Chicken Enchilada Casserole
One Pan Chicken Enchilada Casserole ~ layers of boldly flavored chicken, black beans and tortillas layered then topped with cheese and baked until warm and bubbly.
Most days I love cooking. It relaxes me in a way that very few other things do, but even food bloggers have nights we come home, put on comfy pants and just want to dinner to magically appear on the table.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole is simple, quick, really delicious and everything cooks in one pan. Layers of tortillas, seasoned chicken, black beans, enchilada sauce and cheese. Lots of cheese. It’s about as close as I can come to magic. Make it for dinner tonight for your family or add a pitcher of margaritas and a side of guacamole for easy entertaining with friends.
We love Mexican food at our house ~ Chicken Salsa Verde , Fresh Tomato Salsa , Ultimate Chicken Nachos. I could go on and on but you’re here for Chicken Enchilada Casserole. Quick story and I swear I’ll get to it.
When we were first dating, my husband took me to a restaurant called The Acapulco (which was in Detroit, not Mexico). The owner kept bringing out spicy peppers for my husband to try, each hotter than the last and each resulting in a bit more sweat on my husband’s forehead. Of course, he never admitted they were spicy. It was man vs man. Naturally after that, I married him and we’ve been enjoying all kinds of Mexican food ever since.
Like a lot of my recipes these days, this is a smaller version. I made it in an 8” cast iron skillet which was plenty for us (2 helpings each) and a smaller leftover portion for lunch. If there’s more than 2-3 of you double it in a larger skillet. A rotisserie chicken would work too if you want to speed up the cooking process.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole Ingredients:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- 1 – 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 – 10 ounce can of enchilada sauce (heat level of your preference ~ I used medium)
- 6 flour tortillas
- ¼ cup of chopped onion
- 1 ½ cups of Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese
- ¼ cup of queso fresco cheese, crumbled
Optional topping suggestions:
- Sour cream
- Sliced jalapeno
Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, then cut them in half so they’ll cook faster and season with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the skillet you’ll be making the Chicken Enchilada Casserole in then add the chicken, searing over medium-high heat.
When both sides are seared, lower the heat and add enough enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the skillet. Continue cooking the chicken until it’s no longer pink inside. Remove the chicken from the skillet and shred it using two forks.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet along with the onions. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the onions are soft and slightly brown on the edges. Return the shredded chicken to the skillet, along with the beans (drain and rinse first) and 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce. Simmer over low heat 3-4 minutes then transfer the chicken/beans to a bowl.
Add just enough enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the skillet. Depending on the size of your skillet and tortillas, you may need to cut the tortillas in half, slightly overlapping to form the first layer, like you would with lasagna.
Form a layer of tortillas in the skillet, top with 1/3 of the chicken mixture and 1/3 of the Mexican blend cheese. Top with the second layer of tortillas, another 1/3 of chicken and Mexican blend cheese, then the last layer of tortillas, the remaining chicken and pour 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce over the top.
Note: I like to warm the extra enchilada sauce and serve it on the side of the Chicken Enchilada Casserole. It can also be frozen for next time. Finish with the remaining Mexican blend cheese and bake at 375 about 15 minutes.
Crumble the queso freso cheese over the Chicken Enchilada Casserole and return it to the oven. Bake another 10 minutes or until it’s hot and bubbling.
This recipe easily adapts to your personal taste. If you don’t like beans, the recipe is still delicious without. Beef can be substituted for the chicken and if you want to kick up the heat, pepper jack cheese is a great option.
If you make this recipe, leave me a comment~ I’d love to hear from you because silence isn’t always golden ~ especially if there’s a toddler around ~ then silence can be suspicious.
Comfort food, Mexican style. Enjoy!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 15 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 10 ounce cans enchilada sauce medium spice level used
- 6 flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups Mexican blend cheese
- 1/2 cup queso fresco cheese crumbled
- Pound the chicken to an even thickness, slice in half for less cooking time then generously season it with salt and pepper.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet you'll be baking the casserole in and once it's hot, carefully place the chicken in the skillet.
- Sear on both sides then add enough enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the skillet and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and shred it with 2 forks then place the chicken in a medium size bowl.
- Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet along with the onions. Season with salt and pepper and saute a few minutes until they're soft.
- Add the sauteed onions to the shredded chicken, along with the black beans (rinsed and drained) and 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce.
- Add enough just enough enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the skillet then add a single layer of tortillas (cut to fit if necessary).
- Top with 1/3 of the chicken mixture and 1/3 of the Mexican cheese.
- Continue layering, finishing with the Mexican cheese then bake at 375 for 15 minutes. When the last layer add 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce over the top (extra sauce can be served on the side).
- Add the queso fresco cheese and continue baking another 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.