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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Calling ALL Mexican Food Lovers! You need this made-easy enchilada recipe…Chicken Enchilada Casserole!

Our Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe features layers of chicken cooked in enchilada sauce, corn tortillas, corn and cheese. It is so easy to make and such a yummy dinner option!

A large rectangular baking dish of chicken enchilada casserole

Looking for easy casserole dinners? Also check out my yummy Spinach Lasagna, Potato Casserole with Andouille Sausage and Mexican Chicken Casserole recipes!

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe is a twist to the classic enchilada. It is, however, still THE REAL DEAL. Just much easier to make.

Every now and then I would attempt to make enchiladas the traditional way, where I would dip each corn tortilla in enchilada sauce, fill it with meat and roll it up, and repeat for about a dozen tortillas.

It’s out-of-this-world delicious, but it’s also a lot of work, messy, and time-consuming. I wish it wasn’t the case, but WE ARE BUSY PEOPLE. And sometimes food calls for short cuts. Without sacrificing taste, of course.

That’s when I started making Chicken Enchilada Casserole. It calls for ingredients similar to a classic enchilada, only it is so much easier to put together.

The chicken in this chicken enchilada casserole cooked in a crockpot (you can WALK AWAY while it cooks, for hours) and casserole dish (you can WALK AWAY. AGAIN) – ensuring lots of good flavors combining and permeating into the dish.

It combines layers of flavorful chicken, corn tortillas, cheese, and corn. They are oven baked until the layers come together and the flavors merge together.

You can also add other toppings such as black beans, bell peppers, green chilis etc to this chicken enchilada casserole and make it your own!

Whenever we make chicken enchilada casserole, we make sure we have leftovers so that we don’t have to cook dinner for a few days after that. And let me tell you, they taste just as good as leftovers as they are fresh!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients

One of the best things about this chicken enchilada casserole recipe is that it uses only 7 simple, pantry-friendly ingredients:

  • chicken breast – dark meat chicken can be used as well. For ease, make sure chicken no longer have skin and bones
  • corn tortillas – you can use flour tortillas if you prefer, but I think corn tortillas compliments the flavor and texture of this dish better.
  • red enchilada sauce – for ease, get store-bought enchilada sauce. Use good quality sauces for best flavors. I like to use Old El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce. If you want to make your own, this is a great recipe.
  • shredded Mexican blend cheese – or use cheddar, mozzarella, Colby jack, or any cheese that melts easily
  • sweet onion – yellow or white onions can be used as well
  • frozen corn – canned corn or fresh kernels off a cob can be used as well
  • cilantro – as garnish on the top after chicken enchilada casserole is done

How to make Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken enchilada casserole is super easy to make and is a low-touch recipe. However, you do need to plan ahead and start the process hours before you are ready to eat.

Step 1: Cook chicken in slow cooker

We will be making the shredded chicken filling first that will go into our chicken enchilada casserole.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Start hours before dinner time. And start with a crock pot.

Add defrosted chicken breast, red enchilada sauce, and diced onion into crock pot. Different enchilada sauce will taste different.

Just like everything, some will be better than others. Taste the enchilada sauce before you throw it in. I use this Old El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce.

Some enchilada sauce can be a bit bland. If that is the case, here are some spices you can throw into the crock pot to enhance the flavor – cumin, chili powder, coriander, garlic (fresh or powdered form), salt & pepper.

Use cayenne powder if you want to make the sauce spicier.

Pro tip: ALWAYS taste your food (unless, of course, it cannot be eaten raw. Then err…DON’T taste your food. You get the gist) before you put them in if you are unfamiliar with it.

This way we we won’t be rudely surprised by the taste of it at the very end when we cannot tweak it anymore.

Let chicken cook in crock pot on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken breast from crockpot. Then, using a fork, shred chicken and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.

Shredding chicken to make Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Step 2: Layer!

Next: It’s time to layer our chicken enchilada casserole.

Here are the steps:

  1. Spoon liquid from the crockpot (no chicken) to the bottom of a 9″x13″ casserole dish
  2. Then layer corn tortillas, chicken (with some juice), corn, and shredded cheese.
  3. Repeat Step 2 two more times. There should be a total of three layers

Other ingredients for layering

To keep the recipe simple, I did not add these, but here are some other items to “layer” into the casserole, if you choose to:

  • Jalapeno peppers – Such a classic in Mexican cuisine. It has a kick and a sour tint to it. So be warned if you have spicy food limitation
  • Fresh tomatoes – Chop it up and spread it all over. It will be delicious!
  • Sour cream – Good way to neutralize the acidity in this dish
  • Salsa – LOVE me some salsa!

Step 3: Bake

Next, send chicken enchilada casserole into the oven to bake.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375℉. Remove and garnish with fresh cilantro.

YUMMMMERS. Whether that is a word or not, it does not matter.

Chicken enchilada casserole really is what I would call a dump and cook recipe. Low touch. Not a lot of time in the kitchen. DELICIOUS. And it feeds many.

With this massive chicken enchilada casserole dish, with only two of us to feed, we had it for dinner for many days, lunch for many days. Then dinner again. Then lunch again.

Leftovers – you are a lifesaver!!

This Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe is definitely a small budget meal with some great flavors!

My husband and I always say we eat like royalty around here, and with a relatively small budget.  We love good food and we love to make good food.

YOU can too! I am such a believer that we can make so many types of YUMMY food, just like those from restaurants, right in our homes.

With just a little bit of creativity, practice, and prep work.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

How to serve this

Storage and Reheating

Chicken enchilada casserole stores and reheat well – that’s why it makes great leftovers and meal prep option.

Chicken enchilada casserole can be refrigerated in air tight container for up to 5 days, or freeze in air tight container for up to 2 months.

To reheat, bring it to a complete defrost, then reheat using microwave if reheating a smaller portion. To reheat the entire casserole, cover with aluminum foil and heat in oven at 350℉ for 30 minutes, or until the casserole is heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make this using cooked chicken?

You can really save time using cooked chicken! Simple shred chicken (or get shredded chicken) and toss them in red enchilada sauce. Then layer according to the instructions. You can skip the slow cooker step completely.

Can I freeze the whole casserole?

Yes you can! Make sure to seal it using aluminum foil and seran wrap to make sure it is air tight before freezing. Freeze for up to 2 months.

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

Yes! See my Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe for detailed instructions.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

Other Fun Casseroles!

More Mexican Recipes

Digging into layers of chicken enchilada casserole using a wooden spoon

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Enchilada recipe made simple! Low-touch and yummy! Slow cook chicken in a crockpot, then layer and bake chicken, red enchilada sauce, cheese, corn tortilla layered and in a casserole. Feeds a crowd and tastes just like traditional enchiladas!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 517kcal
Author: MinShien

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken breast
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 28 oz red enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 large sweet onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped

Instructions

  • Add defrosted chicken breast, enchilada sauce, diced sweet onion to crock pot. If desire, can also add one or more of these spices to enhance taste – cumin, chili powder, coriander, garlic (fresh or powdered form), salt, or pepper. Add cayenne powder for additional spiciness.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken breasts from crockpot and use a fork shred chicken. Bring shredded chicken breast back to crockpot and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • To assemble casserole, spoon a few spoonfuls of the juice from crock pot to the bottom of a 9″x13″ casserole dish. 
  • Next, layer casserole with 6 corn tortillas.
    Layering Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • Next, layer with 1/3 of the shredded chicken (with some sauce).
    Layering Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • Then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of corn, spread evenly.
    Layering Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • Then add 1 cup of cheese, spread evenly
    Layering Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • Repeat step 5-8 for another two times. There should be a total of 3 layers. Note that there should be a lot of cooked sauce/juice not used – do not spoon all of the enchilada sauce into casserole.
  • Bake casserole for 20-25 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro. Optional (but highly recommended!): Serve with chips, rice, queso, and/or guac, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 517kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 1413mg | Potassium: 895mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 995IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 543mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. I am excited to try this one! I too have made the classic chicken enchiladas, but with three little boys in the house, I donโ€™t have that much time to put it together. This seems a lot more manageable. I will let you know how it turns out.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yes!! I TOTALLY get it!! I hope you and the fam enjoy the casserole! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Kris Kaufman says:

      5 stars
      Don made it last night. Not only did I have seconds ,well maybe thirds, but I had it for lunch again today. So awesome. He served it with black beans on the side. We love our beans and it went great with your amazing recipe.

    3. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much for trying the recipe! And I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it! It’s a keeper for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 5 stars
    I finally tried this one, and it was delicious! Much simpler than chicken enchiladas on their own. I added some bell peppers and tomatoes and served it with avocado. My husband also loved it, so it will become a regular on the meal calendar. Thanks!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I love the add-ons you did, that sounds very yummy! Thank you SO MUCH for trying the recipe and letting me know how it turned out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 5 stars
    Super easy to make AND delicious!! Loved that we had enough for leftovers to keep the yummy going!!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s wonderful! Leftovers are the BEST!!!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this again today for a quick and easy and delicious dinner! Thank you!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Can you freeze the leftovers?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yes that should be fine!

  6. Morgan Murray says:

    Mine turned out really soggy. What did I do wrong??

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Try reducing the amount of sauce from the chicken when layering the chicken in the casserole! Or bake it for slightly longer so they dry up. Hope that helps!