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This 4-ingredient chicken quesadilla casserole comes together in just 5 minutes — no prep work necessary! It’s the ultimate family-friendly dinner to make your busy weeknights just a little bit easier.

Easy chicken quesadilla casserole served on a plate with salsa, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Table of Contents
  1. How to Make Chicken Quesadilla Casserole | 1-Minute Video
  2. Why You’ll Love this Baked Chicken Quesadilla Casserole
  3. Ingredients
  4. How to Make Chicken Quesadilla Casserole
  5. What to Serve with a Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Casserole
  6. Preparation and Storage Tips
  7. Recipe Variations
  8. Tips for the Best Chicken Quesadilla Casserole Recipe
  9. 4-Ingredient Chicken Quesadilla Casserole Recipe

If you love Mexican inspired casseroles as much as we do, be sure to try this tamale pie, a Dorito chicken casserole, this jalapeno popper chicken casserole, and this easy chicken enchilada casserole, too!

How to Make Chicken Quesadilla Casserole | 1-Minute Video

You can’t beat the ease of a simple chicken quesadilla casserole — no flipping on the stovetop necessary! With about 5 minutes of prep, the dish is ready for the oven, and you can even assemble it in advance.

Overhead shot of a simple chicken quesadilla casserole in a vintage baking dish on a table.

Why You’ll Love this Baked Chicken Quesadilla Casserole

  • Affordable: with just a handful of very basic ingredients, this meal is a budget-friendly way to nourish your family. It’s also a nice way to take advantage of leftovers, so nothing goes to waste!
  • Easy: you don’t need any special equipment or unique skills to throw together this dish. It’s easier than traditional chicken quesadillas that you cook on a griddle or in a large skillet, since the baked casserole doesn’t require flipping or babysitting on the stovetop.
  • Quick: in about 5-10 minutes, your dinner will be ready for the oven. I bet your kids can even make this one!
  • Customizable: start with the four basic components, and add on from there. For instance, include jalapenos, beans, more cheese, or extra veggies in your quesadilla casserole. This idea is just a starting point, so get creative and use what you have on hand.
  • Family-friendly: everyone at the table can agree on these four simple ingredients. Let each person garnish with as many (or as few) toppings as they like, and the meal is an instant success!
Horizontal side shot of a plate of the best chicken quesadilla casserole recipe.

The Best Chicken to Use for a Casserole

You’ll need cooked chicken for this recipe, and a variety of options will work. Pick the most convenient method for you:

  • Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil about 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs until cooked through (about 15-20 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken and use in the recipe.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: This is a great shortcut! Purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shred the meat, and use in the recipe as instructed.
  • Purchase Cooked Chicken: You can find cooked chicken in both the refrigerated and frozen sections of most grocery stores. This is a great shortcut ingredient to keep on hand.
  • Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover grilled or baked chicken, put those extras to good use in this casserole.
  • Canned Chicken: Yep, you can even use canned chicken in this casserole!
Flour tortillas in a baking dish.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for this layered chicken quesadilla casserole. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Chicken: you’ll need cooked shredded chicken for this dish, so leftovers from another meal, a rotisserie chicken, or boiled chicken will all work well.
  • Salsa: the binder that holds the casserole filling together, while also adding a ton of flavor. You can sub with taco sauce, enchilada sauce, or salsa verde if you prefer.
  • Shredded cheese: we love a Mexican cheese blend, but shredded sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or Colby Jack will all work!
  • Flour tortillas: these create the layers in your casserole. You can use corn tortillas instead, or even try corn tortilla chips for a crunchy texture.
Process shot showing how to layer chicken quesadilla casserole.

How to Make Chicken Quesadilla Casserole

This easy chicken tortilla casserole is the perfect shortcut meal when you don’t have time to make individual quesadillas in batches on the stove top! You’ll find detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick overview.

  • Stir together the chicken, half of the salsa, and half of the cheese. This is your quesadilla filling.
  • Layer the tortillas, chicken mixture, and additional salsa in a greased baking dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle extra cheese on top, return to the oven, and bake for 5-10 more minutes.
  • Slice, serve, and garnish with your favorite quesadilla toppings!
Close overhead image of a pan of baked chicken quesadilla casserole on a wooden dinner table.

What to Serve with a Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Casserole

Serve this simple chicken quesadilla casserole with any of these sides:

Easy chicken quesadilla casserole on a white plate.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Plan Ahead: take advantage of shortcuts by using store-bought rotisserie chicken meat that you pull or chop in advance, or leftover grilled or roasted chicken from a previous meal. Place the prepared chicken in an airtight storage container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. With the chicken already cooked and chopped, it’s really just a matter of layering your ingredients in your prepared dish and popping it in the oven.
  • Make Ahead: assemble the casserole in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Allow the dish to come to room temperature before baking.
  • Storage: leftover chicken quesadilla casserole will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • How to Reheat: refrigerated leftovers can be reheated in the microwave on high power for 30-60 seconds (or until the individual serving reaches the desired temperature). To reheat a larger casserole in the oven, cover loosely with foil and warm in a 350°F oven until heated through (about 20 minutes).
  • Freezing Instructions: assemble the casserole as instructed, cover tightly with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw the dish in the fridge overnight and allow it to come to room temperature on the counter before it goes in the oven.
Square overhead shot of healthy chicken quesadilla casserole in a red and white baking dish.

Recipe Variations

  • To serve a larger family, double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a 9 x 13-inch dish. The rest of the instructions remain the same. This makes a big batch of chicken quesadillas with minimal effort!
  • Instead of chicken, fill your quesadilla casserole with cooked ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken, pulled pork, leftover turkey, or sausage.
  • Add veggies to the filling. Good options include sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, a can of chopped green chiles, and corn.
  • Mix some beans into the casserole filling. Just about any variety will work, including black beans, pinto beans, and pink beans.
  • Instead of salsa, use taco sauce or enchilada sauce.
  • Jazz it up with extra seasoning and spice, such as cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, or chili powder.
  • Flour tortillas are more authentic for quesadillas, but you can substitute with corn tortillas if you prefer.
  • Use different types of cheese, such as Monterey Jack, Colby, or Pepper Jack.
Square side shot of a simple chicken quesadilla casserole on a plate with a side of tortilla chips.

Tips for the Best Chicken Quesadilla Casserole Recipe

  • If you prefer to cook your own chicken at home, boil about 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken.
  • The flour tortillas will soften as they combine with the chicken and sauce. That’s normal! If you prefer crunchy layers in your casserole, swap out the tortillas and use corn tortilla chips instead.
  • Garnish individual servings with fresh toppings. Try fresh herbs like cilantro or chives, sliced green onions, minced red onion or pickled red onion, sour cream, diced avocado, guacamole, chopped lettuce, sliced tomatoes, pico de gallo, sliced black olives, lime wedges, and salsa.
  • Make it a healthy chicken quesadilla casserole by using whole wheat or low-carb tortillas and reduced-fat cheese. You can even remove the top layer of tortillas and just use 4 tortillas for this casserole to cut down on calories. Load it up with plenty of fresh or sauteed veggies, too!
Side shot of a plate of chicken quesadilla casserole with toppings.

More Chicken Casserole Recipes to Try

Square side shot of a simple chicken quesadilla casserole on a plate with a side of tortilla chips.

4-Ingredient Chicken Quesadilla Casserole

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 387 kcal
A delicious, easy chicken quesadilla casserole made with only 4 ingredients! It's a quick dinner that will make the entire family happy.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken (such as rotisserie chicken or leftovers from another meal)
  • 1 cup salsa, divided (or sub with taco sauce or enchilada sauce)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • Optional garnish: fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, sliced olives, sliced tomatoes, diced avocado, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, fresh lime wedges

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 2-quart baking dish (about 8-inch or 9-inch square pan) with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, toss together chicken, half of the salsa (½ cup) and half of the cheese (½ cup).
    Shredded chicken in a bowl with salsa and cheese.
  • Place 2 of the tortillas in the bottom of the prepared dish, tearing them if necessary to cover the bottom (overlapping is fine).
    Flour tortillas in a baking dish.
  • Top with half of the chicken mixture; drizzle with ¼ cup of the remaining salsa. Repeat the layers. Finish by placing the remaining 2 tortillas on top.
    Process shot showing how to layer chicken quesadilla casserole.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese over top, and bake uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes (until the cheese melts and the casserole is hot and bubbly).
    Overhead shot of a simple chicken quesadilla casserole in a vintage baking dish on a table.
  • Cut into squares and garnish with optional toppings.
    Easy chicken quesadilla casserole served on a plate with salsa, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Video

Notes

    • If you prefer to cook your own chicken at home, boil about 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken.
    • The flour tortillas will soften as they combine with the chicken and sauce. That’s normal! If you prefer crunchy layers in your casserole, swap out the tortillas and use corn tortilla chips instead.
    • Garnish individual servings with fresh toppings. Try fresh herbs like cilantro or chives, sliced green onions, minced red onion or pickled red onion, sour cream, diced avocado, guacamole, chopped lettuce, sliced tomatoes, pico de gallo, sliced black olives, lime wedges, and salsa.
    • Make it a healthy chicken quesadilla casserole by using whole wheat or low-carb tortillas and reduced-fat cheese. You can even remove the top layer of tortillas and just use 4 tortillas for this casserole to cut down on calories. Load it up with plenty of fresh or sauteed veggies, too!
    • To serve a larger family, double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a 9 x 13-inch dish. The rest of the instructions remain the same. This makes a big batch of chicken quesadillas with minimal effort!
      Use different types of cheese, such as Monterey Jack, Colby, or Pepper Jack.
    • Flour tortillas are more authentic for quesadillas, but you can substitute with corn tortillas if you prefer.
    • Jazz it up with extra seasoning and spice, such as cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, or chili powder.
    • Instead of salsa, use taco sauce or enchilada sauce.
    • Mix some beans into the casserole filling. Just about any variety will work, including black beans, pinto beans, and pink beans.
    • Add veggies to the filling. Good options include sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, a can of chopped green chiles, and corn.
    • Instead of chicken, fill your quesadilla casserole with cooked ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken, pulled pork, leftover turkey, or sausage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the casseroleCalories: 387kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 33gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 994mgPotassium: 425mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 610IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 294mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: Chicken Quesadilla, chicken quesadilla casserole, easy chicken quesadilla casserole, Mexican Casserole, Quesadilla Casserole, simple chicken quesadilla casserole
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in March, 2017. It was updated in November, 2023.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says:

    I could definitely get behind this four ingredient casserole! I’ve made something similar before, but it was an enchilada bake. Love your quesadilla version! It’s making me want to dig right in for breakfast!

    1. Blair says:

      Yep! I’ve got an enchilada version on the blog too. This is definitely a tasty twist!

  2. Erlene Amat says:

    This is a great quick and easy meal. I would probably have to double it, but I love that it uses minimal ingredients.

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Erlene! 🙂 Great to see you here. Hope all is well!

  3. Jacqui says:

    Yum! Thanks for inspiring tonight’s dinner x.

    1. Blair says:

      Yay!!! Enjoy, Jacqui! 🙂

  4. Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health says:

    5 stars
    This looks sooo delicious Blair. I’m always looking for new recipes to use Sunday’s chicken leftovers. This is perfect for Monday dinner, is so easy to make and lazy-mom dream come true hehe

    1. Blair says:

      Exactly! Lazy Moms UNITE! 🙂

  5. Kate @ Framed Cooks says:

    Scrumptious recipes with only a few ingredients are my absolute favorite, especially in the midst of a hectic work week. This one is getting pinned and made SOON! Thanks Blair!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks so much, Kate! You’re right — it’s a perfect weeknight dinner!

  6. Lois John says:

    Blair, sounds like you had quite a week with Keith away. Would you mind posting the recipe for the 3-ingredient coconut smoothie? It sounds soooo good!!!

  7. Kristy from Southern In Law says:

    You always have the best casseroles, Blair! This one look SO easy and so delicious!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Kristy! Comfort food! 🙂

  8. Ana says:

    Please add grams for your non US readers – thank you!

  9. JaMee says:

    I haven’t tried this casserole yet but I plan to as soon as possible. I just want to thank you for your choice in having a link to the recipe at the beginning of your blog post. When I have time, I love to read through the entire blog and look at the beautiful pictures. But, when I am short on time, or when I am coming back to the blog post for a second time, I so appreciate being able to find the actual recipe quickly. Thank you and job well done!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, JaMee! I hope that you enjoy the casserole!

  10. Linda Andrasak says:

    5 stars
    I made this today and it was delicious it is in my recipe box and I will be making it again thank you for sharing.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Linda! We’re so glad you enjoyed it.