This Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole has grated zucchini in it for a boost of nutritious veggies, and you only need 5 ingredients for the whole thing! Enchilada casseroles are great because the tortillas are layered, rather than rolled, so it’s super quick and easy to assemble. It’s perfect to make ahead of time to bake later, too. You’re going to love this flavor-packed, easy chicken recipe!
Using already cooked chicken (like rotisserie, or leftover roast chicken) and store-bought jarred green salsa makes easy work out of this 5-ingredient enchilada casserole recipe.
Zucchini is added to this chicken enchilada casserole recipe not only for added nutrition from hidden veggies, but for its beautiful green color and melt-in-your-mouth texture. You’ll want to remove as much water from the zucchini as possible before assembling – I’ll go over how to do that in this post. It’s a cinch!
Be sure to check out the video for this recipe as well, in the recipe card at the bottom. Let’s get to it!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Corn Tortillas – flour will also work, but I prefer corn for the flavor and that it’s a whole grain (and it’s more traditional for enchiladas).
- Cooked chicken – rotisserie, leftover roast chicken, grilled chicken, poached chicken… any cooked chicken you have will work here (dark meat or a combo of dark and light will be tastiest). I usually cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker for recipes like this.
- Zucchini – or summer squash.
- Salsa Verde – store-bought works great, but you can make homemade salsa verde if you like. You may see it labeled as green salsa or tomatillo salsa at the store. Any kind will work.
- Shredded cheese – I used Monterey Jack, but any melting Mexican-style cheese or blend will work.
- Cilantro and onion – optional, for a garnish.
How to make Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- First, grate the zucchini onto a clean kitchen towel or cloth napkin. Spread it out and sprinkle with salt. Set it aside for 5-10 minutes. The salt will draw the water out. Roll it up and wring it out over your sink as much as you can.
- Then, cut the tortillas into quadrants. This will make it easier to layer them evenly.
- Mix the chicken, zucchini, half the cheese, and some salsa verde together in a bowl.
- Assemble the casserole. Add a little salsa verde to the bottom of a casserole dish. Layer a third of the tortillas, half the chicken mixture, another third of the tortillas, the rest of the tortilla mixture, and the remaining tortillas. Add the rest of the salsa verde on top and the remaining cheese.
- Bake the casserole until hot and bubbly.
- Garnish with cilantro and red onion if you want, slice, and serve!
Please scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe including ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
Yes! Assemble it without cooking and cover with foil to store in the fridge for up to 48 hours. When you’re ready to bake, just add 10 extra minutes to the cooking time, and keep the foil on for the first 10 minutes or so to prevent it drying out.
As long as you use corn tortillas, this enchilada casserole is gluten-free.
Sure! You can use half the amount of cheese and use chicken breast meat.
Other Enchilada and Enchilada Casserole recipes
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
- Vegetarian Enchiladas Verdes
- Chicken Spinach Enchiladas Verdes
- Chicken and Corn Enchilada Casserole
- Chipotle Enchilada Sauce
Other Zucchini Recipes
- Chicken and Zucchini Meatballs
- Corn and Zucchini Risotto
- Mexican Roasted Zucchini
- Shrimp and Zucchini Fritters
- Zucchini Ribbon Salad
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Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 16 corn tortillas (or flour, see notes)
- 2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken (such as rotisserie or leftovers, see notes)
- 2 cups grated zucchini (from about 2 small or 1 large)
- 2 cups salsa verde (green salsa, see notes)
- 16 oz. shredded Monterey jack cheese (or other Mexican-style melting cheese of choice)
- cilantro and red onion (for serving, optional)
- Grate the zucchini (I used a box grater) onto a clean kitchen towel or cloth napkin (see notes). Spread it out in a thin layer across the towel and sprinkle with a pinch of the salt. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes (the salt will draw the water out).
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Stack the corn tortillas and cut into four quadrants, making them similar to a tortilla chip.
- Roll the grated zucchini up in the towel and wring out as much water as possible over your sink.
- In a large bowl, mix together the shredded chicken with ¾ cup of the salsa verde, half of the cheese, and the grated zucchini. If you chose to toast the tortillas, remove them from the oven.
- Spread about ½ cup of the salsa verde on the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Layer ⅓ of the tortillas (20 cut pieces) evenly across it. Add half the chicken and zucchini mixture and spread out. Add another ⅓ (20 pieces) of the tortillas and the rest of the chicken mixture. Add the remaining ⅓ of the corn tortillas, spread the remaining ¾ cup of salsa verde on top, and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and casserole is fully heated through. Top with cilantro and red onion (optional) and cut into 8 portions to serve.
- Make ahead instructions: assemble the casserole as instructed, cover with foil, and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Bake as instructed, adding 10 minutes extra time since it will be cold. Keep the foil on for those 10 minutes in the beginning, or longer if necessary, so it doesn’t dry out too much.
- Make it lighter: I originally made this recipe with half the cheese and chicken breast meat only, which is what the photos and video represent. When I wrote the recipe I used 16 oz. instead of 8 oz. since it was a bit dry for my taste with only 8 oz. I also recommend chicken thighs or a mixture of dark and light meat. If you’re looking for a lighter version, feel free to use 8 oz. instead of 16 oz. cheese and breast meat!
- Flour tortillas may be used instead of corn and will hold up better in the casserole, but I prefer corn for the flavor. Corn tortillas are also gluten-free and whole grain.
- You can find green salsa, or salsa verde, in your grocery store with the other jarred salsas. It may be labeled as tomatillo salsa, or something similar. Any kind of green salsa will work here. Or here’s a homemade salsa verde recipe if you’re so inclined.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: