Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Total Time
1 Hour 5 Mins
4 servings (serving size: about 1 3/4 cups)

Tex-Mex chicken enchilada casserole is a delicious dinner main when you are craving Southwestern-style comfort food without the notorious gut-busting casserole calories. Scoring in at under 375 calories, this lightened up enchilada bake is a win-win for your taste buds and keeping your diet in check. For busy weeknights, this time extensive dish can be made ahead of time. Simply prep the casserole and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to a week. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°.

Step 2

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, corn, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) to chicken; toss to combine.

Step 3

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup onion; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 garlic cloves; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to chicken mixture; stir to combine.

Step 4

Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, remaining 3 garlic cloves, broth, salsa, 1/4 cup water, and jalapeño in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour mixture into a blender; add 2 tablespoons cilantro. Process until smooth.

Step 5

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove tortillas from pan; repeat procedure with remaining tortillas. Cut tortillas into quarters.

Step 6

Spread 1/2 cup salsa mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 12 tortilla quarters over salsa mixture. Spoon half of chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Pour remaining salsa mixture over tortillas; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Top with remaining cilantro.

Ratings & Reviews

Use the correct tortillas!

March 22, 2015
This recipe is very good if you like spicy food. You can cut the heat down by using less red pepper. Some people have said their casserole turned out too soupy...I think this could be due to the type of tortilla they used. You absolutely must use raw corn tortillas for this recipe! When you cook them, I bake mine on a cookie sheet in the oven, they become very dry like tortilla chips and soak up the liquid while baking so it isn't soupy at all. If you've never used them, I buy mine at the local Kroger in the refrigerated section near the dairy. These tortillas are raw so must be refrigerated.

AshleyL's Review

February 27, 2013
Loved this recipe. I did also brown the cheese on top and it gave it a great flavor. I also used the red enchilada sauce instead of salsa verde because I am not a fan of the green sauces. VERY good! Will make this again.

speedygreenie's Review

January 31, 2014
This is such an amazing idea for a casserole. Not too heavy on the tortillas (which my wife usually complains about with chicken enchiladas). My wife and son both loved it. I just need to double up on all the ingredients next time. This stuff was gone in no time. And it didn't take any longer than most of my recipes do. (Which is actually quite some time since I'm really slow in the kitchen)

GJohnson's Review

March 03, 2014
This was a HUGE hit with our family! I used precooked grilled chicken breast instead of the thighs. It was too spicy for our 6 year old but the 9 year old twins loved it! I may have added a few more jalapenos than the recipe called for though. Great, great flavors with the salsa verde and cilantro!

VWeisman's Review

November 13, 2013
Terrific! I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I made a recipe for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic using chicken thighs. Then I used those thighs in the casserole. Two meals in the time it took to make one! Delicious casserole and relatively low cal. I added more chicken than called for to boost the protein vs. carb ratio.

BMarie888's Review

July 25, 2012
This took a long time and I even used rotisserie chicken as some people suggested. I don't think I would do all of the steps if I made it again or I would make it on a weekend. That being said, the flavors were very good - the chicken mixture was delicious alone - could eat that as dip.

bouldercook's Review

February 22, 2011
Used roast chicken and added a can of pinto beans. The sauce was good, but I thought it could use a little more spice next time. Added some salsa when serving and this helped. Kids liked it a lot too, so will make it again.

jmeleeS's Review

March 05, 2013
My husband loved this recipe when I made it! I made the chicken do double duty during the week; I bought a family pack of thighs and cooked all one night (eating some just seasoned and baked). I reserved leftover thighs for this recipe so that time was reduced some on prep. Also, it didn't take the full 15 minutes for my salsa combination to reduce, so time was also saved there. Finally, I used 1 fresh serrano in lieu of the pickled jalapeno and summer sweet canned corn in lieu of frozen, but otherwise made this one as directed. Overall, this is a very filling meal and I wouldn't hesitate to make again - you can certainly feed a crowd with this one and it's excellent leftover. I wouldn't hestitate to make this recipe into 2 "half" sizes; making one the same day and freezing another. I still enjoy C.L.'s Poblano Chile Casserole (very similar to this one) a bit more, but its best when you can grill, so in the winter, this one is easy to make and a keeper - enjoy!

popolang's Review

November 24, 2013

MelissaEllen's Review

March 13, 2011
This recipe was definitely a lot of work. Unfortunately, it was not worth the effort. I have two young children who did not appreciate how spicy it was. Definitely a disappointment since it was marked "kid friendly"