It’s hard to find recipes that are healthy, easy to make, not overly time consuming, and that everyone loves. If you’re on a tight budget, your list of possible dinner ideas dwindles even more. Healthy Crockpot Enchilada Quinoa to the rescue! Let this delicious slow cooker meal save you from another night of uninspired, fattening, overpriced cooking. When I tasted it for the first time I remember thinking, “Where have you been my whole life? Was dinner really that easy?” Yes, yes it was.
The first thing you will need to do is brown 1 pound of ground beef. I use the 90/10 combo because I like to reduce calories and fat when I can. If you use regular 80/20, be sure to drain the beef before you move it to the crockpot. You can also use ground turkey or chicken. Leave it out altogether and you’ll have a wonderful vegetarian dish!
Move the beef to the Crockpot (this one is on sale right now for $23) and add 1 1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa. I used tricolored quinoa to make the end result more colorful. Add in a 15 oz can of drained black beans, a 12 oz bag of frozen corn, and a 15 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes. You’ll also need 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 diced red onion, and 2 diced jalapeno peppers. If you like a lot of heat, leave the seeds in the jalapeno. I took the seeds out because my kids were eating this with me.
Now add in a 12 oz bottle of your favorite enchilada sauce (I always use Trader Joe’s brand) and 1 cup of water. You will also need 2 Tablespoons of chili powder, 1 Tablespoon of cumin, 2 teaspoons of ground coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt and black pepper.
Mix it all together until you see all those pretty colors! Put the lid on and turn the slow cooker on HIGH for 3 hours or until all the liquid is absorbed.
When you think the quinoa is about done, stir it around and taste it. Adjust the seasonings if necessary. Pour in 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and mix it up and then add another 1/2 cup on top. Sprinkle on 3 diced green onions and 1/4 cup of minced cilantro. Replace the lid until the cheese melts.
Try to refrain from slurping up all the yummy cheese! I couldn’t do it. I had several bites before I served my family. Seriously, how can I resist when the cheese is all stringy like that?!
Simply scoop out the quinoa and serve! I topped my family’s plates with some chopped tomatoes and extra cilantro. Look at all those vibrant colors! I just love it when food is healthy and pretty all at the same time!
This is a perfect meal in and of itself but if you want something to go with it I would suggest some Chunky Restaurant-Style Guacamole or chips and Homemade Cilantro-Lime Salsa. Crockpot Enchilada Quinoa is something I like to take to a mommy with a new baby or a friend recovering from surgery because it is healthy, easy to reheat, and makes great leftovers. Throw in some 13 Minute Almond Joy Cookies and you’ll be their new best friend! Happy cooking ya’ll!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1.5 cups uncooked quinoa
- 15 oz can black beans, drained
- 12 oz bag frozen corn
- 15 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers (seeds optional for heat)
- 1 12 oz bottle enchilada sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 3 chopped green onions
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Optional: diced tomatoes for topping
- Brown meat in large saute pan and transfer to slow cooker
- Add all ingredients through coriander.
- Turn Crockpot to HIGH and cook 3 hours.
- When liquid is absorbed, mix half the cheese in quinoa and other half on top.
- Top with green onions and cilantro.
- Replace lid until cheese melts.
- Serve warm and top with chopped tomatoes.