Chicken Enchilada Casserole features all-natural ingredients like salsa verde, green chiles, and a creamy homemade sauce for the great flavor of chicken enchiladas without the work of rolling them!
Sometimes nothing hits the spot like creamy, cheesy enchiladas! In fact, we love enchiladas so much that I often double the recipe. But since a big batch of enchiladas takes a good bit of time to roll, I've learned to go the easy route and make this stacked Chicken Enchilada Casserole instead!
And since I'm guessing that some of y'all enjoy taking the easy route as well (with delicious results, mind you), I figured I'd better share the recipe here today. 😉
I actually adapted my ever-popular King Ranch Chicken Casserole for this recipe, borrowing the ratios but changing up the flavors to turn it into an enchilada casserole instead.
My husband's favorite type of chicken enchiladas are the green variety, so for this Chicken Enchilada Casserole, I incorporated salsa verde into an easy, from-scratch sauce. No condensed 'Cream of X' soup here!
For the Sauce:
- Butter. Salted or unsalted will work fine.
- Garlic. Freshly minced, and I always add extra.
- Flour. I have successfully tested this sauce using regular all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and my preferred gluten-free flour blend.
- Milk. Again, the milk you use is flexible. Whole milk, 2%, low-fat, or a non-dairy option (such as unsweetened almond milk) will all work.
- Chicken broth. Or stock. Use low-sodium if you prefer more control over the saltiness.
- Spices. Cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper for seasoning the homemade sauce.
- Salsa verde + sour cream. To make a green enchilada sauce that's also creamy.
For the Enchilada Casserole:
- Shredded (or diced) chicken. If you're going for a shortcut option, feel free to pull the meat from a rotisserie chicken. However, you can easily cook your own chicken breasts in the oven, the slow cooker, the instant pot, or by poaching in simmering water on the stove.
- Corn tortillas. These shouldn't be substituted, as flour tortillas will turn gummy upon baking.
- Shredded cheese. Monterey jack is recommended, but a Mexican blend or even pepper jack (for some heat!) would work as well.
- Diced green chiles. The finishing touch!
How to Make Chicken Enchilada Casserole
(The below photos are intended to be helpful, but please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for FULL DIRECTIONS.)
This Chicken Enchilada Casserole is as easy as alternating layers of chicken, homemade sauce, tortillas, and cheese, and then baking until bubbly.
You'll need to have your cooked and shredded/diced chicken ready to go. And then...
Make the Enchilada Sauce:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant and light golden brown.
- Stir in the flour and whisk continuously for a minute.
- Slowly and gradually whisk in the milk and ½ cup of the chicken broth.
- Increase the heat to medium and stir continuously for several minutes until the sauce is smooth and thickened.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.
- Stir in the salsa verde and the sour cream until smooth.
- Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Assemble the Casserole:
- Spread half of the shredded chicken in the bottom of a greased baking dish.
- Layer with half of the sauce.
- Arrange half of the corn tortillas on top.
- Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese.
- Drizzle with half of the remaining chicken broth.
- AND NOW REPEAT THOSE LAYERS ONCE MORE!
- Once the casserole is all layered up, sprinkle the top with diced green chiles.
- Bake until hot and bubbly and ENJOY!
As mentioned in the Ingredients section above, to make this Chicken Enchilada Casserole gluten-free, simply use a gluten-free flour blend in place of the regular flour. Also ensure that the corn tortillas you use are GF.
I like to serve my Chicken Enchilada Casserole with sides of Easy Spanish Rice, Slow Cooker Charro Beans or Instant Pot Refried Beans, and a green salad drizzled with either Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette or Creamy Jalapeño Dip (which, incidentally, makes a to-die-for salad dressing).
With its quick and easy assembly and its melty layers of chicken, cheese, and creamy from-scratch sauce, this Chicken Enchilada Casserole is guaranteed to be a hit!
Hope you get to try it soon. 🙂
More Tex-Mex Dinner Ideas
- Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
- Tamale Pie
- Mexican Meatloaf Muffins
- Baked Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Cilantro Dipping Sauce
- Mexican Cornbread Casserole
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 4 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth OR stock, DIVIDED
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup salsa verde (green salsa)
- 1 cup sour cream
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 12 corn tortillas, quartered
- 8 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
- Adjust rack to center position of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Make the white sauce by melting butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic to the pot and saute until fragrant and light golden brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour and whisk continuously for 1 minute. Slowly and gradually whisk in milk and ½ cup chicken stock. Increase heat to medium and stir continuously for several minutes until sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove pot from the heat and stir in cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. Stir in the salsa verde and the sour cream until smooth. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- Evenly scatter half of the shredded chicken in the bottom of the baking dish. Dollop half of the sauce on top of the chicken and use the back of a spoon to spread it in an even layer. Arrange half of the corn tortilla quarters on top, overlapping slightly and tearing in half to fill in any gaps, if necessary. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese on top. Drizzle the entire surface with ½ cup of the remaining chicken broth, including corners and edges. Repeat layers of chicken, sauce, tortillas, cheese, and the final ½ cup broth. Evenly sprinkle diced green chiles over the top of the casserole.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
- You may use leftover chicken or cook it fresh by poaching, baking, grilling, cooking in the slow cooker, etc. I typically cook 4 (medium-sized) frozen chicken breasts for this recipe. Alternatively, a rotisserie chicken torn into chunks yields about 4 cups.
- For the sauce, you may use all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or a gluten-free flour blend.
- You may use whole milk, 2%, low-fat milk, or your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk (such as almond).
- For extra kick, you may use pepper jack cheese in lieu of the Monterey Jack.
Post originally published on June 27, 2016, and updated on March 11, 2022.