Microwave Chicken Tortilla Casserole


microwave chicken tortilla casserole

I hope you’re having a great summer so far. I’m working more hours than ever but that just means that I am making time with my family and even bigger priority, which kind of evens it out. It’s amazing how little time we spend with those around us, even though we may be in the same house or even the same room. I’ve found that unless I make it a point, spend time with a purpose, I’m not really connecting with the kids.

I was reminded of that this morning when I was trying to take a quick shower and both kids kept coming into the bathroom to talk to me. I got a little frustrated for a moment and thought “Isn’t anything sacred?” and then that voice in my head answered “Yes, every moment of your time with them is sacred, so enjoy it now.”

It hit me in that moment how wonderful my life is that I have these two kids who want to talk to me so much that they can’t seem to go fifteen minutes without telling me about something, showing me something they drew, or giving me a hug. These are sacred moments. We may feel a little stressed  by them from time to time but whenever I do I try to take a moment to step back and imagine how awful it would be were any one of my blessings taken away. That job you complain about- What if you lost it today? Your mother who calls too much – one day you’d give anything to hear her voice one last time so savor it now. The dirty dishes in the kitchen – what if you didn’t have food to feed your family?

It all puts it in perspective. So if you find yourself, in the course of your busy day riddled with interruptions, thinking  “Is nothing sacred?” , just answer yourself right off “Yes, it sure is. So enjoy it.”

To give you more of that sacred time, and avoid heating up your house, here is one of my favorite summer supper recipes. It uses a microwave, which always surprises people when they taste it. I think folks expect a microwaved casserole to be tough and chewy, but you’ll find this one is cooked just right. I came upon this recipe in one of those little checkout cookbooks right after Ricky and I got married. Every recipe in that cookbook was good and wouldn’t you know, I lost it within the year ~laughs at her own disorganization~. Fortunately, I had this one memorized because I had made it so much! My husband and I love it and it also reheats well. Packed with flavor and ready to go from start to finish in under ten minutes.

Now let’s get cooking so we can get back enjoying all of those sacred moments!

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

You’ll need: Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, two flour tortillas, chopped green chilies, taco seasoning, shredded chicken, and some french fried onions.

I like to pick up a rotisserie chicken for a quick lunch on those crazy days. I can usually get one for the same price of an uncooked fryer so it’s like someone did the work for me. I just have some for lunch and save the rest for this casserole! Another great way to get chicken on the cheap is to buy leg quarters in ten pound bags. I boil all of the leg quarters in a large stock pot, shred and bag the chicken, and then use the stock for chicken noodle soup or chicken stew.

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

You’ll also need some fresh cilantro.

This really makes the dish for me so I splurge and spend the dollar or so that it costs. You can also grow cilantro on your own if you like.

This year I’m growing basil and parsley out in my sunroom. I figure I’ll dip my toes in the water before going for an all out herb garden.

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

Now lets get started. This is SUPER easy and it’s gonna go fast so stay with me here :).

Chop your fresh cilantro…

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

Then dump all of your ingredients into a large mixing bowl

Note: We’re saving half of the cheese and half of the onions for the topping. Exact measurements are at the bottom, of course.

Stir that all up until well combined – or close enough :)

It’s not like the world is gonna end if we don’t stir it just right.

Now take one of your tortillas and tear it into small pieces and add that to the bowl also.

Now stir it up again.

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

Place a tortilla in a microwave safe pie plate.

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

Spoon your mixture into it.

I love this tablecloth. I got it on clearance after Christmas at Target for under five dollars. I wash this thing several times a week and keep putting it right back on the table. I’m going to hate it when it finally suffers a stain I can’t wash out!

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

Microwave for five minutes.

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

Remove from Microwave and top with remaining french fried onions…

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

and cheese.

Return to the microwave for another minute or until cheese is melted.

microwave chicken tortilla casserole

Enjoy a flavor packed supper in a cool kitchen!

Microwave Chicken Tortilla Casserole
  • 2 cups chicken (give or take, just use however much you have)
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup french fried onion, divided
  • 4 ounce chopped green chilies
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 -10 inch flour tortillas
  1. Place chicken, sour cream, half of cheese, half of onions, chopped green chilies, taco seasoning, and chopped cilantro in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Tear one tortilla into small pieces and add to bowl, stirring again until well incorporated.
  2. Line a pie plate with remaining tortilla and spoon mixture into it. Place in microwave for five minutes.* Remove and top with remaining onions and cheese. Microwave for one minute more, or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!
  3. *Note: Microwave ovens vary widely in temperature so you may need to alter the cooking time to suit your microwave. Since the chicken is fully cooked, there isn't a danger of undercooking this meal so you can just go with these guidelines and give or take a minute or so if you feel it needs it. This is a VERY flavorful casserole and leftovers heat up really well.

Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way.

Say nothing, and listen as heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.”

– Max Lucado


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  1. Michelle Thompson says

    My Oldest son graduates high School tomorrow and he told me he wants this for dinner and Oreo Truffles for dessert…..thanks fo remaking dinner so easy tomorrow!

  2. Michelle Thompson says

    oh girl, it’s funny …I have fixed much of the same stuff for years but now I have your book that shows that’s its good stuff and it has the Christy Seal of approval so he will eat anything I fix that’s in the cookbook LOL

    I am very proud of him, he’s 17 and graduates tomorrow and is heading into the Army the day after he turns 18 in October. I am very blessed he’s a good kid! :)

    • says

      I’m tellin’ ya Michelle, it sounds like you have raised an outstanding young man there! I’m proud of both of you!

      We are so blessed!! Thank you for buying my book, too! I put my heart in it so when I hear someone has taken it to theirs it feels like one of my babies had found a good home!

  3. Wanda Wuensche says

    Two weeks ago today my dear Dad passed away. He and my Mom were married for 65 years and she is lost without him. Your words are especially meaningful to me today, ” Your mother who calls too much – one day you’d give anything to hear her voice one last time so savor it now”. So very true!
    This recipe looks wonderful. I will definitely make it and share with my Mom.
    It is SO hot here in Texas and I cannot bear to turn on the oven. I have today’s supper (dinner) in the slow cooker – one of your recipes! Take care and cherish every moment of your time with your family. God bless you.

    • says

      Dear Wanda, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I know both of your parents were blessed to have you and your mother feels doubly so now. When my Grandaddy passed away, it was just me and Grandmama living together and we just really relied on each other, especially those first few months.

      Thank you for being such an important part of the southern plate family. Sending out love and prayers to you and your precious Mama.

  4. Kristin says


    I so enjoy reading your notes every day. I think it is wonderful that you are so positive! I sometimes get frustrated or stressed (stay-at-home mom of two under four and work-at-home full-time), but your notes help remind me to enjoy each day, especially the time with my girls!

    Can’t wait to try this!

  5. says

    Oh Kristin, except for the ages, I’m sooooooo with ya! lol I feeeeeel for you girl. I bet you give yourself “time outs” like I do, too! It’s okay to go in the bathroom, turn on the air vent, and close your eyes while you count to ten :) .
    We are so very blessed, having all of the riches of the world living in the house with us. Mine are growing up so fast and I often tell them that is in direct defiance of my authority because I do NOT remember giving them permission to grow up!
    Katy Rose Says she is going to live with me forever though :) And Brady says “Ma, I gotta grow up sometime, but I’ll have kids and bring them to stay with you if you get lonely” lol

    Thank you for putting up with my ramblings Kristin, and for taking the time to chat back :) I cherish that!

  6. marla says

    Sweet Christy, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your cookbook and could feel your heart in it as I read it cover to cover. I cannot even stand to put it away. I ordered 2 more to share with my mom and mother-in-law. I loved the stories about you, your parents, and grandparents and how you grew up – it was so very familiar to the way my parents and i grew up – loved it!! Sending you a hug!

  7. Doris says

    Christy, you never cease to amaze me! I’m probably old enough to be your grandmother, but you are so wise for your age and always give such good advice. It’s obvious you come from a family that has strong religious beliefs. I do, too, and when I observe nature, wild animals, all God’s creatures, I say, “Who says there is no God?” I liked today’s quote so much I did a Copy and Paste and sent it to my daughter. Going grocery shopping tomorrow and will fix your latest recipe this weekend; it sounds tasty. Good luck with all your new ventures!

  8. Michelle Thompson says

    Well we think of southern Plate as one stop shopping….all 4 of the kids love the food but my youngest (olivia age 9) loves to listen to you read! She gets excited cuz you sound like me and my family from back home in NC/SC we have moved a lot since my husband is in the Marine Corps and we have lived overseas a lot and now are in San diego where a southern accent is foreign LOL

    Anyway , we just appreciate you doing the cookbook, nice to finally see a book with recipes and ingredients that those of us living on a budget can fix and enjoy :)

  9. Karen says

    This brought back a memory of when my daughter was little. Then, I would
    take a bath (not a shower). My daughter would bring in one of her little chairs and say “Can we talk?” Of course we could! She figured out pretty young what a captive audience was. Those were the days!

  10. says


    My children are 32 and 29. I hate having an empty nest still to this day. I was a stay at home mom and we followed my Marine husband around the U.S. and Japan. It wasn’t until my husband retired that I went back to college and got my Bachelor’s degree in social work and I have just graduated with my Master’s degree in Gerontology.

    So, enjoy them while they are little because when they get older you will wish you still had these moments. As singer Trace Adkins’ song says, “You’re
    gonna miss this; you’re gonna want this back.”

    God bless,


  11. Ginger says


    I love reading your posts. My children are 16 & 14 and most of the time are halfway out the door. My daughter will be a senior in hs next year, and it is still hard to believe by next summer she’ll be getting ready to leave for college.

    As for this recipe, I love it! My son (14) does a lot of the cooking and the more he can do in the microwave, the happier he is. I’m sure he’ll love making this too. And you reminded me, I need to be on the watch for leg quarters to be on sale soon. I always cook them down and then shred & freeze the meat.Our cats like it that the bones become cat food too! Waste not, want not. :)

  12. Linda Watters says

    I am looking forward to making this easy recipe, Christy. Thank you for putting on such comfort food and also quick and easy and delicious sounding recipes.

    Lord bless you, Christy!


  13. Christy says

    Hey, Christy! I usually buy a couple of rotisserie chickens at the time at Sam’s, cut them in half, wrap with plastic wrap-skin, bones and all, and put them in a freezer bag and freeze. I’ve had better luck with it not drying out that way. You can thaw and shred or thaw and wrap as is with foil and heat in the oven or on the grill – like we did during our recent power outage:). Works really great with your quick chicken meals!

  14. says

    I am so making this tonight in my nonairconditioned kitchen! Where was this recipe when I was living in the dorm and the nearest kitchen was two floors away? I thought I was the queen of cooking actual food in the microwave until now! :)

    Do you remember how big a deal it was when you got your first microwave? We got ours sometime in the late 80’s (i was in 5th or 6th grade): it came from our neighbor who was redoing their kitchen, and it weighed about a metric ton and took up half our counter space and was this hideous brown and orange color with a gold Chrome handle, but it was a miracle! We had frozen dinners (you know the *special* TV dinners that were specifically labeled “microwaveable”) for a solid week until we tired of the novelty and then pretty much just used it to reheat stuff.

    Thanks for the recipe, and the memory!

  15. Katie S. says

    Christy, I swear, sometimes your messages are so perfectly timed it’s as if you’re speaking right to me. Thank you for the important reminder to savor what you have right NOW. I needed to hear that today. And, of course, the recipe looks delicious!

  16. KiAnn says

    Just got to say…I love this website! I was looking for a recipe for a slow cooker chicken & dressing and a friend sent me here. I’ve been hooked ever since! I bought your cookbook and received it in the mail on Wednesday, so many things I want to try!! My mom and I did make the fresh strawberry pie recipe, and while she washed the strawberried I read her your “Six Meals to a Marriage Proposal”. We laughed hysterically.

  17. beth says

    I needed this post today. Just to sit back and savor those moments with my three wonderful kiddo’s. We all catch ourselves saying something to the effect of “would you just please stop talking for a minute.” One day there is going to come a time when we are going to say, “please talk to me.” Sometimes we say things at the moment and look back and wish we wouldn’t have. I have an eight year old talker and sometime I want her to just sit there and be quiet, so I really needed this today. Thank you so much. Also, this recipe looks really good and easy.

  18. Kolene says

    I will be making this one!! I made the Dr. Pepper salad yesterday, ummm good!
    When I was younger, I always hated doing the dishes. When I got married, I still hated doing dishes, no dishwasher at that time, I came accross this prayer and copied it on paper and taped it by my sink in all the houses we lived in. One friend use to comment on it and then made a needlepoint of it for me. Here it is:
    “Thank God for dirty dishes,
    They have a tale to tell.
    While other folks go hungry, we’re eating very well.
    With health and home and happiness
    We shouldn’t want to fuss.
    For by this stack of evidence, God’s very good to us”!!
    This has been hanging in my kitchen for over 40 years!!!

  19. says

    Christy, I was introduced to your recipes by my Boss Claudia Heimmermann. You are an inspiration to us all ! I have made some of your recipes they are awesome! I have a 16 year old grandaughter at home, she is a cheese lover, I will definetly make your tortilla chicken cassarole she will love it that’s for sure.

  20. Tonya A says

    Christy, Thanks for the quote. I absolutely love Max Lucado and I really enjoy all those words of inspiration from your site. I need them. I am a mom of 4 little ones who seems to be worn out a lot. I love you recipes, your wit, charm and inspiration. I would love to meet you someday. You make this mama smile a lot and that is a blessing to my kids. Thank God for you.
    P.S. Your recipe looks good too. We make a lot of your dishes.

  21. Jennifer B. says

    My husband has this thing against hot sour cream — not sure why. I’m wondering if using some cream of chicken soup in place of the sour cream might work. Or some of that new Philadelphia Cooking Creme (cream cheese)? Thoughts??

  22. Ricki McKinley says

    This Microwave Chicken Casserole was a huge hit. My husband and son love, love, LOVE cheesy dishes, but my daughter and I can’t tolerate dairy, so they don’t get their cheese fix very often. However, this casserole was so easy and quick that I can see it becoming almost a staple around here. I just cut enough meat off the rotisserie chicken for the girls and put the rest of the meat into the casserole for the guys. It was great and everyone was happy.

    Thanks Christy!

  23. Lori says

    I have had this on my mind since I saw it posted, gonna get the ingredients today to make it. I’m wondering if you could use ground beef instead of chicken? I always make a recipe just as it’s written the first time and then try my own swing on it so I’m already wondering!

  24. Lorinda says

    Hi, this recipe looks yummy, however, can anyone tell me how to get the cooked chicken? I get all excited when I see a recipe labeled “microwave” but then my bubble is burst when I see something that there is a “pre” microwave step. (kinda like the crock pot recipes that claim “one pot” but call for ground beef – hello?!? that is NOT one pot) I live in a small NYC apt with a microwave, a small toaster oven, and a hot plate that I have to put on a cutting board that goes across the sink, so I do not love to use that hot plate, by any stretch of the imagination.
    So maybe I can get boneless, skinless chicken and microwave it?? That sounds possible but I’m unsure just how it works. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • Jennifer B. says


      I’m guessing you could use a can of cooked chicken if you didn’t want to go to the bother of cooking chicken. Personally, I buy a cooked rotisserie chicken, but if you live alone, that might be too much chicken for you at one time (although you could freeze it).

  25. says

    Thanks for posting this! We made it last night and loved it! I forgot to get cilantro so I left it out, and we actually ended up eating it kind of like a dip and scooping it with Fritos. It was really tasty, and I will definitely make it again but deliberately serve it as a dip because we liked it like that so much!

  26. Sara Jones says

    Christy, I want to make this but am I seeing in your bowl that you have some refried beans or bean dip that is not listed in the ingredients? Need to get the ingredients so am waiting to hear back from you abou this. Thanks for all the recipes and I want to say that your wisdom is far beyond your years. Most people don’t realize how blessed they “WERE” until the kids are grown and gone or when our parents are gone. I lost my Mom when I was 15 are your words of wisdom are soooo true. So thanks for sharing. I hope you don’t mind, but I posted it on my FB page to share with my friends ..quoting you.

    • says

      Hi Sara, there are no beans or bean dip in this recipe. It is as the recipe is stated. I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying the recipes and I am so thankful to have you as part of the Southern Plate Family!! I don’t mind at all you using my quotes, I am just grateful when others see any wisdom at all in them. I hope you have a great day!!

  27. Linda says

    That looks so good! I’ve never been very good at cooking in the microwave even though I do quite well with a regular stove. I should give this a try soon.

    I agree with you about the table cloth – love it! It brought back memories. That is exactly the same plaid I used to make the first slip cover I ever sewed. It was for a love seat and fit like upholstery, the plaids even matched up at the seams…and I had a 3 year old and a 6 year old at the time!!! I have no idea how I did that. The dear Lord apparently gave me a LOT of help when my children were little. And you are right about that too. Enjoy that time while you can because it will soon be only memories.

  28. Dawn Estes says

    Looks good…. Tip for your table cloth if it gets a stain. I am sure you can find it at other places but I found mine at walmart. There is a bar of soap you can find in the laundry soap Isle called Fels Naptha it is a bar soap but it is laundry soap…. Anyway you wet your cloth and then rub that in on the stain and let it set. My daughter stained a pad we use under in the car seat with chocolate milk while she was with grandma over a weekend and it set in. I washed it normal and it was still there so I wet it and rubbed the Fels Naptha soap on it and let it set then rewashed it and it came out like new. So I have a bar on hand ontop my washer. When I bought mine last year it was only $0.97 at walmart. Just a thought.

  29. Marcia Harris says

    Thanks so much for sharing another fantastic recipe. I was wondering when put in the Micro does the tortilla cook so it’s not doughy? Other wise I could pre-cook the tortillas on top of the stove just to stiffen them a bit then add the rest and nuke. Have your wonderful cook book and read your recipes like my Bible. Thanks so much. Marcia Harris from Mich P.S. I once had a Southern Mother in law from Ms she actually taught me to cook as a young 17 yr old bride. Sooo! I have the best of both worlds Southern & Northern cooking recipes. LOL I was born in Mich but lived in the south as you young bride. Now back to Mich. I’am a older lady, but cooking has always been my passion. Love to feed people .

  30. T Alan Neve says

    I am not a fan of cilantro. It tastes like soap. Don’t ask me how I know what soap tastes like, suffice to say that as a youth I learned it is wise not to say certain words. Is there a substitute for cilantro in this recipe? Perhaps parsley?


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