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Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole features tender onions, bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, pinto beans and quinoa all slowly cooked to flavorful perfection with plenty of cheese and enchilada sauce! This easy to make weeknight dinner may be meatless, but it’s still loaded with plenty of protein to keep you nice and full.
In the age of having air fryers and Instant Pots, we sometimes forget the classic slow cooker. I have this very old slow cooker that was passed down from my mom and it looks like it could be from the 1960’s and I absolutely love it.
Slow cooker meals sometimes get a bad rap these days because of how long it takes to cook meals. We’re in the age of, “give me everything at lightning speed” so we don’t tend to reach for slow cookers anymore — at least I am hearing less and less doing so. I hope this slow cooker quinoa enchilada casserole convinces you otherwise. There are some things in life worth slowing down for and this quinoa enchilada is most definitely one of them especially with its vibrantly and flavorfully packed ingredient list!
Why You’ll Love This
- Great vegetarian option. Whether you’re a full-time herbivore or just looking to cut back on your meat intake, this veggie and protein-packed quinoa enchilada casserole is a great recipe to incorporate into your weeknight dinner routine!
- So cheesy! If there’s one thing that can always make me love a recipe, it’s cheese. A generous amount of shredded Mexican cheese makes the best ooey-gooey topping for this casserole.
- Very easy to make. Set it and forget it – this is one of those trusty Crockpot recipes that’s so easy to make it’s honestly hard to mess up! You’ll love how foolproof this easy dinner recipe really is.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for exact measurements!
- Yellow onion
- Green bell pepper
- Seasonings – You’ll need a mix of cumin, garlic powder, salt, and smoked paprika.
- Pinto beans
- Fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis
- Frozen fire-roasted corn
- Red enchilada sauce – you can use store-bought or homemade.
- Vegetable broth
- Shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Toppings – Some optional (but highly recommended toppings) include avocados, salsa, cilantro, jalapeños, and sour cream.
How To Make Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
Here’s how to make cheesy quinoa enchilada casserole in the slow cooker. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Sauté the onions and peppers. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and bell peppers. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or until softened.
Make it flavorful. Sprinkle in all of the seasonings. Continue to cook for another minute or so, then transfer the sautéed veggies to your slow cooker.
Cook. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the cheese) to the Crockpot. Stir well to combine. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
Make it cheesy. When there’s an hour left of cook time, sprinkle cheese evenly across the surface of the casserole. Place the lid back on the slow cooker and continue cooking.
Substitutions and Variations
Get a little creative when you make these subtle changes to your vegetarian quinoa enchilada casserole:
- Change up the veggies. If you’re not a fan of green bell peppers, use yellow, orange, or red ones instead! You can also swap the fire roasted diced tomatoes with plain diced tomatoes if preferred.
- Turn up the heat. If you’re craving a little spice, there are plenty of ways to heat things up! Consider serving your casserole with garnishes like fresh jalapeño slices and your favorite hot sauce. You can also sprinkle in some cayenne pepper when you season the sautéed veggies.
- Use different beans. If you prefer black beans over pinto beans, feel free to use those instead. Just be sure to drain and rinse your beans no matter which ones you use.
Tips for Success
Use these simple tips and tricks to make sure that your Crockpot enchilada casserole turns out amazing every single time:
- No peeking! This is a pretty standard rule when it comes to any Crockpot recipe. Leave the lid on and don’t open it – doing so releases the heat and increases the cook time. There is one point in this recipe when you have to open the lid and add cheese, but that should be the ONLY time!
- Enjoy the toppings. Yes, you can serve this vegetarian enchilada casserole all by itself… But it’s so much better with garnishes like avocados and cilantro! It’s such a heavy and savory entree that a touch of vibrant, fresh flavor on top really does wonders to the entire dish.
- Set your timer. It may seem obvious, but I’ve made this mistake plenty of times! Don’t forget to set your 4 hour timer at the beginning of cook time.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
If you have any leftovers, I’m jealous because this stuff keeps like a dream in the fridge! Just be sure to let your casserole fully cool to room temperature before you store it in an airtight container. Properly stored, it’ll stay fresh for about 3-4 days. The best part? You can easily reheat it in the microwave for a delicious next-day lunch! I recommend zapping it in 30 second intervals until it’s warmed all the way through.
More Easy Vegetarian Dinner Recipes
Here are just a few of my favorite recipes that always make meatless Monday my favorite night of the week:
Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 15 ounce (425 g) can Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 14.5 ounce (411 g) can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis
- 8 ounces (227 g) frozen fire-roasted corn
- 12 ounce (340 ml) jar red enchilada sauce, or homemade
- 1 ⅓ cups (227 g) uncooked quinoa
- 1 ¼ cups (296 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups (168 g) shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Optional Toppings: avocado, salsa, cilantro, jalapeño, sour cream
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add in the onion and bell pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes until softened.
- Add in the cumin, garlic powder, salt, and paprika. Cook another minute until the spices are fragrant then transfer the mixture to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the cheese to the slow cooker and stir well. Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours. With one hour remaining, add the cheese to the top of the casserole.
- To serve, top with optional toppings.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.