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Enchilada Casserole for Christmas Dinner

Updated on February 29, 2020
Rusticliving profile image

Cooking and baking is a favorite past time for me. Experimenting with ethnic recipes allows me to experience flavors that enrich my palate.



Christmas and the holiday season always seems to set the tone for that "traditional" turkey or ham feast with all the trimmings. I grew up in that traditional home and loved when the family and extended family would come for the ever popular dinner, each bringing their specialty dish to the table; mine was potato salad.
Of course many cultures celebrate in so many different ways and with so many different ethnic foods in the world of cuisine, the word "traditional" takes on a whole new fabulous meaning!

Enchilada Casserole para la cena de Navidad

One of my all-time favorite Mexican dishes I make throughout the year is enchilada casserole. It has become a favorite to make for the holidays. It's fast, inexpensive to make, delicious, and my guests love it. On my gosh..I'm salivating right now!!

I have wonderful memories visiting my grandmother's house as a child and young woman. This amazing woman could cook or bake anything with whatever she had in the cupboards! (To this day, there is no one who can touch her Spanish rice or lemon meringue pie.)
I loved watching her cook. She'd laugh and sing and have me assist her in the preparations. I have been blessed that she taught me so many of her secrets and to this day I always feel her looking down and watching over me to make sure I'm doing everything according to her instructions.

While living on Kauai for twenty years, I did a lot of baking, cooking, and experimenting with many recipes. This recipe for baked enchiladas was created by a friend and myself. Each time we prepared it, we would add and delete ingredients here and there until we finally got just the right taste we were looking for! To this day, I still use the same recipe.
So with love from our home to yours, I give you my version of enchilada casserole!!!!

Preparation and Cooking Time

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 55 min
Yields: Will serve up to 12 people

Necessary Tools and Equipment

  • 9-inch x 13-inch non-stick baking pan
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • 10-inch skillet
  • Wooden spatula
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients for Enchilada Casserole

  • 1 lb organic grass-fed hamburger or chicken
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt, coarsely grounded
  • 4 tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1/2 cup organic grass-fed butter
  • 16 ounces enchilada sauce, red
  • 12 corn tortillas, white or yellow
  • 4 cups medium cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4-1/2 ounces black olives, chopped
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 12 ounces frozen corn kernals, semi-thawed (optional)
  • 1 cup white rice, cooked the day before

Nutritional Value for Enchilada Pie

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 pie slice
Calories 418
Calories from Fat153
% Daily Value *
Fat 17 g26%
Saturated fat 9 g45%
Carbohydrates 36 g12%
Sugar 4 g
Fiber 6 g24%
Protein 28 g56%
Cholesterol 65 mg22%
Sodium 918 mg38%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Chop onion and set aside.
  3. Brown hamburger (or chicken) in 2 tablespoons butter
  4. Add onion half way through cooked meat and continue browning until meat is cooked and onions are translucent.
  5. Add salt, pepper, chili powder, enchilada sauce, and water. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Lightly butter one side of each of the tortillas and set aside on a plate.
  7. Shred 4 cups of medium cheddar cheese and set aside in a bowl. (You can purchase pre-shredded; however, I prefer freshly grated cheese when I can.
  8. Place the following ingredients in separate bowls and set aside. This will make it easier and quicker when preparing the casserole in the baking pan: - Chopped black olives - Frozen corn kernels - White rice
  9. Lightly grease your non-stick baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter
  10. Layering your casserole: 1. Place 6 tortillas (butter-side up) in the pan, overlapping the edges of each tortilla. (be sure the tortillas touch all sides of the pan. 2. Spoon half of the meat mixture evenly over the first layer of tortillas. 3. (optional) Spread half of the corn kernels evenly over the first layer. 4. Spread 1/2 cup of the rice evenly over the first layer. 5. Spread half of the black olives over the first layer. 6. Last, spread 2 cups of the shredded cheese over the top. 7. Add the remaining 6 tortillas on top of the cheese and repeat steps 2 through 6.
  11. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover the last 10 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Will serve 12 people.

The Final Touches

Instead of serving this casserole with beans and rice, I like to keep it on the lighter side (especially if I'm serving up dessert after the meal.)

So, I will make a Fiesta Dinner Salad:
On salad plates place (rinsed and dried) 2 cups of chopped mix greens, 6-8 grape tomatoes (or 6-8 cherry tomato halves), 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper diced, 1/2 cup of diced cucumber, 1/4 cup diced green onion, and 2 Tbsp of Feta cheese.
Since everyone has their favorite dressing, I'll offer Ranch, Bleu Cheese, and Oil & Vinegar, and Salsa.

This meal is light and refreshing and I'm sure your guests will love it!

Please rate this recipe

Cast your vote for Enchilada Casserole

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Liz Rayen

Comments: Enchilada Casserole for Christmas Dinner

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    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      Mine too Michelle! "great minds" Let me know how you like it after you make it! Merry Christmas sweety! ♥

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      Oooo I love Mexican lasagna! It's similar but not quite. Thanks Mary! I hope you'll enjoy it! Merry Christmas to you and your family as well! ♥

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      Tasty.......and my kind of food! Am pinning this and scrapbooking it to make. Thanks Lisa!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      8 years ago from New York

      Sounds like Mexican lasagna! What a great dish and so easy....can't wait to make this, my kids will be so impressed. Thanks Rustic!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting all the way.

      Merry Christmas!

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      Now you are making me hungry Linda! :) And I agree with you.. less time in the kitchen more time for fun!!!! Mele Kalikimaka my sweet hubber sister! ♥

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      Ooooo That sounds yummy keepyouinstitches! Thank you for commenting :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I'm with you with unique a christmas dinner. Turkey and ham are so November! :) I bake Sunshine's Lasagna on Christmas Eve and Chinese take-out for Christmas Day. This allows less time in the kitchen and more time to have fun! Wishing you a Merry Christmas my funny hubber friend :)

    • keepyouinstitches profile image

      Erica J 

      8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      This is a great recipe. I added a little pinch of cumin to mine.

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      LOL Cyndi....Awesomesauce!!!!???? Well now.. That's a first for me..and I must say.. I LOVE being called that! Lisa Awesomesauce.. Yeah.. that works! I adore you my little hummingbird! ♥♥♥

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      Why thank you miss Vicki Lynn! It's one of my many comfort food recipes. Thanks for the pin as well dahlink! Big Ol Hub Hugs! ♥

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      Thanks so much Gypsy! It's really good and I have to admit.. Christmas isn't the only time I will fix it! LOL ♥

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      8 years ago from Western NC

      I love the enchilada pie part and all, but actually, I have to comment about the end part about you being in musical theatre. OH MY GOSH no WONDER you're so hilarious and freakin' awesome! All the wonderful things you do! You're awesomesauce! :D

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This looks incredible. I love any kind of Mexican or Tex-Mex food. Pinning this one! :-)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Sounds so good. Great idea even for Christmas. Passing this on.

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      ooo Mexican Lasagna?? Now that I need to see. Thanks Susan... will do the same! ♥

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yum! I think I'll add a link from to my Mexican Lasagna hub to your Enchilada pie. YUMMY!!!!

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      Thank you Ruchira! This recipe is really yummy and I hope you enjoy it! Thank you for the heads up on the weekly forum! ♥

    • Ruchira profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Wow...what a combination...a mexican cuisine as a pie. Living in a multi-cultural community does help :)

      thanks Lisa. Will give this a try. btw, this week's topic is to write about a special treat. I see your hub was published long time back, but since this is a unique could paste the link in the weekly forum. cheers!

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      8 years ago from California

      I hear ya Jools! It used to be that we would have turkey for Thanksgiving (oh so traditional) and then roast beef or ham for Christmas and New Years.... now I have to admit that Turkey does remain on the list for TG, however, Christmas is a whole different menu. OLE! Nice to see you!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      Lisa, I would happily forgo turkey (s0 bland!) for this Mexican treat. I'm done with tradition!

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      9 years ago from California

      Thanks JamaGenee! This recipe is really yummy. I have to admit I do have more than one helping when I make it. :0

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I love love LOVE Enchilada Pie! But this particular recipe could make me forget my self-imposed diet for the next 3 days! What I get for stumbling across it the night before Grocery Shopping Day!

      Bookmarked and voted AWESOME! Woulda voted it UP, too, but the UP option is gone! )-:

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      9 years ago from California

      I have added corn, but not black beans, although that would make a lot of sense to do so. You have some great ideas for enhancing recipes. I'm still intrigued with the grape jelly in chili idea! Thanks Lilleyth!:)

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      9 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Interesting! By the way, while you were developing your recipe, did you ever add black beans and corn to your ground beef mixture after you brown the meat? Thanks for sharing as I enjoy reading other's recipes.

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      9 years ago from California

      ooooo I love seafood lasagna. A little more time consuming, but well worth it in the end! Thank you Claudia and Merry Christmas!


      Lisa~Rustic Living

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 

      9 years ago from Mexico

      I encourage your Christmas Dinner variation, especially when it has to do with Mexican food! I also have parted from the traditional turkey and made seafood lasagna as the main course.

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 

      9 years ago from California

      Yummy!! I will have to try this ... looks delicious!

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      9 years ago from California

      Thank you! I also have a tasty taco salad recipe that my grandmother used to make. She was the best at Mexican cuisine. Happy Holidays to you as well!

    • J Burgraff profile image

      J Burgraff 

      9 years ago

      I share your love for Mexican food and cooking as well, and think it is the perfect festive cuisine for Christmas. May you and your family have a merry one!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you Alocsin! Perhaps I need to Hub my recipe for my Taco Salad as well. hmmmmmm...

      Happy Holidays to you and yours!


    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Yum, yum. Sounds like a great alternative to turkey and stuffing. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      9 years ago from California

      Thank you Arlene!. Hope you get an opportunity to try it. I love enchiladas and this dish can be doctored to suit your own taste. Happy Holidays to you!~ Lisa

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 

      9 years ago

      Wonderful presentation of favorite recipes. Bookmarked, voted up, and more. I love enchiladas and all its variations. This reminds me of stacked enchiladas. Delicious!


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