chicken enchilada bake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6-8
  • chicken enchilada bake:
  • 2 cups shredded chicken – I always roast up 1 large (about 1 lb) bone-in, skin-on chicken breast ahead of time, or you can shred chicken from a rotisserie chicken
  • 2 to 2.5 cup cups homemade enchilada sauce (see recipe below), or 19-ounces store-bought sauce
  • 8-10 corn or flour tortillas (depends on your pan size, I used 8 torts for an 8x8 pan)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
  • fresh cilantro for topping
  • enchilada sauce: - Makes approx 7 cups - enough for 2 batches of sauce
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole-peeled, diced or crushed tomatoes, or 1 (24-ounce) BPA free box of San Marzano tomatoes, refilled once with water I used the 24-ounce BPA-free box of San Marzao tomatoes, and it’s the same as using a 28-ounce can
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons taco, or southwest seasoning
  • ½ yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  1. To make the sauce, put all of the above ingredients into a high-powered blender and puree until smooth.
  2. You can use or refrigerate the sauce as is, or pour the sauce into a medium-sized pot and simmer for 20-30 minutes to meld the flavors and thicken the sauce, adding more salt to taste. I always simmer the sauce and add about ½ teaspoon more of salt. Simmering the sauce really melds the flavors together, so it's worth doing if you have time.
  3. I always roast and shred up my chicken earlier in the week, so I can just grab it and go. Check out my post on how to roast chicken breasts to see how. Roasting up chicken breasts is a great Sunday meal prep thing to do because you can use shredded chicken in so many recipes, as well as sandwiches.
  4. Now, it's time to assemble the chicken enchilada bake.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Place a few spoonfuls of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 8x8 or 9x9 glass square baking dish to prevent sticking.
  7. Place 2-3 tortillas in the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping to cover the entire surface. My tortillas were small so I used 3, and then tore one in half to fit. Spread half the can of refried beans over the tortillas. I used a spatula to smooth out the beans.
  8. Next, layer 1 cup of the shredded chicken over the beans, then add ½ cup cheese and then ¾ cup of the enchilada sauce.
  9. Repeat with the 2nd layer of tortillas.
  10. Layer on the rest of the refried beans, 1 cup chicken, ½ cup cheese and ¾ cup enchilada sauce.
  11. Add one more layer of tortillas, then cover the tortillas with the remaining enchilada sauce (about ½ cup) and 1 cup cheese.
  12. Cover the baking dish with parchment paper and aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Remove parchment/foil and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes until sauce is bubbly. Turn on the broiler and broil until the cheese browns to your liking.
  14. Remove enchilada bake from oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Letting the enchilada bake rest helps it to slice up easier. If you slice it too soon, it will be soupy.
  15. Top the enchilada bake with some chopped cilantro.
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at