Chicken tortilla casserole is a great way to enjoy Mexican inspired flavors any night of the week. The perfect make ahead meal for busy weeknights.

scoop of chicken tortilla casserole

There is nothing better than an easy, cheesy, comfort food casserole and this Chicken Tortilla Casserole is exactly that. This dish is a version of a Mexican lasagna and it’s full of flavor with the perfect blend of spices and a wholesome helping of veggies. Everything gets topped with bubbly cheddar for the best Mexican inspired comfort food we know you’ll love.

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chicken tortilla casserole on dish

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious casserole.

  • Chicken breasts You can cook and shred your own, use leftovers or shred a grocery store rotisserie chicken.
  • Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil and regular olive oil work best. You could use light olive olive oil, but its taste is much milder.
  • Onion – Dice up a red onion or any onion you might have on hand.
  • Spices –  Chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt
  • Black beans – Drain and rinse them if using canned beans.
  • Corn – It can be canned corn or frozen or potentially even fresh corn.
  • Rotel – This convenient blend of diced tomatoes and green chiles add so much flavor. 
  • Tomato sauce – Use plain tomato sauce and avoid Italian flavored sauces. 
  • Chicken broth -Chicken broth helps to make the saucy filling.
  • Flour tortillas – Flour tortillas hold up better than corn tortillas in this recipe, but you could use corn ones if needed.
  • Cheddar Cheese – Lots of shredded cheese for ultimate yum factor. Feel free to substitute a cheddar blend or Mexican blend.
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How to Make It

Make the sauce. Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. As the oven heats, grease or spray with a non-stick spray, a 9×13 inch casserole dish.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions. Saute the onions until they are softened. This is usually about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add in the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, black beans, corn, Rotel, tomato sauce, and chicken broth and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.

Assemble the layers.  Start by scooping some of the sauce out into the bottom of the greased casserole dish. Place a single layer of tortillas on top of the sauce. This is about 6 shells, depending on the size of your tortillas.

Spread a layer of the chicken over the tortillas then top with a layer of the sauce and a layer of cheese. Add about 6 more tortillas and repeat the layering steps. 

To top it all off, layer with tortillas and a layer of cheese. If you want, you can add additional cheese to the top for extra cheesiness.

Bake and serve. Cover the casserole dish in aluminum foil. Place the dish in the oven and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and bubbling. 

Take the casserole out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Once it has cooled slightly, serve the casserole hot with your favorite side salad, vegetables, or bread.

Mexican chicken tortilla casserole

Tips For Making Chicken Tortilla Casserole:

  • Make the chicken ahead of time! Cook a big batch of chicken over the weekend following either our Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe or our Slow Cooker shredded chicken recipe. You could also use other leftover chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken to save even more prep-time. This is a great tip if you are making our Chicken Enchilada Casserole or our popular King Ranch Chicken Casserole.
  • If you prefer corn tortillas, you can substitute them for flour tortillas in this recipe. You will need more tortillas than listed in the recipe because corn tortillas are smaller. They also tend to get a bit more crumbly when cooked in a casserole. They’ll still taste great, but they just might not hold together well.
  • Customize this recipe with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings. If you don’t like black beans skip them. If you want a little more heat, add some diced jalapenos. It’s all about the flavors your family loves! Want more cheese? Add Mexican inspired cheeses. You can also top this recipe with sour cream, guacamole, and other nacho-inspired toppings.
pan of chicken tortilla casserole

Can I make it ahead of time? 

Yes you can definitely make this ahead of time. If you want to make this over the weekend for an easy weeknight dinner that you can just pop in the oven, bake the recipe and then let it cool completely  before storing in the refrigerator. The casserole can be made up to a week ahead of time. 

If you want to freeze the casserole, bake it and then let it cool completely. You will need to store the casserole in a freezer safe dish. You can store it for up to 2 months. 

Or if you prefer, you can fully assemble the casserole in a freezer and oven safe container.  

Reheating instructions

  1. Refrigerator – Remove from the refrigerator and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until it is heated all the way through. 
  2. Freezer – Remove from the freezer and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes – 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the casserole is heated through. 
  3. Leftovers – if you are heating up leftovers, you can heat up a single plate in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes or until warmed through. Or you could place the casserole container back in the oven at 350 for about 10 to 20 minutes. This will vary based on how much you have left over.

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Easy Recipes and Simple Entertaining Ideas!

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 52 mins
Resting time: 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 7 mins

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Chicken Tortilla Casserole is an easy Tex-Mex recipe made with layers of flour tortillas and a flavorful filling of chicken, spicy tomatoes, black beans, corn, and cheese. It is an easy dinner casserole that everyone will love.
scoop of chicken tortilla casserole
Print Recipe
5 from 12 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 can Black beans, drained
  • 1 can Corn, drained
  • 15 oz. Rotel
  • 28 oz. Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup Chicken broth
  • 18 Flour tortillas
  • 2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  • Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium high heat and add onion, sauteing until softened.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, black beans, corn, Rotel, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  • Scoop out some of the sauce and spread a bit on the bottom of a casserole dish and then line the bottom with tortillas (about 6).
  • Spread a layer of the chicken over the tortillas then top with a layer of the sauce and a layer of cheese.
  • Top with 6 more tortillas and repeat the layers adding chicken, sauce, and cheese.
  • Top with the last of the tortillas and a layer of cheese.
  • Cover with foil and place in oven and bake at 375 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 510kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: 1509mg, Potassium: 1031mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1070IU, Vitamin C: 14.5mg, Calcium: 319mg, Iron: 4.7mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main