Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas

4.68 from 25 votes

Finally, an enchilada recipe that is easy to prepare and one the entire family will love.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas

These slow cooker chicken enchiladas may be one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. All you need to do is turn on your crockpot. Create savory layers by alternating whole wheat tortillas, shredded chicken, spicy enchilada sauce, and melty cheese. Three to four hours later, you can enjoy a deliciously filling meal. You won’t believe that it has less than 300 calories and only 9 Weight Watchers Smart Points!

I love using the slow cooker for this recipe because it frees me up to do other tasks. While the enchiladas are cooking, I can go run some errands, catch the kid’s baseball game, or go to a movie. I must admit that I don’t always have the time (and sometimes I’m not patient enough to wait). You can always bake the enchiladas in a 375 degree F oven for about 30 minutes instead. Use a 13×9 casserole dish (and spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom to keep the tortillas from sticking). When everything is nice and bubbly, they’re ready to serve!

Making the Chicken

You can use any leftover shredded chicken you have on hand for these slow cooker chicken enchiladas. If you have the time, we like using skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts to make it fresh. You’ll remove the skin before you shred them – so don’t worry about any added fat there. Using this type of chicken breast really results in the juiciest chicken. You can absolutely use boneless skinless chicken breasts if that’s all you can find, but do keep an eye on the cooking time so they don’t dry out.

Feel free to make things quicker and easier by baking the chicken breasts in advance. They can be cooked a few days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook the enchiladas. It’s much easier to shred the chicken when it’s cooler, and you’ll also avoid burning your fingers.

It might be cleaner to shred the chicken with a fork, but it’s infinitely easier to shred them with your fingers. After washing your hands, use your index finger and thumb to pull the chicken off the bone. Then, you can shred the pieces into long strands. You can avoid all the mess altogether by chopping the chicken into bite-sized cubes, but the texture of the slow cooker chicken enchiladas will be different with chopped chicken.

Finally, a word of caution about the seasonings. You might think that one teaspoon isn’t a lot of cumin, but it packs a powerful punch. It has a really strong flavor that can become bitter if you use too much. So, make sure you go easy on the cumin and chili powders – one teaspoon of each is just about perfect!

This is one of those recipes that people find themselves making, again and again, so don’t be surprised if this becomes a regular to your dinner rotation. The whole family will love it – even the picky eaters. You also might find that people want the recipe, so be prepared to share! To make this a fully complete meal, serve the enchiladas with this Skinny Mexican Rice.


4.68 from 25 votes

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas

This divine Chicken Enchilada recipe is a budget-friendly and convenient way to feed the whole family.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
Yield 6 people
Serving Size 1 enchilada
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican, Tex-Mex

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breast filets with skin remove skin before adding to enchiladas
  • 16 ounces red enchilada sauce jar, no sugar added
  • 4 ounces jalapenos can, optional green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese reduced-fat, shredded
  • 8 ounces sour cream container, fat-free
  • 6 whole-grain tortillas medium (corn tortillas are not recommended as they tend to fall apart)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a covered baking dish. Bake until juices run clear when pierced with a fork, after about 35-45 minutes. Remove skin and discard. Shred chicken or cut into bite-sized cubes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl add chicken, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and salt to taste. Add to seasoned chicken: green chile peppers, 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1 cup cheese. Mix well. Place 1/2 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Leave about 2" in the bottom without filling and fold up. Continue until all tortillas are filled.
  • Stack enchiladas in the slow cooker, add a little of the sauce on top of each layer as you stack them. There should be 2 layers of 3 or 3 layers of 2, depending on the size of your slow cooker.
  • Combine the remaining enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup sour cream. Pour over the enchiladas. Cover and cook on low 3 to 4 hours, or until hot and bubbly. Cut between each enchilada, and carefully remove them, one at a time, with a large spatula. Pour liquid from slow cooker over enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Garnish with diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1enchilada | Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 422mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 10
Keywords Budget-Friendly, Slow Cooker

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If you love to cook with your CrockPot, don’t miss 50 Slow Cooker Recipes Under 299 Calories and the Top 10 Weight Watchers Crockpot Recipes. You can also get more great slow cooker recipes by following our Facebook and Pinterest pages.

 Editor’s Note: Originally published Sep 14, 2012

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Gale Compton

Gale co-founded SkinnyMs. with a goal to provide women with delicious recipes, fitness routines, and ways to reach their ideal weight. Gale has been featured on the Today Show in which she won a cook off for the best Lasagna. Be sure to search for her winning recipe, Skinny Lasagna Rolls.

Guided by her firm belief in healthy eating and the power of exercise, Gale has written two cookbooks and several fitness ebooks. She earned her Fitness Training Certification from, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association. Gale loves to run with her dog Maggie and has completed numerous half-marathons.

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122 Comments

  1. When you say 2 half chicken breasts that means both sides of the breast correct?  So that would really be the whole breast of the chicken?

  2. What do you mean when you say leave about 2” at the bottom without filling and fold up lengthwise?

  3. Is there any way to find out what all is on the plate in the picture…its looks wonderful and would love to have all the recipes.

    1. Jenny, Sure…it's just a taco with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, 2% Mexican style cheeses…all this on top of (1/2 lb) cooked ground turkey which is seasoned with (1 tsp) cumin and (1 tsp) chili powder. Enjoy!!! πŸ™‚

  4. The flavor is great!!  But next time I will do it in the oven for an hour—  turns out to be a mucky but tasty mess!  

    1. Did you use corn or flour tortillas? I'm planning to use corn, but if flour tortillas turn into mush, that might be a tragic mistake on my part. LOL

      1. Jen, I used whole wheat flour tortillas and they worked fine. I haven't tried corn tortillas in the slow cooker yet. Keep us posted!

      2. Any recommendation on how to keep the layers from sticking to each other? They are very tasty but it ends up being more of an enchilada lasagna because I can’t separate the layers.

        1. Kristen, You could try adding a sheet of nonstick foil, then add sauce and top with enchiladas. Hope this helps!

  5. This recipe sounds delicious!  I am confused as to how to actually assemble them.  The ingredients list (6) 8" tortillas; instructions say to roll the tortillas lengthwise; ingredients say there should be three layers (of rolled enchiladas?); and the instructions also say for a total of 8 tortillas.  Can you please clarify the discrepancies?  Thanks so much–I look forward to trying these!

    1. Yes, it’s layers of rolled enchiladas. The number of layers, I assume, would vary depending on the size of your crockpot. I’m not sure if the recipe is meant for 6 or 8 enchiladas, but I’m making them tomorrow and I figure I will just fill tortillas until I run out of filling and then put them in the crockpot. The total number of tortillas used would probably vary depending on how full you want them too πŸ™‚

    2. Stacy, You're right…I must have been falling asleep when typing my recipe. Here it is with corrections: πŸ™‚

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breast on the bone, with skin, in a covered baking dish, bake until juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Chicken should have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Allow to cool. Remove skin and bones, discard. Shred chicken or cut into bite size cubes.

      In a medium mixing bowl, add chicken, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and salt to taste. Add to seasoned chicken, green chile peppers, 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup cheese, mix well. Place 1/2 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla, leave about 2” at the bottom without filling and fold up…continue until all tortillas are filled.

      Lightly spray the bottom and sides of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Lay enchiladas seam side down in the slow cooker, add a little of the sauce below to each layer as you stack them. There should be 2 layers of 3 or 3 layers of 2, depending on the size of your slow cooker.

      Combine the remaining enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup sour cream. Pour over the enchiladas, cover and cook on low 3-4 hours, or until hot and bubbly. Cut between each enchilada and carefully remove, one at a time, with a large spatula. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and any liquid still in the slow cooker, after removing enchiladas. Garnish with diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

  6. WOW… new family fav for sure! Our store had NO fat free sour cream so I had to use low fat, other than that I stuck to the recipe. I had planned to use corn tortillas, but they kept breaking when I tried to roll them and I'm frankly not patient enough to make stuff work, so I went with the flour. 

    The only glitch I had is that I didn't put nearly enough enchilada sauce between the layers so they really stuck together. I think next time I will put a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan and put the enchilada sauce/sour cream mixture between the layers of enchiladas. 

    I've already been requested to make a double batch next time because everyone was very disappointed that the leftovers were gone so quickly πŸ™‚

    THANK YOU for this recipe! So easy and delicious.

    For a side dish, I mixed some vegetarian refried beans with a little taco sauce, 2% shredded cheddar, and brown basmati rice. Great!!

    1. Another option that I love is layering the corn tortillas with the meat and sauce. It will end up more like a enchilada casserole then traditional enchiladas. I also sauteed shredded yellow squash, zucchini, and thinly sliced onions and added the veggie mix to the chicken/sauce mixture. This adds color and fiber to the meal.

  7. WOW, my new fave.  I LOVE tex-mex, and this more than satisfies all my cravings, plus I don't have to heat the kithcen!

  8. my family loved when I made these enchiladas last week!  An easy recipe to get a realy good mexican meal that is healthy!!  We loved it and it will go on my "make again list"! 

  9. my family loved when I made these enchiladas last week!Β  An easy recipe to get a realy good mexican meal that is healthy!!Β  We loved it and it will go on my “make again list”!Β 

  10. This was not good at all. It was a big pile of mush. Not one person ate more than a bite. I made it with corn tortillas. Will not make again….very bland as well. Blah!

    1. Believe me when I say that using flour tortillas is a must. Corn does exactly what you said when it gets moist… it turns to mush. 

  11. The recipe should not say corn will work…..it doesn't! Also, I would stick with sticking it in the oven rather than the cockpot. Flour tortillas got soggy too.

  12. Who can resist enchiladas?  Who can resist a meal that is ready when you are?  Family favorite.  Thanks for the wonderful meals…..

  13. My hubby and I both loved the flavor of these, but they stuck together.  I wish mine would have looked as good as the ones in the picture.

  14. I have a suggestion. with so many recipes calling for cooked chicken, anytime I grill chicken or have any leftover chicken from a meal, I cube or shred it in 2 cup increments (i chose 2cup because my enchilada recipe calls for that amount), and freeze it. That way when you have a recipe needing chicken, pull it out, thaw or not and one step is already done!

      1. You can also freeze the cooked and shredded chicken in muffin tins, then you’ll have about 1/2 cup servings and can defrost exactly how many you need.

  15. I did this in the oven based on reviews. I used whole wheat flour tortillas instead and made 6 enchiladas- left everything else the same except I used rotisserie chicken to cut the cooking time. I cooked it in a 9×13 dish, sprayed with Pam and a little enchilada sauce on the bottom. 350 for 40 minutes. Delicious!

  16. I have made these twice now. Once in the crockpot where the shells came out soggy and once in the oven. The flavor is so intense that I really wanted them to work in the oven and they did. Huge hit and I think a new family favorite.

  17. might I suggest eliminate the first step by purchasing a (whole) rotisserie chicken and shred off the bone that way?

    1. Cynthia, The only thing is that most rotisserie chickens are full of preservatives and added sodium. πŸ™

  18. Just as the instructions state: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breast on the bone, with skin, in a covered baking dish, bake until juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Chicken should have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Allow to cool. Remove skin and bones, discard. Shred chicken or cut into bite size cube

  19. These were delicious. I used the regular oven method. Might use a little more enchilada sauce next time.
    The whole family loved them.

  20. seems like nobody read the recipe before commenting. "The recipe should not say corn will work." The recipe SAYS corn will NOT WORK. "I'd love to,know if it will work with corn tortillias," !!! "Has anyone tried this with corn tortillias? " Remember literacy?

    1. if u read through all the comments there are varying opinions about types of tortillas for this recipe. Some say wheat only, some say corn is great, some say flour only.
      I think, perhaps, some slow cookers cook differently than others and so some recipes just need some tweaking. And perhaps some of those people used too much liquid….

  21. Would this work if you substitute red enchilada sauce with tomatillo sauce? I thought they were great- a bit soggy, but really good. One of my kids was not thrilled with the red sauce, so I was hoping the milder green might help.

  22. i left the skin on and the bone too. i cut the bone with shears and put a couple pieces in each tortilla-
    it was sooooo good. the bone gives it a good crunch and the skin's slimy qualities elevate this to next level crave territory.

  23. the picture looks like a layered casserole to me instead of rolled enchiladas. I'm probably gonna layer.

  24. I tried this recipe. The flavor was good, but something made the enchiladas sweet! We had difficulty eating them. Anyone know what happened?

    1. Beth, I would have likely been the enchilada sauce used. Be sure to read the ingredients label as some of them contain sugar.

  25. <3 this!! It did take extra prep time with putting the chicken in the oven first, but it turned out delicious! For more heat, I added a red bell pepper and a poblano pepper to the mixture and used Greek yogurt to save on calories. The boyfriend and I loved it! For next time, I do hope they don't break apart though. The enchiladas on the bottom of the slow cooker got a tad soggy and broke apart.

  26. Instead of enchillada sauce, I use my homemade salsa blended up with greek yogurt to lighten it up even more… this is FAVORITE in my family!!!

    1. Michael, Cook the ground meat just until the pink color is gone, drain off any fat and then add in place of the chicken.

  27. What happpened to the chicken enchiladas? This one has beef. I would love the original version (how much chicken). Also, the recipe calls for a cup of cheese to go inside of the enchiladas but you make no mention of the remaining 1/2 cup. Does that go on top?

  28. I have officially lost count of how many times I have made this recipe. I don't like to repeat recipes much, but I make this nearly every week. As someone who is a little obsessed with Mexican food, enchiladas being my favorite, I found this delicious, incredibly satisfying, and a great healthy alternative!!

    1. Corn tortillas work in the slow cooker. For the slow cooker, if you dip the tortilla in the sauce before wrapping and then cover in the sauce it will work. Mexicans most often use corn tortillas for enchiladas. You can also use a little oil when heating the tortilla on the stovetop before wrapping… if making on the stovetop instead. Olive oil will work.

  29. How did you arrive at 6 SmartPoints? I just I put the ingredients into the app to create the recipe and I’m getting 13 points per enchilada. I’ve titled it “SkinnyMs. Chicken Enchiladas” if you’d like to take a look. Perhaps I missed something?
    (We did the homemade enchilada sauce recipe you referenced. And our store only had reduced fat sour cream, but that can’t be accounting for 7 more points)
    Very tasty tho! Will definitely make them again. I’ll just eat less for lunch. ?

    1. Isabelle, I just plugged the numbers into my WWs calculator and I got 8 SmartPints, made the update to the data. So happy you enjoyed the recipe…one of my family’s favorites. πŸ™‚

  30. Very confused at how one is calculated at 249 calories; I just put it into MyFitnessPal as well as verywell.com and I’m coming up with 414 calories per enchilada based on your exact recipe. Are you sure the calories are correct on your calculations?

    1. Tracy, The chicken should not go from frozen to the slow cooker. So, for this recipes probably best not to freeze unless it’s defrosted in the fridge first.

  31. This recipe is very good. We followed it 100% and it tasted even better than most of the restaurants near where we live

  32. How would you do this in the oven? The first bit of steps would work but then pouring the rest of the enchi sauce and sour cream on top? I would love to make but in the oven. Oven temp? Time? Please and thank you!

  33. I use corn tortillas when I bake in the oven. Dip them in the sauce before you put in the filling to soften them first. Cooking in the crock pot won’t work. Another flavor enhancer is sliced green onions, either in the filling or over the top or both.

    1. Hi Jane, thanks for the tips! We have tried this recipe in the slow cooker and it works! Please feel free to alter the recipe to your preference.

  34. Can you bake instead of slow cooker. Also I dont like flour tortillas or sour cream can I just do anyway without sour cream and substitute corn tortillas for flour.

    1. Yes. Baking will be fine on a low temperature. Corn tortillas will be a good substitute but might dry out. Excluding sour cream won’t be a problem!

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