Enchiladas are one of my favorite meal prep dishes, they’re filling and reheat well for days. Enchilada casserole is a slight twist on the traditional dish. Most of the same ingredients are used, but you assemble it more like lasagna instead of rolling the filling in individual tortillas. I find that the layering rather than rolling save a little time. So if you’re in the mood for some fairly quick Mexican food, try this dish!
How to Make Chicken Enchilada Casserole
The first step is to make the filling. Start by sauteeing the onions and garlic and then cook the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the diced green chilies, black beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and 2 cups of the enchilada sauce. Remember to reserve the rest of the enchilada sauce so you can pour it over the top of the casserole at the end.
Once the filling is made, it’s time to layer everything. Follow this sequence to assemble the enchilada casserole:
- Layer ⅓ of the tortilla strips on the bottom of the baking dish
- Spread 3 cups of filling over the tortillas
- Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over the filling
- Repeat steps 1-3
- Layer the remaining tortilla strips on top, pour the remaining sauce over that and sprinkle it with the remaining cheese
Some Ingredient Variations
You can use boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs. If you’re trying to save money on groceries, use chicken thighs since they’re generally cheaper than chicken breast. Also, the thigh meat is a little fattier so it may be a little moister than using breast meat.
You can also use shredded chicken if you happened to batch prep chicken this week in the slow cooker or instant pot.
If you want to make the dish meatless in an effort to spend less on groceries or just eat less meat that week, skip the chicken and add one additional can of black beans to the recipe. Cheese and bean enchiladas would definitely be tasty too.
Flour or whole wheat tortillas can also be used if you don’t like corn tortillas. This recipe uses 15 6-inch tortillas so if you’re using flour tortillas that are much larger in diameter, reduce the number that you use.
Homemade enchilada sauce is great, however, you may not have the time to make it. Canned enchilada sauce will work just fine in this casserole. If you do take the time to make your own enchilada sauce, consider making a double batch so you can freeze some and have it on hand for future enchilada meals.
To add some additional flavor and texture, consider adding some toppings. If you’re eating the casserole as a work lunch, bring the toppings in a separate small container and add them after you’ve reheated the dish.
- Chopped cilantro
- Diced avocado
- Diced tomato
- Sour cream
Store any leftovers in individually portioned airtight containers and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
More Healthy Dinner Recipes to Try
Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or avocado oil)
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch sized pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 4 oz. can of diced green chilies
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 19 oz. can of red enchilada sauce
- 15 6" corn tortillas
- 8 oz. shredded Mexican blend cheese (about 3 cups)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Make the Filling
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes until they soften. Add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken pieces to the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pieces are cooked through.
- Add the diced green chilies, black beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and 2 cups of enchilada sauce (reserve the remaining sauce) and stir to combine everything. Cook for 5 minutes.
Assemble the Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Layer the bottom of the baking dish with ⅓ of the tortilla strips. Spread ½ of the chicken and bean filling (about 3 cups) evenly over the tortilla strips, then evenly sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over the filling.
- Layer another ⅓ of the tortilla strips, the remaining filling, and another 1 cup of cheese.
- Add a layer with the remaining tortilla strips then pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the strips and spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
Did you make this recipe? Post a photo on Instagram and tag me @nutritious_minimalist so I can see!