This Chicken Tortilla Casserole contains layers of juicy shredded chicken, melty cheese, tender corn tortillas, and a flavorful Tex-Mex tomato sauce, stacked together and baked to gooey perfection.

Healthy chicken tortilla casserole on a plate topped with Greek yogurt and cilantro

Pin this recipe on Pinterest to save for later

Pin It!

Forget the Michelin stars.

The endorsement of a toddler is all the culinary accolades I need to know that this easy chicken tortilla casserole is a keeper.

My friend’s 20-month-old little girl awarded this easy and healthy casserole second-helping status when I brought it to her house for dinner. (This Mexican Corn Dip was also a big hit).

I know this is a rare occurrence for parents with toddlers, which is probably why my friend immediately asked for the recipe. (When you find a toddler-approve recipe, hold onto it tight.)

If you are looking for an easy-to-make, healthy recipe that even those with picky palates will adore, look no further.

Every family member (big and small) will enjoy this layered chicken tortilla casserole. (This crowd-pleasing Mexican Chicken and Rice is also always a winner.)

a baking dish of layered chicken tortilla casserole without cream soup

5 Star Review

“I can’t even tell you how many times my husband and I have made this. It is so easy and so good. Thanks for a great recipe.”

— Kara —

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Part Mexican lasagna, part chicken enchilada, this healthy chicken tortilla casserole is entirely attainable on a busy weeknight.

Like this Cowboy Chicken, I love that it’s simple enough for even a novice chef to prepare with success yet has all the comforting, from-scratch taste of an elaborate homemade meal.


The Ingredients

  • Chicken. Shredded chicken is my forever favorite for easy casserole recipes like this layered chicken tortilla casserole. (Use this How to Cook Shredded Chicken guide for all my best tips and tricks.)

Substitution Tip

I have not made this recipe with other proteins before. However, I think you could easily swap it for cooked ground beef, pulled pork, and rotisserie chicken with tasty results.

  • Bell Peppers. A mix of green and red bell peppers contributes tasty Tex-Mex flavors, color, and a little sweetness.

Market Swap

I’ve also made this casserole with a mix of bell peppers and poblano peppers too. Both add a lovely extra kick to this dish.

  • Jalapeno. Kicks things up a notch. (Love jalapenos? Pour yourself a Spicy Margarita while you cook this recipe.)

Market Swap

If you love heat and spice, feel free to play around with other seasonal peppers from your garden or farmer’s market. Serrano, habaneros, or Fresno peppers would all be excellent options.

  • Onion + Garlic. For some extra zip.
  • Tomato Sauce. Our swap for canned soup provides plenty of acidity, richness, and flavor without all the extra mystery ingredients. (This Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole also skips the cream soup.)
  • Chicken Stock. Adds moisture and flavor.

Substitution Tip

Vegetable stock can also be used in this recipe.

  • Jalapeno Hot Sauce. Perfect for this recipe because, although it is very flavorful, it’s relatively mild. A few quick dashes immediately increase the flavor complexity of the dish without adding too much heat.

Substitution Tip

If you are concerned about heat, you can omit the hot sauce from the recipe. Alternatively, if you want to crank up the spice, feel free to experiment with other hot sauces you enjoy.

  • Spices. A traditional blend of cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper brings depth and authentic Mexican flavors.
  • Corn Tortillas. My favorite for layered chicken tortilla casseroles like this one (and Instant Pot Chicken Enchiladas). They break down beautifully, lend great flavor, and make the texture of this easy Mexican casserole truly divine.
  • Cheese. Melty Monterey jack offers the perfect gooey finish to this cheesy and creamy chicken tortilla casserole.

Substitution Tip

Cheddar, pepper jack, or your favorite blend of shredded Mexican cheeses would also work great in this chicken tortilla layered casserole.

squares of easy chicken tortilla casserole without enchilada sauce

The Directions

  1. If needed, cook and shred chicken.

TIP!

This Crockpot Shredded Chicken and Instant Pot Chicken are two great options.

peppers and onions in a skillet for Healthy chicken tortilla casserole
  1. Sauté the vegetables until tender.
adding spices and garlic to a skillet of sautéed peppers and onions
  1. Add the spices and stir.
pouring tomato sauce into a skillet of spicy peppers and onions to make homemade enchilada sauce for Layered chicken tortilla casserole
  1. Pour in the tomato sauce, chicken stock, and hot sauce. Let simmer.
six corn tortillas arranged in a baking dish for Layered chicken tortilla casserole
  1. In a greased casserole dish, layer a portion of the sauce followed by the tortillas.
cooked shredded chicken and cheese in a baking dish for Easy chicken tortilla casserole
  1. Top with some chicken and cheese.
hearty tomato bell pepper sauce spread in a layer for Healthy chicken tortilla casserole
  1. Then layer on a portion of the sauce.
unbaked chicken tortilla layered casserole ready for the oven
  1. Repeat the process twice and top the casserole with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake chicken tortilla casserole for 35 minutes.
  2. Remove the foil, return the pan to the oven, and bake until the casserole is hot and bubbly. ENJOY!

Dietary Note

As it is written, this chicken tortilla casserole is gluten free.

Creamy chicken tortilla casserole without soup in a baking dish topped with cheese and cilantro

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Chicken tortilla casserole leftovers may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container.
  • To Reheat. Let the casserole come to room temperature before putting it in the oven. Then warm in a 350-degree F oven until heated through.
  • To Freeze. Leftover casserole (either individual portions or a whole frozen casserole) can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap airtight and make sure your container/pan is freezer safe. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

What to Serve with Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Healthy chicken tortilla casserole on a plate topped with Greek yogurt and cilantro

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

a square of the best chicken tortilla casserole recipe without soup served with salad

Is your family hungry again already? They’ll also love this easy Taco Pasta!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Chicken Tortilla Casserole With Enchilada Sauce?

I have only tested this easy chicken tortilla casserole as it is written, so you would be experimenting. However, if you decide to try making this recipe with your favorite Enchilada Sauce, I’d love to hear how it goes.

Is This Recipe The Same As Campbell’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole?

No. I wanted to create a Mexican chicken casserole without cream soup which Campbell’s recipes always include. I love that this healthy chicken tortilla casserole recipe is made with minimally processed ingredients you can feel good about eating.

Can Flour Tortillas Be Used in Chicken Tortilla Casserole?

I recommend corn tortillas because they break down and have a more pleasing texture in the final baked casserole. In my experience, chicken tortilla casseroles with flour tortillas are chewier, and the layers are more separated (like a lasagna). That said, if you are trying to cook with what you have on hand, you could swap the flour tortillas—just know that the results will be different.

Can I Freeze Chicken Tortilla Casserole Before Baking?

Absolutely! Assemble it in a freezer-safe dish and let cool completely to room temperature. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.

Healthy chicken tortilla casserole on a plate topped with Greek yogurt and cilantro

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

5 from 12 votes
The best healthy chicken tortilla casserole from scratch! This easy layered casserole is loaded with cheese, veggies, and juicy chicken.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr 15 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts* cooked and shredded (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno cored and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can tomato sauce (28 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons jalapeno hot sauce such as Tabasco, plus additional for serving
  • 18 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 cups freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese (8 ounces)
  • Optional for serving: salsa, sliced avocados, lime juice, plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9×13-inch casserole dish with baking spray.
  • If needed, cook and shred chicken according to these easy steps.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high, then add the onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and jalapeno. Saute until the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomato sauce, chicken stock, and jalapeno hot sauce, then stir to combine. Let the sauce simmer for 12 minutes.
  • To assemble the casserole, spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange 6 tortillas on top to cover the sauce, overlapping as needed.
  • Top with 1/3 of the chicken and 1/2 cup of cheese.
  • Spread 1/3 of the remaining sauce over the top, then repeat the process twice more.
  • Finish by sprinkling the last 1/2 cup of the cheese over the top then cover the pan with foil.
  • Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil, return the pan to the oven, then bake for 10 additional minutes, until the casserole is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve hot with desired toppings.

Notes

  • *INGREDIENT NOTE: My guide on How to Cook Shredded Chicken is full of helpful tips. To make the chicken in the slow cooker, see this post for Crock Pot Shredded Chicken. To bake the chicken in the oven, see this post for Baked Chicken Breast. For pressure cooking directions, check out this Instant Pot Chicken recipe.
  • TO STORE: Chicken tortilla casserole leftovers may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container.
  • TO FREEZE: Leftover casserole (either individual portions or a whole frozen casserole) can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap airtight and make sure your container/pan is freezer safe. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • TO REHEAT: Let the casserole come to room temperature before putting it in the oven. Then warm in a 350-degree F oven until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6), without toppingsCalories: 526kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 42gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 108mgPotassium: 1144mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1563IUVitamin C: 61mgCalcium: 391mgIron: 4mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.

Register

Related Recipes

Take your kitchen south of the border with one of these other Mexican-inspired recipes:

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article

Pin

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




38 Comments

Leave a comment

  1. Made this this tonight. So good. I cut the recipe in half for my family of three except I kept the onion, bell pepper and jalapeño the same. We loved it!! Thanks5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Kendall! I’m glad your family enjoyed it. I really appreciate your taking the time to leave this nice review!

  2. I can’t even tell you how many times my husband and I have made this. It is so easy and so good. Thanks for a great recipe.5 stars

    1. Kara, I’m so glad to hear you enjoy this recipe! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  3. I am planning to make this for a large group of about 45 people;
    I am going to x6 your recipe because the servings look generous.
    Can you tell me if the corn tortillas are the very small ones, about
    4.5″ diameter or the regular size , 6″ diameter?

        1. Jenny, I’d recommend corn because they break down and become soft, so you can easily scoop the casserole. Flour will be denser and chewier and the layers will be more separate, sort of like a lasagna but with tortillas. That said, if you are trying to cook with what you have on hand, you could swap the flour tortillas—just know that the results will be different.

          1. Hi! I wonder if the flour tortillas would become softer if you were to dip the tortillas in the sauce first. I’m going to give it a try 🙂.

  4. Hey Erin this looks delicious, wondering if I could assemble early in the day then bake it later? 

  5. A sign of a good meal is when you look forward to the leftovers. This is SOOOO good. Going to add to our regular dinner rotation. Thanks Erin!!!5 stars

  6. Made this tonight and my toddler enjoyed it just as you predicted! I was skeptical about it being too spicy but it surprisingly wasn’t. Great flavor and oh so easy ! The only thing I’d change next time is trimming the tortillas on the very top (last) layer to fit the pan because the edges that weren’t under the sauce were hard to chew. Thanks for a great recipe – excited to try more from your site! 5 stars

  7. I made this and rather than using chicken broth, tomato sauce and tabasco, I just used a jar of mild enchilada sauce. I also omitted the jalapeno since my husband cannot tolerate those well. I also used just a little sharp cheddar rather than MJ cheese. Turned out good! Thank you!5 stars

  8. This was very good.  I omitted the Jalapeno because my kids are sensitive to spice, and didn’t have the green Tabasco suggested, so I used 4T Trader Joe’s salsa verde instead. It was labor/time/ingredient intensive, but I’ll make it again with a different recipe that requires shredded chicken on back to back nights, with leftovers between the two on night 3 to balance out the effort. Next time I plan to add the jalapeño back in, but I’ll also add a can of black beans, and maybe some shredded carrots and chopped spinach to up the veg. 5 stars

  9. I made this the other night and the only change I made to the recipe was using fire roasted diced tomatoes (salsa style w/chilies) because I was out of tomato sauce and this has been asked to be made often! It sparked the conversation that we need a list of meals to NOT forget and a rotation list of what they love! THANK YOU!!5 stars

  10. Plan to make this dish for book club because it looks so delish. Can I assemble the day before and then bake the following day or will the tortillas get too mushy?

    1. Hi Suzette! I’d recommend fully baking the dish the day before, then reheating it just before serving to help crisp everything back up. I hope you enjoy it!

  11. I kept it super simple and just used canned enchilada sauce, instead of making my own sauce and followed All of the other directions and it turned out amazingly. Thank you for another great recipe.5 stars

  12. We love this recipe! I’ve made it a few times and my family loves it. I want to double the recipe and freeze one to cooker later but I cannot find the freezer instructions.5 stars

    1. Hi Lacy! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Here are the freezer instructions: Leftover casserole (either individual protions or a whole frozen casserole) can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap airtight and make sure your container/pan is freezer safe. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat a whole casserole, let your pan come to room temperature prior to putting it in the oven. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Mary! I wish I could advise but I’ve never made it and placed it in the freezer unbaked. If you decide to try it out, let me know how it goes!

  13. Erin, I’m going to make this to stash in my freezer (along with a bunch of your other recipes!) before baby comes this spring. Do I need to bake this before freezing, or can I put it all together and wrap for the freezer? Thanks for creating one great recipe after another and sharing with us!

    1. Hi Meagan! Here are the freezer instructions: FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS: Leftover casserole (either individual protions or a whole frozen casserole) can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap airtight and make sure your container/pan is freezer safe. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat a whole casserole, let your pan come to room temperature prior to putting it in the oven. Hope this helps!

  14. This recipe was delicious😃 instead of the jalapeño I put in a small can of mild green chilies. The can of chilies was 4 oz so I used 4 oz less of the tomato sauce. I also had a little shredded cheddar cheese which I sprinkled on top along with the Monterey Jack cheese. My 88 year old Mom loved it. Thanks for the great recipe Erin!5 stars