This Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe is an easy way to satisfy your enchilada cravings. Layers of tender chicken, black beans, melted cheese, and zesty enchilada sauce come together in a comforting dish that’s perfect for family dinners or gatherings with friends.
I sometimes refer to this quick and easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole as “shortcut enchiladas” because that is precisely what it is. Instead of filling and rolling a pile of tortillas one-by-one like you do for chicken enchiladas, everything is layered together in a baking dish, casserole-style.
This is a far easier way to get your enchilada fix!
Table of contents
- Pantry staples: The short ingredient list is comprised of easy to stock pantry staples.
- Rotisserie chicken: This is one more recipe to add to your list of great ways to make use of rotisserie chicken. The ultimate kitchen time-saver!
- Substantial: The recipe yields a hearty, substantial casserole for weeknight dinner or potluck.
- Meal prep: Leftovers reheat beautifully for an easy lunch the next day. Or, make and freeze the entire casserole for an easy future meal.
- Enchilada sauce – You can use a can of store-bought enchilada sauce or whip up my easy homemade Red Enchilada Sauce.
- Tortillas – You want 8-inch soft taco size tortillas. For this recipe and my Chicken Tortilla Casserole, flour tortillas or 50/50 blend tortillas work better than regular corn tortillas which can have a tendency to break down.
- Beans – I use canned black beans but you can substitute pinto beans if you’d like.
- Fully-cooked chicken breast – Pick up a store-bought rotisserie chicken to make this recipe SO easy!
- Shredded cheese – Using half cheddar cheese and half Monterey Jack cheese adds nice color contrast and great flavor. Shred them individually or pick up some colby Jack cheese.
- Green onions – Add mild onion flavor within the layers.
- Optional for garnish – Cilantro, sour cream, sliced avocado, salsa, or pico de gallo.
How to Make Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Coat the bottom of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with enchilada sauce. Place two tortillas over the sauce, overlapping slightly in the center of the pan to make them fit.
- Drizzle the tortillas with a little enchilada sauce. and one-third of the chicken.
- Add one-third of the black beans and one-quarter of the green onions.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over the top. Repeat these layers two more times.
- Final Layer: Place the remaining 2 tortillas over the top, compacting the layers down lightly with your hands. Pour only as much of the remaining sauce over the top to fully coat the tortillas
- Bake: Cover the dish with foil and transfer to the preheated oven. After 35 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the top of the casserole evenly with the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
Remove the casserole from the oven and garnish it with the remaining green onions. Let it rest for 10 minutes before adding additional garnishes and slicing.
Tips for the Best Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Chicken: Slice the breast meat from a meaty rotisserie chicken and remove the skin. Then, just use two forks or or hands to shred the chicken. You can cook your own chicken if you prefer, but when you can pick up a Costco bird for less than the cost of uncooked chicken, it’s hard to resist!
- Customize: Make it your own by using different beans, adding corn, sautéed bell peppers, or diced green chiles.
- Cover and Bake: Cover the casserole with aluminum foil during the initial baking to keep it moist, then remove the foil and add the cheese before returning it to the oven for the final bake for the best, gooey, cheesy result.
- Let it Rest: Let the casserole rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This helps set the layers and makes it easier to serve.
- Garnish Creatively: Add a pop of color and freshness by garnishing with chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, sour cream, and pico de gallo just before serving.
While I prefer either flour or corn/flour blend tortillas, you can use corn tortillas. Some readers who’ve tried this have reported back that they had a mushy result since corn tortillas can break down a bit once layered with sauce. To help avoid this, I recommend toasting the tortillas in a skillet with a little vegetable oil until very lightly crisped but still pliable before assembling the casserole. You’ll need to add an extra corn tortilla, cut in half to fit the dish, for each layer.
Absolutely! Cooked and seasoned ground beef or ground turkey would work very well in this casserole.
Use corn tortillas and check the label of your canned enchilada sauce to be sure it is gluten-free. Many canned sauces are thickened with flour.
Storage and Reheating Tips
Refrigerate: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Freeze: If you’re planning on freezing the whole casserole, I recommend baking it in a disposable foil pan. Allow it to cool completely, wrap it in a layer or two of plastic wrap, then wrap the whole thing in a layer of heavy duty foil. Label the foil with date and contents and freeze it for up to 3 months. Or freeze individual servings in a freezer-safe containers. Allow the casserole to thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Reheating: Reheat individual servings in the microwave for a minute or two, just until warm. For an entire casserole, let it sit at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes then bake it, covered, in a preheated 350 degree for about 20 to 30 minutes or as needed to warm it through.
More Easy Casseroles You’ll Love
- Chicken Tortilla Casserole with Salsa Verde
- Lazy Lasagna Casserole
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Bake
- Taco Pasta Bake
- Tamale Pie
- Find more ideas in my collection of casserole recipes.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 28 ounce can mild red enchilada sauce, or 2 ½ cups homemade Red Enchilada Sauce, divided
- 8 soft taco size flour tortillas (8-inch), divided
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
- 5 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
- 4 cups fully cooked chicken breast, shredded, divided (I use store-bought rotisserie chicken)
- 3 ½ cups shredded cheese, a combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- sour cream, sliced avocado, salsa, or pico de gallo
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Pour ¾ cup enchilada sauce in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish and spread it around to coat the bottom of the dish.
- Place two tortillas over the sauce, overlapping slightly in the center of the pan to make them fit. Drizzle the tortillas with ¼ cup enchilada sauce. You don't need to fully coat them, just a drizzle. Add one-third of the chicken, one-third of the black beans, one-quarter of the green onions, and sprinkle ¾ cup shredded cheese evenly over the top.
- Repeat with 2 tortillas, ¼ cup enchilada sauce, one-third of the chicken, one-third of the beans, one-quarter of the green onions, and ¾ cup cheese.
- Repeat one more time, 2 tortillas, ¼ cup enchilada sauce, remaining chicken, remaining beans, one-quarter of the green onions, and ¾ cup cheese.
- Place the remaining 2 tortillas over the top, compacting the layers down lightly with your hands. Pour only as much of the remaining sauce over the top to fully coat the tortillas, about 1 cup (you may not need all the sauce from a 28 ounce can).
- Cover the dish with foil and transfer to the preheated oven. After 35 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the top of the casserole evenly with the remaining 1 ¼ cups cheese. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
Garnish and Serve
- Remove from the oven and garnish with remaining green onions. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes then garnish with cilantro, slice, and serve.
- Garnish individual servings with optional items.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
This recipe was originally published on July 15, 2015. It has been updated with new text and images.