Bake a Shredded Chicken Enchilada Casserole in 3 Easy Steps

Updated on September 9, 2017
Sara Krentz profile image

Sara enjoys experimenting with casseroles, and she loves Mexican food. Sometimes, she combines the two.

Baked Enchilada Casserole
Baked Enchilada Casserole | Source

Easy Tex-Mex Recipe

This scrumptious, Mexican-style casserole is easy to put together, and it contains only a handful of ingredients. Once the ingredients are prepped, the casserole is prepared in just three easy steps. In about thirty minutes, it's ready to serve.

The featured casserole is made with shredded chicken in salsa, but it is a very versatile recipe. The chicken can easily be replaced with pork, beef, or shrimp. For a vegetarian version, use red beans and rice as the filling.

This dish easily feeds six to ten, depending on whether it is served alone or with sides. It is a very filling, satisfying meal, and it tastes just as delicious reheated. We like it with guacamole, sour cream, and tortilla chips. It also goes great with a side of black beans and rice.

As usual, I've included some bonus recipes for those who like to switch things up. For seafood lovers, there is a version with shrimp and crab meat, and for those who would rather have ground beef, there's a variation for you as well. You'll also find a recipe for chicken nachos, because who doesn't love a big plate of nachos?

Ready for the Oven
Ready for the Oven | Source

Ingredients

What You Will Need

  • 2 pounds cooked, shredded chicken in salsa (see link above for my easy recipe)
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped

Pyrex Bakeware

Pyrex Grip-Rite 3-Quart Oblong Baking Dish Clear
Pyrex Grip-Rite 3-Quart Oblong Baking Dish Clear

You will need a baking dish that is at least this big. I recommend Pyrex; I absolutely love their products. You can buy them with air-tight lids so that storing your leftovers is a breeze. You can even freeze leftovers, because the containers are all freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe. I own several sets of these, and I don't know how I ever managed without them.

 
1st Layer
1st Layer | Source

Cooking Instructions

Preparing the Casserole

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Spread about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) into a greased 9X13 inch glass baking dish. Overlap six corn tortillas in bottom of pan. Spread half of the chicken on top of the tortillas. Top with cilantro, scallions, and cheese. Add a second layer of enchilada sauce, tortillas, chicken, cilantro, scallions, and cheese. Top with any remaining enchilada sauce.

3. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for twenty minutes. Remove foil, and bake for an additional five to seven minutes.

Tips & Tricks

For a Hassle Free Experience

  • Cooking sprays tend to leave a sticky residue on bake-ware. The residue won't bake off or wash off. If you don't want to deal with that, put some cooking oil in the bottom of the baking dish instead; use a paper towel to evenly coat the inside of the pan. It keeps the food from sticking, and it washes off easily.
  • If at all possible, do try to use fresh cilantro instead of dried. Fresh cilantro has a much nicer flavor, plus it smells wonderful.
  • I find it easier to chop scallions with kitchen shears rather than a knife.
  • You may need to place a few toothpicks into the casserole prior to covering it with foil. This will keep the top layer of cheese from sticking to the aluminum foil during cooking.
  • The last time I made this, I accidentally bought flour tortillas, so that's what I used. The casserole was good, but not great; corn tortillas do make a difference, just in case you were wondering.

Source

Seafood Version

Here's a seafood variation of the same recipe. It doesn't require shredding chicken, and it's a nice way to change things up a bit if you make these every week. You may even want to add scallops or lobster, if your budget allows.

Seafood Version
Seafood Version | Source
  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 25 min
  • Ready in: 35 min
  • Yields: 6 - 10

Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 can (16 oz.) enchilada sauce
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) frozen shrimp (defrost them in the refrigerator the night before)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) crab meat
  • 1 julienned green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Set aside about 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, and pour the rest of the can into a medium sauce pan. Drain any water from the shrimp and crab meat, then add them, along with the bell peppers, to the sauce pan. Stir together, and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. (To avoid overcooking the shrimp, do not bring the mixture to a full boil). Remove from heat.
  3. Spread about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) into a greased 9X13 inch glass baking dish. Overlap six corn tortillas in bottom of pan. Spread half of the seafood mixture on top of the tortillas. Top with cilantro, scallions, and cheese. Add a second layer of tortillas, seafood mixture, cilantro, scallions, and cheese. Top with any remaining enchilada sauce.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for twenty minutes. Remove foil, and bake for an additional five to seven minutes.

Rate It

5 stars from 1 rating of Shrimp and Crab Enchilada Casserole
Ground Beef with Scallions
Ground Beef with Scallions | Source

Ground Beef Version

Time Saving Alternative

We wanted enchilada casserole one night, but I didn't have any chicken. So, I decided to brown some ground beef and add spices to make my own taco seasoning. Personally, I like the texture of the chicken better, but this was very good, and my husband enjoyed it.

I browned 2 pounds of ground beef. After draining it, I added about a half a cup of water, chopped scallions, seasoned salt, crushed red pepper, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. (I did not measure out any of the spices). I let the meat simmer in the spices for about 10 minutes until the flavors were well blended, then I assembled the casserole as instructed above (in the chicken recipe).

Did you make too much meat?

If you weren't able to use all of the meat mixture in your enchiladas, why not assemble some nachos out of the leftovers? These are easy to put together, and they are great as an appetizer or a full meal, depending on how much meat you have leftover.

Here's how I created the nachos in the photograph. Feel free use this as a guideline, and make your own substitutions according to taste. The possibilities are limitless.

I started with two pounds of chicken, which I slow cooked with water and a packet of taco seasoning rather than a jar of salsa. The chicken, along with black beans and rice, was layered over tortilla chips spread out on a plate. Next, shredded cheddar was sprinkled over everything. Then came a generous dose of Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Finally, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, sour cream, and guacamole topped off the nachos.

I stated that I created the nachos and, technically, I did all of the cooking and prepping. However, my talented husband actually assembled the nachos to look like a work of art; they don't look nearly as pretty when I put them together. He's a master of presentation.

Chicken Nachos with Sour Cream and Guacamole

A Plate of Loaded Nachos
A Plate of Loaded Nachos | Source

© 2011 Sara Krentz

Comments

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  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

    This looks good. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • justramblin profile image

    justramblin 4 years ago

    Yum, Shrimp and Crab Enchilada...Sounds just delightful. I agree with you - fresh cilantro is so much better than the dried stuff. No comparison. Thanks for some good dinner ideas.

  • KandDMarketing profile image

    KandDMarketing 5 years ago

    My favorite ... um, well, which ever I happen to be eating when asked! Thanks for the great recipes!

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    Looks delicious and healthy.

  • dc64 lm profile image

    dc64 lm 5 years ago

    I do so love enchiladas and haven't had one in years. This recipe looks quite easy with room for special touch's if one is so inclined.

  • CyberTech LM profile image

    CyberTech LM 5 years ago

    Anything Tex-Mex in my world! Your Chicken Enchilada Casserole is almost like mine, have to try yours next time!!

  • profile image

    Tamara14 5 years ago

    On my "to do" list as of now :) Thanks for the idea.

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    Casseroles are one of my favorite entrees. Love making them too. *blessed by a squid angel*

  • Sylvestermouse profile image

    Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

    This sounds really delicious!

  • Commandrix profile image

    Heidi 5 years ago from Benson, IL

    Looks yummy (and cheesy)! Authentic Mexican food ranks among my favorites. I'll have to try this sometime.

  • Sara Krentz profile image
    Author

    Sara Krentz 6 years ago from USA

    @tvyps: Tomorrow's black beans and rice : )

  • tvyps profile image

    Teri Villars 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    I would prefer someone cooked it for me...you free tomorrow? ha!

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