When I’m craving Mexican food but still want dinner to be easy and healthy, this Crockpot Mexican Casserole checks all the boxes.

dish of Crock Pot Mexican Casserole topped with melted cheese

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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.
  • Our traditional Christmas night dinner? My grammy’s Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.
  • Clearly, the love of Mexican food spans generations.

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

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!

ingredients in a crock pot to make a meatless Mexican casserole

This particular crockpot 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 Mexican turkey casserole 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.

5 Star Review

“WOW! I made this recipe last night, and I am totally blown away by how delicious this is!”

— Dan —

How to Make Crockpot Mexican Casserole

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 Slow Cooker Taco Casserole to Crockpot Mexican Chicken to Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup, it’s a complete crowd pleaser every time I serve it.


The Ingredients

  • Ground Turkey. Not only does ground turkey help make the casserole more satisfying, but it also adds scrumptious flavor. Plus, it’s a lean and healthy source of protein.

Substitution Tip

If you prefer, you can use ground chicken to make slow cooker Mexican chicken casserole. If you enjoy crockpot casseroles with ground beef, you can use it instead.

  • Quinoa. Helps make the casserole extra satisfying. Additionally, quinoa is packed with fiber and is considered and complete protein.
  • Red Enchilada Sauce. Smoky and bursting with beloved Mexican flavor. Either canned enchilada sauce or my stellar homemade red Enchilada Sauce will work well.
  • Black Beans. Creamy and nutritious. Black beans are rich in fiber and protein.
  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes. Incredibly rich, smoky flavor packed into the convenience of a can.
  • Corn. A delicious and sweet addition to our Mexican casserole.
  • Bell Peppers. Red and green bell peppers add beautiful color and nutritional benefits to the dish.
  • Spices. Garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin give the casserole bold, earthy flavor. Keep these on hand at all times.
  • Mexican Blend Cheese. For that must-have melty, cheesy topping.

The Directions

  1. Brown the turkey, then transfer it to a slow cooker.
  2. Stir in the remaining casserole ingredients (except the cheese). Cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.
  3. Stir in part of the cheese, and add the remaining cheese on top. Cook on HIGH until the cheese melts. ENJOY!

Dietary Note

For vegetarian crockpot Mexican casserole, replace the meat with extra black beans.

slow cooker full of cheesy Mexican casserole with chicken

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze casserole in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

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.

bowl of healthy Mexican casserole made in a slow cooker

Leftover Ideas

Leftover crockpot Mexican casserole makes a fabulous topping for nachos. You can also tuck it into tortillas for delicious enchiladas.

slow cooker filled with Mexican casserole with quinoa

What to Serve with Crockpot Mexican Casserole

bowl filled with a Mexican casserole made in a slow cooker

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Slow Cooker. Be sure it is at least 6 quarts (you could maybe squeeze it in a 5 quart, but I haven’t tried). Perfect for any of my easy Mexican crockpot recipes!
  • Dutch Oven. Great for browning the meat.
  • Can Opener. A must-have tool for every kitchen.

The Best Slow Cooker

No matter which of my delicious slow cooker recipes you want to make, this high-quality, programmable version will work well.

bowl of Crock Pot Mexican Casserole topped with melted cheese

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Green Enchilada Sauce instead of Red?

Yes, you can swap the red enchilada sauce for green if you prefer.

Can I Swap the Quinoa for Rice?

While I haven’t tried making this into a crockpot Mexican casserole with rice, a few readers have swapped rice successfully. You may need to adjust the cook time and liquid ratio.

Can I Make this Recipe in the Instant Pot?

Follow the directions for my Instant Pot Mexican Casserole recipe instead.

bowl of Crock Pot Mexican Casserole topped with melted cheese

Crockpot Mexican Casserole

4.96 from 141 votes
Super easy and DELICIOUS, Crockpot Mexican Casserole packed with quinoa, black beans, and ground chicken or turkey, then topped with cheese.

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 (10-ounce) cans red enchilada sauce (mild or medium) or 2 1/2 cups homemade red enchilada sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 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

  • TO MAKE 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.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze casserole in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 26gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgPotassium: 626mgFiber: 9gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1919IUVitamin C: 36mgCalcium: 228mgIron: 4mg

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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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471 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 Rebecca! I haven’t tried that swap myself, but a few readers have done it with brown rice and minute rice if you’d like to check out their comments and results. Since rice has a different liquid ratio and cook time than quinoa, it’s not a straight swap. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    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

  7. Hello, I made this last week and wow, was it delish, loved the flavors and texture wasn’t funky….I was actually online trying to find the recipe again to make again tonight, found it knowing how I stumbled across it the first time. It’s my go to, everything about this recipe is yummy,yum yum. PS thanks for introducing me to a new product Quinoa…Dawn

  8. There is something about your recipes that I am In love with . I’m in Canada and do not use cook books anymore. I don’t have a Kindle.

    I love your presentation and healthy recipes so much I have to support you and buy your book.

    Thank you for all your recipes delivered to me by email.

    Wish you great success.

    Yours sincerely. Debbie5 stars

    1. Hi Constance! You are correct, there is no salt added to this recipe. Feel free to adjust the seasonings based on your preference!

  9. Made the casserole add added a few things… turned out great. I added 3 serrano peppers for heat as well as 2 tablespoons of crushed red chili flakes. I also added a space of Louisiana hot sauce (I put this in almost everything so it isn’t necessary). I added a tablespoon of dried cilantro and used Chiuahua cheese instead of a Mexican blend because it is creamier. It turned out great and left a nice warmth in my mouth without burning.5 stars

  10. I am making this for dinner now but am a dialysis patient and need to be restrictive of sodium in my diet. How much sodium per serving?

    1. Hi Haley! I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online (myfitnesspal.com is popular). I hope that helps!

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