If you love Mexican cuisine and if you love a good casserole, this recipe is bound to be a favorite.
One of our favorite dishes to serve is Chicken Enchiladas with Verde (Green) Sauce. This recipe is similar to that but in casserole form. We give you several options for bringing the dish together. It can be a quick dish to bring to the table on a weeknight, or you can go the extra distance, and turn it into a fun weekend project. Either way is a true family favorite casserole!
How To Make Green Enchilada Casserole with Chicken
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The Ingredients You Will Need
As mentioned, there are some shortcuts you can take when putting together this casserole, especially if you’re pressed for time. We’ve outlined these shortcuts (or substitutions) below.
For the Green (Verde) Sauce (you can easily use quality canned sauce, rather than making it from scratch).
Tomatillos – Found in the produce section of many well-stocked supermarkets, or at farmer’s markets.
Serrano chilis – Be sure to remove the seeds, unless you want your sauce to be spicy. Jalapeño pepper can be substituted.
Onion – A large white onion, cut into slices, works great, but you can also use a yellow or red onion.
Garlic – Peeled and cut in half, lengthwise.
Cilantro – Fresh is best.
Oil – Vegetable, peanut, or canola are all acceptable options.
Broth – Chicken or vegetable. For the deepest flavor, make the broth or stock from scratch.
Mexican crema – Found in the dairy section of many well-stocked supermarkets, or at Hispanic markets. Half and half, heavy cream, or sour cream thinned with milk are all perfectly fine substitutes.
Seasoning – Salt and pepper.
For the Casserole:
Corn tortillas – Quickly passed through hot vegetable oil in a skillet. You can skip this step and simply heat them for a minute or two in your microwave. You want them very pliable.
Oil – Vegetable (for the tortillas)
Roasted chicken – Roast 2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts that have been brushed with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Rotisserie chicken makes a great substitution.
Roasted poblanos – Be sure to remove as many seeds as possible. Green bell peppers can be substituted, but the flavor will be not the same. You can find whole green chiles (poblanos) in the Mexican/Hispanic section of many markets.
Cheese – Shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack are excellent options.
Toppings – Pico de gallo and sour cream are our favorites.
EXPERT TIP: Poblano peppers are mild and can be found in the produce section of many supermarkets. Roast them about 6 inches under the broiler until charred in place. Place in a bowl and cover for 15 minutes. The skin can then be easily peeled off. Cut away the stem and pod of seeds.
Tips for Make Perfect Green Enchilada Casserole with Chicken
When Possible, Use Fresh Ingredients – Opt for fresh, high-quality ingredients such as tomatillos, poblanos and roasted chicken for the best flavor and texture.
Layer the Components Evenly – Layer the corn tortillas, roasted chicken, green enchilada sauce, and roasted tomatillo peppers evenly to ensure that each bite has a balanced combination of flavors.
Allow the Flavors to Meld – Let the casserole sit for a few minutes after baking to allow the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more cohesive and flavorful dish. It also won’t burn your guests’ tongues!
Garnish with Fresh Toppings – Garnish the casserole with fresh toppings such as fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, chopped jalapeños, and/or a drizzle of crema (or sour cream) to add brightness and contrast to the dish.
EXPERT TIP: The recipe for the green sauce might make a little more than you need. But, don’t skimp when layering the casserole. The tortillas will absorb much of the sauce, adding to the taste and texture. If you have extra, save for another use, or ladle some on each plate before adding a slice of the casserole.
How To Serve, Store, and Reheat
This recipe, as written, serve about 12 people. However, it can easily be cut in half, and leftovers keep wonderfully for up to 5 to 7 days.
As mentioned, it’s best to allow the casserole to rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes, not only to cool a bit, but to let the flavors continue to meld.
If you have extra sauce, ladle a small pool in the center of each plate and the place a serving of the casserole on top. You can’t have too much of this amazing sauce.
Leftovers are amazing, and, possibly even better the next day! Simply bake (covered) in a 350°F for about 30 minutes, or until heated through and serve with your favorite toppings.
Other Comforting Casserole Recipes to Try
Everyone loves a good casserole, right? They are perfect for serving a hungry family, or bringing to a fun potluck dinner. Here are some of our favorite that we’re certain you and your family will love, too:
King Ranch Casserole
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
The Best Tuna Casserole
Broccoli and Cheddar Casserole with Rice
Chili Cheese Dog Casserole
Chicken and Sage Casserole
Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Cheese
These are all so comforting, without a doubt. But, in the meantime, isn’t this dish of pure comfort food calling your name?
This casserole truly hits all the right boxes. It’s easily adaptable to tastes, budgets, and timeframes.
It is always a family favorite.
And leftovers are even better the next day. Make this and get ready for endless rave reviews!
Ready to make the most comforting casserole this side of El Paso? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!
Green Enchilada Casserole with Chicken
- 9"x13" baking dish
- 12 poblano peppers Or a large can of roasted chiles (1 lb)
For the Green Chili Sauce
- 2 lbs tomatillos husks removed
- 3 to 4 serrano peppers stems removed
- 1 large white onion cut into thick slices
- 6 cloves garlic slice in half, lengthwise
- ½ cup cilantro fresh, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1½ cups Mexican crema or half and half
- 1½ tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
For Assembling the Casserole
- vegetable oil for quick-frying tortillas
- 18 corn tortillas
- 4 cups rotisserie chicken 2 chickens, meat removed and chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cups shredded cheese cheddar and/or Monterey Jack
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped, for garnish
- pico de gallo or salsa, for serving
- sour cream or Mexican crema, for serving
Do Ahead - Roast the Peppers
- Turn your broiler to HIGH and place the top rack 6 inches from the heating element.12 poblano peppers
- Place the peppers on a baking pan and put on the rack. Roast for about 10 minutes, turning the peppers once they start to blacken. The peppers will be charred in places but not completely burned.
- Put the peppers in a heat-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes.
- Remove the peppers from the bowl and when cool enough to handle, use your fingers to pull the skin away. Use a knife to remove the stem and then cut open the pepper, and remove the pod of seeds. Repeat with all peppers. Set aside.
Make the Green (Verde) Sauce
- Position a rack 6 inches under the broiler in your oven. Turn the broiler to HIGH.
- Place the tomatillos, serrano peppers, onion slices, and garlic on a baking pan or dish. Place on the rack under the broiler and roast until slightly charred, about 10 to 12 minutes.2 lbs tomatillos, 3 to 4 serrano peppers, 1 large white onion, 6 cloves garlic
- Carefully transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender (or food processor). Add the cilantro and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.½ cup cilantro
- Heat the oil (2 tbsp) in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomatillo mixture and cook, stirring often, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the broth and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes.¼ cup vegetable oil, 4 cups chicken broth
- Remove from heat and stir in the cream, 1½ tsp of salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Set aside.1½ cups Mexican crema, 1½ tsp Kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper
Assemble the Casserole
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Carefully pass a tortilla through the hot oil, flipping immediately. Place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Each tortilla should only be in the oil for a few seconds. Use a spatula, or two forks to handle the tortillas.18 corn tortillas, vegetable oil
- Use a ladle to spread about a quarter of the sauce across the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Add a layer of tortillas (4 whole tortillas and then another one cut in half. See video for reference). Add another layer of sauce. Place half of the chicken over the sauce. Sprinkle salt over the chicken (unless it is already salted). Top with one-third of the cheese and half of the roasted poblanos. Add another layer of tortillas, and then a layer of sauce, the rest of the chicken, and the rest of the poblanos. Top with one more layer of tortillas, a final layer of sauce, and then cheese.4 cups rotisserie chicken, Salt and pepper, 4 cups shredded cheese
- Bake the casserole for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and bubbly. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and passed pico de gallo and sour cream (or Mexican crema).pico de gallo, sour cream, 2 tbsp cilantro