Chicken or Beef Enchiladas (w/Crockpot Version)


This is a family favorite meal at our house! Serve with some homemade refried beans, corn and/or a green salad and you have a wonderful meal. Dollop with a little extra sour cream! I make this recipe in two 8×8 pans for our family and freeze one for another day. Works very well for freezing, by simply skipping the baking step till later. This is the recipe we used for our freezer meal service project. Enjoy!

2-3 cups chicken, cooked & shredded (I use the leftover chicken pulled off the bones after cooking up a whole chicken, but you can also cook 2-3 chicken thighs and then shred them), or 1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
1 (29 oz) can of enchilada sauce (homemade is best and free from any preservatives, try this easy recipe here – it works great!)
2 (4-6 oz) cans chilis, optional
1 cup sour cream or cream of mushroom soup substitute
1 (15 oz) can of olives, sliced
1-2 cups kidney or black beans, if desired
cheddar cheese, grated (raw cheddar cheese is the best!)
12 tortillas, homemade or whole wheat

Combine garlic and onions and fry in a little oil until golden brown. Add chicken, enchiladas sauce, chilis, olives and just enough sour cream to make a creamy consistency. It will be runny, but that’s okay. Add kidney beans, if desired to make a complete protein. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Layer flat in a 13×9 pan, starting with a thin layer of sauce, tortilla, sauce, cheese, tortilla, etc. ending with a layer of cheese. Cover with tin foil, and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes otherwise it will be on the runny side.

For the Crockpot:

Cook meat, onions and garlic in a large saucepan over medium eat until nicely browned. Add enchilada sauce, chilis, sour cream, olives, and black beans and mix until well combined. Cover the bottom of your crockpot with a thin layer of sauce, followed by a layer of tortillas, another layer of sauce, and then cheese, and repeat in that fashion until all your ingredients have been added (probably 3-4 layers). Finish with a layer of sauce and cheese. Turn your crockpot on low heat, cover, and allow to cook for 5-6 hours. Serve with a dollop of sour cream!


About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

38 Responses to Chicken or Beef Enchiladas (w/Crockpot Version)

  1. Bridie January 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    Oh wow I finally got around to making this recipe (thought I already had but nope lol) and what a hit! The kiddies devoured it and had seconds, hubs has asked for it as a regular on the menu plan as well as hoarding as much as he could for his lunch tomorrow (and packing away third helpings at the table :D ) and I managed to put a meal in the freezer too so I’m stoked :)

  2. Lauren October 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    These enchiladas were a family hit! I will definitely make these again. I used the homemade sauce and just switched vegetable oil for coconut oil. If you do this, use about 2/3 cup of oil instead of 1 cup. YUMMY!!!!

  3. Kythka September 26, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    Made this last night, homemade tortillas and all. Holy yum! Thanks for posting.

  4. lisa June 27, 2011 at 7:03 am #

    sounds delicious, I’m going to try them!

  5. Misty June 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    If you’re using canned kidney beans for this recipe, do you drain them or not? It sounds so good…can’t wait to make it for my family :)

  6. Tosha McDugle November 14, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    I’m confused. I assumed you meant for us to put the ingredients inside the tortillas, roll up and then place in pan in layers with the other stuff. But your picture in the pan and howit looks on the plate makes me think you just layer the tortillas flat and put the stuff on top. Kind of like mexican lasagne.

    • mamamia December 26, 2010 at 11:29 am #

      The botton picture is the enchiladas made in the crockpot. The top picture (picture of the plate) is the enchiladas scooped out of the crockpot. But yes it basically is a mexican lasagna.

  7. Mexico Lover November 1, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    Sounds lovely! I just came back from mexico last year and find myself addicted to these incredible enchilada recipes now!! Must go back next year sometime, I think, and this time head off the beaten path a little. Looking to reading more!

  8. sherri September 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    I just made this recipe last night with the homemade enchilada sauce. We LOVED it!! It is the ONLY enchilada recipe my husband has ever liked. I love enchiladas, so we’ve tried many. Thanks, this one is a keeper. My little ones loved it, too.

  9. Jennifer August 2, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    I’m trying to do my monthly meal plan and I would love to incorporate this recipe! What type of oil do you saute the onion and garlic in? You had mentioned homemade enchilada sauce or store bought. What store brand enchilada sauce do you use? Thank you! Jennifer

    • Lindsay August 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

      Butter or olive oil work great. I have only used Trader Joe’s Enchilada sauce or made my own.

  10. Jessie July 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    I just made the tortillas, sauce and stuffing today with beef and it was SOOOOO good :o ) Definitely a recipe that will get used over and over again :o ) I had never tried to make enchilada sauce before. I think I’ll use the linked recipe you provided to can my own sauce this year.

  11. Cathy January 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Do you have a recipe for homemade refried beans? I have not found one I like too much yet.

    • Lindsay January 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

      I don’t have an exact recipe…I just saute onions and garlic and add to the beans and blend them up with a hand blender. Then I add salt, chili powder and cumin (or taco seasoning mix) to taste.

    • Kimberly April 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      I found this recipe several years ago for refried beans, and it is the BEST. These taste just like the frijoles I had in Mexico- though in Mexico they often use lard. No matter, these are delicious.

  12. Sabrina December 3, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    Just found you site and love it! This will be dinner tonight, cant wait! One little short cut I found that works great for freezing. If the dish does not require pre- baking you can line you dish with plastic wrap, once its frozen lift it out and then wrap for freezing. Frees up your dish! When your ready to cook it just pop it in the original dish. Work perfectly every time.

  13. Brittany October 26, 2009 at 1:13 am #

    Hi there! This looks great. I have some leftover corn tortillas and was wondering if those would work. What do you think?

    • Lindsay October 26, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

      Yes, definitely!

  14. Amanda April 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    I made these tonight using dried beans & sour cream & green enchilada sauce. It’s in the oven and I am excited to see how it turns out! I’ll let you know! Love your website and visit often!

  15. Sandy April 14, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    Fixed this for my husband tonight! He raved about it! Thanks. I love your site. Such and inspiration!

  16. Fryserum January 12, 2009 at 2:20 am #

    nice post, thanks for sharing!

  17. Maxime November 16, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    I just made these enchiladas earlier this week – it was delicious!!!!

  18. Maxime October 28, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    Do you think this could be split between 2 8×8 pans? :-) It’s just my husband and I so a 13×9 would be a little too much for us.

    • Lindsay October 28, 2008 at 1:45 pm #

      Yes, I do it all the time and freeze one as there is just three of us and the little lady doesn’t eat it yet!

      • Maxime October 30, 2008 at 11:49 am #

        Thanks so much Lindsay! It’s actually the three of us, but our little girl is only 2.5 months old ;-) I love your blog!

  19. Kristina October 24, 2008 at 11:20 pm #

    Could you use kefir instead of sour cream?

    • Lindsay October 25, 2008 at 8:21 am #

      It will most likely affect the taste, but that depends upon how strong your kefir is. You very well may like the taste of plain kefir. If so, give it a try! Another option is using the cream soup substitute that I came up with here. Most enchiladas call for cream soup of some sort, and I just started replacing with sour cream…but if you want to make your own, that would be an excellent option.

  20. Sunny September 27, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    Hi again ~ Lindsay,

    I’m perusing your site today and thought I may as well post another question. I’ve made the Chicken Enchiladas and they are wonderful and a definite keeper! However, I was wondering if you have a substitute for the endhilada sauce?


    • Lindsay September 27, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

      You can make your own enchilada sauce. There are many recipes available, but this one seems to come with good reviews. I have not attempted it myself as of yet…but your question definitely gets me thinking…I might just make these enchiladas this week!

  21. Vicky Buckley September 27, 2008 at 6:02 am #

    I think it’s awesome you posted this recipe with a can soup substitute. Most people would use can – with MSG and not realize the health effects. I think you have a wonderful blog. I also started a second blog for recipes;
    In Jesus,

  22. donna May 15, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    I will be trying this one soon as well as the others, thanks for posting!!

  23. ElizabethSue May 13, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    Looks amazing! I forgot how much I enjoy reading your blog so I added you to my kindred spirits link on my url! Come check me out!

  24. seinlife May 13, 2008 at 9:56 am #

    So i totally digg your blog – Yay:-) Am pretty sure this is obvious to some people but not quite to me…
    How do you freeze your meals? Do you ziploc bag them? What type of containers do you use?
    When i try to freeze my meals they are typically laiden with freeezer burns…help?

    • Lindsay May 13, 2008 at 10:37 am #

      The best option I have found is to freeze in a glass pyrex pan, as I prefer not to use disposable aluminum pans, if possible. But I have done it both ways. Cover first with some tin foil, and then entirely with freezer paper to avoid freezer burn. That works wonderfully!

      • Kate October 28, 2008 at 1:54 pm #

        How does the freezer paper stay on, on top of the alum foil?

        Aren’t you concerned w/alum foil leaching into your food?

        • Lindsay October 28, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

          I use tape to keep the freezer paper on. If the food is cooled and the tin foil is not directly touching the food, there shouldn’t be that big of an issue with any leaching. It can be removed before cooking. You can also use wax paper, also secured with tape and that has worked well in the past for me also.

        • Kate November 1, 2008 at 3:28 pm #


          Why not just put the wax paper/freezer paper then the alum foil?

  25. Robin May 13, 2008 at 5:51 am #

    Thanks for posting your recipe, Lindsey!