There are probably thousands of recipes for a Green Enchilada Casserole but this is my all-time favorite. I love it not only because of the incredible taste but it is so easy, no rolling tortillas. And this easy Mexican Chicken Casserole can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or froze to heat up later.
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In New Mexico, chiles are abundant. I do believe the state’s motto is “Red or Green?”. This is a question that is asked anytime you order enchiladas since everyone has their favorite sauce. Red enchilada sauce is made from the dried chiles that have matured to the point they have turned red and green enchilada sauce is made from fresh chiles. You can even order your enchiladas “Christmas” meaning half red and half green for those that either can’t decide or that just love both equally.
When the green chiles are harvested, they are sold everywhere (even our local and chain grocery stores) and they are roasted on the spot. Outside every location that sells green chiles, a huge roaster is set up. It is a huge wire drum that rotates and as the chiles toss around they pass by a flame strip that is burning on the bottom of the drum. This roasts them and the skin turns black (just like roasted red peppers) and peels away from the meat of the chile. And the smell is heavenly. The entire valley smells like roasted green chiles. I so love chile harvest time!
When I lived in New Mexico I would buy a huge bag of these chiles, have them roasted and freeze them in small batches to use throughout the year. We would then have fresh green chiles all winter. But even if you don’t live in New Mexico Hatch Green Chiles can be purchased online and shipped to you.
How to make an Easy Mexican Chicken Casserole:
This is an easy version without having to make green chile sauce but it contains those amazing green chiles.
Scroll down for the printable recipe
Start your green chile chicken enchilada casserole by cooking 2 chicken breasts. You could either place them in water and boil until done or roast them in the oven. A rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken or turkey would also work wonderfully. Shred the chicken using two forks or meat shredding claws. You should have about 4 cups of shredded cooked chicken or one pound.
Add chopped garlic and saute for one additional minute. The best way to use fresh garlic in our opinion is to use a garlic peeler and this green Garlic Chopper. The garlic peeler makes it so easy to peel garlic cloves and this Garlic Chopper easily chops 2-3 cloves at a time.
Slice one dozen tortillas into fourths. Heat a comal or flat griddle and spray with cooking spray.
Place tortilla fourths onto the heated comal or griddle. Heat until soft but not crispy then flip to heat both sides. Remove from the comal, set aside on a dish and keep hot.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with a cooking spray. Spoon about one-third of the chicken mixture to just cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with one-third of the cheese and top with one-half of the tortilla chips.
Repeat and then top the last layer of tortillas with the remaining third of the chicken mixture and top with cheese. Place in a preheated 350-degree oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Remove this Mexican chicken casserole from oven and top with chopped cilantro, optional. Serve with homemade pico de gallo or salsa and plenty of tortilla chips.
We enjoy this Green Enchilada Casserole topped with our homemade pico and with tortilla chips. Also, refried beans would be delicious with this dinner.
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Green Enchilada Casserole
- Olive oil
- 1/2 med onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup Roasted Green Chiles chopped
- 4 cups cooked chicken two chicken breasts or 1 pound cooked chicken
- 1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
- 1 10.5 oz can cream of celery soup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 dozen corn tortillas
- 1/2 lb cheddar cheese or Monterrey jack cheese shredded
- Pico de Gallo
- Saute onion in a small amount of olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot until translucent.
- Add garlic, stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add green chilies, soups and chicken and about 1/2 cup water.
- Heat thoroughly and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the tortillas into fourths and heat in batches in a skillet using a spray cooking oil such as Pam until just soft and heated
- Spray a 9 X 13-inch casserole dish with a cooking spray
- Spoon in sauce mixture to just barely cover the bottom of the pan. Layer with tortillas, sauce mixture, cheese and continue layering, ending with the remaining sauce mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake uncovered in a 350 oven until cheese is bubbly about 20 minutes