Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Enchiladas

These shredded beef enchiladas get some help from a crockpot, which cuts down on the amount of time spent in the kitchen and kicks up the flavor of the beef. They’re topped with a quick, homemade enchilada sauce and lots of melty cheese. 

We’ve officially made it to May! Is this year flying by, or what?! I always love this month because there’s so much to look forward to: college students leaving town, our wedding anniversary, officially kicking off summer. And, of course, Cinco de Mayo!

I’ve long been fascinated by Mexican culture and, although Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, I love how it’s turned into a celebration of Mexican history and heritage in the U.S. Several towns throughout Indiana host their own festivals that showcase Mexican traditions and foods on the holiday.

This recipe for enchiladas won’t come close to being as good as the food you’ll find at those gatherings, but it’s inspired by some of my favorite Mexican dishes and flavors. You start by slow-cooking the beef in a crockpot until it’s nearly falling apart, then finish the recipe off by making a simple enchilada sauce and throwing everything in the oven. The result is a delicious, comforting meal that’s easy to throw together for a small Cinco de Mayo crowd.

The enchilada sauce I use for this recipe is pretty mild because James can’t handle much heat in his food. I will never forget the first time I made my lightened-up beer chicken enchiladas for the first time with a much spicier version of my enchilada sauce — James could barely finish one! Ever since then, he’s a little hesitant to bite into my enchiladas. I now err on the side of caution when it comes to the spice level, which means I end up covering my enchiladas in Cholula. If you’re a fan of spice, you can add more chili powder or even cayenne to the enchilada sauce to take it up a notch!

If you’re looking for a beverage to pair with this meal, I’ll have a margarita recipe for you later this week!

Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Enchiladas

[ingredients title=”Ingredients”]

  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. adobo sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 2 lb. beef chuck roast, trimmed
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced into 6 pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 8 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 10 large, whole-wheat flour tortillas

Enchilada sauce*:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


[directions title=”Directions”]

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together chicken broth and adobo sauce. Pour mixture, along with the chipotle pepper, into the bottom of a large crockpot.
  2. Using a paper towel, carefully pat the chuck roast dry. Cut six small slits all over the roast and place a sliver of garlic inside each. Set roast aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Carefully rub spice mixture all over the chuck roast, being sure not to disturb the garlic. Set roast in crockpot and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, until roast is nearly falling apart and the beef easily shreds.
  4. Once the roast is done, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the beef from the crockpot using a large, slotted spoon and place it on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the beef, then place it in a large bowl and set it aside.
  5. To make the enchilada sauce, pour olive oil into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk mixture constantly until it starts to turn golden brown after one to two minutes. Carefully add remaining enchilada sauce ingredients and whisk until sauce is combined. Allow enchilada sauce to come to a boil, then reduce to simmering for ten minutes.
  6. Once sauce is done simmering, add 1/3 cup enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup cheese to the beef mixture, stirring until combined.
  7. Pour half of the remaining enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. To assemble the enchiladas, spoon beef down the middle of a tortilla. Tightly roll the tortilla up and place it seam-side down in the pan. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas, packing them closely together in the pan. Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce and cheese.
  8. Bake enchiladas for 25 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Let stand at room temperature for five minutes before serving.

*Note: This recipe makes a very mild enchilada sauce. Add more chili powder or a pinch of cayenne to kick up the heat. 

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