Chicken Enchilada Casserole
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Chicken Enchilada Casserole is so easy to make with just four ingredients! Instead of rolling the enchiladas in tortillas, you’ll layer everything in a casserole dish to make this favorite Mexican dinner!
Chicken enchiladas are one of my all-time favorite meals. The tortillas, the spicy sauce, the melty cheese… what’s not to love? Well, sometimes it’s the assembly of the enchiladas that I’d like to pass on.
That’s why I love this enchilada casserole recipe! To make this easy enchilada bake, you simply layer the ingredients in a baking dish, bake, and serve. It couldn’t be easier!
Sometimes less is more, and that is 100% the case with this enchilada casserole. You only need four ingredients to make this recipe, and you end up with a delicious comfort food dinner that your family will love.
I debated about adding a few other ingredients to the recipe, but in the end I decided to keep it as simple as possible. I’m so glad I did because this layered chicken enchilada casserole tastes amazing just as it is. And we all need more easy dinner ideas, don’t we?
This recipe is a great way to use up leftover shredded chicken, such as the salsa chicken in my Instant Pot Chicken Tacos or Crockpot Chicken Tacos recipes.
One last note: As is the case with many casseroles, this chicken enchilada casserole tastes even better the second day so be sure to plan those leftovers into your menu!
How to make Chicken Enchilada Casserole
What You’ll Need
The first step to making this layered chicken enchilada casserole is to assemble your ingredients. You will need:
- Enchilada Sauce: Use either store-bought red enchilada sauce or homemade enchilada sauce.
- Tortillas: I prefer corn tortillas in this casserole, but flour tortillas also work.
- Cooked Chicken: This recipe is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken. If you don’t have leftover chicken, try cooking your chicken using my Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe or my Crockpot Shredded Chicken recipe. You can also use rotisserie chicken or quickly poach chicken on your stove.
- Cheese: You can use shredded Mexican blend cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, mozzarella cheese, or a combination of these in this recipe.
To make the casserole you start by spreading a little bit of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 8×8-inch square baking dish. Then arrange two tortillas on top of the sauce. You can cut them in half to make them fit.
Put 1/3 of the chicken on top of the tortillas, followed by 1/4 of the cheese and 1/4 of the remaining enchilada sauce.
Repeat the tortilla, chicken, cheese, sauce layer two more times. For the top layer, use the last two tortillas, sauce and cheese.
Cover the dish with foil and bake until it is hot and bubbly on the sides. Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving. (You will find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe box below.)
What to serve with Enchilada Casserole
Serve the casserole with guacamole or avocado, sour cream, chopped green onions and/or fresh cilantro. On the side, you can serve tortilla chips, black beans or pinto beans, rice or a green salad.
- Black beans would be a delicious addition to this recipe.
- If you prefer, you can substitute browned ground beef from beef enchiladas for the shredded chicken.
- To make this casserole vegetarian, substitute black beans and cooked sweet potato for the chicken. To cook the sweet potato, chop it into small cubes and either steam or roast it until it’s soft.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 2 cups red enchilada sauce, store-bought or homemade
- 8 corn tortillas, or flour tortillas
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
- 2 ½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, or cheddar, jack, mozzarella (or a combination of these)
- For serving: sliced green onions, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, sour cream, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Place a few spoonfuls of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish and spread to evenly cover the bottom of the dish. Lay 2 tortillas over the sauce, cutting them in half as needed to make them fit evenly.
- Put ⅓ of the chicken on top of the tortillas, followed by ¼ of the cheese and ¼ of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat the layers twice more: tortillas, chicken, cheese, sauce. For the top layer, use the last 2 tortillas, the rest of the sauce, and finally the remaining cheese on top.
- Cover the dish with foil that is lightly greased with cooking spray (to prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil). Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, until sauce is bubbly and cheese just begins to brown.
- Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with green onions, cilantro, avocado, guacamole, sour cream, etc., as desired.
- The casserole freezes well, both before and after baking. Thaw frozen enchilada casserole overnight in the refrigerator and then heat in a 350° F oven until it is steaming hot.
Looks delicious! I love mexican food and chicken enchiladas are my favorite! I love that these are quick and easy! 🙂
Thank you! You can never have too many delicious, quick, and easy dinner recipes, can you? 🙂
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How do you think this would do assembling it before-hand and cooking it in the next day or two? Soggy tortillas?
You can assemble this ahead. Even baking it right away, the tortillas do get somewhat soft/soggy. That’s just the nature of this type of dish.
We made this recipe with the homemade enchilada sauce. The whole family loved it including the two year old toddlers. Thanks!
My husband and I really love this easy recipe. (I use your recipe for cooking frozen chicken pieces in the Instant Pot when I put it together.) The chicken version is great with dollops of sour cream. The casserole reheats beautifully in the microwave, so we get three day’s worth of dinner entrees from one recipe.
This was a simple and delicious recipe that I will make again. I made your enchilada sauce from scratch and it is delicious. I love your recipes. Glad I found your site.
Could I sneak in a layer of refried beans to this casserole?????
Sure, I think that would be delicious!
It’s rich and filling. I was worried that there is not gonna be enough sauce. For that reason I skipped 1 layer. Used 2 cups of cheese and still it was rich, cheesy-creamy. Will make it again – once in three month would work for my family. I think suggestion to add black beens is wonderful. Next time will make it with beens to increase nutritional value and give it a little bit texture.
I love this recipe with the homemade enchilada sauce.
Also, it is very versatile,
I have made this half a dozen times and there is always enough to share with my grown daughters and they also love it
Thanks for the great recipe !
Question if using ground beef do you need to season “Mexican style “ first?
You could do it either way. The enchilada sauce in this recipe will provide flavor, but if you want to add seasoning to the ground beef as well you could try my ground beef tacos recipe as a starting point. Enjoy!
Thank you for sharing such an easy and delicious recipe! I added a small can of diced green chiles because we love them but otherwise followed your recipe and will keep this one in rotation.
We loved this recipe. I used carb smart flour tortillas and I added a can of Rotel to the chicken. Yummy. Kids wished I made more!
We Verde Sauce lovers! Could we substitute a green sauce for the enchiladas sauce?
Yes, that will work. Enjoy!
Words of wisdom for those asking about soggy tortillas. If you gently pan fry each tortilla for about 20 seconds per side and then construct the casserole – game changer.
The large flour burrito tortillas were too large for this, and the 6” corn tortillas were too small when I cut them in half. What size corn tortillas did you use for this recipe?
I usually use the 6 inch size tortillas in a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.