Chicken Enchilada Casserole filled with chicken breast, black beans, and corn then smothered in enchilada sauce and cheese is so much easier to make than traditional enchiladas. This healthier version of a classic Mexican dish is one of our favorites along with this Slow Cooker Beef Machaca or Grilled Chicken Tacos.
I have never met a Mexican dish I didn’t love and Mexican food really is my happy place. I could eat it every day. And a huge bonus is that it is actually pretty easy to make Mexican food Weight Watchers and diet friendly. By choosing low or zero point foods like chicken breast, black beans, and corn – it’s possible to create a super hearty and delicious dish that won’t break the bank when it comes to points or calories.
A normal serving of chicken enchiladas in a restaurant has between 700-1000 calories and that is not counting all the chips and salsa that I am bound to eat when I go out. Making this Chicken Enchilada Casserole at home tastes just as amazing but only has half the calories. That’s a winning meal in my mind.
Another awesome thing about this recipe is that it can be prepped in advance and is freezer friendly. Since the recipe is a little labor intensive, I usually make two batches and stick on in the freezer to cook later on. Freeze it before cooking it and then just add 10-15 minutes to the cook time so that it cooks all the way through.
Recipe Ideas for Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Make it green: If you are more of a green enchilada fan, then you can substitute green enchilada sauce for the red enchilada sauce in the recipe. Green enchilada sauce tends to be less smoky than the red sauce and has a milder flavor in many cases.
- Protein: You can use virtually any protein in this recipe to make all kinds of different enchiladas. Use shredded chicken thighs, shredded lean beef, or shredded beef. You can also use ground turkey or beef. For a vegetarian option, use crumbled tofu or vegetarian crumbles.
- Toppings: Toppings are always welcome! I like to add fresh sliced jalapenos, green onions, olives, and sometimes a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- Side Dishes: This is a hearty dish that will leave everyone full and satisfied. For a side dish, I usually make a simple green salad or some roasted broccoli just to add some greens to the dish.
- Veggies: If you are like me and always trying to sneak veggies into dishes, then this enchilada casserole is no different. Make sure to cook the veggies first before adding them so they don’t add moisture to the dish. Some of my favorites to add are cauliflower rice, spinach, butternut squash, and zucchini.
- Make it creamy: If you are someone who loves creamy enchiladas than mix cream cheese or sour cream into your enchilada sauce to make a creamy version. Restaurant versions are normally made with sour cream but the cream cheese adds an extra cheesy layer that is pretty dreamy.
- Shortcut: Use store bought pre-cooked chicken instead of cooking your own. A rotisserie chicken is your best friend here if you want to save time.
Can I Meal Prep Chicken Enchilada Casserole?
This meal is great for meal prep since it can easily be prepped ahead of time and then stored in the fridge. If you will be eating it within a couple of days, prep the whole casserole and then just keep it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. You may need to add 5-10 minutes of covered cooking time since it will be cold coming out of the fridge. If you want to freeze it, then you will need to add 10-15 minutes of covered cooking time. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 months.
This is also one of my favorite meals to make for friends and families since they can decide to cook or freeze it. It’s great for mothers welcoming new babies, families who need a helping hand, or just for someone who could use some comfort food.
Can I make Chicken Enchilada Casserole in the crockpot?
This recipe is great for the crockpot or slow cooker. Instead of layering everything into a pan, layer it into the crockpot instead. Then cook on low for 3-4 hours. During the last thirty minutes add the cheese layer on top so it can melt without getting burnt.