Family Recipe: Nick’s Favorite Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

If you were to ask me what my favorite cookbook in my kitchen is, my answer might surprise you! I have a homemade binder filled with Nick’s favorite recipes that I have collected over the years. Some are made up, some are just printed from the internet, and some are altered existing recipes. Lately, I’ve had people share recipes with me their personal recipes. They hand write them out and I put it in the binder. It’s such a special thing to share and I’m extremely grateful. Remember my Minnillo Beans recipe? Yep, that’s in there too! Basically, every time I whip up a recipe that Nick LOVES, I write it out or print it out and put it into the binder. You can find this next recipe that I’m sharing with you in the pages as well… Let me introduce you to my EASY enchilada casserole!

I’m all about easy cooking when it comes to big crowds at my house for dinner parties. If it’s Nick’s friends, they just want food and LOTS of it! So, I go for quick, easy and yummy. This may not be the healthiest or from-scratch enchilada recipe, but it’s easy and pretty darn GOOD! One thing I know… it’s Nick’s favorite and that’s all that matters to me. Yes, I use cans of soup! And yes, I use a bag of cheese! But every now and then we should all celebrate family, friends, and food without spending all day in the kitchen. I like this recipe because I pair it with our usual taco night. I make homemade guacamole, seasoned rice, and slow cooked shredded chicken soft tacos. ALL super easy. It’s a lot of food that goes FAST! We never have leftovers when we do taco night! So, if this sounds like something you and your family would enjoy just like mine does, keep scrolling to snag the recipe!

Nick’s Favorite Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 10oz can enchilada sauce
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
  • 1 4oz can diced green chiles, drained
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • a pinch of garlic powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast (I do 2 large or 4 average breasts), steam cooked (or boiled) and shredded
  • Mexican 4-cheese blend (16oz bag, you won’t use it all)
  • 12-18 corn tortillas (4 or 6 on each layer depending on your preference)

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

Instructions: 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all of the ingredients except for the chicken, tortillas, and cheese.

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

3. Layer one cup of the sauce mixture (without chicken) on the bottom of the casserole dish. Next, reserve one more cup of the mixture without chicken and set aside for the final layer of the casserole. You should have a good amount of the sauce mixture for each layer left in your bowl.

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

4. Place 4 to 6 tortillas on top of the first sauce layer. I do 4 or 5, but sometimes 6 if I want it heartier.

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

5. Add the shredded chicken to the bowl of sauce and combine thoroughly.

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

6. Next, pour half of the chicken-sauce mixture on top of your layer of tortillas.

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

7. Your next layer is a gratuitous amount of your Mexican 4-cheese blend followed by another layer of 4 to 6 tortillas.

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

8. Pour the second half of the chicken-sauce mixture on top of your tortillas.

9. Place your final layer of tortillas followed by the reserved cup of sauce without chicken. The sauce on top with cheese helps keep the tortillas soft and moist, so make sure they’re covered. I forgot to do that once and they just curled up in the oven and were hard and chewy.

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

10. Add another layer of cheese and garnish with olives if desired.

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

11. Bake your enchilada casserole for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the cheese starts to brown and bubble. Yum!

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

Vanessa Lachey's Enchilada Casserole

When it comes to comfort food, this mama doesn’t mess around! I promise your family and friends will be reaching for seconds because this enchilada casserole is THAT good!

Do you have a favorite recipe on repeat?

Let me know what it is in the comments!

Xx,
Vanessa

 Photos: Jessi Burrone for VanessaLachey.com
Comments:5 Comments
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  • Nancy De La Cerda

    OMG this recipe sounds perfect. My husband hates sour cream and cream cheese and all the enchilada recipes I have found thru the years have one or those ingredients. Can’t wait to Suprise him with this!! Thank you.

  • Nancy De La Cerda

    One question; Do you heat the tortillas?

    • Cynthia Guerrero

      I see so many recipes with tortillas and wonder why people never warm them up. When using flour tortillas you need to warm them up before making burritos or just a quick snack. We use a comal, grill, heat it up and place flour tortillas for a few seconds, because they burn quick. They taste so much better heated through. As for corn tortillas when making enchiladas we fry them in oil for a bit to soften them up. And to eat them we also use a comal, grill, to heat them through. My mother dips them in homemade sauce, not to much sauce and then passes them to the oil. It’s a little messy but so worth it. I do the opposite. I fry my tortillas, just to soften, and once the amount is done, I bring to boil the sauce and pass tortillas through. Less mess my way. I either make a casserole or rolled up enchiladas. Enjoy!

  • Jill Ottignon

    Made this for dinner tonight (well it is Cinco de Mayo) after my birthday dinner was cancelled due my sick 11 year old. Thank you so much it was DELICIOUS and my husband and son loved it and told me I could make it anytime! I did sprinkle some cilantro on top because we love it but otherwise I made it just as written

  • Yolanda Mishel Hardin

    I made this today but with Daiya, vegan cheese, due to my son being lactose intolerant. Wish me luck! Always looking for a twist on an old classic!