Chicken Enchilada Casserole

For this chicken enchilada recipe, start by throwing two largish 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, and 1 can of El Pato Jalapeno Salsa, in 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 its cooked, remove the chicken and let cool.

salsas el pato

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.)

Then layer corn tortillas on top of the sauce.

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


Sprinkle with a mexican cheese blend or your favorite cheddar.

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. Bake at 350 until hot and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

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In case you got lost in the layering instructions…here is the set up from top to bottom…

Cheese-Sauce-Tortilla-Cheese-Sauce-Tortilla-Cheese-Chicken mixture-Sauce-Tortilla-Sauce-Pan

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Yield: 12-15 servings

Quick, delicious, chicken enchiladas for a large group with homemade enchilada sauce.


  • 2 large boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 small can El Pato Green Can Salsa Jalapeno
  • 2 large California Chili Pod, rehydrated
  • 1/2 cup Salsa, your favorite
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Tapetio
  • 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 Red can
  • 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
  • 18 small Corn tortilla
  • Instructions

1. Place chicken breasts, El Pato green can, California chili pods, 1/2 cup salsa, 1 – 1 1/2 cups water, and tapatio 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 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.

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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.

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

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