Enchilada Bake is super-easy to prepare using pantry and freezer staples, and so tasty it's sure to become a long-time family favorite! No need to turn on your oven, this recipe uses the magic of your slow cooker.
Enchilada bake recipes are always a hit in my house. However, sometimes at the end of a long day, I am not in the mood to wait for the oven to preheat and then cook my food.
The preparation is straight-forward and budget-friendly, plus you can customize with the addition of chicken or beef, or keep it as a meatless meal for the vegetarian in your life!
I have to be honest, it makes me really happy to have dinner already prepared and just about ready for serving when I get home. Which is why my slow cooker is my best friend.
Now this dish is not one that turns out fine if you cook it all day. It works best when you are able to be home about 3 hours before dinner to kick things off. However, if you really can't make that happen you can certainly cook it on low all day. If you do that, however, just be prepared for your rice to get a little mushy.
Many people would be put off by mushy rice, which is why I have the directions for a 3 hour cook time. However I must admit that my family is not picky about mushy rice. Thing 2 actually kind of LIKES mushy rice. So if your family is like that, feel free to make this into an all-day cooking recipe! 🙂
Also, note that, as written, this recipe is vegetarian. But you can definitely add chicken or beef if you like. You can add about 2 cups of cubed chicken or beef right at the beginning, or you can add cooked cubed meat at the end when you add the corn and beans.
Steps for making this Enchilada Bake
Step 1 looks a little complicated, but it's really not. Basically, you add the rice, spices, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and pepper strips, and mix well. Easy!
Then you cook for 3 hours, and it starts to look like this:
Add the corn and the beans, then mix, and cook for another 20 minutes or so.
Add the shredded cheese, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes, until the cheese melts.
Variations for this Enchilada Bake recipe
- This recipe as written is vegetarian, but feel free to add chicken or beef if you like. Add about 1-2 cups of cubed meat. If you add uncooked meat, add it before you cook for 3 hours. If you add cooked meat, add it at the end when you toss in the corn and beans.
- Would you like to make this a vegan meal? Omit the cheese, or substitute a vegan cheese.
- Not a fan of brown rice? This works well with white rice too. Be sure to use regular white rice, not instant rice!
- If you don't have vegetable broth, you can substitute chicken or beef broth.
- Garnish with cilantro, or scallions, or lime wedges. Or all 3!
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Crock Pot Enchilada Bake
Serve along with refried beans, a side salad, or even chips and salsa.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! Enjoy!
📋 Recipe Card
Crock Pot Enchilada Bake
- 1 ¼ cup brown rice
- 1 ½ tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon each, salt and pepper
- 14 ounces tomatoes with green chilis (1 can, undrained)
- 8 ounces tomato sauce (1 can)
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 14 ounces frozen pepper and onion strips (1 bag)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 14 ounces pinto beans (1 can, drained and rinsed)
- 14 ounces black beans (1 can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In the slow cooker, combine the rice, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and frozen pepper and onion strips.1 ¼ cup brown rice, 1 ½ tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon each, salt and pepper, 14 ounces tomatoes with green chilis, 8 ounces tomato sauce, 1 ½ cups vegetable broth, 14 ounces frozen pepper and onion strips
- Cook on high 3 hours.
- Add the corn and the beans, mix well, and cook on low for an additional 20 minutes, until the corn is thawed and the beans are heated through.1 cup frozen corn, 14 ounces pinto beans, 14 ounces black beans
- Sprinkle the top with the cheese, cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.1 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Serve as is, or with garnish of chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, or lime wedges.
- You can add about 1-2 cups of cubed chicken or beef if you like. If you add uncooked meat, add it before you cook for 3 hours. If you add cooked meat, add it at the end when you toss in the corn and beans.
- This recipe can be made vegan if you skip the cheddar cheese, or substitute a vegan cheese.
- If you don't have brown rice, feel free to use white rice. However, make sure it is regular white rice, not instant rice!
- Chicken or beef broth can be used in place of the vegetable broth.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
More Mexican recipes...
If you like this recipe, you my also like some of my other Mexican-inspired dishes! Kids love macaroni and cheese, so try this mac and cheese with a Mexican twist: Maccarones Con Queso.
They also love mini-food, so take a look at these adorable Fajita Bowls. BONUS - the bowls are edible!
Last but not least, this Fiesta Lasagna is a cheesy, flavorful, and fun weeknight meal!
Looking for some additional enchilada recipes?
These Easy Chicken Enchiladas will hit the spot. Or, if you are in the mood for something beefier, try these Beef Enchiladas.
What is your favorite enchilada recipe? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
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Can I omit the corn, do not like corn in anything? Also would love to add some spinach, maybe toward the end?
Yes, I think you can omit the corn and add some spinach. I agree with you that stirring the spinach in toward the end is probably the best way to go. I hope it works out! Enjoy!
What size slow cooker did you use? I didn’t see that listed anywhere
I use a 5 quart slow cooker. Thanks!
Very delicious! The brown rice was cooked just right at 3 hours on high.
Glad to hear it! Thanks, Jane! 🙂
Oh my, even better than I thought it would be. I used cauliflower rice in lieu of rice.
Cauliflower rice is a fabulous idea - so much more nutrition and many fewer calories. I am going to try that myself the next time I make this! Thanks for stopping by!