How to Make the Best Layered Enchilada Casserole

I got pretty busy recently and decided to keep on hand a few recipes that still have a made-from-scratch feel, but are faster to prepare.  This layered enchilada casserole recipe uses something we normally make ourselves – cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup. In this case, using the canned soup made the best-layered casserole for a quick dinner.

Chicken, Beef or Beans in Your Layer?

I used chopped chicken with this recipe, but easily, you could use beef or beans. If you cook the meat ahead of time it will be even quicker when you have all you need on hand to turn out this layered enchilada casserole quickly. It’s fast and very tasty.

How to Make the Best Layered Enchilada Casserole

How to Make the Best Layered Enchilada Casserole
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How to Make the Best Layered Enchilada Casserole

Preparing the meat or beans for this casserole ahead of time helps save time. Freeze in portions equivalent to the servings needed. This serves 11 people and used a 9x13 pan, plus an 8x8. If you want to adjust the recipe to a smaller crowd, just hover over the servings in people and slide to adjust!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword casserole, cream of mushroom soup, enchilada
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 11 people
Author Theresa

Ingredients

  • 10 cups chopped cooked chicken, ground beef, or mashed beans Prepare ahead and freeze in portions for quick use
  • 2 cups diced onion My favorite tool for chopping is the Big Mouth Chopper
  • 2 cups diced mushrooms (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 21 1/2 oz cream of mushroom Soup Two 10 3/4 oz cans
  • 21 1/2 oz cream of chicken Soup Two 10 3/4 oz cans
  • 20 oz tomatoes with chiles
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 28 oz enchilada sauce
  • 20 6" corn tortillas
  • 6 cups rustic white cheddar cheese combine different cheddar cheeses if desired

Instructions

  1. Saute onions and chopped mushrooms with butter in a large skillet. 

    Saute mushrooms and onions for layered enchilada casserole
  2. Now, soup! I didn't think I would like it. We've been making our white sauce for so long, but this is a good substitute when you are short on time to make it from scratch.

  3. Add the cream of chicken and mushroom soups, tomatoes with chilis, chicken broth, garlic, and spices. Mix up and let bubble for a few minutes.

    Add tomatoes and chilis to layered enchilada casserole
  4. Spray the pans with non-stick spray. Start layering your casserole. You'll be doing this twice so use half of the mixture on each layer for each pan. Cover the bottom of your pan/pans with tortillas, overlapping is fine. 

  5. Cover the tortillas with your meat or bean choice and the soup mixture.

    Add cream soup mixture layered enchilada casserole
  6. Add cheeses and a portion of enchilada sauce. OH YUMMY! I've found that a good rustic white cheddar is the best cheese to use for this casserole.

    Repeat the same layer.

    Add Cheddar Cheese Layered Enchilada Casserole
  7. With cheeses as the ending layer, add the rest of enchilada sauce and top with chopped green onions. 

    Add enchilada sauce layered casserole
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes until bubbly and brown. Brown rice is a great side with this!

Recipe Notes

You'll need non-stick spray for the casserole dishes.

If you decide to use beans, you can cook them ahead of time and freeze them. Pinto beans are easy to make in a pressure cooker and freeze nicely in portions. I would probably mash mine up with some olive oil and spices and heat them up before spreading on the layers. You could also use canned beans for a quick fix.

Cream Sauce From Scratch?

However, if you want to make your own cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soups, it’s really not hard if you have time! You can make your own white sauce and add chopped mushrooms, and chicken bouillon powder. While it’s not mentioned in our from scratch white sauce, I do replace some broth with white wine and add 1 tsp. or so of poultry seasoning. See our enchiladas for our white sauce.

Rice and Beans for Sides?

We love brown rice as a side dish with enchiladas! Baby’s First Foods, A Mother’s Guide to Family Nourishment has in-depth instruction on pressure cooking beans, rice, and more with cooking and timing charts. It contains our own tried and true recipes. It’s a great book that I often take out to cook from! You can grab a copy here.

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