chicken enchiladas

Weeknight Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Enchiladas

One of my favorite culinary challenges is figuring out ways to turn complex multi-part recipes that would normally take several hours to create  into meals that can easily be pulled together on a week night to feed the starving masses. And that is exactly what this enchilada recipe does.

chicken enchiladas

I like to cook the chicken in my slow cooker the night before I plan to serve this enchilada dinner. When I’m making lunches before school/work I shred the chicken and throw it in the fridge. It’s ready and waiting for me to assemble the enchiladas at the end of the day.

chicken enchiladas

Now, you could use store bought enchilada sauce. Ain’t nothin wrong with the stuff in the can (seriously, no judgement). But if you have 20 minutes or so on a Sunday afternoon you could make your own homemade enchilada sauce and store it in the fridge so it’s waiting for you to get that enchilada craving.

chicken enchiladas

You’ve cooked your chicken ahead of time. Your enchilada sauce is sitting there in the fridge, waiting for you. Now all that’s left is to saute the onions, throw the filling ingredients into a bowl, wrap it all up in the tortillas and bake for a little while.

chicken enchiladas

If you really want to avoid all prep on a week night you could assemble the entire casserole ahead of time, freeze, then pop it into the fridge the morning you plan to serve so it’s thawed by dinner.

Enjoy, all you weeknight cookers!

chicken enchiladas

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Enchiladas

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours + 35 minutes
Serves: 4-6

  • 4 celery ribs, halved
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 5 chicken drum sticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn, frozen or fresh
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded colby jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 cup enchilada sauce, homemade or store bought
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 10 inch flour tortillas

To Slow Cook the Chicken

  1. In the bowl of a slow cooker, place celery rib halves, onion halves (skins left on), and chicken stock.
  2. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper. Layer chicken on top of celery and onions in slow cooker bowl. Slow cook on low for 6-7 hours (I do this step over night).
  3. Remove chicken from cooker and discard celery and onions. When chicken is cool enough to handle remove meat from the bones and shred.
    Pro tip: at this point you can refrigerate the chicken in an air tight container until you are ready to assemble your enchiladas (up to 5 days).

To Assemble Enchiladas

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and procure a 9X13 baking dish (no need to grease).
  2. Saute onions in oil over medium heat until translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine the shredded chicken, sauted onions,  corn, black beans, 1 cup colby jack cheese, 2 tablespoons enchilada sauce, 1 tablespoon cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  4. To assemble enchiladas, Fill tortilla with about 3 tablespoons of filling. Roll the end of the tortilla closest to you over the filling. keeping the tortilla tight over the filling draw the edge back toward you and fold the sides toward the middle creating a pocket with filling in it. Roll the pocket tightly into a cylinder. Place enchilada seam side down in your baking dish. Repeat this process with 9-10 tortillas. The final two will fit in the long side of the dish.
  5. Top enchiladas with remaining 1 cup of enchilada sauce and remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
  6. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake at 375 for about 35 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly. Garnish with additional minced cilantro.

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