Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Bake

I'm a huge fan of Mexican food. Luckily, I grew up surrounded by it in Southern California. I will forever be a sucker for a good enchilada or a bowl of cocido or albondigas soup. YUM. 

I am also a big of fan of slow cookers. As much as I love cooking, I don't always have the time to invest in making a really involved dish. Slow cookers are a gem because they let me throw things in for a few hours and return to a fully cooked meal (not to mention, a wonderful-smelling apartment).

My crockpot makes cooking on busy days incredibly simple and was one of my better investments. 

Earlier this week, I was craving Mexican food and decided to try to whip something up in my crockpot because I really need time to clean, run some errands, and write. I didn't have the time to really cook, and I truthfully hadn't found a Mexican restaurant in San Diego that replaces my beloved Tio's in Rancho Cucamonga. So, crockpot it was. 

I ended up on a slow cooker enchilada recipe that I modified heavily because I was missing a few things! Here's my version: 

Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Bake

  • 1 medium yellow onion - diced (I used white - turned out just fine) 
  • 1 medium red bell pepper - diced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1.5 cups quinoa (dry) 
  • 1 can tomato sauce (not marinara - just plain tomato sauce) 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis (I used a can with jalapeños and cilantro from Whole Foods instead - I recommend this swap) 
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth (I made my own - boiling water with sage, basil, marjoram, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, lemon juice) 
  • 1 can low-sodium pinto beans
  • 1 can low-sodium black beans
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn
  • Handful (~1 cup) shredded Mexican blend cheese (I recommend Trader Joe's Lite Mexican Blend)

Heat canola oil over medium-high heat in skillet. Saute diced pepper and onion for about three minutes. Add minced garlic and continue sautéing for another 30 seconds to a minute. Remove from heat. 

Place onion, pepper, and garlic directly into crockpot. Add quinoa, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chill powder, cumin, and vegetable broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper for taste. Stir together and cook on HIGH for 2 hrs 45 minutes - 3 hrs 15 minutes. All crockpots cook a little differently, but make sure it's neither dry nor soggy near the edges. 

When meal is cooked through, add in black beans, pinto beans, and frozen corn, stirring in. Even out the top and sprinkle cheese. Continue cooking until beans and corn are warmed through and cheese has melted. 

Serve! Some fun toppings include avocado, cilantro, and green onions! 

This recipe was incredibly easy and so delicious.

It definitely satisfied my huge craving for Mexican food in a healthier and pain-free, quick way. Plus, it's a nice meatless alternative that still provides a lot of healthy protein with quinoa and beans!

Try it out and let me know your thoughts and own modifications!

Yum! 

 

 

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