Looking for a quick, easy weeknight dinner idea? Give this cheesy enchilada casserole a try. It’s sure to be a family hit!
I don’t know about you, but even though I usually love to cook, it becomes a chore to do it every single night. Weeknights as a busy mom are chaotic and stressful, and there’s a lot of pressure to have dinner done at a certain time. Between driving kids to activities, bath times, and a bed time early enough to make sure everyone is well rested, where’s the time to cook?
I like to keep an arsenal of easy weeknight dinner ideas on hand just for nights like these. You know. The nights where we need to eat, but don’t really have time for a multi-dish meal. Casseroles are the big winners in this case, and this cheesy enchilada casserole probably takes the number one spot.
Since I started making it, my family asks for it repeatedly. It’s just so simple and comforting, and tastes like it’s way harder to make!
Healthy Weeknight Meal Your Family Will Love
We really love this recipe. It’s easy, fast, and makes amazing leftovers. Plus, it’s actually a pretty clean recipe. Finding something that’s healthy, with clean ingredients, that’s also fast is almost like finding a unicorn, amiright?
It’s these meals that keep us out of the drive through on those chaotic weeknights.
Better yet? You can even prep this ahead of time and pop it in the oven 15-20 minutes before dinner. It really doesn’t get much easier than that!
Cheesy Enchilada Casserole Recipe
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- 2 lbs shredded chicken or pork, seasoned
- 1/4 cup diced onions (I use frozen)
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup salsa
- Approx. 12 corn tortillas
- Butter (enough to grease your dish)
So, here’s the thing. I actually like to buy a package of pre-seasoned enchilada meat at my local grocery store. (Texas readers, the HEB brand is pretty amazing!) But, if you don’t have access to something similar, just marinade your meat in some olive oil and your favorite taco seasoning the night before and it’ll be amazing. My filling of choice for this is either chicken or pork, because they both shred so easily and are full of flavor.
During the day when I know we’re going to have this, I toss my seasoned chicken or pork in the instant pot and let it cook for about 30 minutes while I do other things. Seriously, if you’re not mom-ing with an instant pot, I need to know how. I use it for so much of my food prep and can’t imagine my life without it.
But, if you still haven’t jumped on the IP wagon, you can also boil or bake it. You just have to monitor it more closely. Let it cool and then shred it so it’ll be ready later.
When it’s time for dinner, I butter a casserole dish, layer the bottom with corn tortillas, then add a thick layer of shredded meat, onions, and then about half of my salsa and cheese.
Then, add another layer of tortillas, the rest of the salsa, and the rest of the cheese.
Cover your dish and toss it in the oven on 350 for about 10 minutes. This is enough time to melt the cheese and get everything warmed through. Then, remove the lid and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
Serve warm with your favorite toppings. We usually enjoy ours with some sour cream, guacamole, bell pepper slices, and corn chips.
Want to make this an even easier weeknight meal?
One of the things I love about this meal is that it’s so simple. If you pre-cook your meat, this literally takes 20 minutes or less to cook.
But, if you want to skip the prep time, this can actually get made ahead of time! Since I work from home, I can easily put this together in the morning, when life is a little less chaotic. Then, come dinner time, I can just preheat the oven and cook it.
You can also make it the night before, but just be careful to make sure to strain off any liquid from your meat so it doesn’t get soggy.
Easy Weeknight Dinner Idea: Cheese Enchilada Casserole
- Instant Pot (optional)
- Casserole Dish
- 2 lbs marinated chicken or pork
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 cup grated cheese
- 1/4 cup Salsa
- 1 tbsp butter (enough to grease your pan)
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- Precook meat, either in the instant pot or by boiling on the stove (this can be done the night before to help save time if necessary)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Butter your casserole dish, and then layer corn tortillas across the bottom, making sure not to leave a gap
- Layer shredded meat and onions, cover in a light layer of cheese, and about half the salsa
- Layer the remaining tortillas over the top, making sure there are no gaps
- Cover the casserole in the remaining salsa and cheese
- Cover dish with foil or a glass lid and cook for approx 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is warmed through
- Remove cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes to let the top get lightly browned
- Serve with your favorite toppings like sour cream, guacamole, chips, and salsa
Need an easy weeknight dinner idea?
Give yourself a break from the drive through with this cheesy enchilada casserole! It’s a great recipe to add to your weeknight rotation. It’s fast, delicious, and kid approved.