Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole with text overlay.

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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.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole with missing scoop.

Ingredients

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!

Aerial view of labeled ingredients for Chicken Enchilada Casserole.

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!
Aerial view of Chicken Enchilada Casserole on plate with rice and beans.

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:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant and light golden brown.
  2. Stir in the flour and whisk continuously for a minute.
Melted butter and garlic in pot.
Flour being whisked into butter.
  1. Slowly and gradually whisk in the milk and ½ cup of the chicken broth.
Milk being poured into pot.
Broth being poured into mixture.
  1. Increase the heat to medium and stir continuously for several minutes until the sauce is smooth and thickened.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.
Whisking homemade sauce in pot.
Adding spices to homemade sauce.
  1. Stir in the salsa verde and the sour cream until smooth.
  2. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Adding green salsa and sour cream to from-scratch sauce.
Stirring in black pepper with a wooden spoon.

Assemble the Casserole:

  1. Spread half of the shredded chicken in the bottom of a greased baking dish.
  2. Layer with half of the sauce.
Shredded chicken in bottom of baking dish.
Homemade sauce spread over chicken.
  1. Arrange half of the corn tortillas on top.
  2. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese.
Corn tortillas arranged in baking dish.
Shredded cheese sprinkled over tortillas.
  1. Drizzle with half of the remaining chicken broth.
  2. AND NOW REPEAT THOSE LAYERS ONCE MORE!
  3. Once the casserole is all layered up, sprinkle the top with diced green chiles.
Chicken broth drizzled over first layer of Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
Diced green chiles for next layer.
  1. Bake until hot and bubbly and ENJOY!
Chicken Enchilada Casserole close-up on plate.

Gluten-Free Option

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.

Suggested Accompaniments

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).

And then for dessert, it's hard to decide between Tres Leches Cake or No-Bake Frozen Margarita Pie!

Close-up of Chicken Enchilada Casserole with golden edges.

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. 🙂

Chicken Enchilada Casserole on a plate with rice and beans.

More Tex-Mex Dinner Ideas

Chicken Enchilada Casserole in glass baking dish.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Casserole features salsa verde, green chiles, and a creamy homemade sauce for the great flavor of enchiladas without the work of rolling them!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 336kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 553mg | Potassium: 433mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 774IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 338mg | Iron: 2mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

SavePost originally published on June 27, 2016, and updated on March 11, 2022.

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57 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I had some leftover chicken and wanted something different for dinner last night. I ended up making this recipe and it was delicious! I felt like it was a little runny with the extra chicken broth at the end but then again I don't think I had enough chicken. Next time, I will add exactly four cups and I think it would be perfect.

    I also substituted Greek yogurt for part of the sour cream to make it a little lighter. It turned out awesome!

    Because I like things a little spicier, I doubled the spices and this was a hit for the hubby as well!

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    My dear friend Elena made your enchiladas for my family this weekend because my husband had major surgery and she wanted to give me a break. Believe me it was the pick-me-up we all needed. EVERYTHING about this dish was amazing. My husband wants me to make it again! I could drink the jalapeno sauce it was so good. Thank you so very much!