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!
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.
Oh my gosh!! This recipe is phenomenal! I’ve even made homemade enchilada sauce but this is the best made….don’t need to go out to eat. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!
How to Make Chicken Enchilada Casserole
This is brief overview of this delicious recipe. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 Hack
Our 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! You can find more detailed instructions here: How to Freeze Chicken.
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.
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!
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
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
- 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
- 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.
This recipe is very good!! I didn’t have enough enchilada sauce, so next time I think I’ll double the sauce recipe. Other than that it was fantastic!
Lisa Longley says
I’m so glad you liked it, Angel!
Mary Wiesing says
Lisa, I cannot count the many times I have made this casserole. We love it soooo much! I use canned enchilada sauce, and I add a second can of chilis, otherwise I make it the same. In fact, we are having leftovers tonight! Thank you so much. Mary
Lisa Longley says
I’m so glad to hear that you enjoy it so much!
I enjoy reading your recipes but I don’t like having to reduce them to make for 1 or2 servings. I am a family of one and a senior citizen and don’t like a lot of leftovers. I shop once a month for staples and meats, and every 2 weeks for fresh fruits, veggies, deli meats and bread. So my small freezer is pretty full. I would appreciate more recipes with no more than 4 servings. Thank you, JoAnn
I made this tonight. Wow. It is delicious.
I used Ortega Mild Red sauce. Corn tortillas. But I forgot to put the beans in. 🙄
I did add sliced olives.
It was great. Chicken ran a little short but its probably because I forgot the besns. That would have streached it out further I think. Thank you!
Lisa Longley says
I’m so glad you liked them!