Healthy chicken enchilada casserole is quick and easy to make. Featuring homemade enchilada sauce and fresh chicken, it is done in 60 minutes.
This delicious healthy enchilada casserole recipe has a great Homemade Enchilada Sauce, tender chicken, and cheese. Everybody will love this layered casserole that is super easy to assemble.
This casserole will fit a healthy diet like a low-calorie or low-fat diet or even a low-carb keto diet. With less than 200 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving, it is also relatively low in carbohydrates for a low-carb/keto diet.
It's much easier to make and less messy than rolled enchilada casseroles. It has an easy homemade enchilada sauce that is much better than the canned alternative. You can use raw chicken cooked in the sauce or rotisserie chicken to speed things up.
Try some other easy Tex-Mex recipes. Start with this excellent Taco Casserole, then move on to Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas or classic rolled ChickenEnchiladaCasserole. And check out a few crock pot recipes with Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Southwest ChickenCasserole, or Fiesta Chicken.
The inspiration link goes to a recipe my wife emailed me Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole from Jo Cooks, a blog I have always enjoyed. But many similar recipes are around, all using canned enchilada sauce. I much prefer my homemade enchilada sauce. So I adapted the recipe to my tastes and made it a little healthier at the same time.
- Chicken—skinless boneless chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken
- Tomato sauce
- Tortillas—corn is lower in fat
- Cheese—lower fat suggested. Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese.
- Pantry ingredients—chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, black pepper
- Optional add-ins: corn, black beans, green chiles, or whatever you want
👨🍳How to make Healthy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Trim and cut up skinless boneless chicken breasts.
- In a medium saucepan, add tomato sauce and spices. Add the chicken to the saucepan and simmer until the chicken reaches 165°—about 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and shred. Divide into three equal piles.
- Coat a baking dish with PAM cooking spray and cover the bottom with sauce.
- Layer corn tortillas over the sauce, add ⅓ of the shredded chicken and ⅓ of the sauce and cheese. Repeat this layering twice more.
- Bake until a golden brown top - about 20 minutes.
Full instructions are below in the step-by-step and the recipe card.
🐓How to Use Rotisserie Chicken
You can use precooked rotisserie chicken. You will need about 3 cups. Don’t add it to the sauce, and cut the simmering of the sauce down to 10 minutes.
- Corn tortillas will save about 2.5 grams of fat and 40 calories per serving.
- Lower-fat cheese saves about 4 gms of fat and 40 calories per serving. But please do not use non-fat cheese, which will not melt the same.
- The complete nutrition summary is in the recipe card.
You can use precooked chicken. If you're aiming for low calories, use chicken breasts. You need about 3 cups, which will be approximately 1 ½ pounds. For the precooked chicken, you only need to simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes before assembly. The nutrition will change since all the rotisserie chicken is not breast meat.
You can use canned enchilada sauce, but you will suffer significantly in taste. This recipe uses my Homemade Enchilada Sauce, which is as easy as it is tasty.
If you use canned sauce and raw chicken, use it for cooking the chicken like the recipe. If you use it with rotisserie chicken, start at assembly.
Some tortillas seem to get soggier than others in a casserole. If you find this is a problem, you can briefly fry the tortillas for a few seconds in hot oil on each side. This works for both flour and corn tortillas—but it will add a bit of oil and change the nutrition
Yes, it should be with the corn tortillas. But like everything, read all the labels of anything you use.
Good refrigerated for 3-4 days. It should also freeze well when sealed well for 3-4 months.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350° convection or 375° conventional.
Trim two skinless boneless chicken breasts and cut them into three pieces each. These vary a lot in size. Aim for about 1 ½ pounds, but anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds total should be fine.
In a medium saucepan, mix one 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken and bring to a boil over medium-high heat—cover and decrease to simmer until the chicken is 165°—about 20 minutes.
Remove to cutting board and shred. Divide into three equal piles.
Prep an approximately 9X6 baking pan with PAM. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce over the bottom of the baking pan—layer two 6-inch corn tortillas over the sauce.
Add ⅓ of the chicken. Then ⅓ of the sauce (about ⅔ cup). Then ⅔ cup shredded cheese. Repeat this layering twice more.
Bake until a golden brown top - about 20 minutes.
Healthy Chicken Enchilada Casserole—Easy and Quick
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 6 corn tortillas - 6 inch
- 2 cups cheese - Lower fat suggested
- Preheat the oven to 350° convection or 375° conventional.
- Trim two skinless boneless chicken breasts and cut them into three pieces each. These vary a lot in size. Aim for about 1 ½ pounds, but anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds total should be fine.
- In a medium saucepan, mix one 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken and bring to a boil over medium-high heat—cover and decrease to simmer until the chicken is 165°—about 20 minutes.
- Remove to cutting board and shred. Divide into three equal piles.
- Prep an approximately 9X6 baking pan with PAM. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce over the bottom of the baking pan—layer two 6-inch corn tortillas over the sauce.
- Add ⅓ of the chicken. Then ⅓ of the sauce (about ⅔ cup). Then ⅔ cup shredded cheese. Repeat this layering twice more.
- Bake until a golden brown top - about 20 minutes.
Your Own Private Notes
- Easy to double in size using a standard large casserole dish or cake pan.
- You need anywhere from 1-2 pounds of chicken, depending on how much meat you want.
- I call for fresh skinless boneless chicken breasts, but thighs will work.
- You can use precooked chicken. You will need about 3 cups. Don’t add it to the sauce, and cut the simmering of the sauce down to 10 minutes.
- You could use canned sauce, but please don’t do that.
- You can add some drained cooked beans, corn, or green chiles.
- You can use flour tortillas if you want, but this will increase the fat and calories slightly. Also, it will no longer be gluten-free.
- Use a lower-fat version of cheddar or Mexican blend shredded cheese.
- Will be good refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for 3-4 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
© 101 Cooking for Two, LLC. All content and photographs are copyright protected by us or our vendors. While we appreciate your sharing our recipes, please realize copying, pasting, or duplicating full recipes to any social media, website, or electronic/printed media is strictly prohibited and a violation of our copyrights.
Originally Published February 3, 2015. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.
Hi. If I use shredded rotisserie chicken instead, would you suggest I just warm the chicken in the sauce before assembling the casserole? I just always find that rotisserie chicken is so much more moist, tender and flavorful than whole breasts that have been simmered in anything. Thank you! Going to make this and your spicy taco meat for super bowl Sunday!
Yep, just toss it in near the end of the 20 minutes. I will say that the chicken cooked this way is moist and tender. You can also sub in skinless chicken thighs if you want.
Thanks, I will make your cheesy chicken broccoli instead. My cooking skills have greatly improved with the help of your blog, however I don't want to experiment on my company!
I have made this before really good and easy, 5 star recipe. Do you have a arroz con pollo recipe? I am having coming this weekend, I am planning to make your crock pot ribs Friday (look delicious), but they love arroz con pollo and I would love to make it for them this Saturday. Thank you, leslie
No, I don't have a recipe for Arroz Con Pollo. I have seen recipes and it looks like a recipe I would do and like but have never tried it live so I generally like to try a classic recipe at a restaurant before doing it so I have a comparison.
Home made enchilada sauce is the way to go. Delish.
It does make a huge difference.
Thanks for the note.
I haven't made it yet, but I *know* I'm a-gunna love this. Too bad about the low calorie and low fat count I'll have to fix that, since I'm on a low carb diet that means I use full fat everything, sometimes when it's not even in the recipe. Yeee haw. I have lost 26 lbs.
I just knew when I saw your site I would love everything here. I don't see anything I wouldn't make,with above amendements of course.
Hi Marms, Yes you can modify it... Get some of those low carb tortillas and cheese it up.
Welcome to the site, and I believe there is a low carb category.
That dish looks yummy I cannot wait to try- likely next week. Its a Dr Dan cook fest, ham and bean soup tomorrow, flourless chocolate cake Saturday and I am sure more!. Thanks for the recipes and cooking real food!
Thanks for the note. You picked some winners there. Leave some cake for me.
5 stars. It was very tasty!
Thanks so much for the comment. This is my go to for healthy easy Mexican.
This looks great, but I don't care about healthy and would rather use ground beef and roll the tortillas. My mother used to make it ages ago and it was great but the recipe has been lost since she passed.
I was wondering if you would have a recipe for it.
I could eat the whole pan
I'll check but it seems like my spicy taco meat would do.
This casserole was fabulous!!! My husband who has been on a health kick for the last year and has lost weight and become quite fit, deemed it worthy of a repeat performance!!! He told me I'd better keep it in the rotation of recipes! The only thing I changed was to add some black beans to the casserole.. the hubby is all about plenty of protein and the added beans did that. We don't usually eat corn tortillas but after eating this we've decided they are waay better than the flour! This makes the third or fourth recipe of yours that we've added to our repertoire, so thank you for your awesome recipes!!!
Made this for supper tonight - SO GOOD. My husband, who is beyond picky, loved it. Glad I made an extra-large batch!
Thanks for the comment and rating... Molly and Lilly say thanks also.
This looks delish, and I'm making it for supper tonight. Molly and Lilly are just gorgeous, by the way. :-)
I made this for the first time last night. I don't know what I did wrong but there wasn't nearly enough sauce, and it was super thick . So it was hard to spread out. I did double check the recipe afterwards AND checked the size of my tomato sauce can. Any ideas? It was still really yummy! I happened to have a premade enchilada sauce in my pantry, so I just heated it up and some of us added it on top.
There should be just over 2 cups of sauce. You add 15 oz of tomato sauce and the chicken releases a little. So your liquid went somewhere. I have two possibilities that come to mind. First the chicken being "dehydrated" to begin with. Frozen a little to long somewhere could do that and of course freezer burnt chicken. Second would be you lost moisture during simmering. The lid was too loose or burner temp too high. Opps almost forgot my most common cause of this sort of thing, measurement error.
Try it again... my sauce is much better than the canned stuff.
I will definitely try again! As I said, it was really good- all leftovers got eaten too. Thx
Super thick? Did you get the chunky spaghetti sauce? Just use plain old tomato sauce. It's just blended up tomatoes with nothing fancy added.
Delicious! If you're in to food prep (I am about to have a baby so food prep is my life right now), I suggest doubling the recipe and making two separate batches, one to eat right away and another to freeze. I also added black beans for some extra nutritional value. It would be easy to add other vegetables, too- I may throw some corn in next time. Easy and turned out great!
So we're cooking the chicken in the sauce? did you use a slotted spoon to get the chicken and then a ladle to pour the sauce?
I doubled this and made it in a 13X9 pan since we like leftovers and it is Delicious! Tastes just like chicken enchiladas and so much easier. I made it on Saturday and my son took the last piece for lunch on Tuesday. Will definitely make again!!
Cant wait to try this recipe! I am a sucker for Mexican food and this looks delicious! And its Healthy too!
I'm with you. First, I love enchiladas. Second, I much prefer making my own sauces, red or green.
Thank you; this looks delicious! I'm wondering about how it stores in the fridge. I would like to make a batch and take to work over the week. Do you think this would work well?
We do lots of leftovers but usually in 1-2 days. Day 3 is "iffy". I would freeze individual servings for anything past 2 days.