Craving cheesy, flavorful green enchiladas without all the hassle? This super easy chili chicken enchilada casserole is just the ticket! Featuring layers of tender shredded chicken, two types of melty cheeses, tangy green chilis, and flakey corn tortillas, these stacked enchiladas deliver all the deliciousness without the fuss! Best of all, you’ll need just 8 basic ingredients and 10 minutes to prepare it.
Featured comment: It’s freezing here so cheesy comfort food is totally where it’s at! Enchiladas are one of my husband’s absolute favorite but I get SO lazy rolling them up so I thought this stacked bake would be the perfect solution! It’s amazing and I love how easy it is!” – Katie
Update: This post was originally published in January 2017. I made edits to the post below, including a recipe video showing you exactly how easy this green enchilada casserole with chicken and green chiles is to make at home.
Hi, friends! I hope you are ready for the most delicious and ridiculously easy chicken casserole recipe. Because this seriously scrumptious chicken green chile enchilada casserole is the type of easy that only requires 8 ingredients and 10 minutes of active preparation.
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About this recipe for green chicken enchilada casserole
I refer to this recipe as a chicken enchilada casserole, but you can also call it stacked enchiladas, flat enchiladas, enchilada pie, Mexican lasagna or Cheater Enchiladas Suizas – your pick. Obviously the “cheater” part can be our little secret. 😉
This enchilada verde casserole is legitimately everything I want in comfort food. Layers upon layers of flaky corn tortillas, tender chicken, mild n’ zippy green salsa verde, mild green chiles, rich sour cream, and oodles of oozy cheese.
Load the top up with pico de gallo, a few slices of avocado, a dollop of sour cream, even MORE cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime for some brightness, then DIG IN. It’s simply the bee’s knees.
Why you’ll love this green enchilada casserole
TL;DR? This gorgeous and deeply satisfying stacked green chili chicken enchilada casserole is:
- Quick & Easy – You only need 10 minutes of active prep to get the enchiladas verdes casserole in the oven, and it’ll be ready for enthusiastically devouring after just 30 minutes in the oven.
- Made With Only 8 Ingredients – A short ingredient list is just what the doctor ordered for busy weeknights.
- Cozy & Comforting – With a triple threat of ooey-gooey cheese, rich and tangy sour cream, and plenty of juicy chicken, this is the definition of comfort food. It’s a super easy weeknight dinner both kids and adults alike love and enjoy.
- Versatile – Turn them into vegetarian stacked cheese enchiladas, use pulled pork instead of chicken, or swap in red enchilada sauce to keep things interesting.
What’s a green enchiladas casserole?
Before we dive into discussing green enchilada casseroles, let’s quickly chat green enchiladas. Green enchiladas, known as ‘Enchiladas Suizas’ is a creamy, cheesy enchilada dish that originated at Sanborn’s cafe in Mexico City. The name, enchiladas suizas, means “Swiss enchiladas.” The adjective ‘swiss’ or ‘suizas’ is used to indicate that the enchiladas are topped with a milk or cream-based white sauce, such as béchamel.
While regular enchiladas are made of corn tortillas rolled around a filling and covered with sauce, a chicken green enchilada casserole is essentially a stacked, open-face version of enchiladas. You take the same ingredients found in green chile chicken enchiladas – corn tortillas, filling, and sauce – and layer them on top of each other much like a lasagna, versus rolling them up like a burrito. The staked and layered green chile chicken enchiladas casserole is made in a large casserole dish and then baked in the oven until warm and bubbly.
Ingredients in green chili chicken enchilada casserole
This recipe for stacked enchiladas requires fewer than 10 ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Corn Tortillas – Feel free to use either store-bought or homemade tortillas. Also, please note that I don’t suggest replacing the corn tortillas with flour tortillas, which have a tendency to get soggy and gummy when coated in sauce.
- Salsa Verde – Making your own salsa verde is a deeply satisfying experience, but feel free to swap in your favorite store-bought salsa. If using a brand, look for a quality label you trust, because some of the (cheaper) ones are quite salty.
- Cooked Chicken – You’ll need 2 1/2 cups of cooked chicken for this enchilada casserole chicken recipe. You can shred or chop the chicken depending upon your personal preference. I like to either use a rotisserie chicken or purchase those packs of chopped cooked chicken breast to save time.
- Red Onion – I love the color and texture red onions bring to the party.
- Substitution: Swap in yellow, sweet, or white onions instead.
- Canned Diced Green Chiles – Cans of green chiles are a staple in my kitchen because they add tons of flavor without any fuss.
- Sour Cream – Whenever possible, I always recommend using full-fat dairy products, as low-fat and fat-free versions are loaded with weird stabilizers and artificial ingredients.
- Substitution: If you want to use something lighter, I suggest reaching for full-fat Greek yogurt instead.
- Mexican Queso Oaxaca – This mild white melting cheese, also known as queso quesillo, is like a mix between Monterey Jack and stringy mozzarella. Feel free to swap in block-style mozzarella if needed.
- Monterey Jack Cheese – Creamy, mild, and perfectly melty, Monterey Jack will forever be one of my favorite cheeses. Feel free to swap in another mild cheese variety, such as pepper jack cheese, a Mexican blend, or even havarti or gouda.
As with most of the recipes I share here on NSN, there are plenty of ways for you to tailor this chicken green chile enchilada casserole recipe. Here are a few variants to consider:
- Add spices – My favorite way to customize a recipe? Play around with seasonings! I love adding ground cumin, chili powder or cayenne pepper, and coriander.
- Swap the sauces – While I love stacked green enchiladas, there’s no rule against using green enchilada sauce or red enchilada sauce instead. Feel free to use either store-bought or homemade.
- Make them vegetarian – You’re welcome to omit the chicken and swap in the roasted veggies of your choice, or simply add more cheese to the mix.
- Use different meat – Pulled pork, leftover steak, gringo-style taco meat, or even shrimp can be swapped in this green chile chicken enchiladas casserole if you prefer.
- Optional Toppings – Much like tacos, part of the fun of eating this flat enchilada casserole is adding all the toppings your heart desires! Here are some of my favorites:
How to make green enchilada chicken casserole
This chicken green chile enchilada casserole with chicken recipe is easier than pie! Here’s how it is done:
Warm the tortillas: Stack half of the tortillas onto a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave the tortillas in 30-second bursts until warmed throughout. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Assemble enchilada casserole: Spread half a cup of the sauce (salsa) into the bottom of a 9-by-9-inch baking dish. Cut 1 tortilla into quarters and place them in the corners of the pan. Cut 2 tortillas in half and add a layer of tortillas to the sides of the pan. Finally, layer the last tortilla in the middle. Top with half of the chicken mixture, half of the red onion, half of the chiles, half of the sour cream, one third of the remaining salsa and one third of the cheeses. Repeat layering the ingredients again. Then, finish the enchilada chicken bake with a final layer of the remaining tortillas, salsa and cheeses.
Bake: Transfer the green chicken enchilada casserole to a 375-degree oven and bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melty, about 25-35.
Garnish and serve: Remove the stacked green chicken enchiladas from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Allow the enchilada chicken casserole to cool slightly before you sprinkle on any topping or Mexican accompaniments, such as guacamole, sour cream and tomatoes. Enjoy green chile chicken enchiladas casserole immediately!
Expert tips for the best chicken green chile enchilada casserole
- Grate your own cheese. I always recommend buying blocks of cheese and shredding them yourself. The pre-shredded cheese has preservatives and a starchy coating that makes the flavor (and texture) sub-par. For an enchilada verde casserole with the perfect cheese-pull, shred the cheese yourself.
- Warm the tortillas a bit before stacking. You can do this in the microwave or in the oven. I have included instructions for both in the green chili chicken enchilada casserole recipe below.
- Don’t be afraid to cut the tortillas. You can stack them in the casserole dish however you like, but I found cutting some of the tortillas into fourths (for the corners of the pan) and halves for the sides of the pan works best. (See the video below for reference on how I did it!)
FAQs: frequently asked questions
Can you make chicken enchilada casserole ahead of time?
Great question! Since this is such a quick and easy recipe, I’ve unfortunately never tried to prepare it a day ahead. With that said, I don’t see why you can’t prepare the enchilada casserole in advance. If I was going to make them ahead, here’s how I’d do it:
- Prepare the stacked enchiladas according to directions. (Do not bake)
- Cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or foil.
- Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- Bake the dish straight from the refrigerator and increase the baking time by approximately 10-12 minutes or until they are hot and bubbly and completely heated through.
If you try preparing them in advance, leave a review in the comments, there’s nothing I love more than hearing how recipes turn out for you.
What cheese is best for green enchiladas casseroles?
I’m partial to creamy and mild options like Monterey Jack and Queso Oaxaca. Other good options include asadero cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or Havarti.
Serving green chile chicken enchiladas casserole
This deliciously gooey and cheesy green chile chicken enchiladas casserole recipe with salsa verde is a great meal all on its own. However, of course you’re welcome to add a supporting cast of other Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites.
- Chips and Dip: Hard to find a simpler side than salty tortilla chips and warm chili con queso or guacamole.
- Salads: This cucumber salad avocado, corn salad with tomatoes and avocado, or my Mexican bean salad and the perfect lighter pairing option.
- Beans: You can’t go wrong with enchiladas and the magical fruit (lol). These fan-favorite charros beans are my recommendation; however, refried beans are great too.
- Corn: Mexican street corn or simple grilled corn on the cob are more simple and delicious side dishes.
- Rice and Grains: Mexican cauliflower rice is ideal here; however any rice you love or broccoli rice works too.
- Slaws: Mexican cole slaw or sweet cole slaw. Or top your chicken enchilada casserole with a fried egg for enchiladas in the style of New Mexico. Oh, and don’t forget the margaritas!
While this tasty green chili chicken enchilada casserole meal is perfect any time of year, I find that it’s most welcome on cold, damp, and dark days as a reminder of warmer times to come. 😎
Storing chicken green chili enchilada casserole
- The assembled, unbaked chicken enchilada stack recipe can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking, or frozen for up to a month. To serve, allow to defrost overnight in the fridge, then bake according to the recipe instructions, adding about 10-12 minutes of bake time to let them heat all the way through.
- Leftovers of the enchilada bake can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to a month.
- To reheat, allow the green chili chicken enchilada casserole mixture to defrost overnight in the fridge, then bake at 350F until warmed through and bubbly.
Alright, amigos! I hope you love this deliciously cheesy green chile chicken enchiladas casserole as much as we do. Make it next time you’re feeling comfort food — it’s sure to warm you up! Oh, and just in queso you didn’t know, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments section below!
Until next time, remember that nobody stacks up to you. Cheers!
More fast Mexican chicken casserole dinners!
If you love this easy Mexican enchilada bake, try one of these delicious south-of-the-boarder recipes next!
How to make the best green chili chicken enchilada casserole! (Plus, step-by-step video.) 👇
Green Enchilada Casserole
- 1 9x9-inch Casserole Dish
- 12 whole 6-inch Corn Tortillas - Warmed (SEE NOTES)
- 4 Cups Salsa Verde (SEE NOTES)
- 2 ½ Cups Cooked Chicken – shredded or chopped (SEE NOTES)
- 1/3 Cup Red Onion – finely chopped
- 1 (4 ounce) Can Chopped Green Chiles - drained
- ¾ Cup Sour Cream - plus more for garnish
- 1 ¼ heaping Cup Mexican Queso Oaxaca - shredded (substitute: mozzarella)
- 1 ¼ heaping Cup Monterey Jack Cheese – shredded
- To Taste Salt and Pepper
- Optional Garnish: Pico de Gallo
- Optional Toppings: Lime Wedges, Sliced Avocado or Guacamole, Green Onion
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Start enchilada casserole: Spread ½ cup of the salsa verde into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Cut 1 tortilla in ¼ and place them in the corners of the pan. Cut 2 tortillas in half and place them in the sides of the pan. Finally, layer the last tortilla in the middle.
- Layer with the good stuff: Top with half of the chicken, half of the red onion, half of the chiles, half of the sour cream, one third of the remaining salsa and one third of the cheeses. Then, repeat the layer. Finish the enchilada casserole with a final layer of the remaining tortillas, salsa and cheeses.
- Bake: Transfer to the oven and bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, about 25-35.
- Garnish: Remove the casserole from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Allow the enchiladas to cool slightly (3-5 minutes) before topping with optional garnishes, such as pico, cilantro, avocado, and sour cream.
- Serve: Cut the casserole into 6-8 portions and enjoy immediately.
- Salsa: You can either use store bought or homemade salsa verde. If using store bought, look for a quality brand you trust, because some of the (cheaper) varieties are quite salty.
- Chicken: You can either shred or chop the cooked chicken depending of your preference. And, you can either cook your own chicken, purchase a rotisserie or buy those packs of chopped, cooked chicken breast. As long as you have about 2 ½ cups of cooked chicken, it doesn’t really matter what route you take, just make or buy what you like.
- Cheese: I always recommend buying the blocks of cheese and shredding them yourself. The pre-shredded stuff has preservatives which make the flavor (and texture) sub-par.
- Tortillas: You will need to warm the tortillas a bit before stacking. It's easiest to do this in the microwave:
- Warming tortillas in the microwave: Place half (6 each) of the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave the tortillas in 30-second bursts until warmed throughout. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- However, you can use the oven if you prefer: Wrap half of the tortillas in aluminum foil and repeat with remaining tortillas. Place in a 350 degree F oven for 15-18 minutes, or until warmed through.
- Stacking chicken enchiladas: You can stack the tortillas in the casserole dish however you like, but I found cutting some of them into ¼’ths (for the corners of the pan) and ½’s for the sides of the pan works best. (See the video for reference on how I did it!)
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