Slow Cooker Cheese Enchilada Stack Recipe

Enchilada Stack in the crockpot slow cooker. Also there is a homemade enchilada sauce recipe -- all from scratch.
How is it May already? Someone has been screwing with the calendar and been pressing the fast forward button.

I made a well-received dinner the other night, and figured out how to make enchilada sauce using pantry staples that tastes like enchilada sauce instead of watered down tomatoey water.

All by myself.

except for the part where I got a little help from the Internet.

I love the Internet.

The Ingredients
serves 6

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (the whole can)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried minced onion (or 1 small onion, finely diced)
8 corn tortillas (check labels for hidden gluten)
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (4-ounce) can sliced olives, drained
6 tablespoons sour cream

The Directions

First off, this is vegetarian (well, except that I used chicken broth because I always have chicken broth in the house, and I think vegetable broth kind of smells like compost).

If you want to add meat, you should use already cooked pork, beef or chicken (great use for shredded chicken!).

This is NOT because the meat won't cook---it definitely will, but while it cooks, it will give off so much liquid that your enchilada stack will be soggy and gross.

And nobody wants that.

Anyhow. Use a 4-quart slow cooker. In a large mixing bowl, make enchilada sauce by combining:


Stir well and set aside. 

Put a layer of tortillas into the bottom of your slow cooker (you may need to tear a few). 

Add a handful of cheese, and some sliced olives. 

Scoop a large spoonful of sauce on top.

 Repeat layers until you've run out of ingredients.

Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until cheese has melted, is brown and bubbly, and the top layer has begun to pull away from the sides. 

Let it sit unplugged for about 15 minutes before serving with a dollop of sour cream.

The Verdict

We all cleaned our plates. 

It's a bit messy, but this tastes fantastic and was super easy to throw together.

You could make this on Wednesday, which happens to be Cinco de Mayo!


how is it May? what is going on?

I must be getting old. or something.

other stuff you should make for Cinco de Mayo and then invite me over because we've got nothing planned:

easy chicken tacos
tamales (impress your friends!)
tamale pie
enchilada casserole
enchilada chili
taco dip
chimichangas (so much fun!)
albondigas soup
rotel and sausage dip
Mexican Breakfast casserole
tortilla soup

and then for your leftover drink mix:
margarita chicken

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at May 05, 2016

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What they say about this article

  1. This sounds really, really good...and a great "no meat" meal!

  2. We had enchilada yesterday! This recipe sounds really good. I will have to try it your way next time.

  3. Anonymous5/03/2010

    I was just wondering what to make for Cinco de Mayo! Looks good!

  4. Steph, that looks and sounds absolutely terrific! Congrats on figuring it out on your own. ;-) Great Cinco de Mayo roundup of recipes, too! Last, but not least, thanks for the shout out on my Carrabba's giveaway, my dear. I appreciate it. Whoever wins will be a happy diner--gluten free or not!



  5. I JUST looked up how to make my own enchilada sauce on the internet last week. I was interested in doing something different than the canned stuff too. What DID people do before the internet? Thanks for another great recipe!

  6. I L-o-v-e your blog..I have copied some great recipes from here and love them! thank you for sharing all of them and for the photos of all the ingredients. I am going to try this one this week!

  7. interesting! (leave out the olives, tho').

  8. you forgot taco soup! I bought the ingredients this weekend to make your recipe on wednesday. :) love your blog!

  9. I just wanted to let you know as another mom who has an unhealthy relationship wit her crock pot, I am featuring you and your book tomorrow on my blog.
    Thanks for all the great ideas.

  10. That sounds wonderful. So far, I've loved all of your Mex recipes.
    I'd love to invite you over, but I don't think you live close enough to Southern California.

  11. Making this tonight! I love how your recipes require stuff that normal people would actually have in their kitchens...perfection!

  12. Hurray! I already have all of these ingredients. I can't wait to make this for dinner tomorrow night :-)

  13. Thanks for the Cinco de Mayo ideas! :)

  14. I've made this before in the oven, but I'm so glad to know it works in the slow cooker! My kids love it--My son said, "It tastes better than it looks."

  15. I just got your book in the mail today! I bought it for a friend back in September because she had just bought a crockpot and it was the highest rated slowcooker cookbook on amazon. Anyways, I've read hers front to back and when a friend of mine gave me her never-been-used crockpot, I KNEW I had to get your book for myself :) I absolutely can't wait to make something delicious from it!!!

  16. Great idea! I've made enchilada stacks before, but of course, I spent a lot more effort. Like this easy one!

  17. I LOVE all of your recipes. When I first started reading your blog, I didn't realize that your family ate gluten-free. Then when I finally realize, I loved it even more! Thank you for all of the slow cooker inspiration. This dish looks perfect for today! Take care!

  18. Christal5/05/2010

    Thank you for the great idea for dinner tonight! I'd invite you over, but I have a feeling you're packing to get ready to come down to So. Cal this weekend, right? Have a safe trip and I'm looking forward to trying to get to Cal. Adventure to check out your book signing!

  19. Has anyone made this and it turned into a crock pot of mush?! Bummer. I really thought it looked great! I did add 2 more "layers" since I had a package of 10 corn tortillas. I also poured the remainder of the sauce over it all. Looked awesome before it heated. Maybe too much liquid?

  20. Update, turned out delicious - still eating up the leftovers - this made a ton of food for just the 2.5 of us.

  21. I did this!!!

    Very delicious!

  22. Anonymous5/09/2010

    I wondered if I could throw our oven-baked enchiladas in the crock pot... with summer looming I am loath to part with such a favorite dish. I think I'll have to give your stacks a try!

  23. I made this for dinner last week and my family loved it. YOur blog is very nice and I check it regularly!

  24. I just found your site. I love it! I love my crock pot and I can't wait to peruse your site for some new recipes!

  25. Popped in to say hi! I love stacked enchiladas, and really love the idea of using a slow cooker.

  26. The flavor was really great, but didn't like the consistency it came out. Not sure if I did something wrong...not a fan of mushy...

  27. I'm making this for supper tonight, but with shredded chicken and leftover rice in it. :)

  28. Totally yummy. My tortillas totally fell apart but nobody cared and everyone had seconds!

    I used some shredded turkey and chopped onions also. Mmmm, good!

  29. I added in a can of diced jalepenos and rinsed black beans to the sauce mix. Pinto beans would be good, too.

    This is a keeper. Thanks!

  30. will be trying this week! You have inspired me to make stuff in the slow cooker and please keep posting vegetarian recipes!

  31. I tried this yesterday and it came out very tasty! I modified it by adding ground beef and using canned enchilada sauce (short on time and patience!). Ours came out a bit mushy, but we didn't mind. We ate it and my man went back for seconds. We'll have more tonight or tomorrow as there was plenty left. I think next time I'll follow your good advice to make sure I drain the ground beef thoroughly. This is a keeper!

  32. Anonymous5/31/2010

    Did this a week or so ago, and although it turned out somewhat mushy, it was still wonderful.

    Next to do is ground beef with it, and I'm thinking of using tostadas instead of corn tortillas. Something like this seems like it needs a little crunch, but then again, when you have an actual enchilada, they don't crunch.

  33. I loved this. I had enchilada sauce already so I used that instead of making my own and added shredded beef. So good. Love your site!! I have tried several recipes and I just love my slow cooker.

  34. Anonymous7/13/2010

    Yes, I'm late--but I just discovered your blog today. Lovely place! And yummy, too.

    We do a version of this recipe, but replace the tomatoes with salsa verde mixed with sour cream (and cream of chicken soup if you have it) and add chicken. A little spicy, but delicious. I didn't think about crock potting it until I saw this recipe. So, now you have a new reader!

  35. We LOVE it! The sauce is the best enchilada sauce I have EVER have, and I live 15 miles North of the Mexican border, so I've had my share of enchiladas! We went with the "mush"! We mixed it up real well once it was done and served it on tacos. Sounds funky, I'm sure, but we loved it. AND, our babysitter/friend who is not gluten free also loved it! Thank you! Planning my menu so I can go to the grocery store soon, and I was told to be sure this was on it!

  36. Anonymous7/25/2010

    thanks for another awesome recipe! made this and it was delicious! it also worked in my 6 quart crockpot.

    since everyone mentioned it was a bit mushy and i noticed mine was pretty watery at the 4.5 hour mark, i propped the lid to let the extra liquid (one of your tips from previous recipes!) - worked like a charm! let it cook for another 45 min or so like that and most of the extra liquid evaporated. kept an eye on it though because the edges were starting to burn a bit. next time i might just use 1 cup of chicken broth.

    i only had a can of diced tomatoes and it worked just fine. added shredded cooked chicken as well. YUM! definitely a keeper, thanks again!

  37. Could you cook this on high for more like 3 hours? On a time crunch and want to make a quick meal for my husband since I won't be home for dinner tonight!

  38. Anonymous8/16/2010

    I made this yesterday using 18 six inch corn tortillas, and I probably used more cheese then required since I just grated it in by hand per layer.

    After about 4 hours I noticed it was quite liquidy so I propped up my lid with a wooden spoon.

    Then after 6 hours the corn tortillas had completely disintigrated, leaving a mushy mess. It tastes great scooped up with tortilla chips, but this meal was a bust. Maybe it would hold its structure better in the oven? Next time I'll also use less chicken broth.

    The edges also burnt horribly, I left my stone insert soaking overnight. If my liner is ruined I'll be sad, so sad.... :(

  39. I just made this this evening, and being vegetarian, used vegetable broth and I decided to add a bag of the Morningstar grilled chicken strips. Absolutely delish, and while it was a bit mushy I just threw some tortilla chips on top and good to go! I am SO looking forward to leftovers for dinner this week (and I *never* say that!)

  40. I love your recipe and will soon try this. Thanks for sharing :)