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Simple ingredients are layered together to create this substantial Mexican-inspired Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
I sometimes refer to this quick and easy casserole dish as “shortcut enchiladas” because that is precisely what it is. Instead of filling and rolling a pile of tortillas one-by-one, everything is layered together in a baking dish and baked casserole-style.
The list of ingredients is what you would expect – tortillas, chicken, enchilada sauce, and, of course, lots and lots of cheese!
To increase the convenience factor, I totally recommend you make use of a store-bought rotisserie chicken – the ultimate kitchen timesaver.
This is one substantial casserole which makes it a great choice for a potluck or for the gang that shows up to watch the next big game. But it’s also an excellent choice when you just need to feed the hungry folks in your house at dinner time. Any leftovers will reheat beautifully.
You need quite a bit of chicken so grab the meatiest bird you can find. The roti chickens at Costco are the most substantial and least expensive I’ve seen anywhere.
You can absolutely cook your own chicken if you prefer, but when you can pick up one of these Costco birds for less than the cost of the uncooked version, it’s hard to resist them.
Remove the skin and cut the chicken it into bite-size pieces. You’ll need about 3-1/2 to 4 cups of chicken for this recipe so use it all, both the breast and thigh meat.
The canned goods consist of black beans and mild red enchilada sauce. I love these Bush’s Seasoned Recipe Black Beans. Even after I lightly rinse and drain them, I feel they have a bit more flavor than the traditional variety. Use what you can find.
Pour about 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce into a deep 13″ x 9″ baking dish. You just need enough to lightly coat the bottom of the dish.
I’m using soft taco size (8″) flour tortillas that I’ve cut in half. Place them in the pan with the cut edges facing out to hit flush against the side of the pan. Place two more halves down the center to fill the void.
Then, add a drizzle of sauce and 1/3 of the chicken. Don’t go crazy adding sauce in the layers. You need to reserve the bulk of it to pour over the top of the casserole and it will slice and serve more neatly if the layers are not loaded with sauce.
Next, add 1/3 of the black beans, about 1 cup of shredded cheese and some sliced green onions. I used a blend of freshly shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack, my go-to Mexican food cheese blend.
Now, repeat those layers two more times. You can see here about how much sauce I’m putting between layers.
Place the remaining tortilla halves over the last chicken layer and then pour the remaining sauce over the top, fully saturating the tortillas. Cover the dish tightly with foil and place it in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
Remove the foil, top the heated casserole with the shredded cheese and place it back in the oven, uncovered, for an additional 5 or 10 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Remove from the oven and get your toppings ready.
Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the remaining green onion, a little cilantro, and sliced black olives. See how neatly it serves up?
Garnish individual servings with sour cream, if you’d like… I LIKE! You could go nuts here and add whatever you’d like – salsa, guacamole… you get the picture.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 1 28-ounce can mild red enchilada sauce
- 12 8" soft taco sized flour tortillas, halved
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 5 green onions chopped
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups fully cooked chopped chicken (I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
- 3 cups shredded cheddar/Monterey Jack blend
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 small can sliced black olives drained
- sour cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Pour about 3/4 cup enchilada sauce in a 13" x 9" baking dish and spread it around until the bottom of the dish is coated. Place halved tortillas over sauce with straight cut edges hitting flush against the sides of the pan, then fill the center with two more tortilla halves (you will use 3 total tortillas, or 6 halves, per layer).
- Drizzle tortillas with about 1/4 cup enchilada sauce. You don't need to fully coat them, just a drizzle. Add 1/3 of the chicken, 1/3 of the black beans, 1/4 of the chopped green onions, and about 3/4 cup shredded cheese.
- Repeat with a second layer of tortillas, a drizzle of enchilada sauce, another 1/3 of the chicken, 1/3 of the beans, 1/4 of the green onions, and 3/4 cup cheese.
- Repeat one more time, ending with a fourth layer of tortillas. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the final layer of tortillas, fully saturating them.Cover the dish with foil and place in the preheated oven. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the top of the casserole evenly with the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese has melted.
- Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro, remaining green onions, and olives. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Garnish individual servings with a dollop of sour cream.