Quick and delicious, this recipe for chicken enchiladas boasts a spicy homemade enchilada sauce.  The dish makes enough for a large dinner group or it’s great to share at  potluck gatherings.  Serves 12-15



enchilada casserole

 For this chicken enchilada recipe, start by throwing two good sized chicken breasts into a pot with 2 dried California Chili Pods, 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa, 1 cup of water, 1 tsp Tapatio Hot Sauce, and 1 can of El Pato Salsa de Jalapeno, the green can.  You may need a bit more water depending on the depth and size of your pan.  You want the chicken to be covered.  Simmer this mixture until the chicken is fully cooked.  After it’s cooked, remove the chicken and let cool.

 enchilada casserole 1


In the same pot, with the leftover simmering sauce still in it, add in a can of El Pato Red, or tomato sauce with jalapeno, 1/4 cup onion, 1/2 cup salsa, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp basil, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 can tomato paste, and 1 1/2 cups water.  Let simmer over medium low heat stirring frequently until thick, about 30 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, shred the cooled chicken with two forks.  Place 4oz of cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften.  Mix in 1/2 small can of green chili.  Mix this into the chicken.


To layer the casserole, cover the bottom of a 9×13 with a thick layer of enchilada sauce.  (Discard the California chili pods after cooking.)enchilada casserole 2

Then layer corn tortillas on top of the sauce.

enchilada casserole 3


Follow with the chicken, spread evenly over the entire area.

enchilada casserole 4

Sprinkle with a Mexican cheese blend or your favorite cheddar.

enchilada casserole 5


Cover chicken/cream cheese with another layer of tortillas. Cover tortillas generously with enchilada sauce, but make sure to leave enough to cover the final layer or tortillas. Add another layer of cheese followed by a layer of tortillas. Cover final layer of tortillas with enchilada sauce and then cheese. You can add sliced or whole black olives to the top layer for a festive look. (optional) Bake at 350 until hot and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.  Serve with sour cream.


In case you got lost in the layering instructions…here is the layering set-up from beginning to end…

Start with a 9”x13” pan
Cover the bottom with enchilada sauce
Add a layer of tortillas
Cover tortillas with enchilada sauce
Spread Chicken mixture evenly over tortillas
Sprinkle your favorite cheese on top
Add another layer of tortillas
Cover with more enchilada sauce
Sprinkle with Cheese
Last layer of tortillas
Enchilada Sauce
Black Olives on top for decoration (optional)

   enchilada casserole 6


Chicken Enchilada Casserole


2 large boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
1 small can El Pato Salsa Jalapeno – Green Can
2 large California Chili Pod, rehydrated
1/2 cup Salsa; your favorite
1 cup Water
1 tsp Tapatio Hot Sauce
4 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 – 1 small can Mild Green Chilies
1/4 cup Onion, diced
1/2 cup Salsa
1 small can El Pato tomato sauce with jalapenos – Red can
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Basil
1 TBSP Chili Powder
1 – 1 1/2 cup Water
4-6 cups Mexican blend cheese, Jack cheese or Cheddar cheese
18 small Corn tortillas
Black Olives sliced for decoration (optional)
Sour Cream (optional) Served atop each serving



1. Place chicken breasts, El Pato jalapeno salsa – green can, California chili pods, 1/2 cup your favorite salsa, 1 – 1 1/2 cups water, and Tapatio hot sauce in a small pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook until chicken is done.  Remove chicken to a separate bowl to cool and reserve left over simmering liquid in pan.


2. Add to simmering liquid 1/4 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup salsa, 1 can El Pato tomato with jalapeno salsa – Red can, cumin, salt, oregano, basil, chili powder, and 1 – 1 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a simmer and let cook until the sauce is reduced by 1/3, or until thickened, about 30 minutes.


3. Place cream cheese and green chilies into a small bowl and microwave on high 30 seconds to soften cream cheese.  Shred chicken and mix cream cheese and chilies into it well.


4. Thinly cover the bottom of a 9x13x2 pan with enchilada sauce. Add 6 tortillas on top. Cover layer well with 1/3 of the remaining sauce. Top sauce with chicken mixture, and spread out evenly. Cover with a 1 1/2 – 2 cup layer of cheese. Place 6 more corn tortillas on top of cheese. Place 1/2 of remaining enchilada sauce on top of tortillas and spread out well. Top with cheese layer. Top cheese layer with another tortilla layer, then the rest of the enchilada sauce, and one last cheese layer.  You can also add black olives (sliced or whole) to the top for a festive look.


5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.

(Optional) When you’re ready to serve put a dollop of Sour Cream on each serving.



Prep time: 45 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Total time: 1 hour 10 mins

Yield: 12-15 servings




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