If you are looking for a super easy dinner to throw together then you’ve come to the right place. This Keto chicken enchilada casserole is the perfect combination of shredded chicken, red enchilada sauce, then topped with cheese and baked to perfection.
Sometimes you’re just in the mood for an easy, delicious, hot casserole right? What’s even better than a casserole? A Mexican casserole topped with gooey melted cheese!
This keto chicken enchilada casserole is so simple to put together and so flavorful. I use my own homemade taco seasoning, which is definitely better than the packaged kind at the store. Plus is only has another handful of ingredients that you may already have in your fridge.
Oh and another great thing about this enchilada casserole is that yes it is low carb and great for those on a Keto diet. You can make several different variations based on your own personal preferences. If you aren’t on a low carb diet then adding things like tortillas, beans, and even rice can be added.
I love Mexican food! And if you are eating low carb and love Mexican food as well, then this recipe will probably make it on your dinner table several times.
What is a Chicken Enchilada Casserole?
The shredded chicken or beef is rolled up inside of a tortilla, then topped with the enchilada sauce then covered in cheese and baked to perfection.
A Keto Chicken Enchilada Casserole is basically like eating chicken enchiladas without the extra carbs that come with corn or flour tortillas. It has a red enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, homemade taco seasoning, cheese and a few other additions to help make it flavorful and delicious.
What Does It Taste Like?
Chicken enchiladas are always my go-to order when we eat Mexican at a restaurant, but I’ve never mastered making them at home until now.
It’s kinda hard to really describe what a chicken enchilada casserole tastes like, but think of it as enchiladas minus the corn tortillas. It’s similar to a burrito or a chimichanga, but without the beans and rice.
Is Chicken Enchilada Kid-Friendly?
I don’t have kids of my own but I do cook for them since a lot of my friends have kids and I have 2 nieces and 1 nephew. My nieces especially love all types of Mexican food. I haven’t made this for them yet but I’m excited to on one of my next visits to see them and I know they will love them.
I have made it for some older kids and they all loved it! I mean honestly what kid either big or little doesn’t love chicken and cheese!
If you have little ones the only thing I would say is to make sure it’s not too spicy, so maybe leave out the green chiles and don’t add any jalapenos.
Is Chicken Enchilada Casserole Keto?
Is this chicken enchilada casserole ok if I’m on keto? Yes, it is ok to eat while on a keto or low carb diet. All of the ingredients are low in net carbs. It doesn’t contain any tortillas, which are typically full of carbs.
Our keto chicken enchilada casserole is 5.1 NET CARBS per ½ cup. Surprisingly a ½ cup is actually pretty filling.
What Ingredients are in Low Carb Chicken Enchilada Casserole?
Shredded Chicken – So I prefer to use a rotisserie chicken and pull off all the meat and shred it. It’s so much easier, and you can get a cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store for between $5.00-$8.00. *Costco has much larger cooked rotisserie chickens for only $5.00. They are a fantastic deal, so if you have one near you I recommend going and get one there.
Cream Cheese and Sour Cream – I like using both mixed in with the chicken, it makes it nice and creamy.
Taco Seasoning – I made my own taco seasoning. I love having it in my spice cabinet at all times. (the recipe is soon to come)
Canned Green Chiles – This isn’t a necessity, but it does add just a little bit of a kick to the casserole. Feel free to leave them out if you don’t like too much heat or if you want to cut back on the carbs. 2 tbsp has 2 NET CARBS.
Enchilada Sauce – Key ingredient to chicken enchilada casserole. I bought a can of red enchilada sauce, but there is also a green enchilada sauce. Or you can make your own homemade enchilada sauces, I personally haven’t tried it yet but it’s on the list of things to do.
Onion and Bell Peppers – Saute the onions and peppers in a little bit of butter or olive oil. Adds a little bit of extra flavor to the dish.
Fresh Cilantro – In my opinion fresh cilantro is a must in ALL Mexican dishes.
Mexican Cheese – I used pre-shredded Mexican cheese because I was in a hurry. But you can use cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, or a combo of the two.
What are the Three Main Parts of a Casserole?
Before doing a little bit of research I didn’t know that casseroles have three main parts to them. But turns out there is. It’s good to know since I love making casseroles so much. Now, this is more so applicable to regular casseroles and not as much for keto casseroles, those can get a bit trickier.
Three Main Parts of a Casserole:
- The base of the casserole – this is what gives the casserole the main flavor and texture. It includes any type of meat, fish, or poultry.
- The extender – something that helps to thicken the casserole. It includes beans, potatoes, rice, pasta, bread crumbs, etc…
- The binder – usually a liquid that will hold the other ingredients together. It includes broth, milk, eggs, or even canned soup mixes.
The reason I said it gets trickier is that the “extender” which is used to thicken a casserole, is usually something that is high in carbs. But when making a Keto casserole, one thing that is commonly used as an “extender” is Cauliflower.
Cauliflower can be used to replace potatoes, rice, and even pasta. For instance, check out our Cauliflower Mac and Cheese or our Loaded Cauliflower Casserole. I’m working right now on a Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe…soon to come.
Which Chicken Is Best for This Casserole?
There are different chicken options for this low carb chicken enchilada casserole, but which is the best?
Rotisserie Chicken: This is going to be my first choice every time you ask me. It’s already cooked and already seasoned. All you need to do is shred it, which takes about 5-10 minutes to do. You can use the entire chicken, or if you don’t need the whole thing then the leftovers are a great snack for tomorrow’s lunch.
In my house, a rotisserie chicken never goes to waste. At a regular grocery store, they run probably between $5.00-$8.00 per chicken. If you have a Costco near you, then I highly recommend getting one of their rotisserie chickens. They are huge and only $5.00, such a great deal!!
Chicken Breasts or Chicken Thighs: Either will work so it’s up to you. Chicken thighs are a bit more tender and flavorful, but chicken breast shred really nicely. You always could do a combo of both.
Boil the chicken breasts or thighs in the water on the stove until cooked. Take them out and let them cool down for a few minutes. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. This way works just fine, especially if you find a really good sale on chicken. But it does add some extra work.
What Cheese Should I Use?
Mexican Cheese – I used pre-shredded Mexican Cheese because I was short on time and that’s what I had in my fridge. But as I’ve told you before freshly grated cheese is always better, I know…I know…I broke my own rule.
Monterrey Jack – A bit milder than cheddar and compliments the casserole without distracting from it. Shred it yourself….it’s worth it.
Cheddar – One of my favorite cheeses, it’s so versatile. What you can do though is make your own Mexican cheese blend and combine the Monterrey Jack and the Cheddar.
Different Variations of Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Oh my goodness there are so many different variations to this chicken enchilada casserole. That’s the beauty of casseroles, you can literally throw anything into them.
- Add vegetables – Tomatoes, zucchini, olives, jalapenos. Veggies can add some net carbs to the overall dish, but if you aren’t counting carbs then go ahead and load up on the veggies.
- Choose different proteins – I used shredded chicken, but you can use beef, ground turkey, or pork.
- Swap cheese – You can use more or less cheese, and use different kinds. Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Cheddar….
- Greek Yogurt – It will be lighter in calories and can be a good alternative to sour cream. Keep in mind for 5 oz of greek yogurt it has 6 net carbs.
- Spicy – If you love spice like most of my family does then feel free to kick it up a notch. Add some jalapenos, or you can even add some hot sauce as well.
- Green Enchilada Sauce – use green instead of red enchilada sauce. It can be hard to find, so making homemade might be better.
- Vegetarian – use all veggies instead of meat. Sauteed mushrooms, peppers, onions all work well together.
- Vegan – use vegan cheese
- Non-Keto – use corn tortillas to layer in the casserole.
- Non-Keto – add refried beans, black beans, or pinto beans.
Other Toppings You Can Use
Ooooo….Toppings!!! You have options here as well even on a Keto diet:
- Salsa – Isn’t salsa good on just about anything? Try adding our Salsa, Mango Salsa, or our Avocado Salsa.
- Cilantro – I already have this in my recipe, but in my opinion, you can’t ever have enough fresh cilantro when it comes to anything Mexican.
- Hot Sauce – Drizzle your favorite hot sauce on top for an extra kick.
- Avocados – Not my favorite thing but for anyone who loves avocados, try adding some sliced or cubed avocados on top.
- Guacamole – Also a staple for Mexican dishes!
What Type of Pan is Best for Chicken Enchilada Casserole?
What’s the best baking dish for your keto enchilada casserole? That’s really up to you and what kind of pans you have. I used a glass baking dish, it’s kind of an odd size, I think it’s an 8×11. But if you have a Corningware dish, or a deep-dish pie plate those would work too.
If you choose to double the recipe, then I would use a 9×13 for even a 10×14 would work.
Do You Cook Chicken Before Putting It in a Casserole?
The chicken needed for this low carb enchilada casserole needs to be pre-cooked before adding it with the rest of the ingredients. You want the chicken to be shredded, and you can’t shred chicken until it’s cooked.
The best thing to do is buy a rotisserie chicken which is already cooked and very easy to shred.
Buying fresh raw chicken is also an option but you need to cook it first. Boil it on the stove in water, once it’s cooked then drain. Using 2 forks start shredding the chicken. Then you can add it to the rest of the ingredients for the casserole.
How to Make Keto Chicken Enchilada Casserole?
I love giving you guys simple recipes to put together, especially for those who are working and or have kids. We all have busy schedules and I love being able to help others lighten their load as much as I can. So let me quickly talk you through the steps in making this enchilada casserole.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Chop the onion and the bell pepper. In a small frying pan melt the butter and add the chopped onion and peppers.
Sautee for a few minutes until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft.
Shred the rotisserie chicken and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the shredded chicken, cream cheese, and sour cream. Stir until it’s well combined.
Next, add taco seasoning, green chiles, and sauteed onions, and peppers. Stir again.
Add half of the shredded cheese and stir one more time.
In a baking dish, add the chicken mixture and spread it out evenly.
Pour the red enchilada sauce over the chicken mixture.
Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese…
and fresh chopped cilantro.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until it’s bubbling.
Best Tips for Keto Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- I prefer using rotisserie chicken and shredding it. But you can cook chicken and then shred it, but it takes extra time and more work for yourself.
- I like using a shredded Mexican Cheese. But plain cheddar or Monterey Jack will work just as well.
- You can double the recipe if you are having a larger group for dinner.
- Don’t add 2 cans of enchilada sauce, unless you are doubling the recipe. It will be too much sauce otherwise.
- If you want the top to be crispier, then turn the broiler on for a minute or two. Keep an eye on it, otherwise, it will burn very quickly.
Can I Make Chicken Enchilada in a Slow Cooker?
Is it possible to make a low carb chicken enchilada casserole in a crockpot or slow cooker? The answer to that is yes you can.
If using whole raw chicken breasts:
- Place chicken breasts and the enchilada sauce, onions, peppers, green chiles, and taco seasoning into the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.
- Shred the chicken and add the cream cheese half of the shredded cheese. Stir all the ingredients together and cook for another 30-45 minutes on low. Top with remaining shredded cheese and sour cream.
If using pre-cooked shredded chicken:
- Saute the onions and peppers on the stove first. Once sauteed add to the slow cooker. Add shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, taco seasoning, cream cheese, green chiles, and half the shredded cheese.
- Cook on high for about 1 hour. Top with remaining shredded cheese and sour cream.
Other Diets This Recipe Is Good For
So, unfortunately, this recipe isn’t good for those who are dairy-free, due to the cream cheese, sour cream and the Mexican cheese on top. But it’s still good for others on restricted diets.
Gluten-Free: My low carb Chicken Enchilada Casserole is completely gluten-free. All the ingredients don’t contain any gluten. If you are buying canned enchilada sauce always double-check the label first but I haven’t had any problems finding gluten-free enchilada sauce.
What to Serve with Chicken Enchilada Casserole?
Seeing that this low carb enchilada casserole is the main course and can be rather filling, you don’t need a lot to go with it. But here are a few side dishes that would along with your casserole:
- Salads – A nice crisp fresh garden salad would go great with this casserole. If not on keto, then you even could add some corn, black beans and turn it into a southwest salad.
- Vegetables – Roasted veggies go with almost everything including casseroles. You can use almost any veggie, such as Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Oven Roasted Broccoli, Green Beans with Bacon, Roasted Cauliflower, etc.
- Non-Keto Side Dishes – If you aren’t on a low carb diet then Rice is a great side dish. Yellow rice, white rice, cilantro lime rice….you name it.
Can I Make It Ahead?
Can this enchilada casserole be made ahead of time? Yes, it can be! Another great perk of this recipe.
I recommend making it about up to 1 day ahead of time. I don’t like letting chicken stay too long before cooking so 1 day is fine.
Follow the preparation steps in the recipe, but do not bake it. Cover with plastic wrap then cover it again with foil. Place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
When ready to eat, remove the plastic wrap and foil. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
How to Store Chicken Enchilada Casserole
What’s the right way to store my leftover chicken enchilada casserole?
Depending on how much space you have in your fridge, you can cover the pan with foil and put directly into the fridge. Or you can transfer your leftovers to an airtight container and put it into the fridge.
Whichever way you choose, just make sure that the casserole is cooled. Putting hot food directly into the refrigerator can cause bacteria to grow and can cause you to be sick.
How to Reheat Keto Chicken Enchilada Casserole
This cheesy chicken enchilada reheats well, both in the microwave and in the oven.
Microwave: Scoop enchilada casserole into a microwave-safe bowl or plate. Cover with a paper towel to prevent splattering. Microwave for 60 seconds, stir then microwave for 30-second intervals until it’s reached the desired temperature.
Oven: Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees until hot. You can sprinkle on more cheese before rebaking the casserole.
Can You Freeze Chicken Enchilada Casserole?
This chicken enchilada casserole is freezer friendly. Sometimes I will actually make 2 batches at the same time. I will cook 1 for dinner and put the 2nd one in the freezer, perfect for work nights when you don’t want to cook.
To freeze the casserole:
- Prepare the casserole according to the directions, but do not bake.
- Wrap the entire casserole dish with plastic wrap, then wrap again with foil.
- Place in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- When ready to eat, place chicken enchilada casserole in the fridge to thaw for 24 hours.
- Once thawed, remove plastic wrap and foil. Then bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until it starts to bubble.
More Great Keto Mexican Recipes
They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next party!Print
This Keto Chicken Enchilada Casserole is the perfect combination of shredded chicken, red enchilada sauce, then topped with cheese and baked to perfection. If you are looking for a super easy Mexican dinner to throw together then you’ve come to the right place!
- 16 oz shredded chicken breast (4 cups)
- 4 oz cream cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 4 tsp taco seasoning
- 4 tbsp chopped green chiles
- 1 – 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped bell peppers
- 4 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop the onion and bell pepper. In a small frying pan melt the butter and add the chopped onion and pepper. Sautee for a few minutes until they are soft.
- Shred the rotisserie chicken and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the shredded chicken, cream cheese, and sour cream. Mix together.
- Next, add the taco seasoning, green chiles, and sauteed onions and peppers. Stir again.
- Add half of the shredded cheese and stir one more time.
- In a baking dish, add the chicken mixture and spread it out evenly. Pour the red enchilada sauce over the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with chopped fresh cilantro.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until it’s melted and bubbling.
5.1 NET CARBS PER SERVING
I prefer using rotisserie chicken and shredding it. But you can cook chicken and then shred it, but it takes extra time and more work for yourself.
Costo has the best deals for large rotisserie chicken at a low price.
You can double the recipe if you are having a larger group for dinner.
This recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours until ready to bake.
To freeze the casserole – prepare the recipe as directed but do not cook. Cover with plastic wrap and foil. Keep in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
When ready to eat, thaw out in the fridge then bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Main Courses
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Mexican
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