Last updated August 10, 2018

How many times have you heard, “I’ll be home from work in 30 minutes?” You have dinner ready, timed it perfectly, and he doesn’t walk in the door for another 2 hours.

I have to admit, with my husband deployed, I kind of miss scenarios like that, but when he was home, it drove me crazy. Food is always best when it’s hot and ready, not when it sits for hours.

This Mexican dish solves that problem. It’s made in the Crock-Pot and can be served up whenever he gets home. It has a nice depth of flavors and textures with a hint of Mexican heat and tender chicken and pinto beans. You can even make it after Thanksgiving with leftover turkey.

I don’t usually do semi-homemade dishes. I like to use fresh veggies and meat when possible, but I’ve been busy lately and wanted something that tasted good, but was quick to prepare. This hit the spot.

The first time I made it, I did use fresh peppers and onions, and I ground up chicken breasts and cooked them down. While I thought the ground chicken would give the dish a chili-like texture, it didn’t quite hit the mark.

My first reviews came back requesting shredded chicken instead.

And while you can use fresh veggies, a jar of chunky salsa works just as well.

Chicken Enchilada Chili from Zestuous

So take two on this dish, I grabbed a couple of rotisserie chickens and picked ‘em clean. Then, I just added a few cans of this and that to the Crock-Pot, and the chili was born. So easy!

You can control the heat by choosing hot, medium or mild salsa and enchilada sauce.

Chicken Enchilada Chili from Zestuous

And you can have fun with the toppings. I set out bowls of shredded cheese, chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes, Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) and homemade tortilla strips.

To make the strips, just slice up some corn tortillas and fry them in a skillet with vegetable oil. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Don’t have time for that? Just crush up some tortilla chips.

This recipe will definitely become a dish I make over and over when I’m craving Mexican.

Chicken Enchilada Chili

Yield: 6 servings

Chicken Enchilada Chili


  • 2 rotisserie chickens (or leftover cooked turkey or chicken)
  • 1 16-oz. jar chunky salsa
  • 2 16-oz. cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 15-oz. can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • Tortilla strips
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • chopped tomatoes
  • shredded lettuce

Pick all of the meat from the chickens, discarding the skin and bones.

Place the chicken, salsa, beans, enchilada sauce and spices in a Crock-Pot. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours. It gets better the longer it cooks.

Spoon into a bowl and add toppings.

I'm not 100% certain on the calorie count, because I can't find consistent info on the calories in skinless rotisserie chicken, but this should be close.

Here are even more recipes using leftover or rotisserie chicken.
Added to Basilmomma’s Budget and Freezer Meal Link Up.