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.
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 :)
Would this work without tortillas as a low carb casserole?
Thanks! Do you think i would need to reduce the amount of sauce?
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! :)
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.
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!
Can you assemble this and freeze it?
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. :)
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!!
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!
Your recipe sounds great ….I need a recipe I can make ahead and freeze. I assume this would freeze well but wanted to ask.
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!
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.
Loved it! Added black olives ?
I made it along with the homemade enchilada sauce. It was delicious! My husband added it to his favorite dish list.
I made the dairy free version (leaving out the cheese) and this dish was amazing!! I set it up for lunches during the week. I have a lot leftover I am going to try to freeze. Anyone have experience with freezing it?
This looks easy and so yummy I’m going to try it as I don’t like rolling enchiladas in the sauce so much lol
Hello, I make this often so thank you for the recipe! However, I have lots of family coming for Christmas and this was going to be one of the dinners. Could I make it and then freeze before oven? Then thaw later and cook as instructed? Has anyone ever done this?
My family loved this! I also made the home-made sauce and it tasted like a restaurant, or even better!
I live in Wisconsin and was looking for some good comfort food for a snowy night….this did not disappoint! It was awesome! I followed the recipe and made your enchilada sauce! LOVED IT! Served it with your Mexican Caesar salad, and we had a great meal. I will be trying more of your recipes.
This is absolutely DELICIOUS! It’s always my go to dinner when I have guests coming into town. I’m planning to make it for dinner this weekend, could I by any chance make the filling the day before and refridgerate it until I need it Saturday evening?
Made this with a couple of (small) variations based on my time in Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas. First, I added a pinch (literally a pinch) of sugar to the enchilada sauce to counter the acidity of the raw chili powder and herbs.. Second, I didn’t put the tortillas in ‘as is;’ instead, I warmed some milk and butter and added two lightly beaten eggs to it (make sure not to boil the milk, or even come close, or you will have poached eggs). Then I dipped the tortilla halves in the milk/butter/egg mix before adding to the casserole. This softens the tortillas nicely, and cooks them up a bit more fluffy than traditional enchiladas — i.e., more like a casserole. Result was excellent, and I do like the no-tomato enchilada sauce. It’s much more authentic based on my experience. Served with sour cream on the side, sliced tomatoes, and home-made guacamole. Side dish was a nice Mexican rice.
This looks so good! I’ve been looking for casserole recipes so thanks for the inspiration!
This was awesome just the way you have it. Thank you
So Yummy!! Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe with us.
has anyone tried this with whole wheat tortillas?
I used to make this recipe one a month but then you changed it :( I miss the old recipe.
Made this a few days ago and have been enjoying it all week! I made the enchilada sauce and thought it was a little spicy at first, but when mixed in with all the casserole ingredients it really mellows out. Super delicious!
Made to recipe including enchilada sauce & my whole family raved over this one! Will definitely be keeping this in the lineup.
I made this canned sauce and it was just alright. Next time I’ll have to make your enchilada first.
I’ve been making your “Stacked” Chicken Enchiladas recipe for years but now I see you’ve changed the recipe since I last made it. I’m sure the new recipe is good too but is there any chance the original recipe still exists somewhere? I would love a copy of it!
We added a pkt of taco seasoning which reved up the flavor.. Delish and recommending this recipe to everyone.. Thank you
I was a bit nervous about trying this as I am not even sure I have ever had enchiladas before but it just sounded amazing and so convenient to just layer it all. I went for the homemade sauce mainly because it included ingredients I already had on hand. It was super easy and delicious, everyone loved it – and they said it tasted like enchiladas haha, since I had no idea. I am planning to make it again soon because I am already craving that sauce.
Can this be put together the day before and refrigerated?
This is a family favorite. Like to serve with margaritas
I made this casserole tonight and we all loved it! I didn’t make any changes to it. The sauce is amazing but next time I’ll double the recipe so I can have a little extra to drizzle as a topping over the cheese.
Very good. I made this with ground hamburger.
Very good, easy, I only used 1/2 of the chili powder (ran out didn’t realize how much 4 T is) and it was plenty flavorful, the sauce was a little bit more runny maybe due to that fact, but I couldn’t stop eating it.
Fantastic. Made it tonight at my sons suggestion. I split into two pans, a 8×8 and 10×10. If I hadn’t my husband would have finished it off in one sitting. I made a double enchilada sauce as recommended using chili powder and chipotle powder. It wasn’t as pretty as your pic since I left out the fresh toppings. Will definitely make this again.
I am a big fan of your 5 ingredient chicken chili, adding a can of hominy , so I guess it’s really 6 ingredient chicken chili.
ps. My mouth is happy, thanks
I roasted a Turkey that was taking up way too much room in my freezer. I chopped up part of the turkey to make this. I also did your homemade enchilada sauce. This is sooo freaking delicious. I’m going to definitely make this after Thanksgiving with leftovers as well.
Love, love the flexibility and versatility of this recipe! It is now on regular rotation at my house and has been used for weekly lunches and serving guests. It’s a great one for using up whatever you happen to have on hand! We don’t like corn but don’t miss it; a favorite add-in is riced cauliflower; everyone thinks it’s rice and loves it (still used the corn tortillas). I can’t wait to try the homemade enchilada sauce next!!
We tried this a couple of nights ago and it was such a hit and will definitely go into the regular rotation. I’ve also been looking for good meals to make for a big crowd and this will be perfect. Thanks for the recipe and really enjoy your blog as well!
Such an amazing recipe! Loved by all. Thank you!
I’ve been making the original version of this for over 3 years now and it’s a family favorite! Everyone loves it! But somehow I mis-placed my copy of the original. Any chance you could send a link? I have it mostly memorized but would sure love to double-check it. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe!!
This was AMAZING! My husband is thankful for another chicken recipe. I used store bought GF enchilada sauce which was good, but I would try yours next time if I have time. I also used pepper Jack cheese with Mexican cheese blend.
Thank you for sharing this! It will be made again!
I have recently had to switch to a gluten free diet and I must say this dish has been the best so far!! Easy to make and delicious!
I didn’t have any already cooked chicken so I took a few chicken breasts and cooked them in a covered pot for 20 minutes in the homemade enchilada sauce. Everything turned out great and the whole family loved it!
This was awesome! The sauce recipe will be a staple of mine for sure. My only gripe? Needed a bit of salt. Maybe because I used roasted fresh peppers instead of canned or something, or maybe I undersalted the enchilada sauce? In any case, taste that sauce and decide for yourself! If yes, a healthy amount to the sautéing peppers and onions will take care of things.
Great dish, fast and easy. Filling and a great crowd pleaser. So quick I even made the enchilada sauce! Nothing out of the ordinary for ingredients. I cooked my own chicken breasts and additional used seasoning was homemade sofrito.
My family loves this recipe!! Planning to make it yet again today and meatless!! This recipe is so great because I can decide to make it with chicken or without and you really don’t miss a thing! Thank you for sharing!
I didn’t have any tinfoil but it still turned out really well.