This classic chicken enchilada casserole recipe is made with seasoned chicken, black beans, tomatillo salsa and plenty of poblano peppers.
Chicken enchilada casserole is an outstanding one-pot meal that cooks up quickly and satisfies a group. I will often make a huge batch of Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde) so that I can keep some in the fridge and use for recipes like this.
It makes dinnertime options VERY easy and quick. Sort of no-fuss. Isn't that nice? Great comfort food.
This is the verde, or green, version of the recipe. I made a Red version - One-Pot Meatless Enchilada Stew - without the chicken, though you can easily add chicken to both dishes, or exclude it for a vegetarian dish. I like it better with chicken, thank you very much, though pork would be a nice option.
What makes this particular recipe special and flavorful are two things - the salsa verde and the poblano peppers. Poblanos have a rich, earthy flavor that is unlike any other chili pepper. So unique, and a must for this dish. Time to get cooking!
Let's talk about how to make chicken enchilada casserole, shall we? The verde version!
- The Chicken. I'm using 12 ounces of chicken for this recipe. Chicken breast or chicken thighs are great for this.
- Olive Oil. 3-4 tablespoons for cooking the chicken.
- Seasonings. 1 tablespoon taco seasoning for seasoning the chicken, though you can also use your favorite chili powder blend. Then, you'll need the following to cook up the veggies: 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and some salt and pepper to taste.
- Beer or Broth. 6 ounces Mexican style beer – OR! Use some chicken broth instead. This is for simmering everything to build flavor.
- The Peppers and Veggies. 1 small chopped onion, 2 chopped oblano pepper, 1-2 chopped jalapeno peppers (optional for more heat), and 4 cloves minced garlic.
- Tomatillo Salsa. This is your "verde" component of the dish. It is SO good. Use 2-3 cups of your favorite brand, or make your own with my Salsa Verde recipe.
- Beans. I'm using one 15-ounce can black beans, but you can use other beans as well, like pinto or kidney beans.
- Tortillas. 8 corn tortillas are needed, or you CAN use flour tortillas as well.
- Cheese. 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese, or use Monterrey Jack or Pepper Jack, or a combination. As long as it is nice and melty.
- For Serving. Fresh chopped cilantro adds a nice visual and fresh flavor pop. Use spicy chili flake to add a touch of heat.
How to Make Chicken Enchilada Casserole Verde - Recipe Directions
For the chicken, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the taco seasonings and salt and pepper.
Heat a large oven-safe skillet or pan to medium heat. Add the chicken and sear each side about 2 minutes each. Add beer or chicken broth and reduce heat. Simmer about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and you can shred it with a fork. Remove from heat and add to a mixing bowl. Shred the chicken up with a couple forks!
Add oil to the same skillet and heat.
Add onions and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
Add garlic and stir. Cook 1 more minute.
Add salt and pepper to taste, cumin and oregano. Stir.
Add the cooked seasoned vegetables to the mixing bowl with the cooked chicken, then add the tomatillo salsa and black beans. Stir to incorporate.
In the same pan, spoon some of the chicken mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Or, you can use a baking dish instead.
Layer on half of the tortillas, then half of the shredded cheese.
Repeat with the remaining enchilada sauce and chicken mixture, then tortillas, then the remaining cheese.
Set oven to broil.
Set the skillet in the middle of the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted. You can also bake it at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, if preferred.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve!
BOOM! Looks delicious, doesn't it? I want to dig right in! Mexican food at its finest! It's such an easy recipe. I love it.
What to Serve with Chicken Enchilada Casserole
I like to serve my chicken enchilada casserole with a variety of hot sauce to spice things up. I also enjoy topping it with spicy chili flakes, jalapeno slices (either fresh or roasted), and fresh herbs. Serve it up with a bit of sour cream or Mexican crema for some creaminess. It's an incredible one-pot meal with everything included, so you really don't need a side dish to go with it.
- Rotisserie Chicken. To save time, you can use store bought rotisserie chicken instead of making your own shredded chicken.
- Cheese Choices. Instead of cheddar cheese, try it with Monterrey Jack cheese. YUM! You can also try it with flour tortillas instead of corn, though they won't break down quite as much.
- Slow Cooker Version. You can make this recipe in a slow cooker. The only issue you'll run into is that the tortillas break apart much more. However, it is still quite delicious. Slow cook for at least 1 hour.
- Heat Factor. If you feel the dish it too spicy, serve it with a dollop of Mexican crema or sour cream to combat the spiciness. Or, skip the jalapeno peppers and use extra poblanos. You can also make this recipe with bell peppers included, but I feel it is important to use poblano peppers for the resulting flavor. Bell peppers just aren't the same.
- Beans. I'm using black beans for this recipe, but try it out with refried beans. It's a great variation with big flavor.
Try These Other Popular Recipes
- Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce
- Quick and Easy Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- One-Pot Meatless Enchilada Stew
- Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Chile Relleno Casserole
- King Ranch Casserole
- Mexican Lasagna
These flavors are so authentic Mexican. And it has all my favorite flavors wrapped up in one beautiful package. Tomatillo salsa is my absolute favorite type of salsa. And poblanos, oh don’t even get me started on the amazing taste of a poblano. And awesome seasoned shredded chicken. Oh man, this is a must have and needs to go into our regular rotation.
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole Verde Recipe
- 12 ounces chicken
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning – I like to use a chili powder blend!
- 6 ounces Mexican style beer – OR! Use some chicken broth instead
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 poblano peppers chopped
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers chopped (optional for more heat)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2-3 cups Tomatillo Salsa
- 1 can black beans 15 ounces
- 8 corn tortillas You can use flour tortillas as well
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (or use Monterrey Jack or Pepper Jack)
- Fresh chopped cilantro for serving
- For the chicken, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the taco seasonings and salt and pepper.
- Heat a large oven-safe skillet or pan to medium heat. Add the chicken and sear each side about 2 minutes each. Add beer or chicken broth and reduce heat. Simmer about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and you can shred it with a fork. Remove from heat and add to a mixing bowl. Shred the chicken up with a couple forks.
- Add oil to the same skillet and heat.
- Add onions and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
- Add garlic and stir. Cook 1 more minute.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, cumin and oregano. Stir.
- Add the cooked seasoned vegetables to the mixing bowl with the cooked chicken, then add the tomatillo salsa and black beans. Stir to incorporate.
- In the same pan, spoon some of the chicken mixture onto the bottom of the pan.
- Layer on half of the tortillas, then half of the remaining chicken mixture and the shredded cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, then remaining chicken mixture, then the remaining cheese.
- Set oven to broil.
- Set the skillet in the middle of the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted. You can also bake it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, if preferred.
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve!
NOTE: This post was updated on 10/23/19 to include new photos and information. It was originally written on 9/28/15.