Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 piece)

This creamy chicken enchilada casserole is a cinch to assemble in advance and easy to freeze—just cover one of the pans with foil. If you plan to serve a crowd, you can bake the chicken enchilada casserole in one (13- x 9-inch) baking dish. The chicken stays moist throughout baking and reheating, thanks to a gentle poach and a rich verde sauce. Be sure to include your fresh cilantro stems in the sauce, they have tons of flavor!

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Bring 2 cups water, peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaf to a boil in a large saucepan. Add chicken to pan; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning after 10 minutes. Place chicken on a plate; cool slightly. Remove garlic clove from pan; reserve. Shred chicken with 2 forks. Place chicken, salt, 3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (about 3/4 cup), and green onions in a bowl; stir to combine.

Step 3

Place reserved garlic clove, cilantro, tomatillos, and chiles in the bowl of a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add half-and-half and cream cheese; process until smooth.

Step 4

Coat 2 (8-inch) square glass or ceramic baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup tomatillo sauce in the bottom of each dish. Arrange 5 tortilla halves over sauce in each dish; top each dish with one-fourth of chicken mixture. Repeat layers once, ending with tortillas and remaining tomatillo sauce. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 ounces Monterey Jack (about 1/2 cup). Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Continue baking at 350° for 10 minutes, or remove 1 dish from oven and follow freezing directions. Divide each dish into 4 pieces. Place 1 piece on each of 8 plates; sprinkle evenly with tomato and cilantro leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.

Step 5


Step 6

FREEZE: Cool partially baked enchiladas to room temperature in baking dish. Cover baking dish tightly with heavy-duty foil, or seal with an airtight lid. Freeze up to 2 months.

Step 7

REHEAT: No thawing needed: Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 45 minutes or until enchiladas are thoroughly heated and sauce is bubbly. Top each serving with tomato and cilantro leaves.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews


May 19, 2015
This was a very good weeknight recipe that makes plenty of leftovers- perfect for a few lunches! I followed the recipe exactly, except that I didn't have any green chiles on hand, so subbed with pickled jalapeno juice (and some jalapenos for good measure!). Although the sauce wasn't too time consuming, I think a good shortcut would be to use store bought green salsa and add the half-and-half and cream cheese to that.

May 02, 2016

Just ok

September 20, 2018
This got mixed reviews at my house.  My daughter did not like the sourness of the tomatillos and all in all I thought the flavors were bland.  In my opinion, CL has several better chicken enchilada recipes so we'll stick with those.


June 08, 2015
The meat was well seasoned. The sauce was pretty tasty. Fairly simple and somewhat quick to put together.

Tastey but could use some edits

July 14, 2015
The sauce was excellent and could be used on lots of things. The dish was not very pretty but tasted good. I would have grilled the chicken and maybe added a little more heat.

Good but

August 21, 2015
It is delicious, first time I made it  I made as stated and to me and mine,  Tomatilla sauce is to blank,  Second time around I did not add the Chili's but I put in a can of Rotella  and that enhanced it. A definite keeper