Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken made easy in the crockpot! With moist and tender chicken breasts smothered in enchilada sauce, diced chiles, and cheese, it’s delicious served with rice and beans or as filling for tacos and burritos.
Along with our slow cooker honey garlic chicken, enchilada chicken is a staple dish at our dinner table. It’s one of my favorite things to cook in the crockpot, especially on days when I am running around town with no time to tend a pot on the stove.
It’s a dump, set, and forget-about-it recipe as you go about your daily chores while the slow cooker does all the work. So easy yet full-on flavor!
What you need
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts-boneless chicken thighs or leg meat are also good options
- Shredded cheese- I use Mexican blend but feel free to substitute any shredded variety that melts well
- Garlic powder, cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper- for seasoning the meat
- Red enchilada sauce- homemade or store-bought
- Diced green chiles-hot or mild depending on the level of spice desired
The recipe calls for the canned enchilada sauce to keep with the easy meal theme, but you can make it from scratch with simple pantry ingredients.
Homemade enchilada sauce
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat 1/4 cup canola oil. Add 2 tablespoons flour and chili powder and cook until lightly browned, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
- Gradually add 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce and 1 cup water, whisking to prevent lumps.
- Season with 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Continue to cook, stirring regularly, for about 8 to 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
- This sauce recipe yields about 2 cups. Use the amount called for and refrigerate the rest in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
- For best results, use fully-thawed chicken. Boneless, skinless leg or thigh meat will also work in the recipe.
- Season the chicken breast and arrange in a single layer in the crockpot. Do NOT add water or liquids as the chicken will expel juices during cooking.
- After the cooking time, drain the liquid from the crockpot before adding the enchilada sauce. You can discard the liquid or save for making gravies.
- Crockpot enchilada chicken makes a delicious Mexican theme lunch or dinner with Spanish rice and beans.
- Chop and use for tortas (Mexican sandwiches), tacos, burritos, rice bowls, and green salads.
- Shred and use as filling for enchiladas and taquitos or topping for nachos, tostadas, and baked potatoes.
How to store
- Cool leftovers completely and transfer with a bit of the sauce to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before reheating. Place in a saucepan and heat to an internal temperature of 165 F.
- For food safety, reheat food only ONCE. It’s a good idea to store in individual containers enough to consume for one meal.
Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken
- 1 pound (about 3 to 4 pieces) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 10 ounces (10 ounces) enchilada sauce or homemade
- 4 ounces (4 ounces) diced green chiles
- 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- In a small bowl, combine garlic salt, cumin, salt, and pepper. Rub dry ingredients onto chicken breasts.
- Place chicken in the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours.
- Once cooking time is complete, remove excess liquid from the crockpot.
- Add red enchilada sauce. Top the chicken with the green chiles and shredded cheese.
- Cover and cook on LOW for another 50 to 60 minutes until sauce is heated through and cheese is melted.
- Carefully remove chicken from the slow cooker and serve hot.