When I’m craving Mexican food but still want dinner to be easy and healthy, this Crockpot Mexican Casserole checks all the boxes.
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Brown the turkey, then transfer it to a slow cooker.
- 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.
- Stir in part of the cheese, and add the remaining cheese on top. Cook on HIGH until the cheese melts. ENJOY!
- 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.
Leftover crockpot Mexican casserole makes a fabulous topping for nachos. You can also tuck it into tortillas for delicious enchiladas.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can swap the red enchilada sauce for green if you prefer.
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.
Follow the directions for my Instant Pot Mexican Casserole recipe instead.
Crockpot Mexican Casserole
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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