This quick and easy, delicious and hearty, chicken enchilada casserole is super easy to make and only uses a few simple ingredients. A great weeknight dinner recipe that is full of deliciously seasoned chicken, lots of cheese, corn tortillas and baked until hot and bubbly.
When I think of comfort food, I always think of casseroles. From broccoli and chicken to pizza casserole, and Tex-Mex favorites like this casserole, nothing is more comforting than a dish full of deliciousness fresh out of the oven. This chicken enchilada casserole is one of my favorites to make, especially during the fall and winter because it’s both hot from the oven and hot from the red pepper flakes. It’s one of those great dishes that warms you up in more ways than one. This one is also a go-to for summertime potlucks, too. I just love it, and I think you will, too.
Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
This delicious chicken enchilada casserole has everything we love about enchiladas but transformed into a casserole. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If you can turn something into a casserole, then you absolutely should and this one is the perfect example. A base layer of crispy tortilla shells is topped with delicious chicken, olives, enchilada sauce, and more to create a delicious Tex-Mex feast that everyone always loves. Even the kiddos tend to love this one.
One of my favorite things about casseroles is how easy it is to play with them. With just a few easy tweaks, you can change up the flavor of this casserole a little or a lot. It’s totally up to you. The best part is that it’s so easy to do you can just relax and have fun with it.
Sauce can make a huge difference in the flavor of your casserole. I love green enchilada sauce, but you can opt for red if you like. You can also add other types of sauce like chili sauce and salsa Verde to the mix as well for more flavor.
You might have noticed by now that most of my casseroles use Colby Jack. I just love that flavor combination. You can use any cheese you like for this recipe, however. It’s all up to your personal preference, but I do recommend cheeses that pair well with the Mexican flavors of this dish. Some of my favorites are:
- Colby Jack
- Monterey Jack cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Mexican blend
- Taco blend
- Pepper Jack cheese
There aren’t a ton of vegetables in this particular enchilada casserole, but you can add anything that you like to the recipe for more veggie goodness. Some of the best vegetables for a dish like this include:
- Bell pepper
- Black beans, Navy or Pinto beans
Changing the meat in this easy chicken enchilada casserole is another simple way of changing the flavor of the dish. Simply substitute your favorite meat for the chicken. Great meat options include:
- Ground beef
- Ground chicken or turkey
- Shredded beef or pork
- Shredded chicken
Roll Tortillas Rather than Layering
If you prefer the classic enchilada, simply roll your tortillas and fill them with the mixture rather than layering the dish for a more traditional enchilada recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following FAQ answers all of the most common questions about enchiladas and this casserole, so be sure to give them a read before diving headfirst into this recipe.
What do You Put Inside Enchiladas?
Enchiladas can be filled with various meats, beans, and vegetables. They can also be made vegetarian, excluding meat altogether.
How do You Keep Corn Tortillas From Falling Apart in Enchiladas?
The best way to ensure that your tortillas don’t fall apart is to give them a quick fry. It creates a bit of a barrier so the tortillas don’t soak up too much of the sauce. You don’t have to do that for this casserole recipe, because it’s already layered and you’ll be cutting through them anyway.
Can you Make Enchiladas Without Frying the Tortillas?
Absolutely. I do it all the time. Frying them adds a bit more flavor and makes it harder for them to rip, but it’s not completely necessary.
How to Cook Chicken for Enchiladas?
You can cook it pretty much however you like. There’s no one right way. Cook it per my directions or boil it, bake it, or even grab a rotisserie chicken from the store deli.
Is it Okay to Use Flour Tortillas for Enchiladas?
Absolutely. I use them all the time. They cook up almost exactly the same.
Are Flour or Corn Tortillas Better for Enchiladas?
Corn tortillas are traditionally used for enchiladas but flour tortillas work just as well. If you’re trying to stay authentic, use corn tortillas. Otherwise, use whichever you like best.
What to Serve with Chicken Enchilada Casserole?
This is an entire meal on its own, but if you’re hosting a crowd, opt for any of your favorite Mexican or Mexican-inspired side dishes. Some great options to pair with this casserole include:
- Spanish rice
- Salsa and chips
- Guacamole and chips
- Mexican corn
- Churros (dessert)
Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole Ingredients
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this delicious casserole. Almost all of them are kitchen staples, even the green enchilada sauce if you do any amount of Mexican or Tex-Mex cooking. Any ingredients that you don’t have on hand are easily found at your local grocery store.
- Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Cajun seasoning
- Red pepper flakes
- Green enchilada sauce
- Black olives
- Colby Jack cheese
- Corn tortillas
How to Make Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
The word “easy” is more than just a way to get people to come read this recipe. This is an exceedingly simple recipe, as all casseroles usually are. It only takes a few simple steps, and you’ll have a tasty casserole on your plate!
Step 1: Prep
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Step 2: Cook the Chicken
In a large skillet or frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Then, add the chicken and onions, sprinkle with seasonings and pepper. Cook the chicken until it’s no longer pink and the onions are tender. Finally add ⅔ of the can of olives to the chicken mixture, reserving the remaining olives for the top of the casserole, and adding just enough green enchilada sauce to the pan to cover the chicken. Stir and heat over medium heat until hot.
Step 3: Layer the Casserole
Place 8 corn tortillas on the bottom of the casserole dish so that they overlap each other. Then, spoon half of the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas followed by a third of the shredded cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with a top layer of tortillas. Top with the remaining sauce, cheese, and olives.
Step 4: Bake and Serve
Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes, removing the foil during the last 10 minutes of baking. Serve hot with sour cream, sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, green onions, or salsa.
Try This Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe Today
With just a few minutes of skillet work and a bit of layering, this easy chicken enchilada casserole is one of the best recipes for a weeknight meal or a simple potluck dish. It takes next to no time, and it comes together so quickly, there’s no reason not to try it. That’s especially true if you love Tex-Mex anything. Give this recipe a try, and I know you’ll find it making an appearance heavily in your recipe rotation.
Great Side Dish Recipes for These Enchiladas
Easy Homemade Guacamole – This guacamole is made with the freshest ingredients and is always a favorite to serve with tortilla chips, top taco, enchiladas, burritos and more.
Green Chili Corn Casserole – This corn casserole is a delicious side dish with lots of cheese, diced green chilies, crushed tortilla chips and more.
And, here is a Spanish Rice recipe from Great Grub, Delicious Treats you might enjoy too!
Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup onions, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, I use Slap Ya Mama
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 28 oz can green enchilada sauce
- 3.8 ounce can sliced black olives
- 16 oz block Colby Jack cheese, shredded
- 24 corn tortillas
- Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan or skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
- Add chicken and onions to pan, sprinkle with seasonings and pepper. Stir.
- Cook chicken until it is no longer pink and onions are tender. Drain any excess grease, if needed, and return to pan.
- Add ⅔ can of the olives into the chicken mixture saving the remaining olives for the top.
- Add ½ cup of green enchilada sauce to bottom of prepared baking dish and add just enough sauce to cover the chicken mixture in the pan (saving the remaining sauce to pour over the top). Stir to combine and heat over medium heat until hot.
- Place 8 corn tortillas covering the bottom, overlapping each other.
- Next, spoon ½ of the chicken mixture on top of tortillas followed by ⅓ of the shredded cheese. Repeat with 8 tortillas, the remaining chicken mixture and ⅓ of the cheese. Last layer will be 8 tortillas, the remaining sauce, as needed, and the remaining cheese, followed by the remaining olives.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, removing the foil during the last 10 minutes of baking.
- Carefully remove from oven and serve hot. Garnish with sour cream, sliced avocado, cilantro, green onions and/or salsa.
These pics are the perfect size for saving to your favorite Mexican Food board or Dinner Board on Pinterest.