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Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole in a baking dish sprinkled with scallions and cilantro.
Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

This easy chicken enchilada casserole has everything you love about the classic, but comes together in a snap. Bonus points for the blow-your-mind homemade enchilada sauce!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken enchiladas, enchilada casserole
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 463 kcal
Ingredients
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Wondra flour (or AP flour)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 /2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • 1 1/2 lbs cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • 12 oz shredded cheese (I like a blend of Mexican cheeses)
  • sliced scallions, minced cilantro, sour cream, and avocado slices for garnish (optional)
Instructions
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 mins.

  2. Whisk in all of the spices and cook for 2 mins. Add the tomato paste and the tomato sauce, whisking well. Bring to a simmer.

  3. Stir in the stock and salt. Bring to a boil and return to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 15 mins. Reserve.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 (or similar size) baking dish with cooking spray. 

  2. Heat the oil in a nonstick saute pan. Add the peppers and onion and cook until softened and golden, about 10 mins.

  3. Stir the shredded chicken and 1 cup enchilada sauce into the peppers and onions.

  4. Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan. Cut four tortillas in half and layer them in the bottom on the pan, overlapping slightly.

  5. Spread 1/3 of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, then 1/3 of the cheese, then drizzle with 1/2 cup of sauce. Repeat two more times, ending with the cheese (no extra sauce on the top layer).

  6. Bake for 25-30 mins, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Slice and serve with garnishes if desired. 

  7. **To poach chicken: place chicken in a large pot with aromatics (sliced onion, garlic cloves or herbs - use whatever is handy and in keeping with the flavor profile of the dish you're going to make), cover, and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Let stand about 15 minutes or until cooked through). Remove chicken and discard the rest. Allow chicken to cool slightly and shred. I keep mine for a few days in a large ziploc bag in the frig.

Recipe Notes

Recipe yields 2 1/2 cups Enchilada Sauce

  • I recommend Wondra flour for making the enchilada sauce. Wondra is a quick mixing flour is a great for making smooth, lump-free sauces and gravies. If you don't have it in your pantry, you can use all-purpose flour. 
  • The enchilada sauce and chicken can be made days in advance and stored in the refrigerator (you can find instructions on how to poach the chicken in the recipe).
  • Cutting the round tortillas in half makes it easier to make an even layer with no gaps. 
  • You can prep all of your garnishes while the casserole bakes. I love to go a little crazy here...sliced avocado, scallions, and sour cream really take the casserole from good to great.
  • Leftovers are easily reheated in the microwave and make an even easier weeknight meal!
Nutrition Facts
Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 463 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 96mg32%
Sodium 1625mg71%
Potassium 676mg19%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 1635IU33%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 333mg33%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.