I’m home!!! I’m home, I’m home, I’m home! And after a fun few weeks traipsing around Europe, a 9.5 hour plane ride with a 1-year-old kicking the back of my seat and crying half of the ride, and a nearly lost luggage fiasco, boy did it feel good to walk in the door to my loft last night. And I had three things on my must-happen-immediately list:
1. a big ol’ glass of ice water
2. a full night to catch up on some zzzz’s in my own bed
3. and MEXICAN FOOD
Oh man. I rarely go 3 days without eating Mexican food, so 3 weeks without my chips and salsa felt like an eternity! We did pass by a few “Mexican” restaurants in Germany and Austria and even considered stopping in one evening. But one peek at their menus full of BBQ wings and New York steaks and shrimp scampi (true story) suggested we might be better waiting until we got home. So we did. And now I fully intend to make up for lost time…beginning with this white chicken enchilada casserole recipe!
It’s kind of a riff on my (red) Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe, which has become a bit of a hit on the blog. But as you can tell, this is the “white”, creamy, green-chile-y, total comfort-food-y version. Although this version is even slightly healthier than traditional white enchiladas, and easy to make by “stacking” the enchiladas into a casserole instead of rolling them all up. Interested? I think you will be… :)
I’ve actually been eating white chicken enchiladas as long as I can remember. Mom used to make them with the cream of chicken soup shortcut when we were kids. Then for years I made them with sour cream. But recently I’ve switched to using plain Greek yogurt in the cream sauce, which provides some extra protein and I can’t even taste the difference! (If you don’t have Greek yogurt, though, you can totally use traditional sour cream.)
But in addition to the yogurt, the key to the sauce is to add an entire can of flavorful Old El Paso chopped green chiles (always a staple in my pantry for Mexi dishes), lots of chicken stock, and cumin. It’s a simple sauce, but surprisingly full of flavor just beyond the typical creamy base.
Then once you’re sauce is ready, it’s time to start assembling your enchilada casserole! This is basically your typical white enchilada recipe, but instead of rolling them all up, you just stack the ingredients layer by layer.
We begin with some halved soft flour tortillas. Then top those with a layer of the sauce.
Then add a layer of cooked shredded chicken (I used rotisserie as a shortcut). Follow that with a layer of white beans, which work great as an extra filler and protein source.
Then add a layer of shredded cheese. If you like milder food, I recommend using Monterrey Jack cheese. But I love making mine with Pepper Jack, or even the Habanero Jack cheese for some extra heat.
Then repeat all of those layers, followed by a final round of just tortillas, sauce and cheese. Bake it all up until it is cooked.
Then top the final casserole with some fresh avocado and cilantro as a garnish. And then serve it up!!!
Seriously, whether you eat Mexican food all the time (like me) or just occasionally, I’m positive this will satisfy any craving. I served it to three different groups of friends, and then all gave it raving reviews before I left for Europe. And now after looking at it, I’m realizing that there’s basically no choice — I must make it again for my Mexican foodathon this week. It’s too good and too easy not to enjoy again.
2 (14-ounce) cans White Northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, and set aside.
Heat butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add flour, and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add half of the chicken stock, and whisk until combined. Then add the remaining chicken stock, green chiles, and cumin, and whisk until combined.
Let the mixture continue heating until it reaches a simmer and thickens slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and whisk until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble the enchiladas, place 8 tortilla halves in the prepared baking pan so that they cover the bottom of the pan. Spread about 1/3 of the cream sauce evenly on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle half of the chicken on evenly on top of the sauce, followed by half of the beans, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Repeat with a second layer of tortillas, cream sauce, chicken, beans and cheese. Then add a final layer of just tortillas, cream sauce and cheese.
Cover the casserole with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and begins to brown around the edges and the casserole is cooked through.
Remove pan, and sprinkle with avocado and fresh cilantro. Serve warm.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Old El Paso. I am partnering with them and a group of other bloggers this year to develop some fresh Mexican recipes, which I love. But all opinions are 100% my own as always. Thanks for supporting the brands which help make this site possible.
Here are 3 more non-traditional chicken enchilada recipes you might like too:
These were absolutely divine! Even the picky teenager liked it.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I have been making a chicken enchilada casserole that includes cream of chicken soup. This recipe is similar, but so much tastier and so much healthier. My family loves it too!
I put these together last night, then refrigerated until this afternoon when I got home from work, and baked them. I was so disappointed. They smelled wonderful, but the tortillas turned to mush, and this made them very unappetizing. I am assuming this because I didn’t bake them right away. Any thoughts?
Yes, unfortunately the tortillas will soak up the liquid if they sit for too long unbaked (or unfrozen).
Do you have the nutrition facts on this casserole? It would be very helpful with portion sizes.
I made this but adjusted it a bit and it turned out amazing! I used corn tortillas instead of flour and instead of the green chiles, I used a jar of salsa verde when making the layers. I was worried it might turn out soupy but it was perfect.
Hi! I made these last night and they were really delicious. I found my tortillas crisped up a lot, which was tasty but made it hard to cut through the casserole. Have you experienced this and if so, any suggestions for fixing this? I was thinking maybe letting it sit for a little bit (maybe an hour in the fridge) before baking so the tortillas could soak up a little of the sauce? Great recipe though, I’ll be making it again soon!
There’s no way these proportions are correct.
24 tortillas, halved? I got 48 tortilla halves. I used less than half this amount.
No way does this thing cook in 20 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered. I’m nearing an hour in an over that tends to cook things faster than what’s called for.
btw, your link for the tortillas is a 404.
I made this tonight and it was delicious! My whole family loved it!
Wow an enchilada casserole?! Why didn’t anyone think of this earlier :) It’s so much simpler than rolling those tortillas, and easier to portion out.
I’m sorry, but we currently aren’t 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. I hope that helps!
Tried it last night and it was absolutely delicious! I’ve tried which chicken enchiladas before using store bought sauce and this recipe totally blows that one out of the water!!!! Family loved it (some of the little ones didn’t care for the beans), but definitely a family keeper!!!
Thanks so much!!!
Thanks Tiffany! So happy you enjoyed it! : D
Can this be made ahead and then refrigerated before baking?
Hey Minnie! I’m sure it can if it’s just for a few hours or so, but I haven’t tried doing that for longer. I would just wrap it really closely/tightly, with plastic wrap, so the tortillas don’t dry out. Good luck!
Tweaked this to be gluten free and it’s delicious!
That’s awesome, Georgianna! So glad it worked well gf, and that you enjoyed it! : )
OMG. This is so delicious! I had every intention of posting a picture on IG.. but it went so fast I couldn’t.
This was super easy to assemble and the sauce is incredible! I added fresh jalapenos to my sauce for a tasty zip.
I will DEF make these again! (:
Thanks, Angela, I’m so happy you liked it! : )
Whipped this up for choir potluck this afternoon. It’s a keeper!
Must echo earlier comment re: # of tortilla halves.. Old El Paso may only come in one size, but brands like Misson come in at least three and the bigger ones require half as many halves if not less. Suggestion: cut as you go and stop when you’ve got a layer covered. Repeat.
Went a tad heavier on cheese (4c) and enjoyed the texture…but found Crystal Farms habanero-jalapeno pepper jack cheese to lack any heat whatsoever in the result. Also went 1.5 cans on the chilis with no appreciable effect. Next time out might leave cheese as-is and substitute diced jalapenos for the chilis. Comfort food with a kick…is that a thing?
Will make sure my better half pins this. Thanks!
Awesome, thanks for sharing, Carl!
Made this for my family and they loved it! One of my favorite enchilada recipes!
Thanks Rebecca, we’re so glad to hear that! Thanks for giving the recipe a try. :)
Made this tonight, so good even though I screwed up when I was making the sauce! I replaced the beans with some fire roasted corn too and that was delicious!And it definitely didn’t take 24 tortillas halved unless you were using the smallest ones possible, I used 11 halved. Thanks for the great recipe!
Thanks Megan, we’re glad you liked it!
You need double everything ! I ran out of sauce and cheese and beans. Be sure to make extra sauce too.
Thank you so much for this recipe! It look so delicous
You’re welcome Roosevelt, we hope you enjoy!
Ali, could I freeze this? I’m looking to make some freezer meals for our week at the beach – and wondering if I should freeze it before or after cooking it?
Hey Emily! We recommend assembling these and baking them completely, then allowing them to cool completely, and then freezing (just hold off on sprinkling the top with cheese, until just before baking). You’ll probably need to add an extra 30 minutes to your baking time. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy them!
You make the food look so amazing!! This is a perfect dish to try out tonight. I’m so excited!!
Thanks Mary, we hope you enjoy the casserole! :)
Added Chalula to the sauce and used monterey jack cheese. Great recipe- turned out really well.
Awesome, we’re glad you enjoyed it! :)
Wow, this looks to die for! I am planning to try it out this weekend. We’ll see how it goes. Thank you for making it look easy because I know a lot goes into getting the recipe just right. Love the site by the way!
Thanks Laura, we hope you’ll love it! And thanks for your sweet words about the blog, we’re happy you’re a fan! :)
Not really a fan of hot food.. could I use Salsa Verde instead of the green chiles?
No worries Danielle, we think you could definitely do that! :)
Sounds fantastic! Another gotta try recipe. Thanks.
Thanks for this recipe!! I made it for my husband’s birthday the other night and he is still enjoying the leftovers. It might be even better the next day.
You’re welcome Lisa, we’re happy your husband enjoyed this! :D
I made the White Chicken Enchilada recipe amd it was very good. I used Montery Jack cheese because some kids were eating it. Pepper Jack would no doubt give it more zing but it was still good with the non-spicy cheese too. One comment of note: the ingredients list contains an ERROR. It is NOT 24 tortillas halved, but rather 12 tortillas that you cut in half to make 24 pieces. I only discovered this as I read through the entire recipe after purchasing the 24 that were listed.
We’re happy to hear you enjoyed them MJ! And oh my goodness, thanks for catching that!
Tried it, really liked it!! Got great reviews and everyone had seconds! Will be making this again. Thank you!
Thanks Rachel, we’re glad to hear that! :D
Just the kind of recipe I was looking for, thank you! I made it for the first time this week and am enjoying the leftovers which are especially good with fresh avocado and cilantro, as well as salt, pepper and red pepper flakes added after reheating.
A couple discoveries to share: If using standard 9-inch flour tortillas, I think 6 halves per layer are enough. This means only 9 full tortillas are needed (note: to follow your recipe to include 8 halves per layer, you should still revise the ingredients to list 12 full tortillas, not 24). I will probably fry the full tortillas in a little vegetable oil prior to assembling as they came out a little dry in the finished casserole. I’d also increase the heat because it’s a little bland for me. I’ll probably increase the cumin, add salt & pepper and be sure to get hot green chiles and the hottest pepper jack I can find. Hope this is helpful.
Thanks for sharing these tips Judy, we’re so glad you enjoyed this! :)
I made this and it was HEAVENLY!!!!!
The leftovers were even better!!!!!!
This is a saved recipe for future use!!!!!
We’re so glad you loved it Jennifer — thanks for giving it a try! :D
This turned out great! I spiced it up as others had said it was a little bland. Added 1/2 onion and 2 cloves garlic to the initial rue for the broth sauce. Also added 8 tbsp of salsa verde to the sauce for added flavor, salt, pepper and halved the beans because I only had one can. It turned out fantastic. And yes, the recipe should read 24 halves of tortilla 12 total. I also made 1.5 time the sauce because other ran out and had plenty with that adjustment.
Thanks for sharing, Courtney! We’re glad to hear you enjoyed it and the salsa verde you added sounds like a great idea! :)
Could this be made with corn tortillas instead of flour?
Sure thing! :)
Recipe looks great but can you sub black beans for the white beans?
Yes, you can definitely do that! We hope you enjoy! :)
This was so good. I’ve made it a couple times. Really good for parties or potlucks. It’s so easy and turns out everytime! Love it ! It is one of my go to recipes.
Thanks for sharing, Robin — we’re so happy you enjoy the recipe! :)
I must say this recipe was DELICIOUS! The white sauce is to die for! I made it just as recipe stated (except I used 2 cups of cheese and not 3). I love that the Greek yogurt gave it tang while also mellowing the spice from the chilies – my young children age 2 and 4 gobbled it up along with my husband. I can’t wait to make it again! Lastly- because I’m counting calories on a fitness app, I did the math and in case anyone wants to know a serving of 1/8 of the casserole is 400 calories! :-) Not bad!
Thanks for sharing — we’re so glad you enjoyed it!
This was super easy to make and was delicious!! Love it! Definitely a keeper:)
Thanks, Lynn, we’re so happy you enjoy it! :)
This recipe is amazing. I can’t tell you how many times I have searched my Pinterest feed to pull up this recipe to make for my family. The only thing I do different is I don’t top it with chopped avocado, I’m just not a fan of cooked avocado. I mash up the avocado with sour cream and a little salt, and serve it on the side.
Yay, so happy to hear it! :)
Just as delicious and easy made with corn tortillas for those of us who need to eat gluten free.
We’re so glad you enjoyed this, Judith!
What would be a good substitute for the green chillies? I haven’t seen them sold I a can in Australia. Maybe jalapeños?
This was fabulous. I only used one can of beans (was all I had), and Mexican blend cheese (didn’t have pepper jack). Oh and I used corn instead of flour tortillas.
I love this recipe so much! My boyfriend is pescatarian so I subbed the chicken for shrimp and chicken stock for veggie and it was still delicious. Such a great crowd pleaser and so easy to put together. I made it ahead of time and just popped it in the oven when I was ready. Thanks for sharing <3
Great recipe, I used green spinach tortilla, and can of white shoe peg corn.
We make it with gluten free flour and corn tortillas and it really turns out amazing.
How far ahead can this be made? Can it be frozen before or after baking.
I’ve made this recipe several times and it is delicious! My entire family of 8 loves it! It’s difficult to find a recipe that they all love! Thanks!
I don’t know why I don’t just start all my meal planning by coming to your blog first! I make your Jambalaya at least once a month, and this casserole is quickly becoming another favorite. Delicious! Husband-approved and we love having leftovers for the week!
Loved it. We live in Ireland so I couldn’t get all the ingredients but we loved the little tang in the white sauce ( I used sour cream). I made it in a round casserole so no problem layering the tortillas. My picky teenager even went back for a second helping.
I used corn tortilllas and gluten free flour and it was yummy! It has good flavor and The right spice.
Tonight is my 2nd time making this recipe! My husband and I love it! I never have sour cream or yogurt here so I just use whole milk. Turns out amazing!
I made this recipe for my grown kids and their significant others while they were visiting during the holidays and it got rave reviews from all! Now, 2 months later one of my daughters has had a baby and I am cooking meals for her to stock in the freezer and she specifically requested this recipe! It is a definite go too and works amazing with leftover rotisserie chicken!
So yummy!! I have made this about half a dozen times now for potlucks and it’s always a huge hit with people requesting that I bring it or asking for the recipe! It’s not spicy either so if you can’t handle much heat, you shouldn’t be afraid to try this one as it’s very mild yet tasty! I haven’t really deviated from the recipe so the only tidbits I have to contribute are that I have yet to use 24 tortillas so really a 20 pack has worked just fine with a few extra to spare afterwards, and I recommend having extra sour cream to top it off with the cilantro and avocado upon serving. That’s about it!
Easy to adjust for anyone’s tastes! I mix my chicken with black beans, hatch enchilada sauce and rotel. Use your mom’s idea of cream of chicken soup mixed with sour cream. So much easier layered than rolled!