Chicken Tortilla Casserole

All I can say is… where has this recipe been all my life?!


This dish has AMAZING flavor! Those chipotle peppers in adobo sauce really do bring out the wow factor – and I mean WOW, WOW, WOW!! Served this with some warmed up pinto beans, but one could easily use black beans. If there is one recipe that needs to be added to your list of things to cook, by golly, this is the one!

My notes:

  • Omitted the shallots (never have any in the kitchen… because I don’t ever buy any, hah)
  • Used one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (kid-friendly)

Family Review:

Not only did Hubbo go a-scarfin’, but Big and Little K did their due diligence on their plastic little plates! Of course they’ll eat dang near anything made with chicken stock in it.

If there is any of this delicious meal remaining, leftovers will taste twice as good. I’m sad that our leftovers have already been demolished because I would love to warm some of this up right now – can you tell how much I LOVE this dish?



Bon appetit,

Chicken Tortilla Casserole
Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 halves total)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoon(s) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1¾ cups chicken broth
  • 5 cups tortilla chips, broken into large pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped


  • Pat the chicken breast halves dry and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a 10-12 inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides (chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point.)  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil, shallot, garlic, chipotle, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.  Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the chicken broth, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in half of the tortilla chips.  Nestle the chicken into the broth and cook over medium-low heat until cooked through (reading 160° F on an instant-read thermometer), about 10 minutes.  Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a cutting board and shred into bite-sized pieces when it is cool enough to handle.
  • Return the shredded chicken to the skillet with the tomatoes, ½ cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro.  Stir in the other half of the tortilla chips until they are incorporated and moistened.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place the pan under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browning, about 2-3 minutes.  Top with remaining cilantro and serve, allowing the casserole to cool 5 minutes before serving.
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About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

37 thoughts on “Chicken Tortilla Casserole”

  1. I’m impressed with this one, it’s not that difficult but it looks like it will feed a small army if done right. I’m digging the flavors I can sense through this, and I’m impressed that there aren’t as many steps as you’d think it would take! I’ll definitely add this to my to-do cooking list, I think the girlfriend will be impressed!

  2. Spacey,

    Yep, I’m all about quick and easy food preparation for day to day chores. I do like to drag out the ensemble on the weekends and cook up some intense dishes when the hubby is around to watch the kids.


  3. I love all of the recent chicken dishes that you’ve been adding. I’ll probably prepare this particular one in a few days. Seems quite simple, and I already have most of the ingredients to make this delectable looking dish.

  4. This sounds amazing and I am going to move it to the top of my ‘to make’ list! I totally agree with your statement of ‘where has this been all my life’, as I am sat here thinking the exact same thing. The use of the tortilla chips makes it a winner for me, as I am a huge fan of tortillas in meals! I find it bulks it out and makes it a lot more filling.

  5. Am particularly sad for all those who have an allergy to chicken, just to know what one is missing here…anyway specifically speaking on behalf of a very close friend who can’t stand chicken, maybe i should cook one of the many chicken dishes on this site, she just might reconsider…the dishes written about on this site, i must say, spew boredom and routine from a plate and instead add life, color and ‘can i have more and more please’ :).

  6. Actually, this recipe looks surprisingly easy. I’ll certainly have to try it out sometime, we have a lot of those ingredients but no instructions on how to make something special out of them. Doesn’t look like this dish will take long to make either. I can’t wait to try this one out, thanks for the recepie!

  7. A chicken dish I would love to be eating right about now. That looks so good. I can just imagine the aromas in the kitchen while cooking that. Keeping this recipe in the back of my mind…for those special moments with that special someone…

  8. This seems like one of those meals that look like it took a lot of effort and time, with the main secret ingredient being that it doesn’t! I think I’ll add this to my to-make list soon!

  9. Can the chipotle peppers be substituted for something else? I know that they are the stars of the show, but a couple of people in my family don’t care for chipotle (I love it). I wish I could have a bite of this dish right now. It looks amazing. Thanks for sharing yet another wonderful recipe.

  10. Thank you for this recipe! I’ve got a lot of chicken thawed in my refrigerator today so I’ve been searching around for something to make with it. I’ve found myself making a lot of casserole-type dishes lately. They’re so simple to whip together and throw into the oven. Plus I find that generally everybody in my house enjoys them. I have a few picky eaters in my house so that’s a rare find. I might add some rice or veggies into this to bulk it up a little for leftovers.

  11. This recipe looks like one that my family would love! I am definitely going to make this one night this week. Just a note about shallots… if you buy a couple and let them sprout a little you can just pop them in a pot of soil and they will grow. Then you always have shallots, you can do the same with garlic, and spring onions.

  12. I tried this dish. The taste is delicious, but for me it was a bit too dry. Reread the recipe, but I can’t figure out what I did wrong. 🙁

  13. This looks really easy and it looks like it comes out great. I just bought some chicken today, so I might try to make this sometime this week, it would be a great meal for my group. Everyone loves chicken and I think that they would love this! This looks like it would be really filling and I bet I could get a few servings out of it.

    Love the tortilla chips with it. More recipes should include them, they are crunchy and can add flavor and texture to a meal in a snap.

  14. So I made this for dinner tonight and I am SO glad with how it turned out! My boyfriend even helped and he ended up taking over since it was so easy. We didn’t use shallots either, and we added a few more handfuls of tortilla chips to the dish. It came out great.

    We also omitted the tomatoes because my boyfriend doesn’t like them. Everything turned out great, I will be making these again in the future.

  15. I freaking love chicken! We never have shallots either (I don’t think my parents have ever even heard of shallots because they never cook with them!) I’m glad that the recipe is still do-able without them..I’ll probably try to get the ingredients for this the next time we go grocery shopping.

    Is there a recipe for Adobo sauce that I can follow or should I just find some premade?

      • I was going to mention that this reminds me of a soup my mother used to make. I like the idea of a casserole better though, because I think it will be heartier. This sounds so good. I don’t know why I didn’t notice it on here before, but it looks yummy.

        I love simple dishes as well. This is one handy recipe that’s going to be kept on hand for a long time to come. I think everyone in my family will enjoy this.

  16. I ate this dish Friday for the first time. My friend cooked it for our “girls night” and it was sooooo delicious. We all basically licked our plates clean. 😀 So, anyway, I’m really excited to see that you have a recipe for it. I can’t wait to try it out.

  17. This looks and sounds delicious and something that would go down well in my household! As someone else commented, adding the chips just makes it 🙂

    But I have to ask what are “chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced”? I could use any chilli or capsicum as peppers but I have never heard of adobo sauce!

  18. I love the idea of casseroles just as a comfort and convenience food, but I never imagine them as healthy meals. I really want to try this casserole because it looks amazing, but also looks healthier than other casseroles I have had. It would go really nice with a salad and rice and beans, as you mentioned.

  19. I love finding recipes that requires the ingredients that I already have on hand. I should be able to prepare this dish tomorrow evening for dinner. Your going to make me a total hit in the kitchen!

  20. I never considered adding tortilla chips into dishes themselves, but now that I think about it, that’s genius! 🙂 I feel like the chipotle peppers in adobos sauce would really bring everything together – and add a nice punch of flavor! I also love that this is quick and easy, and pretty much all the ingredients are either things most people already have or replaceable by things in the fridge. I’m definitely looking forward to trying this one out when I feel lazy or when I’m going to have a lot of people over. 🙂

  21. I recently tried a chicken chili and just didn’t taste the same as beef. I think there is a real trick with making chicken Mexican food. I will consider trying this recipe and seeing if the flavors are just right to give a bit of kick to that chicken.

  22. This looks delicous, I am concerned that it maybe a little too spicey for my taste. I do not like real spicey food. I have a turkey that this would be a great way to use this receipe.

  23. I’ve always wondered about tortilla casseroles – I initially thought the tortillas were served on the side. I dodn’t realize that they went sraight in with all the other ingredients. Do they retain any texture at all or do they go all soggy?

  24. Aww, why no shallots? I happen to think they’re very flavorful and distinct from the regular onions. I don’t easily replace the two with each other in my recipes.

    Anyway, chicken tortilla casseroles are one of my favorites, mainly because of the chicken meat. I also love the taste of adobo, but I’ve never heard of adobo sauce before. I’ve always made mine using soy sauce and vinegar, with pimento leaves.

  25. I love tortilla soup, so I think this is going to be right up my alley! I already have everything except the shallot ( which I’m not stressing over since you didnt use them), and the chipotle. I think I’m going to have to add that my shopping list, and then try cooking this as soon as I can, lol

  26. I’m always happy when I find a recipe that calls for ingredients I mainly have on hand, which this one does. This recipe sounds easy enough for a weeknight, and I have a feeling the leftovers will be gone before I know it. I’m putting this one on the menu for the coming week!

  27. I like this recipe, but rather than making it as a casserole I decided to make it into nachos. It’s like a casserole but drier. I like my chips crispy!

  28. I’m a big fan of Mexican food so this dish is right up my alley! I like how easy to make this recipe appears to be, how it has ingredients that can be usually found in the pantry, and how it is so kid-friendly. Of course, I’ll be spicing up a little hotter my own servings (which will be about 4 LOL). Thanks a lot for such a great dish!

  29. This recipe is definitely going to be made. I may just make this with our left over chicken tomorrow night. It looks delicious. I will have to leave a few things out as I have a couple picky eaters, but I can’t wait to try this. Thank you for sharing.

  30. This dish looks so simple and full of flavor. We are really big fans of Mexican food, and my daughter would love to help make this. Looks simple enough for a child to help do some preparation work. I think I might try this meal on our taco night…this would be a wonderful change.

  31. I just love this type of food, It is quick and easy to make and also interesting! It does not take that many ingredients and you can always find something in your cupboard that you can use as a substitute if you don’t have the correct ingredient and need it right now.

  32. Chicken is always a winner in my home. This looks amazing. It sound really healthy and full of flavour. I will be trying this within the week and I’ll let you know what the comments were from around the family table.

  33. This looks great! It actually reminded me of the tortilla soup, it’s actually pretty common here in México and there’s a lot of variations of the recipe, you should do some research on it, I’m pretty sure that you are going to love it.
    My mouth watered while I was reading this, and you seemed really enthusiastic about it, which made it even better, I really need to try this one!
    Thanks for sharing.

  34. Cooking in the crockpot is my favorite way, due to its convience. My next go-to is a delicious casserole! They are much easier to make and I can throw it together, and throw it in the oven and its great, almost every time! We love tortilla soup, so we will try this recipe soon! Looks yummy!

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