Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole

crock pot chicken enchiladas

The Spruce

  • Total: 5 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 5 hrs
  • Servings: 8 to 10 servings

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.

Serve this great tasting chicken dish with a Mexican style rice and a salad.

Ingredients

  • 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

Steps to Make It

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

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Quick enchilada sauce ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. 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.

    Bowl of tomato sauce and seasonings
    The Spruce
  3. Heat 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

    Vegetable oil in saucepan
    The Spruce
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of chili powder; stir until blended. Continue cooking the roux until light brown, stirring constantly.

    Roux being stirred in saucepan
    The Spruce
  5. Add the tomato mixture to the saucepan and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Tomato sauce mixture being stirred in saucepan
    The Spruce
  6. Next, make the casserole.

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Crock pot chicken enchiladas ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. 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.

    Chicken breasts drying on paper towels
    The Spruce
  3. 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.

    Cooking chicken breasts in skillet
    The Spruce 
  4. Chop or thinly slice the chicken and set aside.

    Sliced chicken on cutting board
    The Spruce
  5. In a bowl, combine the soup, sliced ripe olives, chili peppers, and onions.

    Enchilada filling in bowl
    The Spruce
  6. Cut the corn tortillas into wedges.

    Corn tortillas cut into wedges on cutting board
    The Spruce
  7. Spoon some enchilada sauce into the crock pot.

    Enchilada sauce in crock pot
    The Spruce
  8. Add some tortilla wedges.

    Tortilla wedges in crock pot
    The Spruce
  9. Add some of the soup mix.

    Enchilada mix in crock pot
    The Spruce
  10. Then add some of the chicken.

    Chicken in crock pot
    The Spruce
  11. Finally, add a layer of the shredded cheese.

    Shredded cheese in crock pot
    The Spruce
  12. Continue layering with the remaining ingredients (sauce, tortilla wedges, soup mix, chicken, cheese).

    Enchilada ingredients in crock pot
    The Spruce
  13. Cover the slow cooker and cook the enchilada casserole on low for 5 to 7 hours, or until hot and bubbly.

    Enchilada casserole cooking in crock pot
    The Spruce
  14. Garnish servings with chopped fresh cilantro or green onions and serve along with tomato salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

    Crock pot chicken enchiladas
    The Spruce
  15. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • 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 jalapeño 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.