It’s slow cooker season!!! Okay, I know it’s not even September yet, but school has started and fall is in the air and I simply cannot wait any longer to start making some fall-ish recipes. And nothing’s cozier than getting home from work and having this chicken burrito filling bubbling up in the slow cooker ready for a healthy and filling meal. Since Adam grew up in Southern California, he’s always missed the Baja-style chicken burritos he grew up on, so the night I made these for the first time he practically got down on one knee and proposed all over again. I didn’t mention the fact that I used store-bought verde sauce and only spent about 10 minutes preparing these — I’m totally fine with letting him think I slaved away all day. For a weeknight, I like to turn the burrito filling into this yummy protein-packed bowl; if I’m feeling a little more carb-y, say on a Saturday night, I’ll scoop it up with all the toppings into a burrito-sized tortilla and fully enjoy a full Chipotle-style indulgence. Read on for the recipe, and let me know what you’re mixing up in your slow cooker this fall!
*images by ashleigh amoroso
I love the balance of fresh crispy veggies and pico against the richer flavors of the slow cooked chicken filling. A squeeze of lime and sprinkle of jalapeño adds a bright note that keeps this dish from feeling at all heavy. I only recently discovered store-bought verde enchilada sauce (I love this brand if you can find it at the grocery), and it turns what could be a labor-intensive meal into something so quick and easy.
You can definitely mix up the filling ingredients with your personal fave combo, but I highly recommend making my easy black bean recipe that takes this bowl over the top. Here’s how I do it:
In a small saucepan, sauté one chopped garlic clove in a drizzle of olive oil. After about 30 seconds, add a can of black beans with all the juices from the can, along with a few cilantro sprigs and a big pinch of salt. Bring it up to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring once in a while.
I’m telling ya, SO GOOD.
I set out all the ingredients and let the fam build their own bowls with their toppings of choice. Or stuff them into tortillas — either way, you’ve got the ultimate crowd pleaser.
for the burrito filling:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 cups verde enchilada sauce
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 poblanos peppers, chopped
- rice or cauliflower rice
- shredded romaine lettuce
- black beans (read post above for my cheater's "homemade" recipe)
- pico de gallo
- mashed or cubed avocado
- lime wedges
- optional: sour cream and shredded mexican blend cheese
- To the slow cooker, add chicken thighs, enchilada sauce, chopped onion, and poblanos. Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 6 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and use 2 forks to shred it, then return to the sauce.
- Set out all the toppings, and let people build their own burrito bowls. I like to create a "bed" with the black beans and rice, then arrange everything else on top, ending with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro. But you do you!
- And this is of course also delicious rolled up into a wrap-sized tortilla for the ultimate chicken burrito. Enjoy!