Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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This Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole made with pantry staples is the easiest way to make enchiladas! All the flavor of classic cheesy chicken enchiladas made right in the crockpot.

446 CAL 48g CARBS 12g FAT 38g PROTEIN 6
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Enchiladas are something my family always loves. From my Chicken Enchilada Casserole to Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas - they are all staples in my house! They are saucy, cheesy, and filled with tasty Mexican flavors.

But on busy nights, they are a bit of a beast to make with the sauce, the meat, and all the tortilla rolling. When the request for enchiladas came up for dinner, I thought, let’s try to make this in the slow cooker!

The key to making crockpot enchiladas is the right combination of smoky, spicy sauce, tender chicken, and lots of cheese. Another critical factor is not adding the tortillas too early so they don’t get soggy. No one wants to eat disintegrated tortillas.

These Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchiladas have all of these things! They can be made in the morning and ready for dinner when you get home, making them the ultimate easy weeknight dinner or Taco Tuesday meal.

Serve this enchilada casserole on its own or pair it with Cilantro Brown Rice, Mexican Cauliflower Rice, or a salad, It's delicious no matter how it's served!

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Besides having all the essential enchilada qualities, this casserole has even more good qualities.

  • Minimal prep required: Using pre-made enchilada sauce and taco seasoning, there is minimal upfront work. You’ll need to chop up an onion and garlic.
  • It’s gluten-free: This casserole uses corn tortillas to keep everything gluten-free. I’m a big fan of one meal to serve everyone, no matter their dietary needs or preferences!
  • All the enchilada flavor for less work: Enchiladas can be a labor of love. Thankfully, this recipe has all the enchilada flavors (and love) but with much less labor.

Looking for more delicious slow cooker Mexican recipes? Try this Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas, Slow Cooker Chicken in Chile Verde, or Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa.

Ingredients for crockpot chicken enchilada casserole including chicken breast, corn tortillas, cheese, black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, and sour cream.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Before learning how to make the enchilada casserole, let’s review what you need to make it. I’ve also included substitution options for different tastes, dietary needs, and preferences.

  • Chicken Breast: I usually make these with boneless, skinless chicken breasts since that is traditionally used in enchiladas. You could swap in boneless, skinless chicken thighs as well.
  • Enchilada Sauce: Normally, I make these with red enchilada sauce, but they are also delicious with green enchilada sauce or even green salsa. Just note that red enchilada sauce is usually a bit thicker than green.
  • Sour Cream: Use full-fat, low-fat, or fat-free sour cream to thicken the sauce and add a creamy texture. You could also use Greek yogurt or cream cheese.
  • Onion and Garlic: Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Yellow or white onion works fine. You can also use pre-minced garlic to save time, but the garlic flavor isn’t as intense. Frozen diced onions are another easy shortcut. Add in some chopped bell peppers as well if you like.
  • Olive Oil: Use olive oil or avocado oil to saute the vegetables and taco seasoning. Lightly heating spices (known as sweating spices) helps them to open up, thus releasing more flavor.
  • Taco Seasoning: Any taco seasoning you like will work. Usually, I use homemade taco seasoning made with chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Black Beans: Add additional protein to the enchiladas with black beans or pinto beans. Or skip the beans and serve refried beans on the side.
  • Corn: For this recipe, you can use fresh, frozen, or canned corn. Corn adds natural sweetness and balances some of the spicy flavor.
  • Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas work best in this slow cooker casserole. Flour tortillas get too soggy when cooked for a long time.
  • Shredded Cheese: To save time, I usually make these chicken enchiladas with shredded Mexican blend cheese. You could also shred your own pepper jack cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, or Colby Jack cheese. Freshly shredded cheese melts much better because it does not have an anti-clumping compound to slow the melting process.

The Best Enchilada Toppings

You can top these enchiladas with just about anything. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

  • Olives
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sliced Jalapenos
  • Queso fresco
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Crunchy tortilla chips (for dipping!)

Crockpot chicken enchilada casserole with shredded chicken, corn tortillas, avocado, black olives, black beans, corn, and melted cheese.

How To Make This Easy Slow Cooker Enchilada Casserole

Follow these steps for the perfect crockpot enchiladas.

1. Make the sauce

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and taco seasoning. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the enchilada sauce and sour cream. Stir together and turn off the heat.

2. Start cooking

Add the chicken breast, black beans, and corn to the slow cooker. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

3. Make the casserole

Remove the chicken and shred it with two forks. Stir the chicken back into the slow cooker. Add the corn tortillas and stir well. Top with cheese. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted, then serve and enjoy!

Note: If you prefer layers of tortillas instead of tortilla strips, simply layer the tortillas and chicken into the slow cooker or a baking dish. Cook until the cheese is melted.

Making Chicken Enchilada Casserole in the Oven

To bake the casserole, cook the chicken in the enchilada sauce on the stovetop. Then shred the chicken and layer it in a 9x13 casserole dish. Layer half the chicken, half the enchilada sauce, half the tortillas, and half the cheese, then repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Bake covered with foil for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and cook until 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Chicken enchilada casserole made in a slow cooker being picked up in a large spoon.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

This casserole is very simple to make and is family-friendly and kid-friendly. But here are a few tips to make sure it comes out perfectly!

  1. Speed it up: If you’re short on time, use rotisserie chicken in this recipe. Then you’re just assembling the casserole to soften the tortillas and melt the cheese. You can also use leftover chicken or this easy chicken tinga.
  2. Make just the chicken: This recipe is also a great way to meal-prep chicken for use throughout the week. Simply leave out the tortillas. The chicken can be used in burrito bowls, tacos, nachos, wraps, and more!
  3. Make it last longer: If you want to stretch this meal a little further, you can add cooked quinoa or extra beans to the chicken mixture. This adds protein and fiber.
  4. Add more veggies: We love making this recipe with extra veggies, such as zucchini, cauliflower, red bell pepper, or spinach.

Troubleshooting Soggy Enchiladas

This can be a pain point for many enchilada aficionados. Here’s what to do if you run into issues.

  • The sauce is too thin: This can happen with certain enchilada sauces, green enchilada sauce in particular. If this happens, try to note the consistency (see the step-by-step photos for the consistency you’re looking for) before adding the tortillas. Take a small amount of sauce from the slow cooker or skillet and add 1 tsp of cornstarch. Mix to create a slurry, then add it to the sauce. Let it cook until it thickens, and then proceed with the recipe.
  • If the completed dish is soggy: If this happens, scoop out a serving and add it to a skillet. Heat the skillet on medium heat to dry it out and crisp up any soggy bits.
  • Let it set: Sometimes, all the enchiladas need are 10-15 minutes to set. Scoop out excess liquid and let everything rest for 10-15 minutes to firm up.

Just a reminder - even if it’s soggy, the taste will still be amazing!

How To Serve This Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

These enchiladas are delicious as a whole meal. Here are some pairing ideas if you want to serve it with side dishes and more.

Storage and Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Just be sure to let them cool completely before storing. They will undoubtedly get a bit soggy as they sit in the fridge, but they will still be tasty!

Reheat small or large portions in the microwave, in a skillet, or in the oven.

To freeze it, transfer it to an oven-safe container or aluminum foil pan, cover it, and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat it, thaw it in the fridge the night before, then pop the casserole in the oven covered with foil.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until heated, remove the foil, and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. For best results, don’t add the corn tortillas until you are ready to bake them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about making this enchilada casserole.

You can, but the sauce won't be quite as thick. Green enchilada sauce is made with a lot of green chiles and tomatillos, both of which have a lot of water in them. This can make the casserole sauce too runny, leading to soggy enchiladas. If you use green enchilada sauce, look for a thicker style or use less sauce. Or use a thicker salsa verde instead.

Yes! You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, or even cubes of steak. These all will require different cooking times that I haven’t tried. If you make this with a different protein, let us know how it goes in the comments!

Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Chicken enchilada casserole served on a plate with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado.
The Recipe
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Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole

446 CAL 48g CARBS 12g FAT 38g PROTEIN 6
COOK TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 oz red enchilada sauce
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 15 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz canned corn, rinsed and drained
  • 8 corn tortillas (cut into bite sized pieces or strips)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

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Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and taco seasoning and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.


Add the enchilada sauce and sour cream. Stir together and turn off the heat.


Add the chicken breast, black beans, and corn to the slow cooker. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.


Remove the chicken and shred with two forks.


Stir the chicken back into the slow cooker. Add the corn tortillas and stir wel. Top with cheese.


Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with cilantro, avocado, jalapenos, tomatoes, black olives, sour cream, and any other toppings you like.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 446
Calories from Fat 5441
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 76mg
Sodium 1420mg
Total Carbohydrate 48g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 8g
Protein 38g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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