Slow Cooker Skinny Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
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Flavorful chicken, wrapped in tortillas, smothered in a rich and creamy sauce sounds like a dieter’s nightmare, right? It doesn’t have to be.
I love Mexican food and even if you are trying to eat healthy, you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite foods.
These skinny chicken enchiladas are seasoned to perfection and are lower-fat without sacrificing the rich, rewarding flavor.
Here is a quick and easy enchilada dinner that will make you forget you are watching what you eat.
Just throw it all in your slow cooker and make the enchiladas when you get home.
Slow cookers are great, with a little planning ahead of time, you can have easy meals that taste amazing.
A common question I’ve come across is, “is Mexican food (like enchiladas) healthy or unhealthy?” It really depends on your definition of “healthy.” Low fat? Low carb? Gluten-free? Low sodium?
I believe all foods can fit in a healthy diet, but with the right balance, moderation, and portion control. Simple substitutions can help you make regular foods more nutritious and lower calorie.
Here are some of my favorite healthy swaps to make Mexican food healthy.
- To lower calories and fat: use plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, only use a small amount of low-calorie cheese, and use lean proteins like ground turkey or chicken. Or go vegetarian and make veggie enchiladas.
- Steer away from high-fat refried beans, and go with black or pinto beans instead.
- To have healthier and/or lower-carb mexican food, stick with corn tortillas, whole-wheat tortillas, or lettuce wraps. I also like to use brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice.
- Finally, load up on the vegetable toppings. Use plenty of salsa, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, green onions, olives, cilantro, zucchini, and any of your other favorite vegetables. You can add as much as you like.
Now you can make Mexican food that you can feel good about!
This recipe is great because it uses delicious seasonings instead of high-fat sauces to flavor these skinny chicken enchiladas.
Serve these enchiladas with a side black beans. Try my Copycat Cafe Rio Black Beans
Slow cookers are available in sizes ranging from 1 to 8+ quarts. Use the correct size to ensure that your meal cooks properly. Most recipes work great in a 5-6 quart slower cooker. For this recipe I used my 5-Quart Slow Cooker.
If the slow cooker is used incorrectly you could cause food-safety hazards. You don’t want the food to be between 40-140 degrees F for too long, this is the temperature danger zone where unwanted bacteria grows quickly.
To eliminate food-safety hazards follow these next tips:
Always keep the lid on it (and try not to peek because you’ll let the heat escape), don’t overfill (keep under 2/3 full), use thawed meat, and cut large chunks of meat into smaller pieces first.
The slow cooker “low” setting is about 170 degrees and “high” setting is about 280 degrees F. Any food that sits in the danger zone (remember 40-140 degrees) between 2-4 hours needs to be thrown away.
So if you forget to turn on your slow cooker or leave it out after dinner for too long, please don’t eat the food.
Just follow the instructions in recipes and you won’t have to worry about unsafe food.
This can be a great recipe for meal prep.
If you want to make a double batch and save some for a dinner on a busy day, here’s some tips for freezing these enchiladas.
Use a disposable aluminum pan, a regular glass or metal baking pan, or just wrap the enchiladas in aluminum foil. Freeze them without enchilada sauce or cheese on top.
When you are ready to eat the enchiladas, take them out of the freezer while the oven heats up, add the enchilada sauce and cheese, and bake as directed but add 5 minutes to adjust for freezing.
Be sure to check out my 30 Day Healthy Eating Menu Plan with over 100 recipes your family will love.
Slow Cooker Skinny Chicken Enchiladas
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 4 hours, 20 mins
Makes 8 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 packet reduced-sodium taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
8 whole wheat tortillas
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
Place chicken in slow cooker, top with salsa, taco seasoning, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours.
When finished cooking, shred chicken with 2 forks.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place 1/2 -3/4 cup of chicken mixture on tortilla, roll up, and place in 9×13″ baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Repeat with remaining tortillas until chicken is gone.
Top enchiladas with enchilada sauce and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Top with your favorite enchilada toppings (lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, olives, fat-free sour cream, etc.
(Topping your enchiladas with lots of vegetables is a great way to get more vegetables in your diet).
For less than $30, it’s definitely worth every penny.