Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas That Are Perfect For Weeknights

If you love Mexican food, there's nothing as good as a tasty enchilada. You may think that you can only find this dish at your local Mexican restaurant, but that's just not the case, especially when you learn to make this simple, easy, and delicious slow cooker chicken enchiladas recipe. Chef, food writer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli says: "This is a very delicious meal I love," and we can't blame her. It's full of flavor, and it's really easy to make to boot. She told us that this meal "is usually what I want to eat for dinner after a busy workday."

That's right, not only are these slow cooker chicken enchiladas delectable, but they're actually easy enough to make that you won't mind whipping up a batch after a long day. Well, maybe not whipping up, but slow cooking after all of ten minutes of hands-on work, at any rate.

What is an enchilada, exactly?

Enchiladas use corn tortillas as their base, with said tortillas rolled around or layered with ingredients like chicken, beans, onions, and peppers and then topped with a generous serving of a sauce. This sauce can be either red or green depending on the ingredients you're using, but we're going to use red sauce in this recipe.

According to Chowhound, the food gets its name because "enchilada is the past participle of Spanish enchilar, which literally means 'to season (or decorate) with chili.'" So without that chili-based (or tomatillo based) sauce, it's not the whole enchilada.

Gather your ingredients for this slow cooker chicken enchiladas recipe

This quick and easy take on slow cooker chicken enchiladas calls for two cooked and shredded chicken breasts, shredded, 28 ounces of enchilada sauce, half a white onion, diced, a 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed, eight white corn tortillas, and two cups of shredded Mexican cheese.

You can cook the chicken yourself or "you can easily use rotisserie chicken, canned chicken, or shredded chicken in this dish," says Carli, who advises you to "toss the chicken into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for easy and quick shredding."

She adds: "This can be made vegetarian by subbing out the chicken for refried beans."

Prepare the filling for your slow cooker chicken enchiladas

In a large bowl, add the cooked and shredded chicken, half of the can of enchilada sauce, the diced onion, and the rinsed black beans. Stir to combine all ingredients well. If you want to add a little extra spice to the enchilada, now is the time to mix in some red pepper flakes or even some cayenne pepper

On the other hand, some hot sauce (Tapatio being a great choice) poured over each finished and plated enchilada works great too, and this approach allows each diner to cater the spice level to his or her palate with this slow cooker chicken enchiladas recipe.

Layer up your slow cooker chicken enchiladas

In a four-quart slow cooker, begin layering in your enchiladas, starting with a layer of enchilada sauce. Next, lay down two tortillas on top of the sauce, spread out as much as possible. 

Now add a layer of the chicken, sauce, and veggie mixture, using between one and two cups. Top that with a layer of cheese (about a quarter of a cup), and then repeat the process twice. So, again, add the sauce, then the tortillas, then the chicken mixture, then the cheese, and do it again.

To finish things off, top the last layer with two more tortillas, sauce, and shredded cheese. There, your hands-on work is done.

Time to cook your slow cooker chicken enchiladas

Once your slow cooker chicken enchiladas are all layered up and topped and ready, place the lid on slow cooker and cook on high for an hour. You can then keep the dish at the keep warm setting for a while if need be. Also, for the record, your enchiladas will be delicious even if you just can't wait and you tuck in after only 45 or 50 minutes.

On the off chance you have any leftovers here, Carli says: "This recipe keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days." You can reheat in the microwave, the oven, or even in a pan on the stove.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas That Are Perfect For Weeknights
4.9 from 36 ratings
You may think that you can only find this dish at your local Mexican restaurant, but that's just not the case with this slow cooker chicken enchiladas recipe.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
1
hour
Servings
6
servings
enchilada on plate
Total time: 1.17 hours
Ingredients
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 28 ounces enchilada sauce
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 white corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, add cooked shredded chicken, half the can of enchilada sauce, the diced onion, and the black beans. Stir to combine.
  2. In a 4-quart slow cooker, begin layering enchiladas by starting with a layer of enchilada sauce. Lay down two tortillas on top of the sauce, then add a layer of the chicken mixture, about 1 to 2 cups. Top with a layer of cheese, about ¼ cup.
  3. Repeat layers (sauce, tortillas, chicken mixture, cheese) twice for a total of three layers of filling.
  4. Top with tortillas, sauce, and cheese.
  5. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on high for an hour.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 382
Total Fat 15.7 g
Saturated Fat 8.8 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 59.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.3 g
Dietary Fiber 8.6 g
Total Sugars 9.6 g
Sodium 1,541.4 mg
Protein 23.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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