Cheesy enchiladas are a beloved comfort food for a reason: they’re versatile, easy to make, and so delicious. But did you know you can make a tasty, veggie-packed chicken enchilada filling in the slow cooker?!
Introducing: crock pot chicken enchiladas verde!
Not only is this a super cozy meal, but it’s also packed with nutrients. You can also add your favorite toppings (like this avocado crema) for even more deliciousness.
Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce
These easy slow cooker chicken enchiladas come together without much effort, filled with juicy shredded chicken and lots of veggies. They’re sure to be a new favorite weeknight meal for your family!
I love that with this recipe, most of the cooking is done in the slow cooker. Then, you just roll the filling into the tortillas, top with shredded cheese and your favorite green enchilada sauce, and broil until melty.
You can even make the chicken enchilada filling ahead of time, then just assemble the enchiladas and bake when you’re ready to eat. Gotta love simple meal prep!
Here’s what you’ll need to make these easy chicken enchiladas:
- chicken breasts (I recommend getting boneless, skinless chicken, because it makes shredding the chicken much easier! You can also easily swap out the chicken breasts for chicken thighs instead.)
- seasonings: ground cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder & dried oregano
- onion (yellow or white)
- green bell pepper
- black beans
- green enchilada sauce (Any kind should work!)
- baby spinach
- tortillas (Taco-sized tortillas should be perfect here – about 6 inches in diameter. Corn tortillas or flour tortillas both work! Personally, I prefer corn tortillas for enchiladas, because they absorb the sauce without getting soggy. But I’ve had good luck with corn/flour blend tortillas or flour tortillas too.)
- shredded cheese (Shredded monterey jack cheese is my favorite for enchiladas because it gets so gooey and melty. But shredded cheddar or a Mexican-style blend will work great as well.)
- optional: fresh cilantro & lime wedges for topping
Feel free to add in any additional cooked vegetables you like – as long as they’re chopped into small pieces. Also, this lime avocado crema would be delicious on top of these enchiladas!
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas in the Crockpot
To make these crock pot chicken enchiladas, start by placing chicken breasts in your slow cooker. Add seasonings on top (cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder & oregano) and toss to coat.
Next, add the diced onion, diced bell pepper, black beans, and most of the enchilada sauce on top. Mix to combine, and make sure the chicken is nestled in the mixture.
Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is cooked through (to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit).
Then, use two forks to shred the chicken. Stir to mix everything together. Add spinach to the hot mixture and stir until it’s wilted.
Next, preheat your broiler. Then, it’s time to assemble the enchiladas! Wrap the tortillas in paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds (to make them more pliable).
Sprinkle cheese in the center of each tortilla, then spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture on top. (Use a slotted spoon so you can drain any excess liquid back into the slow cooker).
Roll the tortillas up and place them seam-side down in a 9in by 13in baking dish.
Then, pour the remaining green enchilada sauce into the sauce that’s left in the slow cooker. Stir to combine, then pour it all over the rolled tortillas.
Sprinkle with shredded cheese, then broil for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Let cool, then add desired toppings and enjoy!
How long can chicken enchiladas last in the fridge?
Once cool, store these enchiladas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Microwave or bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to reheat.
What type of chicken can I use?
Chicken breasts or chicken thighs (or a mix of both) will work in this chicken enchilada recipe! Boneless skinless chicken is easier, because you’ll be able to shred the chicken right in the slow cooker.
But you can use bone-in chicken – just be sure to remove any bones and skin before you shred the chicken. (You may need to cook it for longer, too. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the middle of the largest chicken piece reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Are enchiladas better with corn or flour tortillas?
I like corn tortillas best for enchiladas because they absorb the sauce without getting soggy or falling apart. But, corn/flour blend tortillas or flour tortillas should work, too – they just won’t be quite as sturdy!
You’ll need around 12-16 6″ corn tortillas to use up all the filling here. The smaller, taco-sized tortillas work best.
Can I make these chicken enchiladas ahead of time?
Yes – you can make the crock pot chicken enchilada filling ahead of time!
Let the chicken filling cool, then place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
When you’re ready to make the enchiladas, follow the steps in the recipe through the enchilada assembly. But instead of broiling, bake the enchiladas for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
If you’re making these crock pot chicken enchiladas ahead of time, I recommend using corn tortillas, since they they’re sturdier and won’t fall apart as easily.
Are these crockpot chicken enchiladas gluten free?
These slow cooker enchiladas can be made gluten free as long as you use corn tortillas or another type of gluten free tortillas.
Is green enchilada sauce the same as salsa verde?
No, they’re actually different!
Salsa verde is made with raw ingredients (often tomatillos and/or green chilis, onion, garlic, and cilantro).
Green enchilada sauce is made with similar ingredients, but the tomatillos (green tomatoes) are cooked instead of raw. The textures are usually slightly different, too.
You really can’t go wrong with these protein-packed, cheesy enchiladas! They’re sure to be a hit with the whole family. Plus, the sneaky veggies (spinach and bell pepper) and black beans amp up the nutrition factor!
You’ll find the full crock pot chicken enchiladas recipe at the end of this post. Enjoy!
More Mexican-inspired meals to try:
- Vegetarian Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Crockpot Mexican Chicken
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Homemade Salsa Verde
- Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan)
- Healthy Chicken Enchiladas (red sauce)
- Blackened Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Quinoa Taco Salad
- 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 16 oz green enchilada sauce (I used two 8-oz pouches)
- 5 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped (about 5 loosely packed cups)
- 12-16 corn or flour tortillas
- 8 oz shredded monterey jack cheese
- chopped cilantro and lime wedges, for serving
- Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker insert and add the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, and oregano. Toss the chicken around to coat in the seasonings.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, black beans, and 12 oz of the enchilada sauce, reserving the remaining 4 oz of sauce. Mix the veggies and sauce together and nestle the chicken into the mixture.
- Turn the slow cooker on and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours, until the veggies are soft and the chicken shreds easily.
- Use two forks to shred the chicken into small pieces and mix with the sauce and veggies. While the mixture is still hot, add the spinach and stir for 1-2 minutes, until wilted. At this point, the filling mixture can be used right away or refrigerated and used up to 5 days later.
- If working with hot filling, preheat the broiler while you assemble the enchiladas. If working with chilled filling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- To assemble the enchiladas: wrap tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until pliable. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese in a line down the center of a tortilla. Use a slotted spoon to remove about 1/4 cup of filling from the slow cooker, leaving any extra liquid behind. Place the filling on top of the cheese, roll the tortilla around the filling, and place seam-side down in a 13x9" baking dish. Repeat until all of the filling is used; you should have some sauce left in the bottom of the slow cooker and some shredded cheese left after filling the enchiladas.
- Stir the reserved 4 oz of enchilada sauce into the remaining sauce from the chicken, then pour all of it over the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese.
- If working with hot filling, place the enchiladas under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. If working with chilled filling, bake the enchiladas for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.