Chicken Verde Enchilada Bake with Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salsa
Chicken Verde Enchilada Bake with Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salsa is a chicken enchilada casserole with homemade green enchilada sauce!
**This post was originally published on May 1, 2014. The recipe, text and photos have all been updated.
And the tomatillo love continues….:) My last post sung the praises of raw tomatillos in my Mango Tomatillo Guacamole. This chicken verde enchilada bake celebrates roasted tomatillos.
I love them tomatillos raw or cooked, and I can’t seem to get enough of them these days.
If you love tomatillos as much as I do, check out my tomatillo produce guide.
Chicken Verde Enchilada Bake
I made this chicken enchilada casserole weeks ago, thinking nobody in my family would want to eat it but me.
To my surprise, everyone loved it, and the kids even asked for seconds. Seconds! I told my kids I’d hit the jackpot with this one, and it’s completely true. 🙂
How to make chicken verde enchilada bake
I love this chicken enchilada casserole recipe, because sometimes I just don’t want to roll up a mess of enchiladas. This dish is layered with shredded chicken, my homemade green enchilada sauce, corn tortillas, and plenty of cheese.
It really doesn’t get much better.
This chicken verde enchilada casserole is a three-parter, but they’re three easy parts. Making the sauce is super simple first part as outlined in that post.
The best part is that the sauce can be made in advance, and even frozen.
The second part of the recipe includes slow cooking your chicken breasts with the verde sauce.
Place the chicken in the slow cooker with your sauce, and cook on low for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken is nice and tender, and shreds easily (my chicken was perfectly done in 3 1/2 hours). Remove the chicken, shred it, then mix it back in with the sauce.
The third and final part of the recipe is baking your masterpiece. Preheat the oven, and get layering!
Think Mexican lasagna here…verde sauce with chicken, tortillas, and cheese.
Use an 8×8″ square baking dish, and put just enough sauce on the bottom to cover and keep those tortillas moist. Halve 3 small tortillas ( I used small taco size corn tortillas), and overlap them over the sauce.
Top with half of the sauce, and sprinkle on your favorite cheese. Repeat one more time with 3 more tortillas, the remaining sauce, and more cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, and done. 🙂
I know I told you there’s only 3 parts to this recipe, and the enchilada bake tastes great if you stop there. Why settle for great, however, when you can have extraordinary?
The first time I made this bake I topped it with a dollop of Greek yogurt and chopped cilantro…like I said, it was great.
I got to thinking that this chicken enchilada casserole would be even better topped with a fresh salsa over that, and it certainly was.
While your casserole is in the oven, chop up your salsa ingredients, and you’re all set for a homemade Mexican fiesta that everyone will be happy about.
Consider Cinco de Mayo meal planning done. 🙂
Recipe tips and substitutions
Use leftover or rotisserie shredded chicken in this recipe to save time.
Make the verde sauce in advance or use store bought as a time saver.
Flour tortillas may be substituted for corn if you’re not gluten intolerant.
More Mexican recipes you’ll love:
- One batch Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- (6) taco size corn tortillas (or your favorite)
- 1 1/2 cups of grated Mexican cheese blend
- Greek yogurt or sour cream, for garnish
For the Salsa:
- 1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper, to taste
Prepare the chicken verde:
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place them in a slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the chicken, and cook on low 3-4 hours, or until the chicken is no longer pink and shreds very easily. Remove from the slow cooker and shred. Place the chicken back in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly with the verde sauce.
Prepare the enchilada bake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8" square baking dish with cooking spray. Place just enough of the chicken verde mixture on the bottom of the baking dish to cover. Halve (3) of the tortillas and overlap sideways, covering the sauce. Cover with half of the remaining chicken verde, and sprinkle with half of the grated cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, chicken verde, and cheese.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Prepare the salsa:
- Place the cherry tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Let stand at room temperature to let the flavors marry. Top the enchilada bake with a dollop of Greek yogurt and salsa. Enjoy!
- The verde sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- The chicken verde can be made ahead in the slow cooker and stored in the refrigerator until ready to make the enchilada bake.
- Use leftover or rotisserie chicken in this recipe to save time.
- Flour tortillas may be substituted for corn if you're not gluten intolerant.