Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Stew

October 14, 2022

The nice thing about being back home and living with family is the shared cooking duties. My sister is very much like me, always looking at cookbooks and recipes, and she often tries things that I might not have tried myself. The original version of this recipe is a good example but as we often do, we modified the recipe to our tastes.

Start with a good foundation

The original recipe comes from Two Peas & Their Pod, a wonderful blog that you should check out. This is one of those lazy day recipes that you dump almost everything into the slow cooker and let it go for the rest of the day. In the last 15 minutes, you stir in some rotisserie chicken and shredded cheese, adjust the seasonings, and prep your toppings. It’s a great meal for a busy family.

Giving it our own twist

Our family likes spicy food – not blow-your-mind-I-can’t-feel-my-face spicy, but a good amount of tingling on our tongues. We added chopped chipotle peppers with some of the adobo sauce at the beginning of cooking. By the end, the chipotles have melted into the stew, adding their smoky, but not overpowering, heat. Another way to add heat is to use spicy rather than mild enchilada sauce.

As written, the original recipe is vegetarian but our family is unabashedly omnivorous. Since we often have a rotisserie chicken in our refrigerator, the easy solution was to shred up some chicken breast to add to the stew.

Which leads us to the final modification – upping the amount of liquid used. Because of the addition of the chicken and because we like the stew a little looser, we added about 50% more enchilada sauce. It gives us the additional moisture we are looking for and bumps up the flavor too.

Serving it up

When dinner time comes around, we serve right out of the slow cooker. We have bowls of shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro on the side. Everyone serves up a bowl for themselves and adds their favorite toppings.

This stew is also re-heats well. The quinoa will soak up some of the liquid and the stew will be thicker. If you want to thin it out, you can add a little water. It also packs well for weekday lunches.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Stew

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This easy slow-cooker stew is a spicy, filling dish that tastes even better the next day. It is based on a vegetarian recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod.



1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1/2 cup water

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper seeds and ribs removed, diced

2 15-ounce cans low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1 29-ounce can mild red enchilada sauce

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles

2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced, optional

1 cup corn frozen kernels

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/3 cup chopped cilantro, optional

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 rotisserie chicken breast, shredded

1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Optional toppings

Sliced green onions


Sour cream


Lime wedges


Combine all the ingredients except the rotisserie chicken, shredded cheese, salt, pepper, and optional toppings in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked.

Remove the lid and stir the stew. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Stir in the shredded chicken and 3/4 cup shredded cheese. Top with remaining cheese, replace the lid, and cook until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Serve with optional toppings.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 479.16
  • Sugar: 11.78 g.
  • Sodium: 1668.98 mg.
  • Fat: 14.41 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 5.55 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 51.25 g.
  • Fiber: 13.53 g.
  • Protein: 38.66 g.
  • Cholesterol: 91.95 g.

Keywords: slow cooker, black beans, quinoa, rotisserie chicken

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