This Manwich Style Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe is a quick and easy weeknight dinner recipe.
Layers of cheese, chicken, black olives, and tortilla are topped with a spiced up sloppy joe sauce to create a unique dish the whole family will love!
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An easy recipe for a tasty family dinner
I didn’t set out to make a casserole at least once a week but that’s how our menu plan seems to have worked out.
They are quick and easy to put together. And that is one of the requirements for my weeknight dinners.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Manwich used as a substitute for enchilada sauce (with some modifications) is the dinner that my husband requests for his birthday.
And it has turned into a family favorite.
With just a little bit of prep, this meal comes together quickly and has a different enough flavor from traditional enchilada sauce that makes it totally unique.
I’m certain this recipe came off a can of Manwich many years ago. I stole it from my mother-in-law, who has it handwritten out, so if you know the source – please let me know!
What is Manwich
Manwich is a canned sauce that is usually mixed with ground beef to make Sloppy Joes.
It is a tomato based sauce with added flavorings. It also have corn syrup, etc. so if you’re eating clean, this might not be for you.
But they have a full recipe section on their site and you can actually use it to make all kinds of different recipes.
Also, just to be clear, this is not a sponsored post. But I feel compelled to share the easy recipes that help me feed my family.
How to make Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Manwich Sauce
Like my White Chicken Enchilada Casserole, this recipe is one that is flavorful but less stressful than traditional rolled enchiladas.
You can most likely find Manwich in the sauce aisle of the grocery store (where they have pasta sauce). Or near the chili.
I’m not a fan of olives but I LOVE them in this dish! The recipe calls for 2 1/4 ounces, but I think you could load it up even more.
I will typically try to bake my chicken earlier in the day so that I don’t have to start dinner an hour early just to do that part. Or I’ll bake some off on another day if I will already have the oven on.
I use my kitchen shears to chop it up and keep it in the fridge until I’m ready to put it together.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees then get your Manwich style enchilada sauce started.
In a saucepan, add the can of Manwich, 2 cups of water and 4 tsp of chili poweder.
Mix it together and bring it to a boil.
Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, add chopped chicken, 1/2 cup of the Manwich sauce, and 1/2 of the olives.
Mix it together.
I put a little bit of enchilada sauce in the bottom, just enough to cover the 2 1/2 qt. baking dish.
To get a similar amount of tortilla in each bite as you would in a traditional enchilada, I next add a layer of tortillas.
Tear them to make them fit as best as possible. Overlapping tortillas is fine.
Add a layer of 1/2 of the chicken mixture then add 1/2 of the cheese.
Top with another layer of tortillas as you can see I started to do in the photo above.
And on top of that tortilla layer add the last of the chicken but no more cheese. (I mean you can, it won’t ruin anything, but I like to have it finish the casserole).
And then top with one last layer of tortillas.
Evenly pour the rest of the enchilada sauce made with Manwich over the casserole.
Finish off with the last layer of cheese and the other half of the black olives.
Bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is all melty and delicious.
We don’t serve this with anything else but you could turn it into a full meal by serving it with a green salad and a side of black beans. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with this Del Real Arroz with Vegetables.
The leftovers are also quite tasty! I have a family of 4 and we end up with enough leftovers for about 2 more servings. Lunch is taken care of!
If you are looking to speed up dinner prep a little bit more, simply use a can of enchilada sauce and follow the other directions. No need to boil on the stove.
Most stores offer some form of pre-cooked chicken that you can use in this recipe. You could even use rotisserie chicken as a shortcut.
Want to make it “supreme”? Top it with sour cream or set out chunks of avocado for your family to add.
Want to turn them into rolled enchiladas? Just evenly spoon the chicken and olive mixture and 1/2 of the cheese into the individual tortillas.
Place them seam side down in the baking dish and top with the Manwich enchiladas sauce, the rest of the cheese and the rest of the olives. Bake as directed above.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- This Tortilla Soup Recipe couldn’t be easier. You just add the ingredients to a pan and heat! Serve with jack cheese and tortillas chips for a super quick dinner perfect for cooler evenings.
- Sheet Pan Nachos are a fun twist on the classic taco Tuesday. It’s all the flavors your family loves with very little work.
- Use this list of Easy Dinner Ideas Made from Pantry Staples to put together inventive meals with things you can find in your cupboard.
Manwich Style Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 1 can 15 oz Manwich
- 2 cups water
- 4 tsp chili powder
- 2 1/4 oz sliced black olives or more if you love them!
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 cups cooked chicken chopped
- 10 flour tortillas
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a saucepan, add the can of Manwich, water and chili powder. Mix well and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, add chopped chicken, 1/2 of the olives and 1/2 cup of the Manwich style enchilada sauce. Mix.
- Add a few spoonfuls of sauce to the bottom of a 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish.
- Add a layer of flour tortillas, tearing them into pieces to make them fit.
- Top with 1/2 of the chicken and olive mixture.
- Add 1/2 of the cheese.
- Top with another layer of tortillas.
- Add the other half of the chicken mixture. (Reserve the rest of the cheese for a little bit later).
- Top with a last layer of tortillas.
- Evenly pour the sauce over the top.
- Add the cheese and the rest of the olives on top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through and all the cheese on top is melted.