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Entrees/ Recipes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Vegan Slow Cooker Pinto Bean Enchiladas

Vegan Slow Cooker Pinto Bean Enchiladas

Vegan Slow Cooker Pinto Bean Enchiladas

It took me a really long time to embrace my slow cooker. I received it as a Christmas gift at least fifteen years ago (I’m old!) and for about ten of those fifteen years, I didn’t really know what to do with it. So my slow cooker hung out all alone and sad in the back of a kitchen cabinet.

It wasn’t until I started blogging and exploring recipes that my readers were into that I started to realize the slow cooker’s potential. People really love these things! And I ignored mine for a decade. Were they on to something that I’d completely missed? Oh yes.

Vegan Slow Cooker Pinto Bean Enchiladas

Seeing all the fuss that everyone made about slow cookers got me started with some slow cooker soups. And in addition to the obvious convenience of throwing a bunch of food in and having a meal ready at the end of the day, there’s just something really nice and cozy about slow cooker meals. In the cooler months your dinner simmers away all day, filling your house with enticing aromas, and in the summer it does that too, but without heating up the house like the oven does. It’s a win-win if you ask me.

I finally decided to branch out of the world of slow cooker soups and move on to some more substantial meals. Enter slow cooker enchiladas.

Vegan Slow Cooker Pinto Bean Enchiladas

I’ll be honest: I’m usually a bit fussy when it comes to enchiladas. I use corn tortillas. I sauté my fillings on the stove. I bake them in the oven. I had to let go of those attachments to make these slow cooker enchiladas, and while they’re not anywhere near authentic, they’re absolutely delicious and a total cake walk to throw together.

I did make my own sauce, just because I had all of the ingredients on hand, but it’s just a basic red enchilada sauce, so feel free to use store-bought for maximum convenience. You can make the sauce a day or two in advance, and you can do the same with the fillings. If you go that route, all you need to do on the day of serving is assemble and throw everything in the slow cooker.

Vegan Slow Cooker Pinto Bean Enchiladas

Slow Cooker Enchiladas

These pinto bean and corn stuffed enchiladas can be assembled in minutes and cook up easy and hands free in the slow cooker.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 -6


For the enchilada sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

For the enchiladas:

  • 1 14 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels fresh or frozen and thawed
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons diced green chiles from a can
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 medium flour tortillas

For serving:

  • Avocado slices
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Chopped scallions


  • To make the sauce, coat the bottom of a medium pot with oil and place it over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and as soon as it starts to bubble, whisk in the chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Once mixed, whisk in the water and tomato paste. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until it thickens up a bit. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the filling.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the pinto beans, corn, onion, garlic, green chiles, cumin and oregano. Season the mixture with salt to taste.
  • Ladle about half of the sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker. Place a tortilla onto a work surface and spoon 1/2 cup of the filling into the center. Roll the tortilla tightly and place it seam side down into the slow cooker. Repeat until all tortillas and filling are used — you might need to layer a few enchiladas on top of each other. Distribute the remaining sauce evenly over the enchiladas.
  • Cook for 2 to 3 hours on high or 4 to 5 hours on low.
  • Divide the enchiladas onto plates and serve with avocado slices, cilantro and scallions.
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  • Reply
    August 30, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    What do you do with the other half of the sauce?

    • Reply
      August 31, 2017 at 7:43 am

      It goes on top before cooking – thanks for catching that! Just fixed it. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Is there a reason you aren’t using corn tortillas? I would want to make these for a gluten-free friend.

    • Reply
      September 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

      Only because corn tortillas are more delicate, and with the long cook time they’d probably fall apart. If you don’t mind that then feel free to use corn – it’s already a pretty messy dish anyway! You could probably even just layer everything in the slow cooker and make it into an enchilada casserole. 🙂

      • Reply
        September 13, 2017 at 5:35 am

        Yeah, makes sense. Was just wondering. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 7, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    I made these for supper tonight and they were ahhhhmazimg!!! I added a hefty shake of nutritional yeast and a handful of Daiya shreds to the mix, and then sprinkled the top of the works with a little more Daiya. Delish- I will be looking forward to the leftovers!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 12:12 am

    I would NEVER use this recipe because both pinto beans and corn are loaded with starch that raises blood sugars from the mouth and that is NOT healthy. I have tested how starchy carbs raise my blood sugars and it is simply not healthy so I eat NONE of the high starch foods at all.

    • Reply
      February 6, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      Hey Judith , maybe you should read Dr. McDougall’s book The Starch Solution. I know many who have reversed their diabetes eating starch.

    • Reply
      August 29, 2020 at 7:32 am

      Congratulations? Good thing nobody is forcing you to eat it.

  • Reply
    Nancy Summers
    January 25, 2018 at 10:23 am

    can we put the serving size and the nutritional information on these recipes

    • Reply
      Katie Trant
      January 30, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Hi Nancy, we just switched over to a new recipe plugin which allows for this, and are slowly going back and updating older recipes. All new recipes will have this from now on!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    If I wanted to bake these what do you recommend and for how long

    • Reply
      Katie Trant
      January 30, 2018 at 9:17 am

      HI Lorraine, we haven’t tried this recipe baked so can’t say for sure, but a quick look at enchilada recipes online tells me that baking them for around 30 minutes at 375°F should do the trick.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2019 at 11:47 am

    I made this but added more corn and made 9 enchiladas. They came out mushy. Did I put to many in the slow cooker?

  • Reply
    June 30, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    5 stars
    In crockpot now! Can’t wait. (And Judith, really did we need your comment?)

  • Reply
    March 12, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    5 stars
    This was GREAT… made it tonight… really excellent. thank you.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2020 at 5:05 am

    5 stars
    I made these with a few adjustments. Black beans instead of pinto, added a bit of leftover chicken since I’m still on the transition to eating more plant based. But wow! Definitely one of the best things I’ve ever made. That enchilada sauce is a killer. I am so, so happy with these. Definitely going into my rotation!

  • Reply
    Jeffrey Mazur
    January 16, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    this recipe was fantastic!! my family gave it rave reviews 🙂 I added some spinach in as well.

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