Chicken Enchilada Casserole

The chicken enchilada casserole is a delightful blend of flavors and textures that brings a touch of Mexico to your dining table. Its simplicity, versatility, and comfort factor make it a beloved dish for any occasion. Whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned chef, this casserole is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to enjoy a warm, cheesy, and utterly satisfying meal that celebrates the best of both enchiladas and casseroles

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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!

The BEST Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

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

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

CHICKEN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star 4.8 from 140 reviews
  •  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!


INGREDIENTS

SCALE
  • 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.

*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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9
Slice and serve.
Let everything hang out for just a bit to let it all set, and then slice, serve, and top with whatever suits you – sour cream, cilantro, guacamole, anything you like!

Chicken enchilada casserole being scooped with a spatula
Chicken Enchilada Casserole

4.7 from 67 reviews

TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes YIELD: 10–12 1x
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A 5-ingredient stacked enchilada casserole layered with tortillas, beans, and chicken and covered with cheese and enchilada sauce.

INGREDIENTS
SCALE
1/2x
1x
2x
2–3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 ½ cups enchilada sauce (store bought or homemade)
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
6–8 small flour tortillas (corn works too)
1 can refried beans
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INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place a few spoonfuls of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a glass square baking dish (mine was 9×9) to prevent sticking.
Place 2 tortillas in the bottom of the dish, overlapping to cover the entire surface.
Layer the beans, chicken, cheese, sauce, and tortillas; repeat once to make a total of 2 layers. (For me this was about 1/3 cup refried beans, 1 cup of the chicken, ½ cup cheese, and about 3/4 cup enchilada sauce in each layer.)
Cover the top with the remaining enchilada sauce and 1 cup cheese. Cover the baking dish with well-oiled aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown and sauce is bubbling.
Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes so it can firm up a bit before cutting and serving. Top with cilantro, lime, sour cream, or avocado.

NOTES
To get each layer completely covered with tortillas, I cut 2 additional tortillas into fourths and used them to cover the corners. This is not necessary but it helps when you layer your ingredients.

My favorite refried beans are Amy’s Refried Black Beans!

PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOK TIME: 30 mins
CATEGORY: Dinner
METHOD: Bake
CUISINE: Mexican

KEYWORDS: enchilada recipe, enchilada casserole, casserole, chicken enchiladas, enchilada sauce

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
Tag @pinchofyum on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! 🌟

Frequently Asked Questions For This Enchilada Casserole
How can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Just use corn tortillas to make this recipe gluten-free.

Can I add in veggies to the casserole?
Absolutely! Bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach are a few ideas to start!

How do I make my own enchilada sauce?
Our 5 Minute Blender Enchilada Sauce is as easy as it gets for a quick and delicious homemade enchilada sauce.

What storebought enchilada sauce do you recommend?
I really like the Frontera brand for all things pre-made Mexican and Tex-Mex, including enchilada sauce. They no longer make my favorite Red Chile variety, so lately I’ve been using and loving the Siete Foods Red Enchilada Sauce! (affiliate link)

Can I use something other than chicken?
Ground beef would be a great sub! You could even brown it up with some taco seasoning for extra flavor.

How can I make this vegetarian?
Use vegetarian taco meat or veggies like sautéed mushrooms, peppers, or onions instead of meat.

How can I make this vegan?
Use vegan cheese and aforementioned veggie filling to make this a vegan enchilada bake.

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Lindsay Ostrom
NICE TO MEET YOU!
I’m Lindsay and I ♡ FOOD. I used to be a teacher, and now making food and writing about it online is my full-time job. I love talking with people about food, and I’m so glad you’re here.

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