Chicken Enchilada Casserole is a Meal in One
If you’ve ever craved Mexican flavors for dinner but want to avoid the takeout route because you’d still like to feed the family something healthyish, then this chicken enchilada casserole is yours.
This one-pot meal contains all the flavors you love in enchiladas, but without all the fuss. No tortilla stuffing or rolling here. In fact, tender fluffy rice replaces tortillas for a healthy, gluten-free dish you’ll happily sink your teeth into.
This enchilada casserole recipe is easy, quick, and teeming with big, bold flavors the entire family devours…
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Gluten-Free and Healthier
My goal is always to share tried-and-true weeknight dinner recipes that are healthier than takeout, without sacrificing any of the flavor.
We shoot for meal deals that take less than an hour and/or has a manageable ingredient profile. Because all us busy peeps need weeknight dinners that we feel great about and are tasty…pronto.
This flavorful chicken enchilada casserole happens to be gluten-free and is loaded with good nutrition. There’s plenty of protein and fiber. Feel free to decrease the amount of cheese on top, if you’re so inclined. Otherwise, cheese is a very good thing.
Feel free to use brown rice in lieu of white rice; we often opt for brown rice for a healthy dose of whole grains.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Basic Pantry Ingredients
This easy chicken enchilada casserole boasts all the festive flavors we love in enchiladas, without the fuss. Here are the key ingredients that make it all happen:
- First off, even though it’s titled Chicken Enchilada Casserole, feel free to omit the chicken for a fabulously delicious vegetarian dish. Just had to put that out there.
- That said, we take advantage of shredded rotisserie chicken, which is only one of many ways we love putting rotisserie chicken to work.
- Long grain jasmine rice is fluffy and tender in this casserole, but brown rice is wonderful for adding more whole grains to the dish.
- Canned enchilada sauce and chunky salsa lend big, bold, zesty flavors to this enchilada bake.
- Seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin make your taste buds immensely happy.
- Sweet corn kernels and black beans lend fiber and lean protein to the dish.
- Top your enchilada casserole off with shredded cheese and garnish with cilantro, green onions, avocado/guacamole, extra salsa… whatever speaks to you.
- This isn’t an official ingredient, but maybe it should be: Cherry Mojitos.
Pro Tips for Your Best Enchilada Casserole
- While you’re cooking the rice according to package instructions, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Keep in mind that brown rice takes a bit longer to cook than white rice.
- This can easily be missed, but don’t forget to rinse and drain the black beans before using; otherwise, the bean-liquid will accidentally end up in the casserole, which we don’t want.
- Top it all off with scrumptious Mexican blend shredded cheese, if you can find it. Otherwise, cheddar-jack works too. Pop it in the oven to get that cheese all ooey gooey.
- Top with your fave garnishes, if you’re feeling shmancy. I’m ever partial to freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime. Go with whatever you love.
- If you have extra time while waiting for the rice to cook, try this Chunky Guacamole… or this amazing Fresh Salsa…waaayyy good.
Variations and Substitutions
- If it’s Meatless Monday or you just don’t have time to do shredded chicken, this enchilada casserole is scrumptious as a vegetarian option without the meat.
- If you’d like to switch up the proteins, try adding cooked/browned ground beef or ground turkey. A sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper can be added to ground meat prior to browning.
- Chorizo is an excellent, flavorful option that adds kick — you’ll want to brown the chorizo prior to adding to casseroles
- Feel free to add chopped tomatoes or a can of diced (drained) tomatoes.
- Speaking of veggies, chopped sweet bell peppers are a delicious add-in option.
- Try quinoa or other grains in place of the rice.
Also try this mexican breakfast casserole:
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 1 cup dry long grain white rice, brown is great too, but takes longer to cook
- 10 oz enchilada sauce
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground garlic
- 1 tsp ground onion
- 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (I use rotisserie in a jiffy)
- 1 cup sweet corn kernels
- 1 can, 15oz black beans, rinsed/drained
- 1 ½ cup Mexican blend or cheddar-jack shredded cheese
- Optional: chopped fresh cilantro or green onions for garnish, extra salsa, or guacamole
- Cook rice in a medium-large or large heavy pot, according to package instructions. While rice cooks, pre-measure all needed ingredients. Shred the chicken, if you're using it. Preheat oven to 350F.
- Add all ingredients into pot of cooked rice, except for the cheese. Stir to combine thoroughly. Sprinkle cheese on top evenly. Bake uncovered about 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro or green onions, if desired, and serve with toppings of your choice.
- Brown rice can be used instead of white rice; cook according to package instructions.
- Feel free to make it meatless, use another protein, or add in other veggies.
- If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating 🙂
Did you make this?
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If you like Tex Mex flavors, you’ll love these other easy recipes:
1. Best Easy Mexican Rice. We are rice geeks, and especially love our Mexican rice. This is the BEST Mexican rice we’ve ever made, and it’s the only one we’ll make anymore. It’s flavorful, fluffy soft, and phenomenal with any Mexican inspired meal.
2. Mexican Rice with Chicken and Shrimp. This is a hearty, flavorful, festive meal in one. Super easy and healthy to boot!
3. Mexican Taco Salad. I adore this one for large groups. Bring it to a big potluck and watch it disappear. The dressing is bold, big, and irresistible.
4. 7-Layer Mexican Dip. I can eat just chips and this dip for lunch and dinner. Nothing else. It’s THAT awesome. This is one big crowd pleaser, every single time.
5. One day, I decided to mix my love of Mexican flavors with pasta. This Mexican Pasta Bake is a festive twist on comfort food. Irresistible!