It’s been FAR too long since I’ve done a solid casserole dish. Layer everything up in a pan and bake it off for the perfectly easy prep, easy clean up dinner. Get your oven ready to bake some Cheesy Red Chicken Enchilada Casserole!
You may be thinking “Waitwaitwait, this girl’s obsessed with autumn. What is this non seasonal casserole business?!?” First of all, you can add an autumn spin on anything, so if you want to throw in some butternut squash feel free! Secondly, I was definitely eating a Harry Potter Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake and watching Hocus Pocus while assembling this red chicken enchilada casserole and planning my next pumpkin infused recipe for next week….😇. Basically, this casserole is so easy you can multi-task like crazy.
Anyhoo, if you’ve been reading along with me since the get go, you might remember my Vegetarian Black Bean Enchilada Casserole recipe from a couple years back. It’s still one of my most popular recipes! Even so, I’ve been asked several times if I have any kind of meat version for those who prefer a little more chicken or steak in their diet. And you know what?
I’ve got plenty of straight up chicken enchilada and taco recipes, but no casserole version! So let’s get to it. A super easy version of the somewhat more difficult classic chicken enchilada, and more bang for your buck too! I always find when I make enchiladas, I have a quite a bit of the filling left over. Definitely no filling left with this casserole!
In the past, I’ve used El Pato to add some heat to my Mexican dishes. However, for this recipe, I added an adobo chili and a little bit of the sauce when spicing up the chicken on the stove. Just a touch of that adobo and you’ve got heat for days! It also adds a really great, ever so slight smoky flavor to this red chicken enchilada casserole.
Also, something super handy about this recipe? It uses up any extra cooked chicken you’ve got hanging out in the fridge! It’s that time of year where roasted chicken becomes a staple at the dinner table. Any leftovers can be thrown right into this dish! If you’re completely out of already cooked chicken, no worries. Cook up some fresh, flavorful chicken breasts that are perfect for some cheesy red chicken enchilada casserole in just 20 minutes!
PS. This recipe freezes well so any leftovers throw in a couple containers, freeze up to 4 weeks and reheat as desired! Enchilada casserole for daaaays 😁.Print
For the Enchilada Casserole
- 1 lb cooked chicken, shredded*
- 24 corn tortillas
- 1 cup cooked corn kernels (thawed if frozen, drained if canned)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ounce can green chilis
- 1 chile in adobo sauce, diced + 1/2 teaspoon of the sauce
- 1/4 cup medium salsa (I used La Victoria)
- 2 cups red enchilada sauce
- 4 cups Mexican cheese blend
For the Mexican Spice Blend
- 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease a 9X13 casserole dish and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for Mexican spice blend. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shredded chicken, garlic, corn, bell pepper, green chilis, adobo chile plus sauce, salsa, 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce and Mexican spice blend to the skillet, stirring to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
- Lay 8 tortillas on the bottom of the pan (overlapping is fine). Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce onto the tortillas, fully coating them.
- Sprinkle half of the chicken mixture on top of the sauced tortillas and top with a third of the cheese blend.
- Repeat the layering process starting again with the tortillas, then add sauce, then the rest of the chicken mixture and another third of the cheese.
- Top this second layer with another 8 tortillas. Coat with remaining sauce and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
- Place in the middle rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling, cheese is melted and the middle is cooked through.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes. Drizzle with a little sour cream*, and sprinkle with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and sliced chives. Serve immediately with fresh ground black pepper as desired.
*For a quick, 20 minute chicken recipe perfect for this dish, check out my red chicken enchilada recipe.
*To get drizzly sour cream, add a 1/2 cup or so to a bowl and slowly drizzle in a little milk, a teaspoon or 2 at a time, stirring in between, until it reaches desired consistency.