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.
Yields: 6 servings | Serving size: 1 enchilada | Calories: 294 | Total Fat: 13 g | Saturated Fats: 6 g | Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 45 mg | Sodium: 422 mg | Carbohydrates: 29 g | Dietary fiber: 3 g | Sugars: 3 g | Protein: 16 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 10 |
- 2 large chicken breast filets with skin (remove skin before adding to enchiladas)
- 1 (16 ounce) jar red enchilada sauce (no sugar added)
- 1 (4 ounce) can jalapenos, optional green chiles
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat
- 1 (8 oz.) container sour cream, fat free
- 6 medium whole grain tortillas, (corn tortillas are not recommended as they tend to fall apart)
- 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.
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