The word "enchilada" is a Spanish word that means "in chili." The typical enchilada is a corn tortilla stuffed with meat, cheese, and other ingredients, covered with a chili sauce (enchilada sauce) and baked. This crock pot version includes layers of cut-up tortillas, shredded or chopped chicken, cheese, ripe olives, and chopped onions to make a hearty enchilada casserole.
Tailor the ingredients to suit your family's tastes. Use part pepper jack cheese with some cheddar, or use a Mexican blend of cheeses in the dish. Taco-seasoned cheese is another excellent choice because it adds extra Tex-Mex flavor. If you have leftover turkey, feel free to replace the chicken with it. If you like more heat in your enchiladas, use a hot enchilada sauce or use chopped jalapeno chili pepper instead of mild chili.
The recipe calls for chicken breast halves, but consider replacing at least half of them with boneless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are more flavorful and fattier, so they tend to be juicier, a bonus for slow-cooked dishes.
Serve this great tasting chicken dish with a Mexican style rice and a salad.
- For the Optional, Quick Enchilada Sauce
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Dash onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- For the Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 6 boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 (4-ounce) can ripe olives (sliced)
- 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
- 1 (4-ounce) can mild green chili peppers
- 16 to 20 corn tortillas
- 2 (10-ounce) cans enchilada sauce (or see below)
- 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Optional: 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)
- Optional: 4 green onions
- Optional: tomato salsa
- Optional: sour cream
- Optional: guacamole
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this casserole is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for cooking.
Quick Enchilada Sauce
Gather the ingredients.
In a bowl, combine 8 ounces of tomato sauce with 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, a dash of onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir to blend; set aside.
Heat 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add 3 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of chili powder; stir until blended. Continue cooking the roux until light brown, stirring constantly.
Add the tomato mixture to the saucepan and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Gather the ingredients.
Pat the chicken breasts with paper towels to dry. If they are not uniform in thickness, put them between sheets of plastic wrap and pound them gently with a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat tenderizer.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken breast halves and cook for about 10 minutes on each side, or until they reach a temperature of at least 165 F.
Chop or thinly slice the chicken and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the soup, sliced ripe olives, chili peppers, and onions.
Cut the corn tortillas into wedges.
Spoon some enchilada sauce into the crock pot.
Add some tortilla wedges.
Add some of the soup mix.
Then add some of the chicken.
Finally, add a layer of the shredded cheese.
Continue layering with the remaining ingredients (sauce, tortilla wedges, soup mix, chicken, cheese).
Cover the slow cooker and cook the enchilada casserole on low for 5 to 7 hours, or until hot and bubbly.
Garnish servings with chopped fresh cilantro or green onions and serve along with tomato salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.
Serve and enjoy.