tomatoes! I will look for an opportunity to make this casserole.
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)