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Enchilada Casserole for Christmas Dinner



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 timeCook timeReady inYields

25 min

30 min

55 min

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


  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

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

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 23, 2012:

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

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 23, 2012:

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! ♥

Michelle Liew from Singapore on December 23, 2012:

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

Mary Craig from New York on December 23, 2012:

Scroll to Continue

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!

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 22, 2012:

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! ♥

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 22, 2012:

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

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 22, 2012:

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 :)

Erica J from Seattle, WA on December 22, 2012:

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

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 07, 2012:

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! ♥♥♥

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 07, 2012:

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! ♥

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 07, 2012:

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

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on December 07, 2012:

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 from Arkansas, USA on December 07, 2012:

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

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on December 07, 2012:

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

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 06, 2012:

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

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 06, 2012:

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

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 06, 2012:

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 from United States on December 06, 2012:

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!

Liz Rayen (author) from California on October 28, 2012:

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!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on October 28, 2012:

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

Liz Rayen (author) from California on May 03, 2012:

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

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on May 03, 2012:

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! )-:

Liz Rayen (author) from California on March 20, 2012:

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!:)

Suzanne Sheffield from Mid-Atlantic on March 20, 2012:

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.

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 25, 2011:

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 from Mexico on December 25, 2011:

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 from California on December 24, 2011:

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

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 22, 2011:

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 on December 22, 2011:

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!

Lisa on December 21, 2011:

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

Happy Holidays to you and yours!


Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 21, 2011:

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

Liz Rayen (author) from California on December 20, 2011:

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

Arlene V. Poma on December 20, 2011:

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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