Delicious Chicken Enchilada Casserole is easy to make with layers of shredded chicken tossed with cheese and enchilada sauce, black beans, corn, and roasted red pepper snuggled between corn tortillas and baked to golden brown perfection. This flavorful Mexican dish is protein-packed and makes the perfect weeknight dinner for a family!
Chicken Enchilada Casserole is one of those easy weeknight recipes that the entire family gets excited about when they see it come out of the oven, all steamy and cheesy and gooey.
This chicken casserole dish is one of our go-to recipes when life gets busy. It’s super easy to put together, leftovers are great and it can even be assembled ahead of time.
Why you should make this recipe
- Simple ingredients: This recipe only requires everyday ingredients that are mostly pantry staples, inexpensive, and easy to find. They all cook together to make this incredibly tasty enchilada bake.
- Delicious flavors: You have all the flavors of enchiladas but in layered casserole form! When combined, saucy chicken, black beans, corn, tortillas, and melty cheese create an amazing dish that you’ll want to make on repeat.
- Family favorite: Everyone loves a cheesy casserole! Kids too! This recipe is sure to become one of your family’s most requested weeknight meals.
Ingredients needed for this chicken casserole
Chicken enchilada casserole includes all of the typical ingredients that are found in most Mexican dishes. It’s really versatile too! You can easily change the ingredients based on your taste preferences. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Corn tortillas: We use corn tortillas in this casserole because they are lighter and we prefer them. However, feel free to use flour tortillas instead. Use gluten-free tortillas as needed.
- Chicken: Use any cooked chicken. Rotisserie chicken is my go-to because it adds so much extra flavor.
- Cheese: We like to use shredded cheddar cheese, but a Mexican blend or any favorite cheese works great.
- Red enchilada sauce: Can’t have delicious enchilada casserole without a tasty sauce!
- Black beans: Beans give this meal a tasty boost of protein and fiber. Sub with kidney or pinto beans, if you’d like.
- Corn: Fresh, canned, or frozen corn will work.
- Roasted red pepper: Have a lightly sweet, charred flavor that’s delicious!
- Optional garnish. We love to top this enchilada casserole with fresh parsley or cilantro, diced avocado, green onions, and chopped cherry tomatoes!
How to make this chicken casserole recipe
This Mexican casserole seriously could not be easier to throw together! Here’s the simple process:
For the full, printable recipe, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350ºF and spray a baking dish with cooking spray oil.
- Prep the chicken: In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken with 1 cup of cheese and the enchilada sauce.
- Assemble the casserole: Layer a few tortillas into the prepared baking dish. Spread a third of the meat mixture, then sprinkle with beans, corn, and red peppers. Repeat until all the ingredients are used then sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese.
- Bake: Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden.
- Serve: Garnish or add toppings of choice and enjoy!
- You can use any type of cooked chicken for this dish. We typically use leftover diced chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken. You can even use baked chicken thighs!
- If you have the time, we recommend grating your own cheese. The bagged pre-shredded cheeses are coated in anti-caking agents and just don’t melt as smoothly.
- This casserole is great to make ahead and can be assembled up to about 12 hours before you plan to serve it. Prepare it as instructed, then cover it and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it. You may need to add 15 additional minutes to the baking time since you’ll be starting with a cold casserole.
Frequently asked questions
This is satisfying enough to serve on its own and doesn’t need any sides, especially if you load it up with toppings! However, a tasty option is a light, fresh green salad with chopped tomato, diced avocado, and dressing. We also love to pair Mexican dinners with chips, salsa, guacamole, and a skinny margarita!
Yes! This dish freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To enjoy after freezing, let it defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat it in a microwave or an oven heated to 350°F until warmed through.
We’ve calculated the nutrition based on 8 servings, bringing this recipe to just over 280 calories per person. It’s also packed with 20 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of fat, making this a well-balanced meal.
Casserole recipes, like this one, are super versatile and easy to customize with different ingredients, depending on what you like and have on hand. Here are some options:
- Ground meat: Use 3/4 to 1 pound cooked lean ground beef or turkey instead of chicken.
- Add-ins: You can leave the black beans out and even add other ingredients like mushrooms, green chilies, and/or onion.
- Make this dairy free: Use your favorite dairy-free/vegan shredded cheese.
- Keep this gluten-free: Be sure to use gluten-free corn tortillas or a different gluten-free tortilla.
To store leftovers: Let the dish cool completely and then either cover the whole pan and place it in the fridge or put individual slices into an airtight container and place them in the fridge. This casserole will stay good for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. To reheat, simply add a slice to a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until heated through.
More Mexican recipes to try
- Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Taco Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Vegetarian Burrito Bowl
- Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad
- Easy Steak Fajitas
- Chicken Enchilada Pasta
- Mexican Sweet Corn Soup
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
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Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 10 small corn tortillas cut in half
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken or use leftover meat
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded and divided
- 2 cups red enchilada sauce
- 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz can corn drained
- 1 14.5 oz can roasted red pepper drained well and chopped
- Optional toppings and garnishes: chopped parsley, avocado, green onions, chopped cherry tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a baking dish with cooking oil spray.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken with 1 cup of cheese and the enchilada sauce.
- Layer a few tortillas into the prepared baking dish. Spread a third of the meat mixture, then sprinkle with beans, corn, and red peppers. Repeat until all the ingredients are used then sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden.
- Garnish or add toppings of choice and enjoy!
Barbara Hahn says
Made your Chicken Enchilada Casserole and loved it! Now I would like to make ahead and freeze. Will it be ok? Have you assembled, frozen and then defrosted it and cooked??
Any tips greatly appreciated!
Rena Awada says
yes, you sure can.You can defrost by removing it the night before and leave in the fridge and reheat in microwave or stove. I prefer stove.
Can you assemble, not bake, freeze then bake from frozen?
Rena Awada says
yes should be fine