I’m beginning to wonder if my appetite has some sort of homing beacon that orients itself toward Mexican food. If it’s been a few weeks since we’ve eaten it, the next time I enter the grocery store, I’ll find myself drifting toward the enchilada sauce and chili powder, as if being pulled by an invisible string connected to the end of my grocery cart. Such was the case the week I made this Crock Pot Mexican Casserole. My homing beacon called, and this healthy Mexican slow cooker recipe answered!

dish of Crock Pot Mexican Casserole topped with melted cheese

I attribute my regular cravings for Mexican flavor to my mother, who I’m convinced needs a dose of Mexican food at least twice a week in order to maintain her equilibrium.

Growing up, at least 50% of the meals we ate out were Mexican…or “Mexican” depending upon how strictly you define the term.

During summer vacation when my sisters and I were out of school, we’d cruise the Hispanic area of town, stopping at whichever eatery looked the most legitimate for lunch. The less English visible in the windows, the better.

If we were running errands and needed to make a quick stop, nine times out of 10, we’d pick a place where I could order some version of chicken enchiladas.

On Sundays after church, we frequented our city’s local version of On the Border.

Our traditional Christmas night dinner? My grammy’s Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.

Clearly, the love of Mexican food spans generations.

bowl of healthy Mexican casserole made in a slow cooker

About This Crock Pot Mexican Casserole

Now, I will not for a second pretend that the Mexican recipes I make at home, such as this Crock Pot Mexican Casserole, are authentic, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious.

Like the more authentic Mexican food that inspired it, this ground turkey slow cooker casserole is the right mix of comfort and freshness.

The spices are rich but not overpowering, and like my other slow cooker Mexican recipes, from Taco Casserole to Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup, it’s a complete crowd pleaser every time I serve it.

slow cooker full of cheesy Mexican casserole with chicken

This particular Mexican casserole recipe is ultra easy to make, reasonably healthy, and offers the convenience you are seeking when you pull out your crock pot.

No, you won’t find this crockpot enchilada recipe on an actual Mexican restaurant menu, but when your family is clamoring for second helpings, you’ll be too busy congratulating yourself on serving an easy meal that’s loaded with fiber and protein to worry about that small detail.

ingredients in a crock pot to make a meatless Mexican casserole

How to Make the Best Crock Pot Mexican Casserole

A few key ingredients make this casserole extra satisfying and extra simple to prepare.

On the fill-you-up front, we have:

  • black beans
  • quinoa, and
  • ground turkey or chicken

All three pack mega fiber and protein, which means this Crock Pot Mexican Casserole will keep you satisfied long after it is served.

slow cooker filled with Mexican casserole with quinoa

If you or your family prefer, you can use ground chicken to make slow cooker Mexican casserole chicken or use lean ground beef.

To fit the recipe into your collection of crockpot vegetarian recipes, replace the meat with extra black beans.

This healthy Mexican slow cooker recipe yields a generous amount, but the leftovers reheat like a dream.

For those interested in meal prep, you can sauté the ground meat and chop the veggies in advance, then just dump everything into the crock pot whenever you are ready to make it. (Another meal prep winner: Crock Pot Chicken and Rice!)

This Crock Pot Mexican Casserole also freezes exceptionally well.

Looking for a Mexican casserole you can make in the oven instead? Try my delicious Mexican Casserole recipe.

bowl filled with a Mexican casserole made in a slow cooker

Make this recipe tonight, then stow some away for the next time you need a fast, healthy dinner…or for when your own Mexican craving strikes!

What to Serve with Crock Pot Mexican Casserole

  • This meal is really a slam-dunk all-in-one, so you don’t have to put something on the side. That said, I do always love to add a green veggies. This would be excellent with a simple green salad, sautéed spinach or kale, or oven-roasted brussels sprouts.

Recommended Tools to Make Crock Pot Mexican Casserole

  • Slow Cooker. Be sure it is at least 6 quarts (you could maybe squeeze it in a 5 quart, but I haven’t tried).
  • For a 3-quart slow cooker, reduce the recipe by half.

More Mexican-Style Recipes You’ll Love

bowl of Crock Pot Mexican Casserole topped with melted cheese

Crock Pot Mexican Casserole

4.93 from 137 votes
Super easy and DELICIOUS Crock Pot Mexican Casserole with quinoa, black beans, and ground chicken or turkey. Healthy, gluten-free comfort food!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 15 mins

Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken, I used 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cans red enchilada sauce (10 ounce cans) (mild or medium) or 2 1/2 cups homemade red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can black beans (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices (15 ounces)
  • 1 cup corn kernels fresh or frozen
  • 1 red bell pepper cored and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper cored and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese divided
  • For serving: chopped fresh cilantro diced avocado, chopped green onion, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high. Add the turkey and onion. Cook and stir, breaking up the turkey as you go, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bottom of a large slow cooker.
  • To the slow cooker, add the quinoa, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, then cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
  • Remove the lid and stir. Taste and adjust any seasonings as desired. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Cover and cook on high until the cheese melts, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot with any desired toppings.

Notes

  • Make it ahead: You can sauté the turkey and onions up to 1 day in advance and chop the peppers 1 day in advance as well. Store in the refrigerator in separate containers, then add to the slow cooker according to the directions when ready to cook.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently in the microwave or in a casserole dish, covered, in the oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 20gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 58mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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453 Comments

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  1. WOW! made this recipe last night, and i am totally blown away by how delicious this is! i have made a few similar recipes, but this will be a go-to moving forward for sure. made it pretty much exactly per instructions, though did use chicken bone broth instead of water, and added a couple tsps of fres chopped garlic. i cant quite put my finger on whats so extra good about this recipe, maybe its the turkey or the fire roasted tomatoes, but it rocks!5 stars

    1. Hi Kim! Unfortunately, I didn’t measure an exact amount for this after cooking it. I’d suggest estimating by dividing the casserole into evenly sized portions. I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Megan! This dish can be frozen in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Hi Kory! You can definitely swap in ground chicken, then prepare the recipe as directed. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Hi there – I am making this recipe right now and replacing the black beans with red lentils. Have you ever tried that? I’m new with lentils… but have a daughter who is not fond of beans… so fingers crossed. This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Leslie! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so I haven’t tried it with lentils. I hope it was a hit!

  3. Just delicious! Followed the recipe except I used ground chicken instead of turkey. I also doubled the recipe. Because the meat is already cooked, it didn’t change the cook time in the crockpot. Will definitely make it again. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Evelyn! I haven’t tried that swap myself, but a few commenters have used rice with success. Since rice has a different liquid ratio and cook time than quinoa, you may need to make some alterations. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  4. This is a very tasty easy dish. We enjoyed it. I added a bit extra ground turkey because my package was a little more than a lb. I added extra corn. I used frozen chopped peppers from last fall’s harvest. I did not have enchilada sauce or the ingredients to make my own. so I used a pint of my homemade salsa and an 8 oz can of tomato sauce. It was yummy!5 stars

  5. This was excellent!! This has become my go to source for recipes as they are always a crowd pleasers. :) Put this together so we could have a warm, hardy meal ready after an evening full of soccer games. I’ll be honest, I was skeptical how well it would accepted by my kids- they are good eaters but peppers, beans and quinoa aren’t their favorites. Thought I would give it a shot anyway. It got RAVE reviews from my husband and all four of my kids! No picking anything out-I was shocked! Plus, my not very food-adventurous mother in law even asked for the recipe! This will definitely be in our regular rotation, thank you!!5 stars

  6. This recipe is so great. One of my go-to recipes for how quick it is to prepare and how delicious it is once it’s done. Thank you for sharing, it’s one of my favorite dinners now!5 stars

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