Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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

Chicken Enchilada Casserole is saucy and delicious! Enchilada-sauced corn tortillas are layered with a flavorful chicken-and-bean filling and topped with plenty of cheese. The casserole is baked to bubbly cheesy perfection and topped with your favorite enchilada toppings.

Pair Chicken Enchilada Casserole with some roasted vegetables or this mandarin orange salad.

Overhead image of Chicken Enchilada Casserole.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken enchiladas are one of my favorite meals and honestly, I like this casserole even better. There is the perfect ratio of tortilla to filling to cheese and there is so much flavor in every single bite.

It’s a meal I could probably eat every night and never be sick of it (I mean, if chicken gyros didn’t also exist). 

This casserole is a great meal to bring to a family in need or a friend that’s recently had a baby. It’s pure comfort food and very filling. It also freezes and thaws well (more on that later).

Process shots-- images of the filling of the casserole being mixed together and made.

How to make Chicken Enchilada Casserole

The step-by-step photos in the collage beneath this text correlate to the numbered descriptions below.

  1. Start by adding oil, the diced onion, and diced pepper to a large skillet.
  2. Stir until quite tender — these veggies don’t get much of a chance to become tender later on, so take your time here. We’ll also add in some seasonings and garlic to get this filling extra fragrant.
  3. While the veggies are sauteing, work on chopping up a rotisserie chicken (makes this recipe so fast). Add the chopped chicken, chili beans, black beans, diced green chilies, and frozen corn to the skillet.
  4. Pour enchilada sauce over everything to get it nice and saucy.
  5. Stir the enchilada sauce into everything gently — we don’t want to mash up the beans or disintegrate the chicken.
  6. The filling is done! Season this filling to taste with salt and pepper.

Once the filling is finished, it’s all about layering tortillas, filling, and cheese. The layering is fun and goes quickly and then this casserole is ready to bake!

Up-close image of the filling showing all the components.

Variations

  • Vegetarian enchilada casserole: Swap out the chicken for an extra can of black beans.
  • Hot and spicy: For more heat, add a diced jalapeño into the filling. You could also add a few teaspoons of chipotle sauce (from a can of chipotles) into the filling for a smokier heat.
  • Your own sauce: Make homemade enchilada sauce instead of store-bought.
  • Swap the cheeses: For a spicier Chicken Enchilada Casserole, use pepper-jack cheese instead of Monterrey jack.

Toppings

Whatever you typically like on chicken enchiladas will go great on this casserole. Below are some ideas for how to top your casserole:

  • Fresh lime juice: This adds so much freshness to the casserole!
  • Cilantro: Finely dice or just pull off a few pieces to top the casserole.
  • Sour cream: fat-free or light sour cream is also a great option
  • Avocado: Thinly sliced ripe avocado is my favorite topping! Guacamole is also delicious.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Dice up a few ripe cherry tomatoes or add a spoonful of pico de gallo on top for some freshness.

Process shots-- images of the sauce and tortillas being layered with filling in Chicken Enchilada Casserole.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole notes

  • The heat in chili powder varies greatly from brand to brand. I use McCormick’s® chili powder (not sponsored) in this recipe and don’t find it to be spicy.
  • Enchilada sauces also vary greatly in spice intensities. (Trader Joe’s® enchilada sauce is too hot for my kids even though I love it!) For this chicken enchilada casserole, I use Old El Paso® (again, not sponsored). I use their mild red enchilada sauce which no one in my family finds too hot. 
  • If you make homemade enchilada sauce for this recipe, taste and adjust other seasonings so this casserole isn’t overly spicy, if that is a concern.
  • I recommend freshly grated cheese for this recipe. Packaged grated cheese has a cellulose coating (so it doesn’t stick together in the package) that keeps it from melting as nicely into this casserole.
  • I love using chili beans in this recipe because they’re slow simmered in a sauce which adds even more flavor to the filling. Chili beans are typically with other beans in the grocery store. I use Bush’s® pinto beans in a mild chili sauce (not sponsored), but feel free to substitute regular (drained and rinsed) pinto beans instead.

Overhead images of Chicken Enchilada Casserole being baked; then toppings added; and a piece being cut out and put on a plate to be eaten.

Freezing Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Prepare according to the directions below and either bake immediately or freeze unbaked.

To freeze: Prepare in a freezer-to-oven container and cover tightly. I usually cover with plastic wrap and then foil. Make sure the container is safe to put in the oven without cracking.

Baking from frozen: Remove from freezer, remove plastic and foil, and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 and 1/2 hours (or until cheese is melted and center of the dish is warm).

More easy chicken recipes

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

5 from 3 votes
This Chicken enchilada casserole is saucy and delicious! Enchilada-sauced corn tortillas are layered with a flavorful chicken-and-bean filling and topped with plenty of cheese. The casserole is baked to bubbly cheesy perfection and topped with your favorite enchilada toppings.
Print Recipe

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

5 from 3 votes
This Chicken enchilada casserole is saucy and delicious! Enchilada-sauced corn tortillas are layered with a flavorful chicken-and-bean filling and topped with plenty of cheese. The casserole is baked to bubbly cheesy perfection and topped with your favorite enchilada toppings.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken enchilada casserole
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 625kcal
Cost $8.97

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup EACH: diced yellow onion, diced red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: ground chili powder, ground cumin
  • 1 can (4 ounces) fire-roasted diced green chiles
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chili beans (pinto beans in mild sauce) (or plain pinto beans that have been drained and rinsed) (See Note 1)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 3 cups red mild enchilada sauce, separated (I use Old El Paso mild)
  • 16 corn tortillas halved
  • 2 cups freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups freshly grated Monterrey jack cheese
  • toppings: chopped fresh cilantro diced red onion, thinly-sliced green onion and/or diced avocado
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • CHICKEN FILLING: Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large pan and heat to medium high. Once oil is shimmering, add in the 1 cup diced yellow onion and 1 cup diced red pepper. Stir for 5-6 minutes or until softened. Add in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds; reduce the heat if it starts to burn. Add in the 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Stir for another 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant. Reduce the heat to low. Add in the can of diced green chilies (undrained), 1 can drained and rinsed black beans, 1 can undrained chili beans (or drained pinto beans), 1 cup frozen corn, 3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken, and 2 cups mild enchilada sauce. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Stir gently until combined and warmed through and then remove from the heat.
  • ASSEMBLE: Pour 1/2 cup of the remaining enchilada sauce in the prepared 9x13-inch pan. Add 8 tortilla halves to cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon 1/3 of the chicken sauce on top. Add 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Monterrey jack cheese. Add another 8 tortilla halves on top. Another 1/3 of the chicken mixture, 1/2 cup more cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup more Monterrey jack cheese. Add another layer of 8 tortilla halves, remaining 1/3 of chicken mixture, another 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, another 1/2 cup Monterrey jack cheese. Finish by adding one more layer of tortilla halves and the final remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Monterrey jack cheese.
  • BAKE: Lightly spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and secure over dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is melty and gooey on top.
  • SERVE: While the casserole is finishing baking, prep the toppings. Thinly slice an avocado and some cherry tomatoes, dice some cilantro, slice some limes, or prep whatever toppings you prefer. Remove casserole from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve casserole with toppings of choice; we like a squirt or two of fresh lime, sprinkle of cilantro, fresh sliced avocado, a few cherry tomatoes, and some sour cream. Enjoy hot.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: I love using chili beans in this recipe because they're slow simmered in a sauce and add even more flavor to the filling. Chili beans are typically with other beans in the grocery store. I use Bush's pinto beans in a mild chili sauce (not sponsored), but feel free to substitute regular (drained and rinsed) pinto beans instead.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 8servings | Calories: 625kcal | Carbohydrates: 55.8g | Protein: 36.5g | Fat: 33.2g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 710.4mg | Fiber: 15.4g | Sugar: 7g

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

More Recipes You'll Love

Crockpot Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

10 mins

Crockpot Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

One Skillet Chicken Enchilada Pasta

20 mins

One Skillet Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

40 mins

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Quinoa Enchilada Bake

1 hrs

Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. Yum – this looks so tempting! I love that you seem to have no shortage of ideas for quick, delicious dinners, and even ones that can be made ahead of time!

  2. This is my kind of casserole, seriously anything that has the word enchilada in it immediately makes me drool. Love this Chelsea!

  3. I am enjoying your book so much. Thanks for sharing all your experience and knowledge.
    Your pictures are amazing and the recipes I’ve browsed through look delicious.
    I will be trying some soon.
    Thanks again

  4. 5 stars
    I made this today and I had to come back to thank you for the recipe! I don’t make enchiladas often but this casserole is so easy and delicious I know I will be making it A LOT. I used a large can of La Victoria enchilada sauce and could not find any chili beans, so I used about 8oz of freshly made pinto beans. This was the 3rd recipe I have made of yours and im excited to make many more of your delicious dishes! ❤

    1. Awe thank you so much for leaving a comment and review 🙂 I appreciate you trying my recipes and hope you love whatever you try next! 🙂

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.