Main Dish Recipes: Chicken Tortilla Bake

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By now you know that I’m all about easy but good meals.  With limited time and family full of GROWING kids (holy cow! They are eating me out of house and home), it’s gotten increasingly harder to have a meal on the table every night.  Sigh.  I am always on the lookout for yummy, simple main dish recipes.  Enter Chicken Tortilla Bake:
Main Dishes: Chicken Tortilla Bake with only 6 ingredients! (items you probably already have on hand)

This is an even simpler version of my Mom’s Chicken Enchiladas.   It takes no time and still tastes great.  I have been trying to bake chicken ahead of time to use throughout the week so it’s ready to go when I need it.  It’s just one less thing to do when I’m in a hurry.

Chicken Tortilla Bake
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained OR 1 c. salsa
  • 12 small corn tortillas, cut into thin bite-size strips
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ c. milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl combine soup, milk and undrained tomatoes or salsa and set aside.
  3. Sprinkle one-third of the tortilla strips over the bottom of an ungreased rectangular baking dish.
  4. Layer half of the chicken over the tortilla strips.
  5. Spoon half of the soup mixture evenly over top.
  6. Repeat layers.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining tortilla strips and top with cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake, covered, about 40 minutes or until bubbly.
  9. Uncover; bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Note: This recipe is on the more mild side.  It can be spiced up with hotter salsa instead of the tomatoes with chiles.  All families have their own style of cooking so do what works best for yours!
One other silly little tip- I use a pizza wheel to cut my tortilla strips in even, straight lines.  I actually use my pizza wheel to slice thru all kinds of things.  It’s like my secret weapon in the kitchen.  What are your favorite tips in the kitchen?

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  1. cindy says

    Tried this recipe for the first time.
    It was very good, but next time I will bake
    Uncovered so it is not so moist, but more

  2. says

    My hubby and I are in our late 50’s, so there are only the two of us to cook for.
    That said, this recipe sounds delicious, and I plan to make it very soon!
    Even though we are just two, I don’t cut receipes down to make two servings.
    When preparing a recipe that makes more than we can eat in one meal, I line my baking dish with foil, and after the food has cooled I wrap it tightly in the foil from the dish, place it in a freezer bag and toss it in the freezer.
    To prepare the frozen meal, I either thaw it in the refrigerator and bake it , or I place it frozen in a baking dish and bake it on a low temp ’til thawed, then increase the oven temp ’til hot.
    This has proved to be economical for us, in both time and money!
    The ‘tool’ that couldn’t be without is a sharp pair or scissors, dedicated only to food prep.
    I can cut most hard to slice veggies like carrots, celery, onions and the like into bite-sized pieces, cut the membranes and seeds from peppers,
    they cut pizza beautifully, meat into cubes, cut stewed tomatoes into smaller pieces right in the can, I also use them to cut tortillas, toast and the like, cut up left over roasted chicken and freeze it for use for future meals, etc. etc., all in half of the time I’d spend using a knife.
    Best tool ever!

  3. says

    Unlike most, I am post retirement age and am burned out from years of cooking. And being on a fixed income, I really appreciate easy, uncompleted and economical meals.

  4. Victoria Decker says

    Wondering if you think I could use canned chicken for this recipe??? My Mom buys me a bunch cause she knows its simple and easy for a single gal but looking for new ideas too TIA

  5. David says

    This is a very common recipe where I live in the south, where it is known as King Ranch Chicken Casserole. The only difference is we use crushed tortilla chips instead of tortillas. They don’t stay crunchy; the soup causes them to turn into a wonderful consistency similar to a stuffing. Delicious.

  6. jess says

    All I had was corn tostadas so I substituted and it turned out amazing, I think my son licked his plate. It was even better the next day!!!!

  7. Julie says

    I made this toni5and it eas peetty darn good. I used a can of Rotel just to spice it up. Next time I will add sour cream.

  8. Carol says

    This is a great foundation recipe. I made it last night and added some additional ingredients to my liking. I added a fresh jalapeno, some frozen fire roasted corn and black beans as well as some hot chili pepper and a little extra cheese between the layers. I also used a rotisserie chicken I had left over. Added some summer sides of cantaloup and fresh tomatoes and it was a great easy supper.
    If you have younger kids that don’t like the extra spice just stick to the basic recipe or use what you have on hand. I will make it again but I’m sure it will be different ingredients each time.
    Make it your own and just follow the basic recipe as a starting point.

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  10. Joelle says

    Made this tonight and my husband and I finished it by ourselves! So good. I think next time I’ll cook the chicken in taco seasoning ahead of time for a little more kick. Thanks for the great recipe.

  11. Keri McKinney says

    I know how you feel with everyone growing and eating more and more! I have 4 boys (11, 10, 9, &8) that eat just as much as their dad. One of my favorite go to recipes is bell pepper casserole. 1 diced green pepper, 1/2 diced onion, 3-4 cups steamed rice (brown or white), small can of tomato sauce, 1lb ground turkey, and a sprinkle of cheese. Brown the meat, onion and pepper together (season with garlic salt and pepper), mix in the meat, rice and tomato sauce, put in a 9X13 baking dish and top with cheese and bake in oven long enough to melt the cheese. So yummy!

  12. Kay says

    I wonder what size baking dish? Just to know how many it serves? Would you at least double for 14?

  13. Heather Christensen says

    I recently joined Weight Watchers, do you know the nutrional info? I really want to make this for the fam.

  14. Amy says

    Any suggestions for a healthy alternative to creamed soups? I’m trying to be conscious of how much sodium I’m adding to dishes and so many “quick” recipes/casseroles seem to call for them.

  15. Carriebeth says

    I make one similar to this, but use flour tortillas, I add chicken taco seasoning to my shredded chicken, sour cream, small can of green chilies, tomatoes with seasoning and sweet onions. I also layer mine with cheese throughout (I usually use Kraft Monterey Jack w cream cheese). Also, because we like a lil kick of spice, I shake a few hits of Louisiana hot sauce in with the liquids. There are no leftovers ever. I also always make sides with this too, which takes very little time. Seasoned pinto beans and spanish rice.

  16. Paulette britton says

    we are looking for meals you can make and freeze as well. cooked or uncooked. I make meals for families in distress and making and freezing this would be very helpful. thanks!

  17. says

    Has anyone tried this with flour tortillas? Wondering if that would work……not a fan of corn tortillas. Also, I’ve tried to cook chicken ahead and either refrigerate for use next day or freeze for future use. I find that it tastes funny. Others had noticed as well and I realized that the different d r taste was when I precooked the chicken. Anyone else have this problem or have any suggestions?

    • Connie says

      I agree 100 percent! Chicken cooked ahead does lose its flavor when reheated. This is not the case if used cold such as chicken salad.

      I agree 100 percent! Cooked chicken does lose its flavor when reheated after refrigerated or frozen. For casseroles I always cook chicken same day. The only exception is when preparing it cold such as chicken salad.

    • Katie O says

      I cook one chicken a week, shred it, and then save it for two to three meals during the week. I don’t find it tastes odd or losses is ‘chicken’ flavor, but I do have to season it again, along with the meal. How are you cooking it? I purchase a whole (organic, free range) chicken, then put it in my dutch oven along with thyme, S&P, a chopped onion, smashed garlic, carrots, and celery. I bring it to a boil on high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer until the meat falls off the bone. Then I shred it (usually in my KitchenAid), and freeze or refridgerate, depending on when I’ll need it. I’ve done this for months and haven’t had any issues.

  18. Erica says

    I tried it and it was excellent ! I used Doritos instread of the corn tortillas and that added flavor to the dish. Also, I sauteed about a teaspoon of sweet onions in the mix and also a tablespoon of sour cream.

  19. Joy says

    About once a month, to help with busy night meals, I either cook a crock-pot full of chicken or buy several deli chickens, dice and divide into freezer bags, label, flatten and freeze in casserole portions. I also cook ground turkey, sausage, and/or beef, divide, bag, label and freeze. When meat is frozen out flat, it breaks up easily and I often don’t even defrost it but add it directly to recipes. This saves massive amounts of time in the evenings. I recently discovered using my crock-pot to cook ground meats. Turns our great and saves so much time. 6lbs on high took about 3 hours to cook. Then drain, bag, and freeze.

    • Mary Beth Lyford` says

      I love the idea you have about using your crock pot to cook the ground beef, chicken and i would do ground turkey too. I hope you dont mind but I copy and pasted it to share on Facebook. :)

  20. Shelly says

    I make something very similar to this. I take crushed tortilla chips and melted butter layered on top with shredded chicken then I take a can of cream of mushroom and a can of cream of chicken soup mixed with a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies mix that up layer that on top of the chicken and then add a bag of shredded cheddar cheese. Put in the oven until hot and bubbly. Oh so yummy.

  21. Regina says

    I use scissors for EVERYTHING! Cutting up pancakes (pre-syrup), herbs, thin cuts of meat, you name it. Not kitchen scissors, but regular ones that I just throw in the dishwasher.

  22. Michelle says

    Made this last night and everyone loved it…tip for those who found it a little bland (it really will depend on what salsa you use…but…)my kids aren’t salsa kids so I used taco sauce instead, and hubs and I added salsa to our dishes. Oh, and we’re a cheese house, so we put cheese in with the middle layer of tortilla strips too. We also had regular baked tortilla chips so those that wanted more crunch could scoop with them…very good!

  23. Renee says

    My favorite “weapon” in the kitchen (other than my KitchenAid Mixer!) is a little herb mixer. It looks like a pizza cutter “with an attitude!” It has FIVE wheels. I use it to cut perfect homemade noodles all the time! It also makes perfect strips of tortillas to be fried for tortilla soup….or NOW…for this easy chicken tortilla bake! Thanks!!!

  24. says

    Love my pizza cutter. I also use my Pampered Chef crinkle cutter all the time for veggies. Makes cutting up potatoes and carrots quick work!

  25. says

    Sounds yummy! You may already know this, but since you mentioned cooking chicken to have on hand — have you tried putting chicken breasts in a slow cooker with a little water? You can let it cook on low all day, or high for few hours, and it will pretty much fall apart and be ready for your recipes.

      • Dale Sudhoff says

        I use a slow cooker all the time. You don’t need a lot of water to cook a 2 or 3 pieces of chicken. About a half inch will do for this. Now a crock pot might need a little more due to the porclein liner. I set my slow cooker on 3 out of 5 setting and let it go. Never ran out of a liquid yet. Or you could use you soup mixture with your salsa added to it for this dish; which is what I’d do.

  26. Sylla Easter says

    I love this and so easy, I try to put cooked chicken in ziplock bags a cup each and works out great!!

  27. Sarah says

    I made this last night for dinner. I loved how easy it was to make (and the tortilla strips made it easy to eat), but it was a little bland. Since I love the concept, I’ll definitely make it again, but I think I’ll add a few things to spice it up next time…maybe some cilantro, garlic, chili powder, and cumin, maybe some black beans and corn, and maybe something crunchy on top like crushed Fritos. Thanks for sharing this, though. It’s definitely a good springboard recipe.

  28. says

    I love that this is only six ingredients! It’s also interesting that you’ve used tortillas cut up into strips. I keep seeing tortilla bakes that use the whole tortilla as is, but your idea is genius! This dish is creative, but still simple enough for a quick weeknight meal. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Pam says

    In the tortilla bake, you said to use 12 small corn tortillas. Are these soft or crunchy tortillas?

    • Laura says

      The corn tortillas are soft, usually a little smaller than the flour tortillas though, but are all in the same place at the grocery store.

  30. Allison Weger says

    Thank you so much for sharing all the lovely recipes…there are so many I am excited to try!!!

  31. Nicole says

    In the directions you mentioned milk, but I didn’t see milk in the list of ingredients. Could you please clarify?

  32. says

    You and I have so much in common, Mique! I have small children that keep me super busy so I love finding easy recipes like this! Pinning it now! I’m so glad I stopped by from Link Party Palooza (My link up was #85 Beautiful Flowers All Year Long)

  33. Rachel says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!! I’m a big fan of simple, ingredients on hand, throw in the oven kind of meals.
    I also use my pizza cutter on a daily basis…I use it to cut up foods for the little ones at my daycare. Love it!!

  34. Cheyanne says

    This would be AMAZING with some slightly sauteed zucchini too…………adds an extra step but gets those extra veggies in! can’t wait to try it