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Chicken Tortilla Casserole

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Do you have a favorite casserole dish? You know, your standard go-to whenever you need a quick and delicious meal that will feed many? This healthy spin on our favorite Chicken Tortilla Casserole is one of my go-to comfort food casseroles. It’s a make and bake, one-dish meal full of bold flavors and lots of CHEEEESE. It’s also a gluten-free recipe, and made with shredded rotisserie chicken for quick dinner prep. 

 

 

serving of chicken tortilla casserole on plate with salad and fork

Packed with chicken and good flavors

 
This easy one-dish meal casserole has layers of flavors and will be one of your family favorites.  It is also a make-ahead dish and it is also freezer-friendly.  

What Goes into This Casserole:

Let’s take a moment to break down all the deliciousness that is a Chicken Tortilla Casserole:

  • A creamy, homemade sauce that’s rich and buttery with hints of garlic (by the way, we used our recipe for garlic butter sauce as a base to make this creamy sauce.
  • Cooked onion, red bell pepper and chopped green chiles for big flavor.
  • Shredded, rotisserie chicken.
  • Crunchy, corn tortillas.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese because every yummy casserole needs it.

Are you hungry yet? Because I sure am. Not only will this casserole be a lifesaver when you need a large dinner in a pinch, but it saves great for next-day enjoyment!

How to make Chicken Tortilla Casserole:

Here is a brief summery of how to put this casserole together.  For complete instructions be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.

Step 1

To make the sauce, set a small pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter in the pan and then add the grated garlic. Sauté the garlic for about a minute but be careful not to let it brown. Add the rest of the butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook only until all the butter is completely melted. Stir in the flour (making a roux) and cook for 1-2 minutes before you slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Continue whisking the sauce until it’s smooth and creamy, then stir in the sour cream and set it aside to cool.

Step 2

To make the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion and red pepper just until the onion softens. Remove from heat and combine it with the shredded chicken, green chiles, chicken broth and cooled sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Step 3

To assemble the Chicken Tortilla Casserole, place six of the tortillas on the bottom of a large, greased casserole dish. Add half of the chicken mixture, half of the Monterey Jack Cheese and half of the cheddar cheese. Repeat with a second layer. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with non-stick oil spray and cover the casserole.

Step 4

Bake the casserole for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes so the top browns and the casserole is bubbly around the edges. Remove the chicken tortilla casserole from the oven and allow it to cool for five minutes. Top the casserole with chopped green onions or cilantro leaves for an extra flavor boost!

overhead view of casserole with spoon full

Baked to a golden brown

How to freeze Chicken Tortilla Casserole

If you want to freeze the casserole unbaked, simply assemble it and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. When you’re ready to bake the chicken tortilla casserole, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to baking.

Bake the casserole according to the recipe instructions- that’s 30 minutes covered with foil and an additional 10 minutes without the foil until the top is golden brown and the edges bubble. 

Overhead view of a serving of casserole and salad

This Chicken Tortilla Casserole is the perfect dinner-in-a-pinch meal that requires very little prep, so long as you have some leftover chicken on-hand. It’s tasty and flavorful and deliciously cheesy- a busy mom win if there ever was one. 😉 

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Our Farro Chicken Bake is a hearty, one-pot casserole with an earthy, nutty flavor of the farro grain. It’s savory, filling and healthy!
  • Comfort food season = BEST season and this Beef Casserole with Garlic-Chive Einkorn Dumplings is pure comfort food you’ll want to make again and again!

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serving of chicken tortilla casserole on plate with salad and fork

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Casseroles were created for weeknights and busy moms. We updated our old-time family favorite of Chicken Tortilla Casserole with a non-canned, creamy sauce and corn tortillas. This is a make and bake, one-dish meal.

Ingredients

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh garlic, grated
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (60g) flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 medium sweet red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cans (7oz. each) chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Green onions or cilantro for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F Coat a 9x13-inch oven-proof casserole dish with oil spray.

For the Sauce:

  1. In a small pan set over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and when it has melted add the grated garlic. Sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds. Do not let it brown.
  2. Add the remaining butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook only until the butter is melted.  
  3. Stir the flour into the butter making a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Gradually add the chicken broth whisking to combine. Continue to whisk until smooth and creamy, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth. Set aside to cool.

For the Filling:

  1. in a large skillet set over medium heat add the oil and when it has warmed add the onion and red pepper. Sauté just until the onion has softened. 
  2. Remove from the heat and add the shredded chicken, green chilies and cooled sauce.
  3. Stir in enough of the chicken broth to make the filling thick and spoonable.   Add salt and pepper to taste.

To Assemble the Casserole:

  1. Place 6 of the tortillas on the bottom of the casserole dish and add 1/2 of the chicken mixture and 1/2 of the Monterey Jack Cheese and 1/2 of the cheddar cheese.  Repeat with a second layer.
  2. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with non-stick oil spray and cover the casserole, sprayed side down.  
  3. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 30 minutes; then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown and bubbly at the edges. 
  4. Transfer from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Garnish with chopped green onions and/or cilantro leaves 

Notes

  • The creamy Garlic Butter Sauce can be substitute for any recipe calling for canned cream soup. 
  • When stirring in the chicken broth, do so in increments to obtain a thick spoonable mixture.
  • This casserole can be assembled, covered and refrigerated until ready to bake/serve.
  • To freeze unbaked, cover with foil and place in freezer for up to 3 months.  To bake, thaw frozen casserole in the refrigerator overnight, remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Place in a 350° preheated oven and bake with foil for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until bubbly around the edges and golden brown on top.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/8th of
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 1098mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 38g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Cathy

Sunday 18th of October 2020

This tasted really good! I like the fact that the creamy sauce is made from scratch. However, it came out very soupy. I’m wondering if that additional cup of chicken stock for the filling is really necessary?

Pat Nyswonger

Sunday 18th of October 2020

Hi, Cathy...thank you for your comments on this chicken tortilla casserole. I'm sorry it was looser than you expected I have adjusted the recipe instructions with the chicken broth to be stirred in after the sauce and with 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken broth, just enough to be thick and spoonable. I hope you try it again with these changes. Thanks again for your feedback.

angiesrecipes

Friday 3rd of January 2020

This could become my favourite casserole! It looks so darn good!

Pat Nyswonger

Friday 3rd of January 2020

Thank you, Angie....It is delicious, try it, you will like it!

Jeff the Chef

Friday 3rd of January 2020

Yum! I always have tortillas around, because I love them. I either make them or buy them. So I guess I'm totally prepped to make this on the fly! Thanks for the recipe!

Pat Nyswonger

Friday 3rd of January 2020

You are welcome, Jeff!

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