Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole — Damn Delicious

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Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

SKINNY, lightened up and healthy enchilada bake. Made right in the crockpot. So cheesy and yet guilt-free.

Greetings from Italia!

I basically just inhaled 2 espressos, 4 gelatos, and 5 plates of pasta.

In a span of 17 hours.

I’m not ashamed one bit.

Because I’ll be on the quinoa enchilada casserole diet immediately upon returning home.

It’s a spin off of this popular recipe.

But since we’re heading into the Fall, let’s dust off those slow cookers and put them to work.

Other than the garnishes and cheeses, you’ll dump everything right in.

Even the uncooked chicken.

So just come home from work, add your cheese, wait 10 minutes, and serve.

Add cheese. Extra cheese.

Then add extra extra avo.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

SKINNY, lightened up and healthy enchilada bake. Made right in the crockpot. So cheesy and yet guilt-free.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced

Directions:

  1. Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  2. Stir in chicken broth, quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours, or until liquid is reduced.
  3. Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.
  4. Stir chicken into the slow cooker; top with cheeses. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 10-20 minutes, or until the cheeses have melted.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with avocado and tomato, if desired.

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53 comments

I don’t think this is what I would call “guilt-free” haha!!

Definitely better than tortillas though, right? 🙂

I love everything about this recipe! Mexican food is my favorite and I love that it’s in the crockpot. I’m also new to the quinoa bandwagon and loving it so I’m glad to have another recipe to try!

Hi, I have to leave the beans out of this recipe. Should I decrease the volume of water? If so, how much? I know generally the ratio of water to quinoa is 2:1.

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

Can we prepare this recipe in a pressure cooker.

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

When you call for 2 chicken breasts do you mean 2 full breasts or 2 half breasts ( like they’re typically sold at the meat counter). Thanks for the clarification!

2 half breasts as typically sold at the meat counter.

I am going to try doubling this recipe and freezing 1 for another time. Wish me luck and thank you for the recipe!

Enjoy yourself in Italia!!

Made this tonight and there was way too much liquid. I ended up making a separate pot of quinoa to add to it.

Oh no – what a bummer! Can I ask how long this was left in the slow cooker? Also, was the chicken frozen or thawed? This has been tested several times so the cooking time and liquid ratio should not be a problem. Less liquid will call for less cooking time, and some chicken are pumped full of water!

I agree. I just knew it was too much water when I was adding it and why didn’t I stop myself? And the quinoa is not plumping like quinoa does it’s just flat.
I’ll make some rice and add to it. And it was organic chicken and I followed the recipe completely.

Barbara, my apologies! The slow cooker we used for testing did not work properly. After a retest and a few more retests, I have tweaked the recipe from 4 cups water to 1 1/4 cups chicken broth (for additional flavor, but water will also work!).

Long time reader, but my first time making a comment. This looks delicious. Do you think I could sub soy chorizo for the chicken? If so, when would you suggest adding the soy chorizo. Thanks!

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

This looks great, but we have a small family. Do you think the quality would suffer if I froze half– minus the toppings?

Looks delish. Making it tonight. I only have a 4 quart slow cooker. Do you think I would need to adjust the cook time?

What should the cooking time be reduced to?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

Same cooking time of the chicken is frozen? Or should I thaw the chicken first?

I recommend thawing first.

Would it affect the taste/quality if I left out the chicken?

Not at all – you can omit as needed.

Can’t wait to give this a try! It looks amazing!

This is damn delicious. I like how I can use a slow cooker, makes everything easier. Enough for the two of us and some in the freezer for tomorrow. Thank you Chungah! 🙂

I also experienced issues with it being too watery. Could the “4 cups water” in step 2 be a typo? Two cups seems more appropriate given the amount of quinoa.

Natalie, my apologies! The slow cooker we used for testing did not work properly. After a retest and a few more retests, I have tweaked the recipe from 4 cups water to 1 1/4 cups chicken broth (for additional flavor, but water will also work!).

Can I substitute couscous in place of the quinoa?
Thanks!

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications as cooking times can vary with different grains.

I’ve had great success with a lot of these recipes, but I thought this was really disappointing. I used green enchilada sauce instead of red, so maybe that had something to do with it, but I thought this was tasteless, flavorless, mush. I added lime juice, jalapeños, more salt, extra cilantro, and was still dissapointed. At least the quinoa made it high in protein for my family.

Yes for high protein! But I am sorry you had such bad results here but I hope you get to try this again soon with red enchilada sauce. The green sauce sounds like the culprit here!

Yep, way too much liquid for me too 🙁 it ended up being a stew almost lol

Lauren, my apologies! The slow cooker we used for testing did not work properly. After a retest and a few more retests, I have tweaked the recipe from 4 cups water to 1 1/4 cups chicken broth (for additional flavor, but water will also work!).

Love the colors! And my slow cooker is putting in work these days, haha 🙂

I’m short on time. Do you know what settings I could use to make this in the Instant Pot?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

Made this for dinner, came out great. So quick and easy to put together!

I’m not positive you’ll be able to answer this for me, but can I try this in my Dutch Oven instead of my Crock pot?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

This was delicious! I didn’t use chicken (meatless Monday) so it quickened the cooking time, and I used Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce. If you don’t overdo the cheese and sour cream, this meal is comforting and clean. Yum!

I made this & I was extremely sick with a stomach bug, my husband finished it & I didn’t get the chance to tell him it had cheese. He absolutely loved it & I’m so glad I got this in the crockpot before getting sick! Thanks for a good recipe even without the cheese.

Do you happen to know an estimate of calories per serving?
Thanks

Hi Christina! Nutritional information is actually provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, I recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

Would cooking this on high for 3 hours be a bad idea?

High for 2-3 hrs should work just fine!

I made this last night. It was a HIT! the family loved it!

And to clarify, I used Trader Joe’s red enchilada sauce (all 12 oz), TJ low sodium chicken broth, TJ chopped fire roasted green chilies (4 oz), TJ organic black beans (1 FULL can drained and rinsed), TJ tri color quinoa, an Heirloom tomato in lieu of a Roma and topped with a dollop of sour cream & avocado. I also only used 1 chicken breast b/c of the how much quinoa there was and my hubby and 15 year old son LOVED it. They didn’t even notice there was very little chicken but were both full after dinner. You know it’s good when the family says “Make this again!”

I made this recipe. I added more chicken than required and I cooked mine on high for 2 hours because my slow cooker seems to cook faster than most. I wanted to ensure my chicken did not dry out. I waited until the last hour to add diced tomatoes from the can. The last 10 minutes I added the cheese. I left the avocados out. This dish was AMAZING. I will definitely make this again

Do you think this recipe would work doubled?

It should, but you may have to adjust cooking times. Please use your best judgement when making substitutions and modifications.

Come join me in my culinary adventures where we’ll be using simple, fresh ingredients and transforming them into sophisticated and elegant meals for the everyday home cook.

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