We have been chowing down on this Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole ON. THE. REG! It’s a minimalist // meal-prepper’s dream come true. Taking care of protein, fiber, and satisfying carbohydrates all in one dish. As a San Diego girl – any and ALL things even remotely similar to enchiladas / tacos / burritos is bound to give me all those i-miss-my-hometown // nostalgic food feels. And THEN some.
This healthy-spin on a chicken enchilada bake is going to give you major comfort food vibes, but isn’t made with any extra oil.
You’ll be pleased to know that no tortillas were fried in the making of this dish. Making it both more healthy AND less work for you. It makes a great high-protein meal option and boasts lots of fill-you-up fiber with green chiles + white beans.
It’s the ultimate cozy, cheesy, warm, and inviting dish to come home to after a long day. Everything you love about enchiladas, without any of the rolling / stuffing / tucking required. With all the familiar flavors from white chicken chili layered between soft tortillas and melted cheese.
It’s a super forgiving recipe. This casserole gets that you’re tired / stressed out / not-in-the-mood / (insert other after-work emotion here).
This is the kind of dish where you just layer things together, as messy as you please (think: lasagna), and it comes out tasting great anyway.
Even if you didn’t want to make it with chicken (or just didn’t have the time or motivation to make it), you could just double // triple down on the canned beans and voila – a vegetarian friendly dish is born. The cheese will bind every ingredient together and the salsa will act like a sauce, melding all the separate flavors // textures into one cohesive dish. In spite of even my BEST efforts to totally screw it up, time and time again this recipe just soldiers on. And every time, defiantly comes out of that oven bubbling and delicious.
And how could it not? When melted cheese, soft tortillas, and green salsa are involved – it’s basically cheating. We are rigging the game here, friends!
When classic enchilada ingredients come out to play its impossible for things to not taste freaking fantastic. And then you add in tender, shredded chicken + creamy white beans and it’s game OVER. You’re bound to make whoever eats this pretty damn happy. For days on end too, because did I mention that…
This recipe makes 9-12 servings (depending on hunger levels) – meaning you could have several DAYS worth of dinner made in under 45 minutes.
In our house that would mean that I wouldn’t have to cook dinner again for 4-6 days. Take out a slice, microwave it on a plate. Then once hot, pop some prewashed greens on the side with a store-bought dressing and BOOM. Hot meal with a side salad. Or get even more creative and bake some delicate greens right into the layers (chopped spinach comes to mind)! Cheesy casseroles are the perfect place to hide an extra veggie or two.
I arrived late to the casserole game, I had never actually had one until THIS summer. Turns out…
Baked casserole dishes are brilliant time savers + amazing places to hide extra veggies (or use up whatever is leftover in your fridge or pantry).
I can’t believe it took me so long to come around to embracing them – I’m a total casserole convert. They are pure MAGIC.
See the only “casseroles” I was familiar were just the ones I saw on TV. The ones that they showed on the Campbell’s soup commercials or that I caught a glimpse of Paula Deen whipping up. Usually involving sour cream, mayonnaise, or a can of cream of mushroom // chicken soup dumped on top of some green beans and those dried crunchy onion things that came in a large pringles-looking kind of can.
I had never ever in my life eaten anything remotely like that. It was totally foreign to me. It felt like everyone was making them around the holidays but the visuals I was seeing on television were not exactly persuading me to eat them. If you’ve ever seen what’s inside a can of unheated soup, then you totally get what I’m talking about here. Seeing something just *gloop* on top of uncooked veggies or raw meat is not exactly what you would call hunger-inducing.
I had NO clue that (at least here in the states) casserole simply refers to the name of the pan that the food is baked in (or vice versa, the name of any dish that you made in a casserole pan). I did not know that they could be layered with tons of flavor and texture baked right in. And I hadn’t the faintest idea that they could be tasty, interesting, versatile vehicles for healthful meals. But let me tell you, my kitchen life got totally flipped upside down when I made my first casserole bake.
And I’ve been joyfully baking some version of a casserole at least once a week ever since.
Casseroles combine your usual meal prep staples into one single dish. They are an easy, foolproof way to make sure you’re getting all 3 macronutrients (carbohydrates / protein / fat) all in one meal.
And this casserole is one of my favorites, born (per the usual) out of that killer combo of necessity and desperation. You know – that situation you’re in when you come home to a fridge that is pitifully stocked but you have zero motivation to go out and grocery shop. Thankfully, your pantry saves you (yet again) with some canned goods that add a ton of flavor and save you a bunch of time on prep.
I swear those cans and jars stash themselves in the furthest, darkest corners of the cabinets for JUST these sorts of moments. That *eureka!* moment when you stumble upon ingredients that you know are going to help you make-it-work. Well, that moment just feels like a little *hug* from the universe. That don’t worry, girl – I got YOU.
What are some of your ride-or-die pantry staples? Share your faves with me down in the comments!
A healthy-spin on a green chicken enchilada casserole! Baked in the oven with layers of soft tortillas, melty cheese, lean shredded chicken, white beans, salsa verde, and hatch chiles. Perfect for weekly meal-prep!!
- 6 whole wheat tortillas (large burrito // wrap size)
- 1 15-oz can white beans
- 1 12-oz bag shredded cheese – Mexican Blend
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1 24-oz jar salsa verde
- 2 4-oz cans of green hatch chiles (mild + diced)
- shredded Crockpot Salsa Chicken *
- 1 tbs dried oregano
- whole milk Greek Yogurt * * / sour cream
- guacamole (love the single serving containers for meal prep!)
- cholula hot sauce
- fresh cilantro
- PREHEAT OVEN: To 375 degrees
- PREP CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS: Cut each tortilla in half, set aside. Open, drain, and rinse beans. Put into a small bowl and stir together with the 2 cans of hatch chiles. Set aside.
- LAYER CASSEROLE: For the first layer, place four tortilla halves into the bottom of a 9” x 13” casserole or baking dish, lining up one flat edge (the cut part) against each side of the dish (see pictures above). The rounded parts will overlap to cover the center. Add enough salsa verde to coat the tortillas (about a third of the large salsa jar). Use the back of a spoon to spread it around evenly. Then add half of the white bean + green chile mixture, followed by half of the chicken (about 2 chicken breasts worth). Make sure the ingredients are spread out evenly by just pushing them with your hands. Now sprinkle one third of the bag of cheese over top. · Repeat this layer once more for the second layer. · Then for the third layer – top with the remaining tortilla halves, and use only half of the remaining salsa in the jar to spread around the top of the tortillas. If you like crispier edges on your enchiladas, then leave an inch around the edge of the pan where you don’t put salsa on the tortillas. · Now add the remaining Mexican cheese blend + the extra cup of Monterey Jack Cheese (which isn’t necessary but if you’re all about having the gooiest topping situation possible, is HIGHLY recommended). Finish by sprinkling with dried oregano.
- BAKE: Bake for 25 minutes at 375. Then if you like a golden bubbly topping, crank your oven up to broil (high setting) for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to watch it during those last few minutes as oven temperatures can vary greatly + you don’t want it to burn! Take out and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. · Can store in the fridge in the casserole dish covered with foil for up to a week.
For a vegetarian casserole dish – use 3 more cans of beans instead of chicken.
* If using my recipe for Crockpot Salsa Chicken, then only use 4 chicken breasts. You won’t need more than that to fill out the casserole layers. You can also use leftover shredded rotisserie chicken for this if you prefer
* *Full-fat (not 0% / 2%) varieties of Greek Yogurt made with whole milk will mimic the thickness and taste of sour cream or crema much better than the low-fat varieties
- Serving Size: 1 serving