Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot has seasoned ground turkey, quinoa, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, salsa, beans, corn, enchilada sauce, and lots of cheese. Top the enchilada quinoa with your favorite toppings like cilantro, lime, guacamole, or your favorite enchilada toppings.
Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot
This meal is one of our favorites! It’s so easy to assemble and the slow cooker does all the heavy lifting! It’s such a great all-purpose meal — it can be eaten as is, layered in tortillas or lettuce wraps, cooked into actual enchiladas, or eaten as a dip with chips!
How to make Enchilada Quinoa in the Crockpot
The descriptions below correlate with the photo collage below the text.
- Sauté the onion and bell pepper in olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add in the ground turkey.
- Add in the spices and garlic: quickly sauté into the meat for extra flavor.
- Stir until everything is fragrant and then transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add everything else: uncooked quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, frozen corn, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and salsa.
- Pour in enchilada sauce: I use mild enchilada sauce by Old El Paso® (not sponsored) and we don’t find it to be overly spicy (Here’s an article of the best store-bought enchilada sauces!).
- Pour in chicken broth or stock: water and a chicken bouillon cube can also be used here.
- Stir everything together until ingredients are combined and in one even layer.
- Cook on high heat for 2 and 1/2 to 5 hours or until quinoa has “popped” and absorbed all the liquid.
- If you’re around, check occasionally and stir the quinoa so it doesn’t stick to the sides (I usually stir it once at about 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours).
- Add in the freshly grated cheese .
- Stir to melt the cheese and add your favorite enchilada toppings to individual servings.
Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot tips
- Use freshly grated cheese. Pre-grated cheese has a cellulose coating that keeps it from melting as nicely. While it can be used in this recipe, it will get a little greasy and won’t melt as smoothly.
- Cook on high. Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t cook well on low temperatures; the quinoa absorbs liquid too slowly and cooks unevenly.
- Use fire-roasted diced tomatoes for more flavor.
- Don’t forget the toppings. They add so much flavor and texture to this dish. Use whatever you like on top of enchiladas; our favorite toppings for this dish are ripe sliced avocados, fresh cilantro, fresh lime, and fresh cherry tomatoes. Other options: sour cream, additional cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, thinly sliced radishes, green onions, etc.
- Crockpot® is a specific brand of slow cooker. You can use any type of slow cooker you prefer.
- Add heat: A tablespoon or two of diced jalapeños, hot sauce, and/or fire-roasted diced green chilies are all additions that add in some heat. A spicier salsa and/or enchilada sauce can also be used.
- Reduce heat: By using mild salsa and mild enchilada sauce, I’d say this is a very mild dish. To further reduce heat, use only 1-2 teaspoons chili powder. (Use a non spicy chili powder like McCormick® (not sponsored)).
- Make a homemade enchilada sauce: If you prefer, make your own!
- Replace ground turkey with lean ground beef.
- Make vegetarian: Leave out the ground turkey; no other changes needed.
Alternate cooking methods
- Oven: Try this Quinoa Enchilada Bake; it’s very similar to this recipe but baked instead of slow cooked.
- Stove top: follow steps 1-4 in a large pot. Add the rest of the ingredients in and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa has “popped.” Stir mixture every 5-7 minutes and reduce heat if the quinoa is sticking or increase heat if liquid isn’t being absorbed.
- Pressure cooker: I haven’t personally tested this recipe in the pressure cooker, but a reader commented that it worked well: “Made this yesterday in my electric pressure cooker, 9 minutes on high setting (added about 1/2 cup more water).” (Thanks Lisa!)
More healthy quinoa recipes
- Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup Italian inspired
- Quinoa Chili with sweet potatoes
- Spring Quinoa Salad with a lemon vinaigrette
- Greek Quinoa Salad with a Greek-inspired vinaigrette
- Quinoa Fried Rice with a delicious stir-fry sauce
A simple Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot meal with seasoned ground turkey, quinoa, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, salsa, beans, corn, enchilada sauce, and lots of cheese. Top the enchilada quinoa with your favorite toppings like cilantro, lime, and guacamole.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup diced sweet bell pepper (I use red)
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1 can (14 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup chicken stock (or chicken broth, or water)
- 1 can (19 ounces) red enchilada sauce (See Note 1)
- 2 cups cheddar or Mexican cheese (I use 1 cup extra sharp cheese and 1 cup Monterrey jack cheese)
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Optional: 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, sour cream, cilantro, etc. (whatever toppings you typically would like on enchiladas)
GROUND TURKEY: Line a crockpot with a liner or generously spray with cooking spray. In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Heat over medium high heat and then add in the 1/2 cup diced onion and 1/2 cup diced red pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the ground turkey. Cook and crumble until browned through. (Drain out any grease if needed). Add in the 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and salt and pepper to taste (I add 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Cook until fragrant, another 1-2 minutes.
CROCKPOT: Transfer the ground turkey mixture into the crockpot. Add in the 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa (make sure to rinse first in a fine mesh sieve), the 1 can drained and rinsed black beans, the 1 cup frozen corn, 1/2 cup salsa, 1 can (undrained) diced tomatoes, 1 cup chicken stock (broth or water), and the 19-ounce can of enchilada sauce.
COOK: Stir well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 and 1/2 to 3 and 1/2 hours or until the liquid is all absorbed into the mixture. Once the liquid is absorbed, remove the crockpot lid, and stir together everything again. Add in 1/3 cup diced cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice (if using), and the 2 cups cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
SERVE: Add your favorite enchilada toppings to individual plates: any additional cilantro or lime juice, sour cream, pico de gallo or diced cherry tomatoes, fresh avocado or guacamole.
MAKE QUINOA ENCHILADAS: If you want to make these into more of traditional enchiladas: Warm up the tortillas, spread some cheese on one side, a large spoonful of the mixture on top of the cheese, and more cheese on top of the mixture. Roll it up, cook until crisp in a skillet over medium high heat, and top with more salsa or enchilada sauce. Add sour cream, green onions, and cilantro if desired.
Note 1: For the enchilada sauce either use one large can (19 ounces) or two smaller cans (10 ounces each). I use Old El Paso ®mild enchilada sauce, which we don't find overly spicy. Some enchilada sauces can be very spicy, make sure to check the sauce before adding into the crockpot.