If you’ve been on the lookout for an easy, healthy, mostly hands-off recipe to add some spice to your weeknight dinner routine, you’ve just hit the jackpot. These quick and simple Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas are made with fewer than 10 ingredients and just a few minutes of active prep time. In short, my crockpot chicken enchiladas are the one-pot wonder your busy schedule needs.
Today we’re making a dish that epitomizes convenience without compromising on taste or nutrition. These mouthwatering slow cooker enchiladas are crafted entirely within the cozy confines of your trusty crockpot. Bid farewell to laborious cooking marathons and welcome the ease of assembling an extraordinary meal in a single pot.
In this enchanting recipe, I’ll show you how to conjure up a remarkable ensemble of flavors with just seven simple ingredients. Better yet, they demand a mere 10 minutes of your active time, but taste like they’ve been fretted over for hours.
But that’s not all! Aside the sheer simplicity and time-saving grace of this recipe, it also boasts a wholesome and nutritious twist. Picture tender, lean chicken, smothered in a vibrant, flavorful sauce, wrapped in a blanket of corn tortillas, and showered with plenty of veggies. It’s sure to transport your tastebuds to culinary paradise, all while keeping your healthy eating goals intact.
- What Are Slow Cooker Enchiladas?
- What Do They Taste Like?
- Why You’ll Love Enchiladas In The Slow Cooker
- How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas
- Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations
- Recipe Success Tips
- Serving Suggestions
- Storage, Freezing, & Reheating
- Crockpot Enchiladas Nutrition
- Pricing Info
- Other slow cooker recipes
What Are Slow Cooker Enchiladas?
Slow cooker chicken enchiladas are a brilliant combination of convenience and culinary excellence. They’re a delightful Mexican-inspired dish that captures the essence of comfort food with a touch of zesty flair.
The beauty of this crockpot chicken enchilada casserole recipe lies in its simplicity and ease. You toss all the ingredients into your trusty slow cooker, let it work its magic while you go about your day, and return to a mouthwatering meal that’s ready to be devoured.
As the slow cooker works its magic, the flavors meld together, creating a symphony of yumminess that will tantalize your tastebuds. When the time comes to feast, let your creativity run wild and garnish your enchiladas with an array of toppings—fresh cilantro, tangy lime wedges, or creamy avocado.
What Do They Taste Like?
In essence, this crockpot enchilada chicken casserole tastes like a fiesta in your mouth! These slow cooked enchiladas offer a delightful combination of tender white meat chicken, zesty spices, bright tomato-based sauce, and toothsome pieces of corn tortilla.
The first thing that hits your palate is the rich and savory essence of the slow-cooked chicken infused with a medley of spices.The homemade enchilada sauce, with its vibrant, tangy notes, envelops the chicken, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. It adds a tantalizing hint of warmth and depth.
The soft corn tortillas provide a comforting and slightly chewy texture. They act as the perfect vessel, allowing you to savor each mouthful while offering a subtle sweetness that complements the savory elements. Winner, winner chicken dinner INDEED!
Why You’ll Love Enchiladas In The Slow Cooker
Still need convincing? This chicken enchilada casserole crockpot magic isn’t just crave-worthy. It’s also:
- Quick & Easy – You’ll literally only need to spend a total of 10 active minutes in the kitchen. The slow cooker does all the rest!
- Made With Only 7 Ingredients – SEVEN. If you’re anything like me, a short grocery list is basically heaven.
- Rich & Comforting – This chicken enchilada slow cooker recipe embodies cozy comfort food. It’s warm, cheesy, salty, and just a smidge spicy, perfect for tucking into after a long day’s work.
- A Snap To Clean-Up – This is not like other recipes that have you make slow cooker chicken for enchiladas that you then assemble and bake in a separate casserole dish. Instead, my simple recipe has you prepare everything all in the same dish. When dinner rolls around, you only have the crockpot insert to clean!
- Endlessly Adaptable – Use store-bought enchilada sauce instead of homemade, swap in your favorite cheese in place of cheddar, add or omit any ingredients that you please, or make chicken thigh enchiladas instead of using breast meat. Read on below for even more easy ways to customize this meal to your liking!
As I mentioned earlier, you only need a handful of ingredients to make these chicken enchiladas in the crock pot:
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – Lean, white meat chicken is packed with protein while keeping a low calorie profile.
- Homemade Enchilada Sauce – This simple 7-ingredient recipe takes just a few minutes to whip up, uses only pantry staples, and just so happens to be gluten-free.
- Canned Black Beans – If possible, opt for low sodium beans to give you greater control over the final seasoning.
- Canned Sliced Olives – For a pop of briny flavor that I can’t get enough of.
- Corn Tortillas – This is a great way to use up the tail end of a bag from your Taco Tuesday adventures.
- Cheddar Cheese – For creamy, stretchy, melty goodness. If possible, grate your own for the best flavor and texture.
- Bell Peppers – For sweetness and added bulk with a very low caloric impact.
If you’re missing items or don’t like them, don’t fret. There are plenty of simple swaps you can make:
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – You’re welcome to use dark meat (e.g. boneless, skinless chicken thighs) if you prefer. You can also swap in an alternative shreddable meat option like pork butt instead. Just make sure to cut it down into smaller chunks so it’ll get covered and infused by the yummy enchilada sauce!
- Homemade Enchilada Sauce – While my healthy homemade (naturally gluten-free!) recipe is a snap to make, you’re welcome to swap in your favorite store-bought version instead.
- Canned Black Beans – Feel free to swap in low-sodium canned pinto beans instead. You can also opt for diced sweet potatoes if you’re not a fan of legumes.
- Canned Sliced Olives – I love the flavor of black olives, but if you’re not a fan, feel free to omit them. If you’d like to add some of the briny flavor back into the mix, consider using sliced pickled jalapeños or banana peppers instead.
- Corn Tortillas – While they’ll be a bit heavier on the calorie front, feel free to swap in crispy tortilla chips or tortilla strips instead.
- Cheddar Cheese – You’re welcome to use whichever melty cheese suits you. Go for pepper jack if you like things spicy, or try colby or muenster if you prefer a milder option.
- Bell Peppers – You can either omit the peppers, or swap in another colorful veggie that is languishing in your crisper drawer. Zucchini, summer squash, onions, or mushrooms are all good options.
How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas
Step 1: Cook Chicken. Add the chicken breasts and enchilada sauce to your slow cooker, making sure the chicken is covered in the sauce. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
Step 2: Shred the Chicken directly in the slow cooker.
Step 3: Assemble the Casserole, Part I. Stir in the black beans, olives, strips of tortilla, and 1 cup of cheese until combined.
Step 4: Assemble the Casserole, Part II. Top with the bell peppers and remaining cheese. Cover and slow cook for another 1 hour.
Step 5: Serve with your favorite enchilada toppings and enjoy!
Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations
As much as I enjoy this slow cooker enchiladas chicken dinner recipe, there are plenty of ways for you to customize it to your liking. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Gluten-Free – Make sure to opt for certified gluten-free corn tortillas.
- Vegetarian – Omit the chicken and go nuts with a variety of vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach. Sauté the veggies in a little olive oil and spices before adding them to the base of the slow cooker with the other ingredients in step 3. Before you know it, you’ll have a colorful and nutritious veggie enchilada feast ready!
- Spicy – If you’re a fan of heat, consider adding some diced jalapeños or a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes to the filling for an extra fiery kick.
- Smoky – If you like a bit of chargrilled flavor, try incorporating finely chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into the chicken filling.
- Low-Carb – If you’re watching your carb intake, omit the corn tortillas and the black beans. Instead, serve the with large lettuce leaves as wraps for the crockpot chicken enchilada filling and your favorite low-carb toppings. Alternatively, serve the saucy, cheesy chicken and veggies over some cauliflower rice instead.
- Dairy-Free – If lactose isn’t your friend, you can use dairy-free shredded vegan cheese in place of cheddar cheese. It will still provide a creamy and melty component to your enchiladas, but without upsetting your tummy.
Recipe Success Tips
While these chicken enchiladas slow cooker recipes and adaptations are pretty straightforward, here are a few notes to keep in mind:
- Ensure each component is well-seasoned. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and your preferred spices before cooking. Additionally, taste and adjust the seasoning of the enchilada sauce to ensure it is well-balanced and flavorful.
- Slow cookers can vary in temperature and cooking times, so it’s essential to check for doneness. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s fully cooked. Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken’s temperature in the thickest part.
- Allow the cooked enchilada casserole to rest in the slow cooker for about 10-15 minutes after cooking. This resting period helps the flavors meld together and allows the enchiladas to set slightly, making them easier to serve and enjoy.
- Enhance the overall meal by garnishing your enchiladas with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, some plucky pico de gallo, creamy slices of avocado, and/or a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. These finishing touches bring restaurant-quality brightness and freshness to your dinner.
While these slow cooked chicken enchiladas are the perfect meal for any hectic weeknight, at any time of year, you can always step up your game by trying any of the following serving suggestions:
- Fiesta Bar: Next time you host a get-together, set up a build-your-own enchilada bar and let everyone customize their own creations. Display bowls of toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, chopped green onions, guacamole, and sour cream next to the plugged-in slow cooker so everyone can feast at their own pace.
- Enchilada Bowl: Skip the tortillas altogether and create a delicious enchilada bowl. Start with a base of cooked rice or quinoa, add the crockpot chicken with enchilada sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and garnish with your favorite toppings. Hooray for a hearty and satisfying meal in a bowl!
- Breakfast Enchiladas: Who says enchiladas are just for dinner? Repurpose your leftovers into a delicious morning treat by adding some scrambled or fried eggs to the top to kickstart your day with a burst of flavor.
Storage, Freezing, & Reheating
Once your slow cooker chicken enchiladas have cooled down, transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate within two hours of cooking. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Leftover enchilada casserole can also be frozen for later enjoyment. Place any leftovers in airtight freezer-safe containers, label with the date, and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
To reheat refrigerated slow cooker chicken enchiladas, let them thaw overnight in the fridge as needed. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), then place the casserole in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and cover with foil to prevent them from drying out. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through to 165F.
Once reheated, serve your slow cooker chicken enchiladas with your favorite toppings such as fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, sour cream, or guacamole. Enjoy the flavorful enchiladas just as you did when they were freshly made!
Making chicken enchiladas in the slow cooker ahead of time
If you’re making this as a meal-prep recipe, I suggest cooking and shredding the chicken through step 2, then storing it until you’re ready to eat. It should keep well in a clean container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When dinner cravings hit, simply pick up where you left off at step 3!
For food safety, all poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165F.
In this slow cooker recipe, it’s important to keep the corn tortillas out of the equation until step 3. By adding them only in the last hour of cooking, you’ll ensure they don’t get too soggy and fall apart.
While my family and I will happily eat a pile of this enchilada casserole as a standalone meal, you’re welcome to bulk it up with sides if you prefer. Try cilantro lime rice or Mexican rice, black beans, refried beans, or charro beans, or even use a simple side salad to add some freshness to your plate!
Crockpot Enchiladas Nutrition
Your slow cooker chicken enchiladas offer a well-rounded nutritional profile. Here’s a breakdown of the key components:
With 478 calories and 18 grams of total fat per serving, these enchiladas fall within a reasonable range. Remember to choose lean chicken breast and consider incorporating healthy fats, such as avocado or olive oil, for added nutritional value.
These slow cooker enchiladas also provide a generous 47 grams of protein per serving. This is beneficial for supporting muscle health and helping keep you fueled up for hours after eating.
Each serving of this casserole also contains 885 mg of sodium, which is a little over ⅓ of your daily recommended dose. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider using low-sodium or no-salt-added ingredients wherever possible.
With 33 grams of carbohydrates (7 of which are fiber), these veggie-packed enchiladas also offer a decent but not overwhelming number of carbs.
To enhance the overall nutritional value of your meal, consider incorporating more vegetables. You’re welcome to bulk up the casserole with additional bell peppers or other veggies like onions or diced tomatoes. Otherwise, consider serving your meal side of mixed greens or a fresh salad.
Finally, remember that nutritional ratings are subjective and can vary based on individual dietary needs and goals. It’s always recommended to consult with a registered dietitian (like me!) or healthcare professional for personalized nutrition advice based on your specific requirements.
Total nutritional content per serving is:
- Calories: 478 calories
- Total Fat: 18 grams
- Protein: 47 grams
- Sodium: 885 mg
- Carbohydrates: 33 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
*This nutritional information is an estimate and calculated based on the ingredients used to create the recipe. The nutritional value of your ingredients may differ slightly. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
This is what I personally paid to make this recipe:
- 2 lbs chicken breasts: $4.99
- 28 oz homemade enchilada sauce: $3.53
- 15 oz canned black beans: $0.85
- 3.8 oz canned sliced olives: $1.62
- 12 small corn tortillas: $1.99
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese: $1.65
- 2 bell peppers: $1.36
The total comes out to be around $15.99 or roughly $1.99 per serving!
Other slow cooker recipes
Tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the comments below! I would really appreciate your feedback!
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas
- 2 lbs chicken breasts boneless/skinless
- 28 oz homemade enchilada sauce
- 15 oz canned black beans low sodium, drained and rinsed
- 3.8 oz canned sliced olives
- 12 small corn tortillas cut into strips
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 2 bell peppers sliced
- Add the chicken breasts and enchilada sauce to your slow cooker, making sure the chicken is covered in the sauce. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
- After 6-7 hours, shred the chicken in the slow cooker.
- Stir in the black beans, olives, strips of tortilla, and 1 cup of cheese until combined.
- Top with the bell peppers and remaining cheese. Cover and slow cook for another 1 hour.
- Serve with your favorite enchilada toppings!
If you end up making this and loving it, take a photo and tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your versions of my recipes! And feel free to rate it down below in the comment section. I would really appreciate it!