Friday, November 4, 2016

Enchiladas in the Slow Cooker

I think Autumn is my favorite season. By now I've had enough of cold salads and raw veggies. The fall is the time for healthy, warming, comfort foods to prepare the body for the winter cold ahead. I love slow cooker cooking!

This recipe tastes like enchiladas without all the fuss. Farro is used in place of corn tortillas to give it a nutty flavor. Farro, an ancient grain from the Fertile Crescent, holds up really well in the crock pot and is far more nutritious than corn. There are various types of Farro and it can be found in bulk (or bagged) at most Cooperative grocery stores, Whole Foods, and locally here in the Berkshires at Guido's and Berkshire Cooperative Market.

This recipe is adapted slightly from the Beachbody recipe blog.

Serves: 10, about 1 cup each


  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium jalapenos, seeded and deveined, finely chopped (optional or to taste)
  • 1-2 lbs. raw ground chicken breast or turkey (I use 2 lbs) or lean ground beef
  • 1½ cups dry farro, rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed, drained (or 1 1/2 cups drained home cooked beans)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced fire roasted tomatoes (or diced tomatoes), no or low salt
  • 1-1/2 cups water (start with 1 cup if using 1 lb meat, use the extra 1/2 cup if using 2 lbs meat)
  • 1 (10-oz.) can red enchilada sauce*
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle (optional, to taste)
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • 1 cup shredded jack (or cheddar or Mexican blend) cheese
  • 3 medium green onions, chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • diced avocado (optional)

 *I like Frontera enchilada sauce (locally at Guido's Market) and use 12 oz (2 pouches needed) and heat up the extra for adding at the end of cooking if a little dry or for adding to my bowl at that table.


  1. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft.
  3. Add garlic and jalapenos; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until jalapenos are soft.
  4. Add chicken or turkey; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Place chicken mixture, farro, beans, corn, tomatoes, water, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin, and coriander in a 3-quart slow cooker; mix well and cover. Cook on high for 3 hours, or until liquid has been absorbed, and farro is tender. Add more liquid (sauce or water) as needed.
  6. Remove lid and stir mixture. Season with salt and pepper if desired. 
  7. Add cheese to pot and mix well. Cover until cheese has melted. Or, I prefer to leave the cheese out and sprinkle on each bowl.
  8. Top with green onions, cilantro, and/or avocado and serve.