This easy Mexican Casserole has extra cheesy layers of chicken, veggies and refried beans with corn tortillas. This will be your new go-to casserole for Mexican night at home!
An Easy Mexican Casserole
There is nothing easier than a casserole for dinner! And when life is super busy, but I still want a warm, filling, and comforting dinner, I look for something that I can assemble ahead of time. Then, when it’s just about dinner time, all I need to do is pop it in the oven and let it bake for just about 20-25 minutes!
I like to save this casserole for Taco Tuesday. I prep my casserole in the morning and then I get all of the yummy Mexican flavor without having to dice, and chop, and brown at dinnertime when I’m tired from a long day.
How to Make Mexican Casserole
- Prep: Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Stir: In a small bowl, stir together the refried beans and chicken broth to make them easier to spread.
- Sauté: In a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil, onion, red and green bell peppers, and jalapeño. Cook until tender, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Add corn, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Layer: Spread a little bit of enchiladas sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then layer in order: half of the tortilla strips, ALL of the refried bean mixture, half of the veggies, half of the chicken, half of the remaining sauce, half of the cheese. Repeat with the other half of the tortilla strips, veggies, chicken, sauce, and finish the top with the cheese.
- Bake: Cover your casserole dish with foil and bake it for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 10 more minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is perfectly melted.
- Serve: Serve your Mexican Casserole however you like it – with guacamole, lime wedges, fresh cilantro and sour cream!
Make your own enchilada sauce
For the best possible flavor, make your own homemade enchilada sauce. It makes a world of difference and only takes 7 minutes to whip up! You can absolutely use a store bought jar of enchilada sauce, but I have never found a store bought version that is as flavorful as my homemade version.
Another bonus to making your own enchilada sauce is that you can season it up to your taste. You can also make it spicy if you like spicy dishes! My husband loves when I add a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce to our homemade enchilada sauce and make spicy chipotle Mexican Casserole.
Can I use a different meat besides chicken?
Yes! You can use ground beef, pork, or turkey in place of the shredded chicken, you’ll just need to brown it first. This recipe is also a great way to use up any leftover taco meat you may have laying around!
Tips for the Best Mexican Casserole
This simple tips will make sure your Mexican casserole is the best on the block:
- Use corn tortillas to make this recipe, not flour tortillas. Flour tortillas can get soggy, but like in enchiladas, corn tortillas will hold up to the sauce and cheese!
- If you use a store bought enchilada sauce, taste it and make sure it has good flavor before using it. If it’s bland, I recommend spicing it up with cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc.
- Don’t skimp on the toppings: cilantro, avocado/guacamole, and sour cream!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
This casserole is quite large. So, even though it is a family favorite, we do usually end up with some leftovers. I store my leftovers in the fridge for about 3-4 days. I cover my baking dish tightly in foil or I put the leftovers into an airtight container. Then, I simply slice myself a piece and reheat for a few minutes in a 350°F oven, or in the microwave if I am in a rush!
Can I Freeze this Casserole?
Yes! Casseroles are perfect for prepping ahead and freezing for later. This one works especially well, since all of the major components are precooked. I love to do that as part of my meal prep and then simply defrost and bake on busy weeknights. Frozen casseroles are also great for meal trains and to bring when you visit a new mom.
To freeze this Mexican Casserole, allow all of the ingredients to cool completely, cover it with foil, and then pop it in your freezer. If you are planning to freeze it from the get-go, I’d assemble it directly in a disposable tin pan. For best flavor and texture, this is best within 3 months of freezing, but of course can be frozen for longer!
This layered Mexican Casserole is loaded with flavor and really easy to put together. I know the recipe ingredient list may look daunting, but it’s actually really simple ingredients that are already prepared.
We make this recipe a lot in our house and use all different kinds of meat. Our personal favorites are chicken or ground beef. You can prep it a day or two ahead and pop it into oven 30 minutes before you are ready to serve dinner. Perfect for a busy family!
Please leave a review or comment below letting me know how this recipe turns out for you!
- 1 15 oz can refried beans
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 18 – 20 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
- 2 cups homemade red enchilada sauce
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- sour cream
- lime wedges
- fresh cilantro
- avocado or guacamole
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish, set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together refried beans and chicken broth to make them easier to spread, set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, onion, red and green bell peppers, and jalapeño. Cook, stiring often, until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add corn, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
- Spread a little bit of enchiladas sauce on the bottom of the prepared casseroel dish. Then layer everything in this order: half of the tortilla strips, ALL of the refried bean mixture, half of the veggies, half of the chicken, half of the remaining enchilada sauce, half of the cheese.
- Repeat with the other half of the tortilla strips, veggies, chicken, enchilada sauce, and finish the top with the remaining cheese.
- Cover casserole dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additonal 10 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is perfectly melted on top.
- Serve as desired with guacamole, lime wedges, fresh cilantro and sour cream!
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