How to Make Paleo Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Casseroles with chicken, tortillas, canned soups and cheese are ubiquitous to Texas potlucks, grandmother’s tables and locally assembled cookbooks. King Ranch Casserole is one and Chicken Enchilada Casserole is another that are pretty typical. My Paleo version has all the creaminess, layers and toppings without the grains, dairy or gluten.

Traditional Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Traditionally, chicken is mixed with green chiles, onions and garlic then layered with corn tortillas and a mixture of cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups that have been flavored with chili powder. This is all topped off with a thick layer of cheese and usually some jalapenos and tomatoes for color.

How is the Paleo Version Different?

The chicken mixture is very similar with green chiles, onion and garlic. I add the cumin and oregano to the chicken instead of the sauce so the white color doesn’t get muddled since we won’t be covering it with cheese. The creamy white sauce is very similar to my Chicken Broccoli Casserole. Cauliflower rice is the base but if you are not doing a round of Whole30 at the time you’re making this, you can layer with crushed Siete tortilla chips instead to mimic the corn tortillas. The toppings of chopped tomatoes, jalapeno, avocado and pickled onions add both color and extra flavor.

Hot Chicken Enchilada Dip

Rather than layering the chicken and sauce, mix together in a 2 quart casserole and bake until bubbling. Top with chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro and green onions. Serve with Siete or regular tortilla chips. If you’re doing a round of Whole30, use homemade plantain chips or jicama sticks for dippers.

Best Way To Serve Paleo Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Serve the casserole with a simple salad, sliced tomatoes, guacamole or avocado slices. If you are making this for guests, try making in individual casseroles in small stoneware crocks or baking dishes to make it more eye appealing.

How to Make Paleo Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Course: MainCuisine: Mexican


  • White Sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 1 tsp (3 cloves) minced garlic

  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch mixed with 2 tbsp almond flour

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 cup yogurt (regular or dairy free)

  • Spanish Cauliflower Rice
  • 1 1/2 lbs frozen caulfilower rice

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp granulated garlic

  • Green Chile Chicken
  • 1 tbsp ghee or avocado oil

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 4 cloves chopped garlic

  • 1 cup chopped green chiles

  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 1/2 lbs cooked chicken)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • Toppings
  • Chopped tomato

  • Chopped fresh or pickled jalapenos

  • Pickled onions

  • Green Onions

  • Chopped Cilantro


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Sauce Directions
  • Melt butter in oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are pretty soft. Stir in almond flour/tapioca mixture and whisk well to incorporate.
  • Add chicken broth slowly, whisking the whole time.
  • If the mixture looks pretty thin at this point, mix another 1/2 tbsp each almond flour and tapioca starch with some of the sauce and whisk in well.
  • Turn off heat and add yogurt and spices.
  • Taste and add more salt if you think it is necessary.
  • Spanish Cauliflower Rice
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat until smoking. Add cauliflower rice and let cook without stirring to allow the water to evaporate and start browning the “rice”. Add the spices and tomato paste and stir to incorporate completely. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish. Use same skillet for chicken.
  • Chicken
  • Saute the onion and garlic in the ghee or avocado oil. When softened, add the green chiles, chicken and spices. Mix well.
  • Assembly
  • Layer chicken mixture on top of cauliflower then spread the sauce evenly to the edges. Bake until the top is bubbly and starting to brown. Top with chosen toppings and serve with a big salad.

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