This Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole is creamy, cheesy, and flavorful. Made with shredded chicken, green chiles, sour cream, and cheese, it’s an easy weeknight recipe that you’re family will love!
About This Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe
This is one of those recipes that is so simple, it often doesn’t even feel like a recipe. I make it at least once a month for my family.
- Simple Ingredients – There aren’t a ton of ingredients (just 8 in fact!), and they are all common and easy to find at just about any grocery store.
- Easy to Whip Up – It takes about 12-15 minutes to put together. Then the rest of the time is just baking in the oven.
- Customize the Layers – If you like your enchiladas saucier, use more sauce. Cheesier? Use more cheese! You can make this your own and customize the amounts as you like.
- Kid Friendly – My kids have always loved this because the heat level is pretty mild. Now that they’re older, they can handle a little more heat, so I use spicier enchilada sauce and sometimes I’ll add diced jalapenos instead of green chiles.
- Corn tortillas – Any brand will do. Do not use flour tortillas as they will just become mushy.
- Green enchilada sauce – mild or spicier.
- Chicken – Shred up leftover chicken or use meat off of a rotisserie chicken.
- Cheddar-jack cheese – The best melting cheese will be freshly grated off the block. If you prefer pre-shredded you are welcome to use that but keep in mind that pre-shredded cheese has a starch coating that prevents proper melting.
- Cream cheese – The block style, full-fat cream cheese will have the best melt and creaminess, but I have used whipped cream cheese with good results.
- Sour cream – Full fat; I have not tried Greek yogurt but I’m sure that it would be a fine substitute.
- Green chiles – One small can.
- Sliced olives – For topping; optional but highly recommended.
How To Make Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Make the filling. Combine the shredded chicken, green chiles, sour cream, and cream cheese. I like to use a stand mixer to make easy work of the mixing.
- Build the casserole. Layer the ingredients in a casserole dish as follows: sauce, corn tortillas (break them up to fit in your dish), chicken filling, and cheese, then repeat the process until you’ve used up the ingredients or until your baking dish is full.
- Top layer. For the top of the casserole, layer corn tortillas, sauce, lots of cheese, and sliced olives.
- Bake. Cover with foil and bake at 350℉ for about 50-60 minutes. If the top of the casserole is touching the foil, stick in toothpicks to hold the foil up and keep the cheese from sticking.
The likely answer is that there is too much sauce and not enough filling. You don’t have to use all of the sauce in the can – you don’t want it to look soupy.
Depending on personal preference, you can use white or dark meat. I recommend using all white meat or a combination of white and dark, like from a rotisserie chicken. I do not recommend using all dark meat (legs and thighs) because it can get too greasy.
I like the combination of cheddar and jack cheese, but I have also used all sharp cheddar. The key is to have a cheese with a flavor you like, that melts well, and that’s freshly grated off the block.
Corn tortillas work best for a casserole. Flour tortillas will get mushy and fall apart.
Yes. Cover the casserole with foil, using toothpicks if necessary to keep the foil from sticking to the cheese. Covering with foil keeps the top from getting too dark while the rest of the casserole cooks.
Absolutely – just be sure to use 2 casserole dishes.
Make Ahead and Storage
This delicious casserole is an easy make-ahead dish, and it also freezes beautifully. Put one in the fridge to bake later that day, and put one in the freezer!
- Refrigerator: For leftovers, cool completely, then cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezer: Cover with plastic wrap and foil to protect from freezer burn. Leftovers should be used within a couple of months unbaked for 3-4 months.
- Reheating: Easily reheat individual portions in the microwave.
- Make Ahead: Prepare the casserole, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to 4 months or refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking. If frozen, thaw before baking.
Building a casserole like this is simple, but can take some time. I’ve got a handful of great tips to help!
- Rotisserie chicken – Use store-bought Rotisserie Chicken. Not only is it more flavorful, but it’s also a huge time saver.
- For easy mixing – Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to not only shred the chicken, but to blend with the sour cream, cream cheese, and green chiles.
- Cream cheese – Use whipped cream cheese instead of the block. It’s not a money saver, but will save the step of bringing the cream cheese to room temperature.
- Layering tip – When layering the ingredients, don’t worry about spreading the chicken mixture. Just plop several spoonfuls down and let the next layer of tortillas spread the mixture as you press down.
- Don’t forget the olives – Now, you can definitely make this casserole without them if you like, but they do add a nice saltiness and texture to this already amazing meal.
- Cheese sticking to the foil – Before covering to bake, stick some toothpicks about halfway into the top, then cover loosely with foil. This will keep the cheese from sticking to the foil when you uncover it.
More Mexican Recipes
- 12-16 corn tortillas
- 28 ounce can green chile enchilada sauce mild or medium
- 3 cups shredded chicken rotisserie works well
- 3 cups cheddar-jack cheese freshly grated
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 ounce can green chiles
- 4 ounce can sliced olives well drained, optional
Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 13″x9″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine shredded chicken, sour cream, cream cheese and green chiles.
Pour about ½ cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a well-greased baking dish. Layer corn tortillas on top, breaking as necessary to form a single layer.
Continue layering as follows – a third of the chicken mixture, a third of the cheese, a third of the remaining sauce. Repeat with 2 more layers, finishing with a layer of tortillas, then sauce, then cheese. Feel free to add more cheese as desired. Top evenly with sliced olives.
Cover baking dish with nonstick foil. If you don’t have nonstick foil, stick several toothpicks into the casserole to keep the foil from touching the cheese. Bake, covered, for about 40 minutes at 350℉.
Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more, or until cheese is completely melted and casserole is hot and bubbly.
I like to use my stand mixer for shredding the chicken, and then it’s ready to also mix in the cream cheese!
Calories: 667kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 39gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 2003mgPotassium: 405mgFiber: 6gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1937IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 546mgIron: 3mg