Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Casserole
Made with no condensed soups, this cheesy chicken tortilla casserole is loaded with Mexican flavors, and can be easily prepped ahead for a weeknight!
Looking to spice up Mexican night at your house? This cheesy chicken tortilla casserole is packed with great Mexican flavors, made easy with a rotisserie chicken, and uses no condensed soups!
I’ve been all about the casserole’s lately. They’re just so convenient and perfect for feeding a family! Our favorite’s so far are this ultra cheesy Mac and cheese, and this chicken cordon bleu casserole. I say favorites so far, because I have more casserole recipes coming for you all over the next few months, so stay tuned!
This tortilla casserole uses cooked shredded chicken, so you can use a rotisserie chicken, or cook your favorite kind of chicken and shred it 🙂 If you’re looking for a great tasting chicken recipe to use for this, I highly recommend my tequila lime chicken… it lends a great flavor!
One thing I love about this tortilla casserole is that it uses no condensed soups! I have nothing against using them, in fact this crazy good copycat soup uses them, but I know a lot of you aren’t huge fans of them, so I wanted to give you a great meal from scratch.
Although, just because it’s made from scratch… that doesn’t mean it takes forever or is complicated. You can make the sauce in about 10 minutes or less, then all you have to do is layer things and bake! But if you’re short on time, here are some great prep-ahead tips:
- Shred your chicken earlier in the day, or the day before and keep refrigerated
- Crunch up the tortilla chips and keep sealed in a bag until ready to use
- Make creamy salsa verde sauce ahead of time, stir in chicken and beans and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Just heat it in the microwave before layering it in the baking dish
I don’t think it’s any secret that my favorite part about this meal is the CHEESE!! Just look at all the gooeyness! As far as which cheese to use, that’s up to you. I like to use either Monterey Jack or pepper jack, but shredded Mexican blend cheese or regular cheddar work perfectly as well.
As far as the spiciness goes, I don’t think it’s spicy, although you could certainly make it that way if you’d like. To increase the heat:
- Use a can of hot green chiles
- Saute a jalapeño with the onion
- Use a spicier salsa verde
I like to top my casseroles with something fresh, like a nice sprinkle of minced fresh cilantro, but it’s optional. Fun fact, if you’re one of the people who think cilantro tastes like soap, it’s a genetic reason! I think I read somewhere that 4-14% of the population HATES cilantro. I’m not one of them… I love it, but if you’re not a fan, no worries, you can use fresh parsley, or omit the fresh herb all together. There’s cilantro in the dish, but I’m sure you could swap it out for parsley. It won’t have the same flavor, but if you hate cilantro, that’s kind of the point right? 🙂
I hope you guys give this cheesy chicken tortilla casserole a try… it’s perfect for both a weeknight or relaxed weekend dinner!
Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Casserole
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups salsa verde (use your favorite brand)
- 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 15 oz can of cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 oz can of mild diced green chiles, drained
- 1 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 15 oz bag of tortilla chips, roughly crushed
- 3 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- additional fresh cilantro, for garnish
- diced avocado, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 3 qt. baking dish (like a 9x13 pan) with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Add butter to a deep pot (I like to use my enameled dutch oven), over MED heat. Add onions and cook until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook about a minute more, stirring frequently.
- Add flour, cumin, oregano, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Slowly pour in chicken stock and cream, stirring as you pour, until combined. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened (enough that it coats the back of a wooden spoon).
- Add 1 cup of the cheese to the cream sauce, stirring in until melted. Remove from heat and add shredded chicken, white beans, green chiles, salsa verde and cilantro and stir to combine.
- Add a handful of the crushed tortilla chips to the bottom of prepared baking dish, enough to loosely cover it. Top with 1/3 of the chicken mixture, more crushed tortilla chips and 1/3 of the remaining cheese.
- Repeat with another 1/3 of the chicken mixture, more tortilla chips and 1/2 of the remaining cheese. Top with last bit of the chicken mixture, the last bit of the tortilla chips and remaining cheese.
- Spray some aluminum foil with nonstick spray and cover the baking dish (sprayed side down), and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 8-10 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.