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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

5 from 13 votes
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posted: 09/26/21

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Chicken Enchilada Casserole is perfect easy comfort food. Just a touch easier than chicken enchiladas, you will love this make ahead and freezer friendly casserole!

overhead of a chicken enchilada casserole in a baking dish

Since publishing my Beef Enchilada Casserole, I have gotten rave reviews. Readers love how easy it is to make and how perfect my enchilada sauce goes with it.

But they have also been asking if it would be possible to switch out the beef for chicken. Well, your wait is over. We have the same great enchilada casserole but in the chicken form.

How to Make Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  1. Make Enchilada Sauce. This is a recipe meant to replace what you would you would find in U.S. grocery stores labeled enchilada sauce. If you would like to use the canned sauce, you will need 16 ounces.
  2. Make the filling. While the enchilada sauce is simmering, in a bowl combine shredded chicken, salt, pepper, and green chiles. When the enchilada sauce is done, add 1/2 a cup of sauce to this mixture.
  3. Layer the casserole. Dip 6 corn tortillas in the enchilada sauce. Place them at the bottom of a greased baking dish. Put half of the chicken mixture over the tortilla layer. Top with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat this with the remaining tortillas, filling, and cheese.
  4. Bake the casserole.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I think our homemade enchilada sauce is what really makes this recipe. That being said, it isn’t authentic enchilada sauce as it has a tomato base and not a chili base. It is meant to replicate the inauthentic canned enchilada sauce you find in U.S. grocery stores. If you are looking for an authentic sauce, I recommend trying this authentic Mexican enchilada sauce.

Enchilada Sauce

This 20 minute Enchilada Sauce takes recipes to the next level. It is so good!
a spoon dishing up red enchilada sauce recipe as it slowly drips off back into mason jar

Corn or Flour Tortillas

True enchiladas use corn tortillas. It is absolutely true that the flavors of corn tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce work so much better than flour. That being said, if your family refuses to eat corn tortillas, use flour. You need to do works best for your crew.

Shredded Chicken Made Easy

Your shredded chicken hack is to buy rotisserie chickens on sale. I recently bought four from Costco! Let them cool a little and then shred the chicken. Cut it into bite sized pieces and lay it out on parchment paper. Freeze it for a few hours. Then transfer the chicken to air tight bags. Keep in the freezer for up to three months for recipes just like this!

Making Layered Chicken Enchilada Casserole Ahead

This recipe can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, covered. When you are ready to eat, just pop it into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is nice and bubbly and the middle registers 130 degrees with an instant read thermometer.

Freezing Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This recipe can also be made and frozen before baking. I suggest making it in a disposable casserole dish. That way you can transfer it right from the freezer to the hot oven without worrying about the dish breaking.

Make the dish up through step 8. Wrap several times in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to bake, bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes.

a pice of layered chicken enchilada casserole on a plate

Other Great Chicken Casseroles

If you make this Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

overhead of a chicken enchilada casserole in a baking dish
5 from 13 votes

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Serves: 8 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Chicken Enchilada Casserole is perfect easy comfort food. Just a touch easier than chicken enchiladas, you will love this make ahead and freezer friendly casserole!

Ingredients

Enchilada Sauce (see note)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

For Casserole

  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4.5 ounces diced green chiles
  • 15 ounces black beans drained and rinsed
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches)
  • 3 cups shredded colby jack cheese see note

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large skillet for the enchilada sauce, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • While the onion is cooking for the enchilada sauce, make the enchilada filling. In a bowl mix together the shredded chicken, salt, black pepper, diced green chiles, and drained black beans.
  • Stir chili powder and cumin into the onion for the enchilada sauce and cook for about thirty seconds. Then stir in 1 tablespoon all purpose flour. Slowly whisk in chicken stock. Then stir in the tomato sauce and minced garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the enchilada sauce to a blender and blend to make smooth (optional). Pour 1/2 cup in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into the chicken mixture.
  • Dip 6 tortillas in the remaining sauce to coat them and line the bottom of the casserole dish with them.
  • Divide the chicken mixture in half, and add half of it to the top the tortillas in the pan. Top with 1 cup of cheese.
  • Dip the remaining 6 tortillas in the enchilada sauce and top with the remaining chicken mixture. Pour any remaining sauce over the casserole and top with 2 cups of colby jack cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Notes

You can replace this enchilada sauce recipe with two cups of store bought sauce.
The preparation time for this recipe includes shredding Colby Jack cheese from the block. I highly recommend using block cheese and shredding it yourself as it melts significantly better.
Serving: 1piece Calories: 410kcal (21%) Carbohydrates: 36g (12%) Protein: 26g (52%) Fat: 26g (40%) Saturated Fat: 8g (50%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 67mg (22%) Sodium: 1327mg (58%) Potassium: 40mg (1%) Fiber: 7g (29%) Sugar: 6g (7%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
overhead of a chicken enchilada casserole in a baking dish

did you make this

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Carl Pirro says

    Thank you Lisa, making this recipe later this week.

  2. Maddu says

    What temp do you bake it at?

    • Lisa Longley says

      If you refer to step 1, you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. :)

  3. Connie says

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Love it.

    • Lisa Longley says

      You are very welcome! I’m so glad you like it!

  4. Susannah says

    Can I make ahead and freeze before cooking?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yup! There are instructions for how to do that in the post.

  5. Rose Cherry says

    Baking in the oven right now! I’m going to use the broiler to make it brown and a little crisp.
    Very easy from start to finish…thanks.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you found it easy! Definitely one of my goals.

  6. Teri says

    Baking now. The sauce tasted amazing. I am excited to try the finished product! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you loved it, Teri!

  7. Marci says

    If baking from frozen, do you need to thaw the casserole first, or can it go straight into the oven from frozen at 350 for 30 minutes and then bake the rest uncovered? Thank you! Making this for a momma-to-be and want it to be easy for her!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Correct! Ovens vary, so it may take a little longer, but yes!

  8. Linda cardy says

    I have shredded cheddar left over
    Can I mix or substitute this with another cheese or does it have to be Colby jack

    • Lisa Longley says

      Cheddar will work great in this too.

  9. Whitney Redmond says

    5 stars
    Okay, so I had every desire to make this as written, but I was desperate to avoid the grocery store with an over-tired toddler and a teething 1 year old, so I made the following changes with what I had on hand – and I could not be more obsessed!

    I used frozen spicy pineapple shredded pork, cheddar cheese (I shredded and used a whole small brick; mixing half in with the meat, and sprinkling the rest atop), and a whole container of frozen caramelized onions from Target – melted and sautéed with a little butter and avocado oil, and a tube of tomato paste and an extra 15oz of chicken stock; whisked together.

    So, yeah, I changed a lot. But the jumping off point sounded phenomenal, it was not my intention to change a single thing. I’ve been bragging and sharing the original recipe with anyone that’ll listen 🙃

    So grateful, Lisa!

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