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Easy Layered Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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An easy 6 ingredient layered chicken enchilada casserole recipe with step-by-step instructions and process photos. Make this tasty dinner for your family!

Who doesn’t love a great casserole? One of my favorite dishes is our King Ranch chicken casserole.

There’s just something about spicy chicken and gooey cheese that’s hard to resist. Speaking of which, for today’s post we’re re-visiting a classic.

It’s our layered chicken enchilada casserole. Shredded chicken breast flavored with tomatoes and green chiles.

Then, we layered the chicken with shredded cheese and red enchilada sauce. So simple, yet so tasty!

A piece of the cheesy layered chicken enchilada casserole on a plate.
Spicy shredded chicken and gooey melted cheese take center stage in this layered chicken enchilada dish!

How to make layered chicken enchilada casserole?

I always start by prepping all my ingredients. Shredding cheese, opening cans, etc.

Prepping ingredients will always make the cooking process flow smoother and ensures you don’t miss anything important.

Feeling adventurous? You can always use our best ever homemade cheese sauce in place of the shredded cheese.

The finished enchilada casserole topped with fresh tomatoes.
We topped our chicken enchiladas with diced tomatoes, onions, and fresh parsley. Top your version with whatever you love.

Once everything is prepped, it’s time to cook the chicken. Place 1 pound of meat into a large saucepan with 10.5 ounces of diced tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel).

After that, cook the mixture over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Be sure to let the chicken rest for a few minutes before shredding it with 2 forks.

  • A stand mixer with a paddle attachment makes, “shredding,” chicken a breeze. Toss the mixture into the bowl and use the lowest setting to easily shred the poultry.
A close-up view of the casserole showing melted cheese, onions, and tomatoes.
An 8×8-inch casserole dish works perfectly for this recipe. However, a 9×9-inch baking dish will work as well.

Now, the chicken is done, so we start building the layered casserole. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. and spray an 8×8-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

How to layer an chicken enchilada casserole?

Layering a chicken enchilada casserole isn’t complicated. You just have to be mindful of the ingredient amounts used in the recipe.

In Kim’s version, she gave proper ingredient amounts on steps 3 and 4. However, keep in mind that the amounts used are by volume not weight.

Why does it matter, you ask? Well, if you layered the ingredients by weight, you would run out of filling.

So, when you get ready to layer the casserole, use measuring cups. Kim’s method of layering is listed below.

Spicy red sauce is the first layer of the casserole.
As you can see, we used enchilada sauce as the first layer of the casserole.
  • ½ cup sauce
  • Tortillas (10 quarters equal to 2.5 whole tortillas)
  • ⅓ of the cooked chicken mixture
  • ½ cup cheese
Corn tortillas cut into quarters are the second layer.
The second layer consisted of quartered corn tortillas. You can use flour tortillas if you prefer.
  • ⅓ cup enchilada sauce
  • Tortillas (10 quarters equal to 2.5 whole tortillas)
  • ⅓ of the cooked chicken mixture
  • ½ cup cheese
  • ⅓ cup enchilada sauce
Cooked shredded chicken is the third layer of the casserole.
The third layer of the enchilada casserole was the spicy shredded chicken breast.
  • Tortillas (10 quarters equal to 2.5 whole tortillas)
  • ⅓ of cooked chicken mixture
  • ½ cup cheese
  • ⅓ cup enchilada sauce
Shredded cheese is the final layer of the dish.
The fourth layer was shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. Feel free to use cheddar, pepper jack, or even queso fresco.
  • Tortillas (10 quarters equal to 2.5 whole tortillas)
  • ½ cup enchilada sauce 
  • ½ cup cheese
  • Cover with foil and bake
Multiple layers have been topped off with sauce and cheese.
Repeat the same layers; sauce, tortillas, chicken, and cheese, before topping off the enchilada casserole with the remaining sauce and cheese.

With the aluminum foil in place, place the baking dish into your oven to cook for about 30 minutes.

Last, carefully remove the foil and let it bake for another 10 minutes so the cheese on top is fully melted.

Remove the layered chicken enchiladas from the oven and let the casserole cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

That’s it, your Tex-Mex main dish is done! Kim and I hope you enjoy this casserole and wish you all the best 🙂

Craving enchiladas for breakfast? Then checkout our cheesy breakfast enchiladas recipe!

A serving of the layered casserole on a metal spatula.
Shredded spicy chicken and melted cheese make the ultimate casserole combination!

Enchilada Casserole Tips:

  • Feel free to use pre-cooked chicken (canned or rotisserie). Skip the steps about cooking the chicken. Then, when you start layering, use 1/3 of the pre-cooked chicken along with 1/3 of the diced tomatoes and green chiles in place of the listed, “cooked chicken” in our recipe.
  • Don’t be afraid to spice things up a little, you can add dried cumin, chili powder, and cayenne to your chicken enchilada casserole.
  • Serve the casserole with sides like tortillas chips, baked chicken taquitos, or Spanish rice.

Can I use beef in an enchilada casserole?

Yes, absolutely! Shredded beef or ground beef would work great in this recipe. Simply use it in place of the chicken.

If you’re looking for an easy seasoning mix for the beef, give our taco seasoning a try!

Can I freeze chicken enchilada casserole?

Yes, our casserole makes an excellent “make ahead” freezer meal. Assemble the casserole completely.

But instead of baking, cover it with plastic wrap and wrap it tightly with a layer or heavy duty aluminum foil.

Before baking, make sure to thaw the enchilada casserole completely then bake as directed. The casserole may be frozen up to 2 months.

A small piece of the finished enchilada casserole on a plate.
Be sure to let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Otherwise, your spicy chicken casserole will fall apart.

Don’t forget to check out our Enchilada casserole web story!

A serving of the layered casserole on a metal spatula.

Easy Layered Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Yield: 9 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

An easy 6 ingredient layered chicken enchilada casserole recipe with step-by-step instructions and process photos. Make this tasty dinner for your family!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken, tomatoes and green chiles, and broth in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken can be easily shredded.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pan, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then use two forks to shred the chicken. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 - inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour ¼ cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the pan. Next lay 10 tortilla quarters into the bottom of the pan followed by ⅓ of the chicken, and ½ cup of cheese. Repeat this process two more times.
  4. For the final top layer, add the remaining 10 tortilla quarters followed by the remaining ½ cup of enchilada sauce, and ½ cup of cheese. Cover the dish with a piece of aluminum foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow the casserole to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and a serving size of 1 piece when the entire casserole has been cut into 9 equal sized squares. Actual calories will vary. The chicken enchilada casserole can be stored in your fridge for up to 3 days in a sealed container.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1 Piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 686mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 18g

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