Chicken Enchilada Casserole


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Chicken Enchilada Casserole is layered with chicken, melty cheese, black beans, and corn. It’s much easier to make than classic enchiladas, giving you all the same flavor in less time. Freeze it for a quick weeknight dinner.

overhead image of Chicken Enchilada Casserole in a square baking dish on a white countertop

If I had to describe my default weeknight dinner routine, it would look something like Tex Mex, stir-fry, pan-seared salmon, repeat. Because my job is to test and develop new recipes, I’m forced to mix things up, but left to my own devices, dinner at our house would be incredibly predictable.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole falls right into my comfort zone. Because the casserole is assembled ahead of time, it results in far fewer dishes after the meal than tacos or tostadas. And you can finish a slice of this casserole off with any of your taco topping favorites – sour cream, guacamole, chopped red onions, cilantro, or salsa! It’s great served with tortilla chips for a bit of crunch as well.

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overhead image of tortillas and enchilada sauce in a square baking dish

Chicken Enchilada Casserole Ingredients

  • Red Enchilada Sauce – The sauce gives the enchilada casserole most of its flavor, so I highly recommend making your enchilada sauce from scratch. It’s incredibly easy and uses pantry staples. My homemade version is gluten-free and full of great flavor. Store-bought sauce works just fine too. Be sure to taste the enchilada sauce and add some salt if needed (especially if using homemade). The majority of seasoning in the dish comes from the sauce, so it’s important that the sauce is sufficiently seasoned.
  • Frozen Corn – You can use canned corn if you prefer, but drain and rinse it well before using. 
  • Black Beans – I love the flavor of canned black beans in this dish, but pinto beans would also work well. 
  • Green Chiles – Look for the small cans of chopped green chiles with other canned goods or in the international aisle at the grocery store. They come in mild, medium, and hot, so be sure to grab the mild version unless you like a lot of spice.
  • Corn or Flour Tortillas – I have a soft spot for flour tortillas, but love the flavor and texture of corn tortillas in this dish. It works well either way. Just be sure to grab gluten-free corn tortillas, if you need this dish to be gluten-free.
  • Cooked and Chopped Chicken – Use chicken thighs or chicken breast or rotisserie chicken. If you cook it yourself, just be sure to season it well with some salt and pepper so that it can stand up to the bold flavors of the enchilada sauce.
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese – Any cheese will work here, but cheddar is a classic. I also tested with Colby Jack which is a bit more mild but gets bonus points for getting super melty in the oven.

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cooked chicken in a white bowl

Toppings for Enchilada Casserole

No toppings are necessary, but if you want to add a little fresh flavor to the enchilada casserole at the end of cooking, top each slice with sour cream, guacamole, chopped red onions, cilantro, or salsa. Tortilla chips add some crunch and are great for scooping up the dish or crumbling over top. You can even set everything out so that everyone can finish their dish the way they’d like.

overhead image of green chilis, corn and black beans in a clear bowl

Freeze This Meal

Enchilada Casserole freezes well. Just cover it tightly with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 6 months. To serve, defrost it completely for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator before baking according to the instructions below. 

To make things super easy, print the recipe below for a recipe label with reheating instructions. Tape it to the top of the meal before you freeze it and anyone will be able to finish and serve the dish.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole freezer label

Printable Freezer Label

Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!

Print Freezer Label
overhead image of unbaked Chicken Enchilada Casserole in a clear dish

Corn vs. Flour Tortillas

I’ve had a few questions about corn vs. flour tortillas in this casserole, so I thought I’d weigh in. This is a true casserole-style dish, so the tortillas are surrounded by liquid and therefore they change texture and get much more tender as they cook. After being cooked, the corn tortillas have a bit of a crumbly texture and flour tortillas have a bit more chew and substance. I think both work well.

If you freeze the casserole, both types of tortillas will soften considerably. When cooked after being frozen the dish has less defined layers and an overall softer texture (making it great to serve with tortilla chips for scooping!).

overhead image of corn tortillas sliced on a cutting board

How to Deliver This Meal To Someone Else

This would be a fun meal to deliver to someone who could use a little extra TLC because it is super easy to bake and serve

Deliver with:

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Tortilla Chips
overhead image of Chicken Enchilada Casserole, sour cream and cheese on a white table

More Make-Ahead Casseroles

Chicken Enchilada Casserole in a clear baking dish

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Chicken Enchilada Casserole in a clear baking dish
4.56 from 9 votes

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Casserole is layered with chicken, melty cheese, black beans, and corn. It’s much easier to make than classic enchiladas, giving you all the same flavor in less time. Freeze it for a quick weeknight dinner.
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 9


  • Mixing Bowl
  • 8×8 or 9×9 Oven-Safe Baking Dish


  • 6 Taco-Sized Corn or Flour Tortillas, sliced into thick strips (be sure to use gluten-free tortillas if needed)
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn, defrosted
  • 1 4 ounce can Mild Green Chiles
  • 1 15 ounce can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups Cooked and Chopped Chicken (use chicken breast, thigh, or rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 cups Red Enchilada Sauce (it’s best with this homemade version)
  • 2 + 1/2 cups Shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • Optional toppings – sour cream, guacamole, chopped red onions, cilantro, salsa, tortilla chips


  • Heat oven to 425°F. Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or rub it with some cooking oil.
  • Slice tortillas into thick strips (about 4 to 5 strips per tortilla).
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, green chiles, black beans, and chicken.
  • In the prepared baking dish, start layering ingredients by first spreading a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom.
  • Top with tortillas, vegetable / chicken filling, enchilada sauce, and cheese.
  • Repeat until all of the ingredients have been used, finishing the top with tortilla strips, vegetables / chicken, and enchilada sauce (reserve 1/2 cup of cheese to finish the dish after baking).
  • At this point, casserole can be refrigerated for up to 3 hours or frozen for up to 6 months.
  • To bake, cover the enchilada casserole tightly with aluminum foil. Place it on a sheet pan (in case it bubbles over).
  • Bake, covered, for 20 minutes (add 10 to 15 minutes if the dish has been refrigerated before baking).
  • Remove foil and add the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  • Return casserole to oven and continue baking, uncovered, until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.
  • Let casserole rest for 10 min before slicing. (The slices will hold together better if it’s slightly cooled before serving.)
  • Serve immediately with any toppings you’d like!


Note: Be sure to taste the enchilada sauce you use in the dish (whether homemade or store-bought). Most of the flavor and seasoning in the dish comes from the enchilada sauce, so be sure that the sauce has a sufficient amount of salt. If not, you can stir a bit of salt into the enchilada sauce or lightly salt the beans, chilis, and chicken. 
This dish can be baked in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish. If baking in a 9×9 baker, you may need to use 2 additional tortillas to make sure that each layer has tortillas that reach the edges of the pan. 
If assembling this dish in an 8×8 disposable aluminum baking pan (to freeze or take to someone else, as shown in photos above), the shorter sides of the dish may mean that you have some filling leftover. I find that a double batch of the ingredients can be spread out over 3 separate 8×8 reusable aluminum baking pans (each pan then easily can serve 4-5 people).


Serving: 0.13dish | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 866mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 845IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.25
Calories: 273
Keyword: casserole, easy chicken recipe, easy freezer meal, easy recipe ideas, gluten free, make-ahead meal, tex mex
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We don’t live on a particularly busy street, but Molly and Clara’s favorite late-afternoon pastime is watching the dogs + kids + runners as they pass by the front window.

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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. 5 stars
    This was a great alternative to the more labor intensive rolled enchilada/tortilla version. Got very good reviews from family. Who knew how easy and tasty it was to make homemade enchilada sauce. Thanks!