Chicken Enchilada Casserole

It’s officially getting chillier out, so my job at dinnertime is to warm up the souls and bellies of my hungry, chilly family.  Gone for now are the dishes of summer, we’re moving on to comfort food.  This delicious dinner was exactly that!  Plus, since it’s from Cooking Light, I felt good about feeding it to my hungry bunch.

I started by making the filling.  I shredded up some leftover chicken, but you could also use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, added in some corn, chopped fresh cilantro, a little low-fat cream cheese, red pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper.

I also sautéed up some onions and garlic and added that to the chicken mixture as well.

As I was getting the filling ready, my salsa verde sauce was coming together on the stove. In my saucepan, some chopped onion, more garlic, chicken broth, bottled salsa verde, water and pickled jalapeno simmered together on the heat.  After about ten minutes, I poured it into my blender and let it sit for about 10 minutes before I pureed it.

As I was waiting for the sauce to cool a bit, I took the time to toast up some yellow corn tortillas on the stovetop.  I just laid a couple out in my pan and toasted them for about a minute on each side.  Once they were all toasted, I cut them into quarters.

Now, I was ready to put my dinner together!

I spread some of the salsa verde sauce over the bottom of my baking dish, and then layered in some tortillas and chicken.

I made another set of layers, and finished off with tortillas, the rest of the sauce, and a sprinkling of sharp cheddar cheese.  At this point, it was ready to head into the oven!

Fifteen minutes later, and I had a beautifully bubbly, chicken-cheesy, perfect little dinner in front of me.

 It was rich with flavor, creamy and comforting, but still light and fresh…with a little kick!  My kids added a bit of sour cream to the top to lessen the spice a bit.  I thought it was great, just the way it was.  It was the perfect way to warm up our kitchen, and my family, on a chilly fall night.


Adapted from Cooking Light: Weeknight One-Dish Meals

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican, Healthy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 3 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • ½ tsp. ground red pepper
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onion, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • ⅔ cup bottled salsa verde
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. pickled jalapeno pepper slices, chopped
  • 9 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat your oven to 425*
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the shredded chicken, 1½ Tbsp. of the cilantro, corn, cream cheese, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Spray a medium-sized skillet with nonstick spray. Heat over medium heat, and add ½ cup of the chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes, until soft. Add half of the minced garlic, and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove from the heat and mix into the chicken mixture.
  4. Combine the remaining 1½ cups chopped onion, remaining garlic, broth, salsa verde, water and chopped jalapeno in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, and then puree the mixture in a blender or food processor.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tortillas at a time to the pan and toast for about 1-11/2 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Slice the toasted tortillas into quarters.
  6. Spray a 2 quart baking dish (I used my 7x11 inch dish) with nonstick spray.
  7. Spread ½ cup of the salsa over the bottom of the dish. Arrange 12 tortilla slices over the sauce. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas. Repeat the layers, ending with tortillas.
  8. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle evenly with the cheddar cheese.
  9. Bake at 425* for 15 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.
  10. Top with remaining cilantro.
  11. ENJOY!


5 thoughts on “Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  1. Chicken enchilada casserole has become one of my go-to hearty meals, although I use canned enchilada sauce and don’t toast the tortillas. I do cook the chicken in broth and spices in the crock pot, and then layer it into the casserole.

    And I’ve substituted black beans for the chicken–I’ve been assembling the casserole and giving it to new moms in my neighborhood (we’re actually kind of a neighborhood of new moms, lately), and I don’t always know when someone doesn’t eat meat.

    • Mmm…sounds good! I thought about throwing some black beans in with this mixture when I made it, but I was out of beans!

  2. i stumbled upon your website and could not be happier, all of your recipes sound amazing and very user friendly to a beginner-scared-of-the-kitchen-newbie like myself. I made this recipe and OMG it was one of the best things I’ve ever made- we are two people and the casserole lasted two days since we kept going back for seconds. thank you!! looking forward to trying more of your recipes =)

    • How wonderful to hear from you! I’m so glad you happened by, and that the casserole was such a hit! It’s one of my favorites too. So cozy. Good for you for getting moving in the kitchen! Before you know it, it won’t be so scary. I promise! Hope you enjoy the site!

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