Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserolejump to recipe
This easy chicken enchilada casserole is a cheesy, flavorful, comforting meal the whole family will love that's easy enough to make on a weeknight!
Chicken enchilada casserole is one of those dishes that really brings me back to childhood. It was one of my mom's go-to dishes, which was absolutely fine with us because we loved it so much! The beauty of enchilada casserole is that you get all of the flavor of enchiladas without the work. If you've never made enchiladas before – it can be a long process that involves dipping tortillas in hot oil, rolling them around cheese and chicken and hoping they don't tear, then topping with sauce and cheese and baking.
Instead of going through all of that work (and mess) this chicken enchilada casserole is made lasagna-style! You'll layer the sauce, add tortillas, chicken, cheese, more sauce, and repeat. For a fun little spin on the traditional casserole, we also topped it with diced avocado, a sour cream lime sauce, and cilantro. That's the stuff of Tex-Mex dreams!
How to Make Chicken Enchilada Casserole
The beauty of enchilada casserole is that it is so easy to make. The first thing you'll want to do is prepare your chicken. We actually used shredded chicken from our local grocery store, if you don't have this option, a storebought rotisserie chicken is a great option, too, or you can make your own! Once you've shredded your chicken, it is time to turn your attention to the enchilada sauce. While you can use a pre-made enchilada sauce, this one comes together super fast with pantry staples and adds tons of flavor. You'll simply add some tomato paste, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and spices to a bowl and whisk to combine.
Now you're ready to make the casserole. You'll spoon a bit of sauce on the bottom of the dish, then break the corn tortillas in half and spread 5 of them across the bottom of the dish to cover it. Next, layer on the chicken, then the cheese, then pour more sauce over and add another layer of tortillas. Repeat to make another layer, then bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
Enchilada Casserole Variations
This chicken enchilada casserole is easily adaptable. Here are some of our favorite variations!
- Change the sauce. Salsa verde or a classic Tex-Mex chili gravy are both great options.
- Use a different protein. If you don't have chicken on hand, or just prefer a different protein, ground beef or turkey both work beautifully here.
- Make it Paleo. If you're on a Paleo diet, or simply don't do well with grains, you can easily substitute Siete Foods tortillas here.
- Add beans. Mixing a can of black beans in with the chicken would be a wonderful addition.
- Add veggies. If you want to get your daily serving of veggies in with this casserole, you can easily add in some spinach, diced bell peppers, onions, or even shredded zucchini!
More Mexican Food Favorites
- Fresh Lime & Jalapeno Margarita
- Tamale Pie
- Beef Taco Casserole
- The Best Beef Fajitas
- Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
This chicken enchilada casserole is cheesy, flavorful, comforting, and a breeze to make!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Mexican
2, 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups shredded chicken (or about 2 pounds chicken breast, cooked and shredded)
10 corn tortillas, torn in half
3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 large avocado, diced, for garnish
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Whisk together the tomato sauce, tomato paste, chicken broth, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and pepper, until smooth.
3. Spread ½ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart, 9×13 inch pan, then layer 5 tortilla halves over the sauce, until it is fully covered. Layer 2 cups shredded chicken over the tortillas, then pour over 1 cup of enchilada sauce, and 1 ½ cups shredded cheese.
4. Repeat Step 3 to build the next layer, then bake the casserole at 350 F for 30 minutes, until the top is browned and bubbling, then remove from the oven.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and sour cream, then drizzle it over the casserole. Garnish with the avocado and cilantro, then serve!
- If you'd like to use store-bought enchilada sauce, you'll need 2 (15 ounce) cans.
- INSTANT POT SHREDDED CHICKEN: if you don't have pre-cooked and shredded chicken available, you can cook about 2 pounds of chicken in the Instant Pot with 1 cup water, on high pressure, for 12 minutes. Then shred with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, a hand mixer, or two forks.
Keywords: chicken, casserole, enchiladas, enchilada sauce, Mexican food