Easy Chicken, Bean and Spinach Enchilada Casserole

Every delicious bite of this easy-to-prepare enchilada casserole includes just 6 simple ingredients that are key brain-healthy nutrients. Layers of enchilada sauce, whole grain corn tortillas, diced chicken, tender pinto beans, baby spinach, and a sprinkling of cheese come together quickly in this gooey, comforting casserole. And the nutrition profile is top notch. Chicken is one of the best sources of vitamin B3 (also known as niacin), which plays an important role in cognition and attention, and spinach (I use convenient, pre-washed baby spinach) is packed with lutein, an antioxidant essential for brain and eye health. 

If you’re cooking for two, freeze leftovers for later. If you’re feeding a crowd, devour the whole thing. Either way, when you serve it, be sure to set out an array of colorful and nourishing toppings—avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, plain Greek yogurt, sliced black olives—and let everyone pick and choose from among their favorites. Kids may find this build-your-own activity especially appealing.

Easy Chicken, Bean, and Spinach Enchilada Casserole

Created by Liz Weiss, MS, RDN
Makes 6 Servings


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 5-ounce package baby spinach
  • 2 cups roughly chopped chicken (from leftover baked chicken or rotisserie chicken)
  • One 15-ounce can low-sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 12-ounce jar enchilada sauce (or one 15-ounce can)
  • 1 package of twelve 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in half
  • cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
  • Optional toppings: sliced or diced avocado; fresh cilantro leaves; plain Greek yogurt, chopped tomato; sliced black olives


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium-size bowl; add the chicken and beans and stir to combine.
  • To make the casserole, spread 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange 8 tortilla halves over the sauce, allowing them to overlap slightly. Top evenly with another 1/4 cup sauce, half the spinach mixture, and 1/2 cup cheese.
  • Repeat the next layer with 8 tortilla halves, 1/2 cup sauce, the remaining spinach mixture, and 1/2 cup cheese. Add the final layer with the remaining 8 tortilla halves, the remaining enchilada sauce, and the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
  • Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake until the casserole is heated through and bubbly, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly, slice, and serve with optional toppings.

Nutrition information

Per serving (1/6 of the casserole): 360 calories; 12g total fat; 4g saturated fat; 580mg sodium; 38g carbohydrate; 8g fiber; 26g protein