Chicken Tortilla Casserole

This chicken tortilla casserole is delicious and packed full of flavor. It’s easy to prep, easy to customize, and easy to devour!

I made some no-soak Instant Pot pinto beans and restaurant style guacamole to serve on the side and it was a hit! Everyone gave this chicken tortilla casserole two big thumbs up.

A 9x13-inch dish with portioned chicken tortilla casserole.

Ultra Simple Tortilla Casserole

This past year we pretty much avoided casseroles. Casseroles tend to be loaded with dairy, which was a big no-go for me and our little boy. But now that I’m out of the woods and he’s getting close, we’re re-discovering our love for all things cheese!

I wasn’t planning on making this chicken tortilla casserole, in fact, it was something I whipped up with ingredients we had on hand. Which means it’s easy and requires minimal ingredients.

Of course, if you want to add things like roasted corn, black beans or green chiles, you totally can! Dress it up, dress it down, no matter what you choose to do, it’s going to be delicious!

A close up of the layers inside of chicken tortilla casserole.

Ingredient Tips

Chicken: I prefer using chicken thighs for most of my casseroles, and if I’m being honest, I prefer grabbing a rotisserie chicken and pulling that versus boiling or pressure cooking my own. That’s just the busy/tired mom in me talking.

Enchilada Sauce: I prefer the brand Hatch. They make a variety of sauces and they’re all really good! You can use either red or green enchilada sauce for this recipe. 

Tortillas: We like using corn tortillas because they are a little more sturdy than flour tortillas, especially in the case of casseroles. With all the extra liquid, the flour tortillas fall apart more easily than the corn tortillas.

  • Can you warm them in the microwave? We recommend warming them in some oil in a pan, but you can always quickly warm them in the microwave. The oil method provides some crisp texture, which is usually hard to obtain in a casserole.

Additions: You can add some additional veggies of your choosing. Here are some suggestions.

  • Rinsed black beans 
  • Roasted corn
  • Diced green chiles
  • Fire roasted tomatoes

A can of hatch enchilada sauce to use in tortilla casserole.

Layering The Casserole

FILLING:

To prepare the filling, you’ll sauté the aromatics in oil, add chicken broth, seasonings, and then simmer the chicken. Pull it off the stovetop and let it rest for a few minutes while you get everything else ready. 

LAYERING: Layering the casserole is easy. To start, you’ll want to grease the bottom of the pan with oil to prevent sticking. I like to use avocado oil spray. Then layer as follows:

  • Pour in a 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce.
  • Place 6 tortillas over the enchilada sauce. They will overlap, that’s ok.
  • Spread 1/3 cup of the sour cream over top, followed by half of the chicken mixture, 1/4 cup of cheese, and a 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce.

REPEAT. Repeat by layering six tortillas, spread 1/3 cup of the sour cream over top, followed by the remaining chicken mixture, 1/4 cup of cheese, and a 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce.

TOP. Layer the remaining 6 tortillas on top, followed by the remaining enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.

Note: you can use whatever cheese you like. I tend to go with colby jack or monterrey jack, but pepper jack or plain cheddar would work too.

GARNISH & BAKE. Sprinkle the sliced green onions over top and cover with foil. 

Note: Covering with foil is key! It helps trap moisture inside which prevents it from drying out over time. I like to tent it for half or 3/4 of the baking time, then uncover it and continue baking so that the cheese/edges get a little brown but not burnt.

REST & SERVE. After letting the casserole rest, top it with cilantro, slice and serve. 

A skillet full of the chicken filling used in chicken tortilla casserole recipe

Serving and Storing

Serve your Tortilla Casserole with any of these Mexican dishes:

Storing and reheating leftovers: Store the casserole in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave. If you have the time, you can always double the recipe and make a freezer meal to bake later. When freezing a casserole, make sure to freeze in a tightly covered container for up to 3 months. Uncover and bake like normal.

A plate with a serving of chicken tortilla casserole topped with homemade guacamole.

For more enchilada recipes, try:

 

Chicken Tortilla Casserole Recipe

This chicken tortilla casserole is delicious and packed full of flavor. It's easy to prep, easy to customize, and easy to devour!
5 from 7 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 650kcal
Author: Natalie Dicks
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the filling:
  • 1 tbsp. canola or avocado oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion - diced
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 c. shredded chicken - rotisserie works great
Remaining ingredients:
  • 2 c. red chile sauce
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 2/3 c. sour cream
  • 2 c. grated cheese monterrey jack or colby jack
  • 4 green onions - thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro - optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray the bottom of a 9x13-inch dish with oil or cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a large skillet set over medium-low heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Pour in chicken broth, add chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Bring broth to a simmer and add the chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish, spread into an even layer. Layer the bottom of the dish with six tortillas. Spread 1/3 cup of the sour cream over top, followed by half of the chicken mixture, 1/4 cup of cheese, and a 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce. Repeat by layering six tortillas, spread 1/3 cup of the sour cream over top, followed by the remaining chicken mixture, 1/4 cup of cheese, and a 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce.
  • Layer the remaining 6 tortillas on top, followed by the remaining enchilada sauce and remaining cheese. Sprinkle green onions over top and cover with foil.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Notes

Rinsed black beans, roasted corn, diced green chiles and fire roasted tomatoes all make great additions to the filling.

Nutrition

Calories: 650kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 3514mg | Potassium: 522mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1143IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 512mg | Iron: 3mg