Chicken Enchilada Casserole


Chicken Enchilada Casserole is cheesy and hearty, but actually fairly light!


Raise your hand if you’re getting just a teeny, tiny bit excited for Fall.


**Looks left, looks right…slowly raises hand**


Shhhh! I know! I feel like I’m cheating on summer too!


I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been loving down the season’s new BBQ recipes, fruity drinks, and outdoor adventures


but I’m kiiiiind of getting pumped for cozy bowls of Chili, Apple Crisp – make that Caramel Apple Crisp Pasta Bakes, and oodles of Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies.

(Oh, and FOOTBALL!!!)


(Which means TAILGATING!!!)


Plus, there’s this neighborhood tree that’s totally shoving it in my face.


I swear, every summer before the other trees on the street have even fully finished sprouting their Spring leaves, this baby’s already turning yellow. I mean look – it’s not even August yet, and it’s already got a patch of red!


It kind of makes me paranoid, and is a constant reminder of the looming season that shall not be named.


But it also kind of gets me excited to make Fall’s finest food – make that food group. Casseroles.


Yep, I take that too-quickly-turning-tree as a sign that it’s perfectly acceptable to whip up a thick & cheesy dish during the dog days of summer.


Tonight – Chicken Enchilada Casserole!


Despite the name, this recipe is actually fairly light, and extremely delicioso. It starts by simmering chicken breasts in a mixture of green chilies and low-sodium chicken broth. When the chicken is cooked, it’s shredded and the cooking liquid is reserved.


Next, shallots are sautéed with more green chilies until softened, then the kitchen sink gets added in.


Enchilada sauce, evaporated skim milk, cream cheese, the reserved cooking liquid and a mountain of shredded cheese!


Which is promptly melted into a luscious, bubbly sauce. Which, I imagine, would make for a pretty terrific chip dip. Personally, I wouldn’t know…


Next the shredded chicken is added into the sauce and everything is mixed up.

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Finally, layers of corn tortillas and the cheesy chicken mixture are layered high…

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before being topped with crushed tortilla chips and more shredded cheese.


Into the oven…


and out!


Ummmm, yes.


Cheesy, savory, thick and I LOVE those corn tortillas. Creamy and chewy.


Aaaaaand, there it is. Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa (aka my salsa crack) is slathered on top. This was awesome!


Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Serves 4-6


Chicken Enchilada Casserole is cheesey, spicy, hearty, and actually fairly light!


  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans chopped green chilies
  • 1lb chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 shallots, minced (or 1/2 onion)
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1-10oz can enchilada sauce
  • 2oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar-jack cheese, divided
  • 9, 6" corn tortillas
  • Tortilla chips


  1. Bring chicken broth and 1 can green chilies to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt & pepper then cook for 7-8 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Remove to a plate, shred and set aside. Pour cooking liquid into a bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat then add shallots (or onions, if using) and second can green chilies. Sauté until shallots are tender, about 3-4 minutes, then add evaporated milk, enchilada sauce, cream cheese, 1 cup shredded cheese and reserved cooking liquid. Stir until smooth, then add shredded chicken, stir well, and remove skillet from heat.
  3. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray then lay 3 corn tortillas in the bottom and top with 2 cups chicken mixture. Repeat layers two more times. Top with crushed tortilla chips and remaining shredded cheese.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese on top is golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a thirst-quenching Arnold Palmer to enjoy.


I might be a wee bit excited for the changing seasons, but it’s legit like 1,000 degrees out there. Mama’s gotta stay cool somehow! ;)



Is it too early to be looking forward to Fall?

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  1. erica 07.28.2011

    i feel like it just became summer the other day! time is flying fast!!!

  2. Mollyberries 07.28.2011

    Why can’t fall just hang out all year round? I love everything about it! Bring on the pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING!

    • Kristin 07.28.2011

      Fall weather year round would be awesome!

  3. Rachel 07.28.2011

    I could not be more excited for jeans and a fleece sweatshirt!!!

  4. Lauren 07.28.2011

    Noooo, I wish summer would last forever! :)

  5. Ms.S 07.28.2011

    My hand is shooting into the air. I’m so done with summer and very, very excited for fall (my favorite)!! Sweatshirts, football, crisp air, and changing leaves…mm-hm. Yes, please!

  6. I’m so ready for fall! Pumpkin bread and apple cider would be perfect in my life exactly right now. So glad I’m not the only one!

  7. I’m just ready for some days in the 80’s, but I am always sad when summer ends and the pool closes. Fall is probably the best season here in the south, though! Your casserole looks awesome – and I would totally slap some salsa right on top, too – oh yummm…

  8. Cristy 07.28.2011

    I. LOVE summer. But yeah…those crisp fall mornings, the football games, the tailgating, sweatshirts, jeans and clogs? Oh yeah. Da bomb.

    “This mo” when you were talking about the tree? LOLOLOL!!!!

  9. I’m totally not ready for fall (well, except for maybe football season!)….I’m still in the BBQ, corn on the cob, and watermelon mode! BUT–I am seriously going to need to make this casserole! It sounds awesome!

  10. Mollie 07.28.2011

    love fall ! can’t wait for it to be here! my favorite!! so sick of hot summer weather

  11. Molly 07.28.2011

    ah I was just thinking the same thing today- I am so kinda ready for fall. How dare I wish that, living in Minneapolis, it’s obvious what would be right around the corner after that (hello, 60 below). I can’t wait for Football season, and to make this casserole. I could eat Mexican every day. I swear!

  12. Cecilia 07.28.2011

    I LOVE summer! And I love the summer fruits. But I was actually just thinking earlier today that I eat so many more veggies in the fall. For some reason I get so motivated to cook and eat all that good “orange stuff” like squashes and sweet potatoes. But we have such a short fall here and long winter (ugh!) that I’ll be patient and wait.

  13. Rachel 07.28.2011

    I feel like it’s only really started to be summer here in SoDak. I absolutely love fall, but I’m already dreading the season-that-shall-not-be-named (especially after last year’s…Eep!), so I want summer to stick around a little longer.

  14. debbie 07.28.2011

    never too early to look forward to fall! It’s definitely my favorite season. And that casserole, yum!

  15. sara 07.28.2011

    you have the cutest posts; if I skip a day of your blog (which only happens in the worst power-outages during ‘the season that shall not be named’ or thunderstorms) I feel like I’ve forgotten do something & my day is not complete.

  16. Definitely too early! Keep sipping those mocktails from the ball jars! ;)

  17. meg 07.28.2011

    Waiiiit is there any alcohol in that drink ??

  18. anna 07.28.2011

    I’m not ready for fall yet – but I could go for some fall food. I made chicken tortilla soup earlier, yum!

  19. That looks so yummy. Seriously, now I want Mexican for dinner!

    I always get excited for fall. ridiculously early. But now I won’t have a fall b/c I moved to California! The horror!

  20. No, thank you! I am definitely not ready for fall yet. I don’t even feel like I’ve had a summer seeing the temps only get into the 60s here in Alaska. (Those of you who are complaining about your heat. . . you don’t know what you’ve got ’til its gone!)

    Also, it is just a Minnesota thing to call it a “hotdish” instead of a “casserole?”

  21. Faith 07.28.2011

    Football? FOOTBALL????? It can’t freaking get here soon enough!!!

  22. Brynne 07.28.2011

    It’s not too early! We’re getting everything fall-ish in at the store I work for! Cozy sweaters and gorgeous jewel tones are making me long for cooler weather and changing trees too :)

  23. pinkflipflops 07.28.2011

    yum! will have to try this soon.

  24. Not. At. All. My friends and I literally talked about the fall throughout dinner tonight. We talked about football, street festivals, football, apple picking, foliage, and oh, did I say football? I love the fall. The colors, the smells, and how it pulls people together. L.O.V.E!!

  25. Linda 07.28.2011

    Yay for Iowa football and tailgating at Kinnick. I am ready for the BOOM!

  26. Holly 07.28.2011

    I made a casserole tonight too!
    I layed polenta, ground turkey, zucchini & bell peppers, and cheese! Delicious….and not too heavy for an extremely HOT summer night! :) Love your blog!

  27. yummy! I’m not ready for fall yet though. The weather in Sonoma County has totally been like mid 70’s low 80’s which is nice but it hardly seems like summer here.

  28. Hwkichick 07.28.2011

    So you are a hawkeye…I trust your opinion so much more now!!! ;)

  29. Sher 07.28.2011

    I’m ready for pumpkin spice lattes! Yum!!!

  30. Lindsey 07.28.2011

    I am so happy you posted this – I am ready! I love summer by fall is truly my favorite season and it is even better since my birthday and anniversary is in September too :)
    I have been dreaming of pumpkin spiced lattes, the smell of fall leaves, pumpkin muffins, chili/casseroles/homemade soups – see fall has been on my mind!

  31. Tessa 07.28.2011

    It’s never too hot for a good Mexican dish, but I have to disagree on wanting fall. I <3 summer!

  32. Luv What You Do 07.28.2011

    I LOVE fall! It is my ultimate favorite and although I can’t believe August is a weekend away, I am excited for the weather and of course the soup and chili and even better the football…luckily we will have a season!

  33. With the heat we’ve been having, I am sure everyone is looking forward to fall at least a little bit.

    There is a tree in my neighborhood too that is already changing colors – crazy!

  34. Hope 07.29.2011

    This nacho casserole looks amazing! Mexican food is my absolute favorite and this recipe looks delicious. I cannot wait to try it! :)

    I am definitely looking forward to fall! I can’t wait to break out the uggs and sweatshirts. More importantly, I cannot wait for all of the pumpkin flavored foods!! :)

  35. Nicole G 07.29.2011

    Um, no. I am so over summer! As a kid, I hated cold weather and prayed summer would last all year long, but in Missouri, that just isn’t going to happen;) Now, as an adult, I love the seasons in this order: fall, winter, spring, summer. Just not a summer fan anymore. I feel like, if you can’t spend summer in the pool (which most working adults don’t have a lot of time fore) then I have no use for the heat. As a foodie, I absolutely love fall! The soups, chili’s, baking, the clothing, the colors outside, all of it!!! Glad someone is wishing it was here as badly as I am ;)

    • Ms.S 07.29.2011

      Totally agree with you on the pool thing. Summers were SO much better spent poolside every afternoon.

  36. Emily 07.29.2011

    Despite the temperature forecast being 105 today (breaking records here in NC) – I’m not ready for fall. I love love love summer clothes and summer food and summer fun. As much as I love tailgating (the highlight of my fall), summer needs to stick around for a little longer.

    BUT I am loving that recipe – nachos are my favorite guilty pleasure.

  37. Part of me is starting to crave all things fall and those crisp mornings. BUT, as a New Englander, we gotta hold on to summer as long as we possibly can!

  38. Bridget 07.29.2011

    It’s totally understandable that you’re pining for Fall! It’s been a hot and muggy summer here in Iowa. I’m not ready just yet for Fall because I know what follows. Stupid sn……..can’t even type the word.

  39. Jessie 07.29.2011

    School starts at the end of August, so fall is right around the corner! I’ve been eyeing all the pumpkin recipes, CAN NOT WAIT!

  40. Taylor 07.29.2011

    Ahhhhh FOOTBALL! and being outside in the crisp, fall air with just a sweatshirt and jeans with a left-over tan from the summer….it really could NOT get any better! I’m so over sweating and the summer right now! :)

  41. I do love the long days of summer but I am looking forward to football season and the changing colors of the trees!

  42. Jim G 07.29.2011

    Wow am I ready for Hawkeye football……
    In Heaven there is no beer
    (No beer?!)
    That’s why we drink it here
    And when we’re gone from here
    Our friends will be drinking all the beer.

  43. Sarah T. 07.29.2011

    No way – I love fall! Hot apple cider, pumpkin pie, casseroles (my favorite food group) and FOOTBALL! Bring it!

  44. Betsey 07.29.2011

    Of course not – fall is my favorite season too! Just the other day, I was thinking of cozy sweatshirts and caramel apples. Yah!

  45. Ali 07.29.2011

    I kind of hate summer this year and I don’t feel badly about that at all :) Fall is by far my favorite season ever so I am getting especially antsy this year after this ridiculous heat!

  46. joe 07.29.2011


  47. joe 07.29.2011


  48. joe 07.29.2011

    Smoked Turkey

  49. Cynthia 07.29.2011

    I L.O.V.E. Summer! Never want it to end! My 6 month pregger SIL says otherwise…..LOL ;) However, I did buy the cutest most perfect lightweight leather jacket for Fall at GAP the other day.

  50. Julie S. 07.29.2011

    Who can blame you for looking forward to fall when we’ve had 100 degree heat indexes for the past 2 weeks?! Ugh! I LOVE summer, but this is… unpleasant. And no end in sight! Double ugh! I love when the seasons change – well when 3 of them change, anyway. NOTHING to get excited about when fall turns to… the season that shall not be named.

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