Delicious, hot and bubbly chicken enchilada casserole has all the flavor of traditional enchiladas, without the extra carbs.
It's also much less work than filling, rolling, and baking enchiladas. And leftovers are really good - just as good as the freshly made dish.
I'm so in love with this delicious casserole! It's so flavorful, so filling, and so easy to make. My entire family loves it and requests it often. And leftovers are great too.
The secret is in the seasonings. They make the dish truly taste like enchiladas, even without the tortillas. And not using tortillas means that this casserole isn't just keto and gluten-free - it's also VERY easy to make.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this chicken enchilada casserole. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Olive oil: I love cooking with this flavorful oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Aromatics: I use garlic and onion.
To season: I use Kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder, and ground cumin.
Canned stuff: Tomato sauce and diced chile peppers.
Shredded chicken: I often use pre-cooked chicken breast. You can also use rotisserie chicken, but make sure to remove the skin.
Fresh cilantro: It adds great flavor to this dish. But I know that some people dislike this herb. If you're one of them, you can use parsley instead.
Shredded cheddar: I like to use sharp or even extra-sharp cheddar. Flavorful!
Making chicken enchilada casserole is super easy. So much easier than making enchiladas. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. These are the basic steps:
Make the sauce. First, prepare the enchilada sauce, using olive oil, onion, spices, and tomato sauce.
Mix the ingredients. Next, combine the shredded chicken with the sauce, green chiles, cilantro and half the cheese.
Bake. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish, sprinkle it with the remaining cheese, and bake until bubbly, about 10 minutes in a 400°F oven.
It's easy to keep this casserole low-carb by simply not using beans, rice, or tortillas. You won't miss these ingredients! It's incredible - this casserole truly tastes like enchiladas.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, absolutely. And the result isn't just lower in carbs - it's also a lot easier to make than traditional enchiladas.
You simply mix shredded chicken with enchilada sauce, chile peppers, cilantro and cheddar; top the mixture with more cheese and bake until hot and bubbly.
Any cooked shredded chicken will work. You can use baked chicken breast, broiled chicken breast, or simply use rotisserie chicken (make sure to remove the skin).
If you use rotisserie chicken, you will probably need to buy two of them and use about half of the second one, unless the one you buy is very large.
Of course! In fact, if you use store-bought sauce and shredded rotisserie chicken, this recipe becomes ridiculously easy and super quick. Just make sure that you're OK with the sauce ingredients and with its carb count.
When I go this route I use Whole Foods Market's enchilada sauce, which has 4 grams of carbs for ¼ cup. I find that I need to use 3 cups, which means I need to buy two jars.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Shredded turkey meat works well in this recipe, but make sure you use dark meat. Turkey breast is too dry.
- You can use shredded provolone instead of cheddar.
- Try adding a pinch of oregano to the sauce.
- Sometimes I add sliced black olives to the chicken mixture.
This is a rich casserole, so it's best paired with a simple vegetable side dish. I often serve it with one of the following:
Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. You can also reheat them in a 300°F oven.
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Keto Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Olive oil spray
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion minced (6 oz)
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce (no salt/sugar added)
- ½ cup water
- 2 lb. cooked boneless skinless chicken breast shredded (from 4 medium or 3 large chicken breasts)
- 1 (4 oz can) diced green chile peppers
- ½ cup packed minced fresh cilantro (1 oz)
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
Make the sauce:
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, black pepper, chili powder and cumin, and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- You can strain the sauce if you wish. I usually don't.
Make the casserole:
- In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, chile peppers, cilantro, and 1 cup cheese.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.