Slow cooker Mexican quinoa

I can't believe I have not put this recipe up on the blog yet. It's one of my favorite go-to recipes for a big potluck. It's really cheap to make, it's vegetarian and vegan friendly, and it's super simple to make. You just dump everything into the slow cooker and walk away.

The most tedious part of this recipe is peeling and chopping the butternut squash. I've made this a handful of times and have made it with canned enchilada sauce (not a huge fan of the canned, there's just no flavor), homemade enchilada sauce (highly recommended), butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. So, if you aren't a fan of having to peel and cut a squash, then go with the sweet potatoes instead. Personally, I like it both ways.

The only thing you will need for this is a 5-6 qt slow cooker. When I first started making this I only had a 2 qt slow cooker and a small one Let's just say it was a mess. I found myself mixing it together in a massive bowl, and then trying to pour the mixture between two separate slow cookers equally. Which, didn't always happen. So yeah, you are going to want a big slow cooker for this recipe.

Enchilada sauce 
recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups vegetable stock
12 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings.

recipe adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron 
  • 1.5 pounds  butternut squash, about 4 cups
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, about 1.5 cups cooked beans
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeno, optional
  •  enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, fresh lime juice, sour cream, chopped cilantro

  1. Spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray.
  2. Peel and scoop the seeds out of the butternut squash. Cut it into cubes and place in the slow cooker.
  3. Add in the corn, drained and rinsed black beans, rinsed quinoa (I rinse mine in a fine mesh sieve), minced garlic, undrained fire-roasted petite diced tomatoes, diced jalapeno, the enchilada sauce, the vegetable broth, and the packet of taco seasoning.
  4. Give everything a really good stir, cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the quinoa is cooked and the butternut squash is tender.
  5. Remove the lid and stir everything together really well. Allow the liquid to absorb while on low for another 30 minutes or until mostly absorbed.
  6. Season with any additional spices and/or salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Top bowls with optional toppings.

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