Crockpot Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas with Spicy Pumpkin Sauce

Last Updated on October 6, 2022 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

This easy chicken enchilada recipe is made in the Crockpot™ Slow Cooker with a delicious spicy pumpkin sauce and creamy, cheesy topping. Made with ground chicken, this is a cozy weeknight dinner recipe that everyone will love.

Chicken Enchilada on a plate

Firstly, I just love a savoury pumpkin recipe, don’t you? The earthy, slightly sweet pumpkin can be used anywhere you would use butternut squash or sweet potato.

In this recipe, the pumpkin’s sweetness is offset by warm spices and rich sour cream for a perfectly-balanced bite.

The slow cooker concentrates the yummy flavours with the simmered-all-day effect. The result is tender, delicious chicken enchiladas smothered in spicy pumpkin sauce and cheese. So comforting and tasty.

Serving Chicken Enchiladas in Crockpot Slow Cooker

Why This Recipe Works

Making Chicken Enchiladas in the Crockpot slow cooker is such a great dinner hack. It’s so easy. Prep them in advance for a set-it-and-forget it dinner later in the day. Here’s what this cozy fall recipe offers:

  • The flavour is incredible. I love how the slow cooker slowly simmers the rich browned chicken flavour into the sauce.
  • The tortillas are cooked perfectly soft with the super low heat. Cook them for 3 1/2 – 4 hours and they’re perfect (although they are still great after a couple of hours on WARM).
  • The cheese melts into the sour cream to create a rich layer of stretchy deliciousness. No oven-browning needed, and I love that the cheese and sauce never risk drying out.
  • Portability. Great for potlucks using the warming setting, just bring the whole thing with you!

I made this recipe in partnership with Crockpot™ using my 4-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. With a family-sized 4-quart capacity, you can easily fit 6 enchiladas. It’s got programmed cooking times up to 20 hours, HIGH or LOW cook settings, and a WARM function. Make dinner while you’re out of the house with this super-convenient appliance.

Pumpkin Turkey and Cheese for Enchiladas in Slow Cooker

What are These Chicken Enchiladas Made Of?

  • Ground chicken: seasoned with savoury onion. If you can find ground chicken thighs, use that for best flavour. Feel free to swap in ground turkey or ground beef.
  • Pumpkin puree: you can use canned 100% pure pumpkin, or roast and puree pumpkin yourself.
  • Aromatics: garlic, onions and chiles.
  • Spices: cumin, chipotle powder and a dash of cloves. (Swap chili powder for the chipotle if you don’t like the smoky taste.)
  • Tortillas: flour tortillas are my go-to to have on hand but you could use corn tortillas instead, making this recipe gluten free.
  • Sour cream: or swap in the 10%+ fat Greek yogurt. A lower-fat Greek yogurt may break with the heat.
  • Cheese: aged cheddar cheese adds lots of sharp flavour and Montarey Jack adds melty texture and mild nuttiness.
Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce
Add pumpkin sauce to slow cooker

How to Make Chicken Enchiladas in the Slow Cooker:

  • Cook the chicken and set aside
  • Prep sauce in the same pot
  • Wrap tortillas with the chicken, a bit of sauce and cheese.
  • Layer the enchiladas with sauce in your Crockpot™ Slow Cooker
  • Top with sour cream and more cheese
  • Set the cook time and walk away
How to arrange enchiladas in crockpot slow cooker

What to Serve This With:

Need a side? Here are some great options:

  • A simple tossed green salad
  • Assorted fresh veggies like romaine lettuce, sliced radishes, chopped tomatoes, red onion and sliced avocado
  • Garnishes like black olives, green chilies and fresh limes
  • For a party, set out a bowl of this ridiculously-good, easy guacamole and or salsa verde with chips on the side

Other recipes you’ll love:

Serving Chicken Enchiladas in Crockpot Slow Cooker

Crockpot Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas with Spicy Pumpkin Sauce

Ingredients
  

  • For Chicken:
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup finely-chopped onion
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • For Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ cups finely-chopped onion
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp minced garlic 4 large cloves
  • 1 ½ tbsp finely jalapeno pepper 1/2 a medium jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle powder sub smoked or sweet paprika for a mild version
  • tsp ground cloves
  • 1-398 mL can pure pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  • 2 cups chicken broth or 2 tbsp bouillon concentrate + 2 cups water
  • Salt
  • To assemble:
  • 6 medium flour tortillas
  • 8 oz grated sharp cheddar or monterey jack cheese or a combination; this is about 3 cups packed
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • To serve:
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1-2 sliced avocados

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high. Add turkey and ½ cup onion with 1 tsp salt and cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add 2 tbsp more oil and 1 ½ cups onion to same pot. Cook on medium-high until onion is translucent (reduce heat if onions are starting to brown).
  • Add garlic, jalapeno and spices and cook 2 minutes more, until fragrant. Stir in pumpkin, 1 ¼ tsp more salt and broth.
  • Scoop 1 heaping cup of the pumpkin sauce into 4-Quart Crockpot™ slow cooker.
  • Spread 2-3 tbsp of the sauce on each tortilla, plus 2 tbsp of cheese, and divide the chicken among them. Roll up the tortillas and arrange in slow cooker. Top with remaining sauce, dollop with sour cream or yogurt and top with remaining cheese. Slow cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  • Top with cilantro and/or avocado and serve.

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