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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

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
  • 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.

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.

Crockpot Mexican Casserole

4.91 from 170 votes
Super easy and DELICIOUS, Crockpot Mexican Casserole packed with quinoa, black beans, and ground chicken or turkey, then topped with cheese.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 15 minutes

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.

Video

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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556 Comments

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  1. This is an excellent recipe! It is delicious and very nutritious…and super easy to make! I love the addition of sour cream or plain yogurt, cheese, and avocado. My whole family enjoyed it, including my 3-year-old grandson!5 stars

  2. My family loves this! It is in our regular cycle of meals. I’m my family of 6, some eat it like chili, some eat it as a dip with tortilla chips, and it is delicious left over. It’s a good meal prepping dish is it doesn’t all get eaten.5 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Cheryl. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  3. This was very good! Thank you! Made with hamburger and well rinsed kidney beans ( was out of black beans). My husband is on a low-sodium diet so I made the enchilada sauce recipe with homemade seasoning and tomato paste to cut down on salt. Used just a sprinkle of cheese. My husband is picky and he loved it.5 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Janet. I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it does not turn out for you. It has worked well for myself (and others) and I wished it would have been a hit for you too.

  4. I really wanted to love this recipe, especially since Mexican food is a staple in my house and crock pot meals are the best option for cooking in this Southern summer heat. Unfortunately, it really wasn’t good.. I followed the recipe to a tee, but it turned out tasting bland and dry and with overcooked quinoa. Possibly for the first time ever my husband didn’t go back for seconds, or even eat a few extra bites while cleaning up after dinner. We both snacked on the leftovers but ended up throwing most of them out after a few days.2 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, KH. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  5. This recipe is fantastic! I made it this week as a meal prep for lunches for myself and my husband. The recipe was super easy to execute. I used ground turkey, tri-colored quinoa, and frozen corn in my version. My husband and I both loved it!! It’s super filling with the amount of fiber in it. It reheats great in the microwave. I followed the instructions word-for-word. The only addition I made was I seasoned the onions and turkey with salt and pepper when I cooked them, and I seasoned the whole casserole with salt & pepper after it was done cooking. I will definitely make this again!5 stars

  6. I have never commented on a recipe in my 37 years of life, but I had to say this is SO good. I’m trying to do a healthy meal prep, and this was insanely easy and delicious!!!!! It tastes like a Mexican-style chili almost. I packed mine with veggies and did just one can of the enchilada sauce. I’m not a big fan of quinoa but it melts in there and soaks up the flavors. Delicious! Thank you!5 stars

  7. Delish! Making it a second time! I was curious if you knew approximately how big one serving was. I was hoping to enter it on a calorie tracker. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Renee! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! I’m sorry I didn’t measure out the servings. It will be 1/8 of the recipe.

  8. A great crockpot meal that is easily adaptable! We left off cheese for dairy free family members and served it burrito or burrito bowl style.5 stars

  9. Since I had never had quinoa before I was scared reading the very few reviews that didn’t like this recipe…but OH MY WORD this was absolutely delicious!!! I didn’t realize how much it would make so next time I will freeze half. It is even amazingly good the next day! 100% recommend!! Thank you so much for sharing!5 stars

  10. This was so easy and a delicious combination of healthy/ flavorful foods! I will be keeping this recipe in rotation. I added 2 pounds of ground turkey instead of the suggested 1. I top with jalapeños, sour cream, and enjoy with salted tortilla.5 stars

  11. Super easy..and normally I dislike Turkey and green peppers….but I made it just the way it was written and used the homemade sauce. Great with chips! Made it for a work potluck. Used the fire roasted tomato with garlic…. yummy!!5 stars

    1. Hi Chris, I’m not quite sure, I haven’t tested it out this way. Let me know how it goes if you decide to experiment.

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