Easy Layered Enchilada Casserole

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If you’re looking for an easy, family friendly, layered enchilada casserole, this is for you! Highly customizable and not spicy, this quick, ground turkey enchilada recipe will become one of your go-to meals on a busy weeknight.

Enchilada casserole with ground turkey

Customizing This Layered Enchilada Bake

You can customize this recipe for layered enchilada casserole in many ways. Different sauces, meats, spices and cheeses can be substituted to make it your own.  

I first started making this layered enchilada casserole at least 25 years ago. While not “authentic,” it’s fast because it eliminates the soaking and rolling of the tortillas. 

While traditional enchiladas use flour tortillas, I swap them out for corn to make this a gluten-free enchilada casserole. I find that the corn tortillas absorb the sauce better, too. 

Layred enchilada casserole.

I’ve made this enchilada layered casserole with traditional red enchilada sauce and with green. My family prefers the green sauce. 

I don’t use a lot of canned goods, but I’ve found that the canned green enchilada sauce is very tasty and saves an hour or so!

Since I started making this when my family was young, it’s not a spicy dish. Even though the recipe calls for a can of green chilies, I use the mild. And now that my kids are grown, this is still the version they request most often. 

As my husband says, “If it isn’t broken don’t fix it!” 

How to Make Ground Turkey Enchilada Casserole

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 4-oz can diced green chilies (choose your level of heat)
  • 28-oz can enchilada sauce, green or red
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Start by sauteing the onions until translucent. Add in the ground turkey or beef, garlic, and spices. When meat is cooked through, stir in the corn and chilis. 

Remove from heat and set aside.

Ingredients for layered enchilada casserole.

In a 13″ x 9″ baking dish, pour a little of the enchilada sauce in the dish to moisten the bottom. 

Start layering in this order: 

  • Place six tortillas on the bottom of the dish, overlapping to fit. 
  • Add 1/2 meat mixture, 1/3 cheese and about 1/3 of the green enchilada sauce. 
  • Repeat. 
  • Finish by topping with six more tortillas, remaining sauce and final 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
Ground turkey enchilada casserole with cheese on top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Enchilada Layered Casserole FAQs

Can I use a different meat in a layered enchilada casserole?

I’m giving you my recipe, but that should just be a jumping point. Use ground beef instead of ground turkey if you prefer. You can also use shredded chicken. I’ve even made it with chorizo!

We like a sharp cheddar cheese, but jalapeño jack, Monterey jack, or a more traditional cotija cheese is delicious too. 

Season the meat to your liking, making it spicier or milder, depending on your family’s taste. As with all recipes, taste! Add more spices if you desire.

A slice of layered enchilada casserole being lifted out of the pan.

Can enchilada casserole be frozen?

Yes! This casserole is one that I will often make if I’m going out of town and want to have frozen meals on hand for my husband or daughter. Wrap individual portions in foil for easy defrosting.

Can you make this layered enchilada casserole ahead of time?

Yes! Prepare it the night before, cover tightly in plastic wrap. Remove from the fridge while the oven is heating. You may need to add 10 minutes to the cooking time since it will be cold.

Why is my enchilada casserole soggy?

This is most likely due to using too much sauce. Spreading the sauce out between the layers will provide just enough moisture and taste – resist the urge to pour more sauce on top. 

What else goes with this turkey enchilada casserole?

This recipe for Salsa Fresca is authentic. I got it from the cafeteria ladies at work! Cilantro Rice is a great side dish too!

Enchilada casserole with ground turkey

Layered Enchilada Casserole

Cynthia
Layered enchilada casserole is a quick and easy dish that skips the rolling of the tortillas. Layers of ground meat, cheese and mild green enchilada sauce make this a family favorite.
5 from 55 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 8 servings
Calories 557 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 4 oz can can diced green chilies
  • 28 oz can enchilada sauce green or red
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 16 ounces Sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • Start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each and season to your taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ground turkey or ground beef, and garlic, and continue cooking over medium heat until meat is browned and nearly cooked through. Add spices, chili powder, salt and pepper and continue cooking until meat is done. Check seasoning, adding more if desired.
  • Add corn and chilies, stir. Set mixture aside.
  • In a 13" X 9" baking dish, pour a little of the enchilada sauce in the dish to moisten the bottom. Begin by layering in this order: 6 tortillas, on the bottom of the dish, overlapping to fit. Add 1/2 meat mixture, 1/3 cheese and about 1/3 of the green enchilada sauce. Repeat. Finish by topping with six more tortillas, remaining sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
  • Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  • Serve with sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pieceCalories: 557kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 34gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 505mgPotassium: 471mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 957IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 478mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Layered enchilada casserole image for Pinterest.

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24 Comments

  1. I am very honored that you mentioned me in your blog! I am off to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to make today. I think I will take you up on the idea of making it today for tomorrow, since I am making beer can chicken for tonight I’ll let you know what the family thinks!

  2. I cooked the enchilladas tonight. They were great. Reagan thought they were ok. Jack didn’t like them but I at least got John and Reagan to eat them and say they liked them! I even made half with flour tortillas and half with corn since I know Reagan doesn’t like corn tortillas. Baby steps….

    1. Can you order from Amazon.com? Frontera Sauces are great – they have both green and red enchilada sauces among a huge selection. Not sure if there is a restriction shipping food into Canada. You can also make your own….just google recipe for enchilada sauce.

  3. Wow!!!..Thank you!!..This is so easy for me to make as i have arthritis and need easy meals to put together for the hubbs and i..this little gem is perfect,, and he nor i are big fans of tacos..i can easily throw this in the oven..toss a yummy salad, and we are good to go..and i’m sure it freezes well also..i think my picky hubby will like this..i will let you know..=D

  4. 5 stars
    I made this tonight, but sized it with the help from your recipe to 4 servings. I get an ‘F’ for following instructions as I mixed in the enchilada sauce with the meat and onions instead of doing as directed! However, my husband gave it an ‘A’ for flavor and is looking forward to having the leftovers another night! Great recipe! Will be sharing it with my daughter tomorrow. Thank you!

  5. This was delish. Made it with organic ground beef and followed the recipe but added some pinto beans also and cut the tortillas in half and layed the straight edge on the straight edge of the pan, so they covered the pan (using total of 4 each instead of 6 each time). Didn’t waste any sauce that way and made it easy to cut. Will make again!!

  6. 5 stars
    Loved this. Just the right amount of spices. Flavor is just fantastic. Am making for the second time tonight.

    Thanks so much for the recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    I have been searching for this enchilada casserole meal for a long time, my mom use to make it for us , it came in a green or purple box, and it also had a taco casserole as well. They were the boom and we miss them and can’t find them anywhere, is there any way you can help me find these items? They are by McCormick or Schillings

    1. Hi Lydia, I’m not sure. Since I cook from scratch, this canned enchilada sauce is about all I’ve ever used. Did you try making my recipe?

5 from 55 votes (50 ratings without comment)

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