6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken - Real Food Whole Life

6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken

April 22, 2015 (Updated on September 22, 2021)

Shredded chicken with enchilada sauce in a black slow cooker pot

This easy recipe for shredded chicken for enchiladas is totally simple, completely delicious and the perfect weeknight crockpot recipe.

The chicken recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant too!

“This twin mama thanks you for this tasty and quick meal option. My 10 month old twins thought it was tasty too!“ Erin S.

Chicken breasts, onions, tomato sauce, and spices in a black slow cooker pot

This Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken recipe makes a regular appearance at our house because it is just so darn simple and versatile, plus it uses ingredients that are likely on hand in the pantry and fridge or freezer.

No special trip to the grocery store required!

The saucy chicken is also free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, and is gluten-free and dairy-free so it will work for just about everyone.

Easily one of my favorite slow cooker chicken recipes.

uses for shredded enchilada chicken

If you’ve read my book, then you know I’m all about simplifying things.

Less decisions = less stress.

At least one dinner a week, I make an easy slow cooker chicken recipe and this is one of my family’s favorites.

This enchilada chicken comes together with just 5 minutes hands-on prep time and can be used to build lots of different meals.

You can use it to make:

Just like my favorite slow cooker carnitas, we love that this makes a lot of leftovers that can be used lots of ways.

We enjoy this enchilada chicken tucked into warm tortillas, in lettuce wraps (Bibb or romaine lettuce work well), on brown rice, topping a heaping bed of greens, or atop baked potatoes to make it a complete meal.

recipe adaptations & suggestions

After you throw this easy recipe in the slow cooker just put out additional toppings such as avocado, cilantro, radishes, sliced green onions, grated cheese, and/or sour cream and you’re good to go.

If you like spicy, go ahead and add a few healthy dashes of hot sauce, too.

A quick note that this recipe makes plenty of yummy enchilada sauce to go with the chicken, but if you prefer something a little less saucy, simple half the amount of tomato sauce used.

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but you can also use chicken thighs if you prefer.

If you want to make this in the instant pot instead of your slow cooker, I have a full post showing you the pressure cooker version.

Shredded chicken with enchilada sauce in a black slow cooker pot

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black crockpot and plated enchilada chicken with pink background and black text
Shredded chicken with enchilada sauce in a black slow cooker pot
4.84 from 6 votes

6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken

Yield 6
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 5 mins

This easy recipe for shredded chicken for enchiladas is totally simple, completely delicious and the perfect weeknight crockpot recipe. The chicken recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free, Paleo and Whole30 compliant too!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 1 28-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Hot sauce optional

Instructions

  • Add the sliced onions, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder to a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to combine.
  • Nestle the chicken into the slow cooker, making sure it is well covered by the tomato mixture.
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7, until the sauce has thickened, the onions are soft, and the chicken is falling apart.
  • Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker, stirring to combine.
  • Add the lime juice and additional salt if desired. Serve warm, adding hot sauce to taste.

Notes

  • This recipe makes 4-6 servings
  • Be sure to use canned tomato sauce in this recipe. Diced or whole tomatoes will not work well. Tomato sauce brands very in consistency from thin to thick, so if you want a thicker sauce add less tomato sauce.
  • Serve tucked into warm tortillas, in lettuce wraps (Bibb or romaine lettuce work well), atop baked potatoes, on rice, or topping a heaping bed of greens.
  • Add additional toppings such as avocado, cilantro, radishes, sliced green onions, grated cheese, and/or sour cream if desired.
  • You can also make this in the instant pot

Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 378mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition disclaimer
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32 comments to " 6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken "

  • Lia

    I can’t seem to find the recipe for this. Am I missing something? Thank you!

  • Erin Shaw

    This twin mama thanks you for this tasty and quick meal option. My 10 month old twins thought it was tasty too so I froze small portions to serve along side some rice as they navigate feeding themselves:) Great for a baby led weaning chicken option.

    • Robyn Downs

      Erin, you’re so welcome! LOVE the idea of freezing little individual portions and so glad your twins liked this one. 🙂

    • Amanda Tancred

      5 stars
      I think that I am just going to have to try this next week as I love enchiladas and having MS by doing it in the slow cooker means that I don’t have to stand up for long.
      I will post pictures after I have cooked it and let you know my families verdict. Hope it ends up looking as good as yours.

      • Robyn Downs

        Amanda, looking forward to hearing how what and your family think! Love those recipes that can be prepped in just a few minutes!

  • Jenn Longbine

    Trying this one this week!!

  • janice furelli

    I just put everything into my slow cooker! I am so excited because it smells so good! Thank you so much for this recipe. I am subbing the lettuce leaves with corn tortillas.

  • Jessica Thomson

    Just made, smells amazing! Will this freeze well?

    • Robyn Downs

      Jessica, yes, leftovers freeze well!

      • Vanessa

        Do you think I could throw it in the insta pot for 20 min?

        • Robyn Downs

          Vanessa, you can definitely try! I’ve found that some Instant Pots have a very sensitive burn sensor, and the tomato sauce starts to burn to the bottom before the recipe is finished cooking. If you give it a try and it works let us know, though!

  • Amy L

    Do you think it would work just as well to cook on high for three hours?

    • Robyn Downs

      Amy, it depends a bit on your particular slow cooker and the size of the chicken breasts you’re using. 3 hours may be enough, so it’s worth giving it a shot!

  • Kirstie MacGowan

    Sounds amazing, just wanted to query the tomato sauce. Are you talking something like Heinz tomato ketchup or a plain tomato passata style sauce? I am in New Zealand and think the terminology is getting lost in translation! 🙂

    • Robyn Downs

      Kristie, something closer to a plan tomato passata style sauce! Ingredients along the lines of a smooth tomato puree, salt, garlic, onion. Hope this helps! You just want a seasoned, thick tomato sauce.

  • Catherine Pelletier

    Hi Robyn, I didn’t see anywhere in your article or recipe on the amounts for the all ingredients, how many servings does this make?

    • Robyn Downs

      Hi Catherine, you should be able to view the ingredients and recipe instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. The recipe serves 4-6.

  • Mellissa

    Has anyone tried this in the Instant Pot? Can the chicken be frozen, or does it need to be thawed?

    • Robyn Downs

      Hi Melissa, this one will work in an Instant Pot as long as yours doesn’t have a sensitive burn function. Some IPs have a very sensitive burn function and the tomato sauce will burn to the bottom and ruin the dish. Some will work fine, though, so I’d say try it if you think your work for a tomato sauce heavy recipe.

  • Dana

    I buy frozen chicken breasts at Costco, how much longer should I plan to cook it since the chicken is frozen?

    • Robyn Downs

      Hi Dana, for food safety reasons, it’s not recommended that you cook chicken from frozen in the slow cooker. If you defrost the frozen chicken in the fridge overnight you should be able to use the amount called for in the recipe.

  • Melanie Alford

    Hi!. I have a question about the ingredients. In one place it says tomato sauce in another it says tomato paste. Could you clarify, please?

  • Jessica

    Has anyone ever tried adding kidney beans? If so, was wondering when you’d put them in?
    I’m excited to try 🙂

    • Robyn Downs

      Hi Jessica, I haven’t, but I have a similar recipe with kidney beans so I think it will work! Add 1-2 cans, drained and rinsed, to the recipe along with everything else. If you try it let us know how it turns out!

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If you love this recipe it would mean SO MUCH if you gave it a star rating and left a comment. Your feedback helps me create more recipes you'll love, and helps others find my recipes online. Thanks so much for your feedback! —Robyn

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