Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Bad news. We have termites, maybe.

A few weeks ago, we decided to buy a table from the downtown market. Who knew getting downtown and back could take all day? Traffic here is out of control and efficiency is not a strong point of the market experience. But in the end we hauled our large wood table and six chairs straight up into our apartment and gazed upon the beauty of a piece of real furniture.

And when I say we hauled it, I mean that maybe my job was holding the McDonald’s that we picked up on our way home and supervising the lifters.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

We’ve had friends over for dinner (four friends, to be exact) and we’ve had some sweet kids from the shelter over to make cookies. Since it’s really the only group-friendly furniture we have, everything centers around that table. We love it.

Then, the discovery.

Bjork found a little pile of mystery dust under one of the chairs.  A hop, skip, and a jump through Google images confirmed, unofficially, that we have termites. And then a search of the apartment confirmed that those ants we have? Are actually termites. Probably. It’s kind of hard to tell because they’re small and fast and we try not to look at them.

Whatever they are, they’re EV-ERY-WHERE. Bedroom. Office. Kitchen. Coming out of the electrical sockets. How does that even work?

The plan is still TBD. Right now option #3 (ignore the situation and put out more a few more of those sticky ant traps) is looking mighty appealing.

But come on now. That was gross of me to talk about termites when I really needed to talk THIS.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is a Chicken Enchilada Casserole and it’s sososososo delicious. It’s like taking all the goodness of an enchilada, stacking it up, and baking it under a layer of cheese. It’s also incredibly easy. Hello, did you see that there are only FIVE ingredients here? As I was writing the recipe out I kinda couldn’t believe it. It looks and feels and tastes like something that took a really long time to make. It’s like free work or something.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Here’s whatcher gonna do.

Put some sauce down. Now layer away. We’ve got tortillas, beans, chicken, cheese and sauce all up in there. Go for it.

Now let’s top it all off with ze cheese. You pick! I used Mozzarella because I had it. You could use Monterrey Jack or Provolone or Colby Jack or Mexican flavored cheese or anything you want. Naturally. It’s a “casserole” after all, right?  Lots of cheese is necessary.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole Ingredients

Now bake it.

And wait a while.

And now, dig in.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

If I’m being honest, I ate this at 9am on a Sunday morning while Bjork was still asleep.

And that, my friends, is the definition of food blogging.

4.9 from 18 reviews
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 19 ounces (about 2 ½ cups) enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used Mozzarella because I had it on hand)
  • 6-8 small flour tortillas
  • 1 can refried beans (I like Amy’s Organic Refried Black Beans – so yummy!)
Instructions
  1. Cook and shred the chicken. I do this by boiling a large pot of water and cooking the chicken breasts in the water for about 30 minutes until cooked through. Then I shred the chicken with 2 forks. You can do this ahead of time.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a few spoonfuls of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a glass square baking dish (mine was 9x9) to prevent sticking. Place 2 tortillas in the bottom of the dish, overlapping to cover the entire surface. Layer the beans, chicken, cheese, sauce, and tortillas; repeat once to make a total of 2 layers. For me this was about ⅓ cup refried beans, 1 cup of the chicken, ½ cup cheese, and about ¾ cup enchilada sauce in each layer.
  3. Cover the top with the remaining enchilada sauce and 1 cup cheese. Cover the baking dish with well-oiled aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown and sauce is bubbling.
  4. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving (otherwise it will be a soupy mess – delicious, but not ideal). Top with sliced green onions or cilantro.
Notes
To get each layer completely covered with tortillas, I cut 2 additional tortillas into fourths and used them to cover the corners. This is not necessary but it helps when you layer your ingredients.

Nutrition Enchilada

Now go eat this for dinner with your family or friends on a termite-free table and you’ll be livin the good life.


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Comments

  1. Ewww termites. Yummm chicken enchiladas! I’ll forget about termites long enough to eat that!!

  2. This is calling my name. Love, love, love. Hopefully you can live a termite free life soon :)

  3. Chicken enchilada bakes are one of my all time favorite go-to dinners! Talk about mass with class. This is one of the most simple, yet clearly delicious, versions I’ve seen.
    And UGH on the unwanted house guests. Hope you can get it sorted out soon!

  4. My eyeballs are totally freaking out.

  5. Looks delicious! Sorry about the termites ;(

  6. Such a bummer about the termites!

    This looks totes delish though! ;)

  7. Sorry about the termites! Just pretend they aren’t there…

    “Lots of cheese is necessary” – I find this is usually the case! :-)

  8. Oh noooo, termites sound terrible :( At least you have this to cheer you up (in the morning)?

  9. I love enchiladas, but hate making them, so this is a great solution. Looks fantastic.

    Hope the landlord can do something about the termites. Soon.

  10. This is how I do it if I’m feelin’ lazy and don’t want to roll them. I’ve done all kinds of variations, usually in a pie plate, and you’re right, it’s so dang easy and so dang good. I’m partial to the green sauce, but both are, as Tony The Tiger would say, Grrrrrrreat! I’m thinkin’ I need to get it on the menu for next week.
    Good luck with the bugs. Ick.

  11. Why does your food always look SO good??!! It’s only 9am here and now I’m hungry :)

  12. Ugh, termites! We had them in the walls of an old apartment. Super gross, I agree. However, the exterminators used orange oil to get rid of them, so there are solutions. At least you have some delicious enchiladas in the meantime!

  13. I think there’s nothing better for breakfast than these enchiladas! yum!

  14. Eeek! Termites, I however enjoy your solution of just ignoring them – it generally is my first reaction to bug issues. These enchiladas will help forgetting about them, at least for a little while!

  15. That is a tasty looking recipe…my wife is the queen of enchiladas…i think she would dig this!

  16. This dish looks great and I will be making it asap!! Wish I had the ingredients in the fridge tonight but it will have to wait for the next grocery trip. So sorry to hear about your termites. Luckily they don’t want to bite people…but that is little help when they are eating your possessions! We had the buggers in Hawaii and it was so upsetting. Hope you find a solution soon.

  17. I’m such a huge fan of your website. Thank you for all the pictures that make my day brighter…

    THANKS

  18. Shoot I really hope is not termites. I just made an enchilada casserole two days ago as well, we love it :-) Yours looks delicious!!

  19. I hope you manage to find a solution to your termite-woes; we’ve had them before and they’re a complete and utter pain. I can imagine that a big plate of cheesy enchilada goodness would make it all seem a bit less painful though.

  20. The pictures make my mouth water. This recipe looks so delicious.

  21. i love mexican food…this sounds soooooo good….and totally bums about termites :-( I could not imagine.

  22. Saw this post before grocery shopping just when I was in need of a new menu item. These were easy and delicious and sadly were so popular there is not much leftover! Will be making this again soon. New to your blog but love it!

  23. Thanks so much for the great recipe! I made it tonight with the addition of two ingredients–black beans and black olives. I sprinkled both on top of each of the refried bean layers. It came out so good that my family had huge servings and my daughter even went back for seconds. Luckily I made a bigger version in a 9 x 13 pan so we have leftovers for tomorrow. :-)

    • Yum! Sounds great! I love your additions – I’ve also added roasted vegetables which is reeeally yummy too! :)

      • Everyone agreed that this Chicken Enchilada Casserole tasted even better the second night than it did the first! I love finding recipes that make both my kids and my husband happy. I’ll definitely be making this one again and again! Thanks for sharing the recipe! :-)

  24. Oh, dear… termites?! You are a brave soul.
    BTW… Are you able to cast an absentee ballot from so far away?

  25. “And that, my friends, is the definition of food blogging.” Haha! That made me laugh so hard because I have definitely found myself doing the same thing! This dish looks delicious. Hope you figure out the termite situation!

  26. Oh goodness, yes let’s talk about this casserole because to me it doesn’t get much better than that.

  27. This looks SOOOOOO good! Good luck with the termites.

  28. Oh no! I feel your pain. Somehow we went 2 years with not a single bug in our kitchen and now we have ants. I’ve emptied the kitchen twice and cleaned every surface and I swear there’s nothing for them to eat but they keep coming. Good luck with the termites – at least it’s a “rental”. ;)

  29. termites – what a buzzkill. not on your post but on your dinner party! that stinks Lindsay and Bjork! Sorry guys. :(

    This casserole though – saving my LIFE. I need something like this this week. I have a terrible work week ahead but coming home to THIS would undoubtedly make work that much more tolerable – esp as I approach the 5 o’clock hour!! Saving this recipe. And my god, I more more in love with your photos post after post guys :)

  30. First of all, sorry to hear about your house and the uninvited “termites” guests. Hope you can find a solution that fits better to your family!

    Last week I made some chicken enchiladas for my family and my husband (who has become a food critic, somehow) was mentioning that it needed something, more sauce, to be exact. Your chicken enchiladas looks like it fits his pallet a lot better, I’m for sure giving it a try!

  31. the recipe looks super but the picture is totally awesome.

  32. This looks so simple and so yummy . . . cannot wait to try it!

  33. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. Good luck on the unwanted pets. As always love reading your blog – makes me smile everytime :)

  34. So sorry about the termites! But these enchiladas are absolutely to die for! I’m totally making this for Jason when he comes back to town!

  35. Printed this one! Looks yummo! And I LOVE simple, few ingredient recipes. :) Praying those termites catch a train out of your apartment!

  36. Could corn tortillas be used in place of flour with similar results?

  37. That really sucks about the termites! I can’t even imagine having to deal with something like that!

    At least the enchilada casserole looks amazing…

  38. That looks ridiculously amazing! I must try this recipe.

  39. Did you know that this recipe is the second-most “favorited” recipe on foodgawker in the last 7 days? wooo! :)

  40. I think I need to make this for my hubby tomorrow night. Love the video you and Bjork made! I don’t know how you fit everything in. If your lovely mom is still with you, give her a big Hello for me. Love you all!

  41. Sarah Johnston says:

    I made this last weekend. It was a great meal to heat up all week long. Very cheesy!

  42. Hi Lindsay, I just want to say thank you for the generosity in sharing all of the information you do here. We’re new to food blogging, still crawling, and my husband has become your blog’s most ardent fan, probably. We’re Filipinos and we enjoy the stories you share about the Philippines, yes, even those of termites! We hope you get it treated soon! And, by the way, Mexican is my favourite cuisine and this casserole dish looks wonderful, thanks!

    • That’s awesome! You are officially the first Filipina that I know who really loves Mexican food. I miss my Mexican food so much and it seems like people here aren’t really into it! What part of the Philippines do you live in?

      • My mom’s crazy about Mexican food (she used to live in California) so passed that love down to me and my siblings. We used to live in Davao City and now are based near Toronto. I have a sister-in-law in Cebu. :)

  43. I made this the other night for my husband and we ate the whole thing. Yes, the. Whole. Thing. In one sitting. Stop making things that are so delicious or we will get fat.
    We added some things to feel less guilty about eating all of it. I roasted about 1 cup of corn with 1 diced jalapeno and some garlic cloves and oregano, and layered that with the chicken. We also used black beans instead of refried because my husband is addicted to black beans.
    Then, we drizzled the whole thing with honey, probably one tablespoon, right in the middle layer before adding the cheese. The honey accented the spiciness of the jalapeno just perfectly.
    And then we ate the whole thing. It was just too delicious.

  44. This looks like a lasagna, not enchiladas. If you look at the can sauce those are enchiladas!

  45. Mine turned out watery/soupy… should I have cooked it longer? I followed the directions and it tasted great but it didn’t look as good as yours in the pictures.

    • Did you let it cool for a while? It needs to rest a while after baking so that it all kinda soaks together.

      • Yeah I let it rest for 15 minutes and it helped it set a little bit but it was still runny. I think next time I wont put in the entire 19oz can of enchilada sauce and see how it goes!

  46. This recipe is fantastic! I’ve made it twice – the first time for a potluck – and everybody wanted the recipe!

  47. Delicious… and easy. I added a small can of sliced black olives and used a rectangular glass pan, but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Looking forward to serving leftovers to my son and fiance.

  48. Looks great! Can’t wait to make it. My “go to” tip for shredded chicken is to throw a few breasts along with broth into a slow cooker on low for 4 hours. I always make this ahead of time when I’m around home on the weekends and freeze it for later use! Shreds much easier than when it’s boiled, although if you don’t have 4 hours and a slow cooker, boiling works just fine!

  49. This recipe looks amazing! Would be perfect for an upcoming potluck I have. I was wondering, will the enchiladas hold up if I assemble it the night before and refrigerate overnight?

  50. I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now and it always comes out great! Next time I’m going to try it with green chili sauce.

  51. This recipe is to die for I’ve made it 100 times!! I’m on a diet now so it’s hard to fit it in …. Would you happen to know the calorie content per serving??

  52. Love this recipe!! I added another layer of sauteed sweet onions and yellow peppers on top of the chicken. Excellent!!

  53. r4isdhc says:

    This is one awesome blog.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  54. I cooked this tonight. I used whole wheat flour tortillas. Turned out great. It’s always a compliment when our 4 year old likes something right away :)

  55. I will never soak, roll, repeat again!! So much easier! I made it tonight and will do so again and again! Love your page and all your recipes turn out awesome!
    Angie

  56. What a yummy recipe! My only change was using homemade crockpot refried beans I had in my freezer ( http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/08/29/recipe-easy-slow-cooker-refried-beans/). Big hit with the whole family, even the two year old who had three helpings! Thank you.

  57. Love the recipe, but now I’ll be thinking of termites LOL

  58. Man oh man this looks soooo good!! I live in South Africa and not too sure where I could find enchilada sauce but will definitely go hunting for it to give this recipe a try! YUMMMM!!

  59. This recipe looks delicious!!
    Was wondering if anyone knew if I could bake it in a nonstick metal pan instead of a glass pan?

  60. Jennifer says:

    I made this tonight, and it was soooo good!!! The only thing I changed was that after shredding the chicken I mixed some green chilies and cumin into it. My husband claims to dislike casseroles and beans, so I didn’t think he’d be a fan of this dish, but he loved it too!

  61. I was wondering if you think it would still turn out good if I used beef instead?

  62. Can you use corn tortillas instead of flour for a more authentic taste?

  63. Looks like you used a 9″ inch pan? Or was it more like a 7 x 11? Thanks.

  64. This looks wonderful but am worried the tortillas would get mushy? How do you keep them from absorbing into the sauce?

  65. SUPER easy way to shred chicken if you have a Kitchenaid or similar mixer: boil/cook/bake chicken as desired, then place breast (boneless, of course) one or two pieces at a time inside the mixing bowl and USE THE PADDLE ATTACHMENT on low for about 8-10 seconds. Seriously, it will shred before your eyes! My life was changed by this discovery LOL! We love enchiladas and chicken tortilla soup, so this is a HUGE time saver!!!

  66. Marianne C. says:

    I just wanted to make a suggestion regarding cooking the chicken breasts for this recipe. I got this method from Ina Garten and use it all the time. Boiling them does nothing for the flavor, and this is just as simple: First, use bone-in breasts with skin. Place in a glass baking dish and brush both sides with olive oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest until cool enough to handle. Moist and flavorful!

    That said, I can’t wait to try this! It looks and sounds absolutely delicious.

  67. Hi Lindsay!

    Just wanted to say a huge thank you for this delicious recipe! I made this for myself and my husband last night and it got a big thumbs up from him, and he is a very picky eater!

    Keep up the good work!

  68. Very very good. I had homemade refried beans and enchilada sauce available. With a side of corn. So good.

  69. I’ve commented before but I love this recipe so much I had to say again how great it is! Making it tonight for the Super Bowl! A little bit of a sour cream on the side it super good too!

  70. Hey, thanks, great recipe. I used smoked cheese and low carb tortillas. It was a little soupy so will be using corn tortillas next time. But the smoke cheese was outstanding in it. Also used costco grilled chicken chunk and it saved some extra time. Will be making this sgain and again.

  71. Rebecca says:

    I came across this from pinterest and made it the other day. This is sooo good! This is a definite repeat recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

  72. Apri Tucker says:

    Quick question, do you put a layer of tortillas on the top before adding the last of the sauce and cheese? Or are the tortillas only on the very bottom and middle? Thanks! Making this tonight!

    • Yes I think I did put tortillas on top for this one. But the one I recently made (a veggie version) was without. Good either way, IMO!

  73. Making this tonight. Incidentally, I discovered termites today. Ugh. And this place is not a rental.

    I’m hoping this casserole can help me forget that woe for a moment. I’m using refried black beans and green enchilada sauce since that’s what was in the pantry. Fresh avocado, sour cream, and cilantro for garnish should do it up just right. Thanks for the inspiration.

  74. This was so easy and so delicious! My husband, kids and I loved it. I will be making it often!

  75. Savannah Ray says:

    This looks so delicious! I have a question, though, instead of mozzarella can you put mexican blend of cheeses. That’s all I have with me. Thanks!

  76. Hey Lindsay!
    I’m just wondering about what 179 g looks like for this recipe? Would it be about one helping like in the picture above? This recipe was amazing, I loved it, thanks!!

    • Yes, mine was cut into 9 slices but 10-12 servings (as written in the recipe) would have been what I used to calculate the nutrition for the recipe.

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