Slow Cooker Chipotle Quinoa Bake+Enchilada Filling


I am a huge fan of one-pot dishes-especially if that one-pot is called a slow cooker! I am also a huge fan of quinoa. Just like its familiar starch counterparts of rice, pasta and potatoes, quinoa can also easily be prepared in a slow cooker without turning into mush and retaining loads of flavor. Lately I have been in a casserole type of mood. I think it has to do with the idea of fall creeping in- and by that I mean our temps are down from 100 to 95:) Honestly though, the wind is blowing a little harder and the leaves are beginning to drop, school is in session and its time to put that slow cooker to work.


I know many people typically use quinoa paired with more Mediterranean and or Italian flavors but I loved the idea of pairing the quinoa with some Mexican flavors creating not only a nice backdrop for a casserole but also resulting in a wonderful twist on an enchilada or empanda filling (stay tuned for that post). Quinoa is tiny, very tiny, and depending on how you cook it and what you cook it with- the quinoa can either be front and center or behind the scenes, so to speak.


This dish is a cinch to throw together and it is so much fun to eat. It is packed with protein, it is gluten free and this casserole/bake will give you and your kids just the right amount of fuel to keep on keeping on! You can enjoy it as a casserole or use it as a filling for empandas or enchiladas. You can even get your creative juices flowing by substituting the ground meat for ground chicken or turkey and even trying out different types of vegetables.


Slow Cooker Chipotle Quinoa Bake+Enchilada Filling
  • 1 pound ground meat, cooked thoroughly
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can rotel or diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup green salsa verde
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce chopped + 3 tsp adobe sauce
  • ¾ cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP lime zest
  • 1 tsp each of smoked paprika and ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp salt and pepper each
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups Monterrey Jack and Cheddar Cheese ( I do half and half)
  • 2 TBSP cilantro, chopped as a garnish
  1. Place the ground meat, uncooked quinoa, black beans, tomatoes,corn, onions and peppers into the slow cooker. Arrange in sections or just toss them all in.
  2. In a small measuring cup stir together the adobe sauce, salsa and enchilada sauce. Add in the chopped chipotle peppers, minced garlic, lime zest and all of the remaining seasonings. Pour over the meat and veggies in the slow cooker and give it one good stir. Add in the water and chicken broth. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours. Just before serving stir in the cheese and fresh cilantro and ENJOY!
  3. Save the leftovers to use as a filling for enchiladas or empanadas.


  1. Bonnie

    As I’m in the market for a slow cooker, I’m bookmarking this. Somehow I equate fall/winter with slow cooking and casseroles. Our temperature never reached 100 this year. In fact, we only had about three days of 90 degrees. Friday’s high is predicted to be 60!! Time to haul out the heavy sweaters.


  2. 2 Sisters Recipes

    AHH… this is one dish we can fully indulge into! So healthy and just love all the ingredients in this one! Great recipe for dinner!

  3. Erica

    I bookmarked this! I love my slow cooker! Always looking for new and tasty recipes. Thanks for the idea

  4. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen

    Wow, what a colorful casserole and the Rotel & chipotle must bring a nice bit of heat. I have a thing for black beans and use them often.

  5. Liz

    This looks like an outstanding dinner! I just love quinoa!

  6. yummychunklet

    What a hearty and delicious looking dish!

  7. La Cuisine Helene

    After a long day at college and university my two sons would love to eat the enchilada filling. I love using my slow cooker all year long.

  8. Angie (@angiesrecipess)

    I love slow cooker recipes. This is a great one dish meal!

  9. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I love the idea of using this as a filling. You are so clever!

  10. Mandy - The Complete Book

    I keep saying I must invest in a slow cooker – think its time to put the plan into action!
    Have a beautiful day Belle.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  11. Shellie

    Ooh, Jess! I think your daddy will love this one. Will try it soon! Thx! Love you!


    Looks yummy, healthy and creative… I fb’d, pinned and tweeted this one! 🙂

  13. Adri

    I love my slow cooker, and it is just about time to get it down from its summer “shelf on high.” This sounds wonderful, and I can’t wait to try it. I had to laugh about you feeling fall creep in now that your temps are down to 95. It is the same where I live in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles. It is still terribly hot, and yet, as they say, fall is in the air.

  14. Balvinder

    Me too! I love the smoky flavor of chipotle in this cozy dish!

  15. Joanne

    Can’t go wrong with big old tasty casseroles like this! Bonus that it’s made in the slow cooker!

  16. Kristy

    Mexican flavors in quinoa is my favorite way to prepare it. This is going to be a must make and it’s an added bonus that it’s slow cooker food. I love that I don’t have to cook anything before using the slow cooker too. That always annoys me. If it’s a one pot meal, I want it to truly be a one pot meal. You have made my day!

  17. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I also love one pot cooking, but I don’t own a slow cooker yet so I have to stay around the kitchen…(I usually work at home anyway) This looks so good! Easy, simple, and very flavorful meal – it’s a family and mommy favorite for sure!

  18. Asmita

    Love this recipe! We love quinoa and Mexican food. This is going to be a hit at my place. Cannot wait to make it.

  19. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    A wonderfully hearty and delicious casserole! Slow cooker makes life so much easier.

  20. Daphne

    That’s the best way to cook! It brings out the flavour AND there is less cleaning up to do! Love the mexican flavours.

  21. Eva Taylor

    I never thought of using quinoa in the slow cooker, great idea Jessica! I also love the idea of pairing with Mexican flavours, one of our favourites for sure! I’ve often used quinoa in stuffings for Thanksgiving and Christmas, perhaps this year, it’ll be a slow cooker stuffing!

  22. Jessica @ Sweet Menu

    Oh what a lovely dinner idea! This looks super special!

  23. lena

    hi jessica, i hv never used my slow cooker for a long time. Other than using it to make soups, i hv not used it for anything else….i know your dish must be so flavourful , the happiest person must be your husband..hehe..

  24. nancy at good food matters

    it makes perfect sense to use quinoa as a base for a Mexican dish—the grain/seed is a New World ingredient. Slow cookers are making a big comeback, and this recipe is ideal for it–also ideal as a cost-effective meal. low fat–protein rich. terrific!

  25. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    I think there’s something in this recipe for everyone to love!

Comments are closed.