Chicken Enchilada Stew, topped with shredded Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream, with buttered flour tortillas on the side.

Chicken Enchilada Stew

Chicken Enchilada Stew combines the essence of a traditional Colorado-style chicken enchilada casserole with Pueblo’s famous pork green chile stew, to make a delicious bowl of home-spun happiness (with more than a pinch of south-western fire)!

It’s like a warm, spicy, cheesy hug you can drink from a Thermos!

🥄 Prep Time
25 to 40 Minutes

🥘 Cook Time
3 or 8 Hours

🍴 Serves
6 to 8

🍽️ Meal
Lunch or Dinner

This recipe combines two of my favorite foods from my years growing up in Colorado. My best friend Evan’s mom, Sandra, made THE BEST traditional pork green chile stew (a Thanksgiving tradition for anyone growing up in Pueblo!), and my dear friend Melissa Ivey used to pay me for tech support with pans of her AMAZING homemade no-chickens-were-harmed tofu enchilada casserole.

NO! You’re WRONG! Tofu enchilada casserole was delicious, and I will stand by that opinion to my dying breath! When Melissa made that casserole, she used tofu in a way I had never tasted before, and it was the first tofu dish I truly loved! It’s ALL about the flavor when it comes to cooking with chiles in Colorado. I learned from that, and I believe I have carried that tradition over with this recipe.

Full disclaimer — I doubt that either one of them used canned corn or enchilada sauce, or a store-bought rotisserie chicken in their recipes, but there are limits to what I believe is necessary to keep a recipe both authentic AND practical.

While I am a stickler for some details, I can’t always get my hands on Pueblo chiles now that I’m living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, but Anaheim chiles are an appropriate substitute. They are widely available, have similar flavor, and don’t have anything to do with New Mexico*!

I’ve also added some other alternative options and unique vegetables of my own to build out a spicy bowlful of happy flavors. Enjoy!

*Seriously, If you put Hatch chilies in this, take my name OFF of it. You are dead to me.


  • 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, meat shredded (about 3 to 4 cups (0.95 l))
  • 4 to 6 Pueblo chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped (Substitute: If Pueblo chiles aren’t available, Anaheim chiles are excellent alternatives due to their similar flavor profiles)
  • 2 to 3 jalapeños or serrano peppers, finely diced (optional, depending on your tolerance! Start with a smaller amount and adjust according to taste, as these peppers can substantially increase the heat!)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup (0.24 l) of corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) enchilada sauce (preferably red, to mimic the traditional casserole flavor)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups (0.95 l) chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sour cream, shredded Wisconsin cheddar cheese, and tortilla strips. Plus some flour tortillas and butter on the side. Dippers gonna dip.


  1. Prepare the Ingredients:
    • Shred the rotisserie chicken and set aside.
    • Roast, peel, and chop the Pueblo chiles (or substitutes).
    • Dice the sweet potato, zucchini, bell peppers, and onion. Finely dice the (optional) jalapeños or serrano peppers. Mince the garlic.
  2. Slow Cooker Assembly:
    • In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the shredded chicken, prepared Pueblo chiles (or substitute), peppers, sweet potato, corn, black beans, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, garlic, enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes with their juice, chicken broth, cumin, and smoked paprika.
    • Stir to mix well.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cooking:
    • Cover and cook on low for 6–8 hours, or on high for 3–4 hours, until the vegetables are tender, and the flavors have melded together.
  4. Final Adjustments:
    • Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, or spices as needed. The stew should have a rich, slightly spicy, and savory flavor profile reminiscent of a traditional chicken enchilada casserole.
  5. Serve:
    • Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with optional toppings such as chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, and tortilla strips.

This recipe transforms the familiar flavors of a Pueblo-style green chile stew and savory chicken enchilada casserole into one hearty, slow-cooked stew that’s perfect for any season. The addition of sweet potato, zucchini, and colorful bell peppers incorporates a nutritional boost and introduces an array of textures that complement the shredded chicken and Pueblo chiles.

Serve it in bowls topped with sour cream and shredded Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese (a subtle shout-out to my new home), with a buttered flour tortilla or two on the side!

Want to REALLY feel authentic? Pour it over a burger to experience the ultimate Frankenslopper! (It’s a Pueblo thing. Just trust me. You’ll love it.)

Not hot enough for ya?

Are you a fellow Colorado ex-pat looking for ways to crank up the heat level to something a little closer to home?

1. Increase the Pueblo Chiles:

  • Double the Quantity: Use more chiles. The Pueblo chiles are known for their vibrant flavor and can range from mild to hot. By increasing the quantity, you’ll introduce more heat and a deeper chile flavor to the stew.
  • Include Seeds: For an extra kick, consider including some of the seeds from the chiles. The seeds and membranes are where most of the capsaicin (the compound that gives chiles their heat) is concentrated. Not recommended for parties in Wisconsin! Some lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way. Those poor, poor, innocent cheese heads.

2. Use Hotter Enchilada Sauce:

  • Choose a Hotter Variety: Opt for a hot version of enchilada sauce, or consider blending your enchilada sauce with a tomatillo-based hot salsa verde to mimic the green chile intensity.

3. Introduce Chile Powders:

  • Add Hot Chile Powder: Incorporate 1 to 2 teaspoons of hot Pueblo chile powder to intensify the stew’s heat without altering its consistency.
  • Consider Cayenne Pepper: A pinch of cayenne pepper can significantly elevate the heat level. Start with ¼ teaspoon and adjust to taste.

4. Adjust Seasonings Thoughtfully:

  • Balance with Acid and Salt: As you increase the heat, balance the flavors with additional salt and a splash of lime juice or vinegar. Acidic components can help manage the heat’s perception while enhancing the stew’s overall flavor profile.

Cooking Adjustment:

When adjusting the heat, it’s essential to taste as you go since the spiciness of chiles can vary greatly. Add the hotter elements incrementally, and allow the stew to simmer for a bit after each addition. This approach lets you gauge the heat more accurately and avoid making the stew more spicy than intended.

By following these suggestions, you’ll be able to tailor your Chicken Enchilada Stew to embody the fiery spirit of the dish that inspired it — Pueblo’s Famous Pork Green Chile Stew — ensuring a comforting yet boldly spicy dish with an authentic warmth and depth of flavor!

Estimated Nutrition Information per Serving (based on 8 servings):

  • Calories: 300-400 kcal
  • Protein: 25-35 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35-45 g
    • Fiber: 8-10 g
    • Sugars: 5-10 g (mostly from vegetables and enchilada sauce)
  • Fat: 5-15 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1-3 g (depending on the toppings used)
  • Sodium: 700-1200 mg (varies significantly with canned ingredients and chicken broth)
  • Cholesterol: 60-80 mg

Key Nutritional Highlights:

  • High in Protein: Thanks to the rotisserie chicken and black beans, this stew is a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Rich in Fiber: Ingredients like black beans, sweet potato, and corn contribute to the high fiber content, promoting digestive health.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: The variety of vegetables included in this stew provides a range of vitamins and minerals. For example, bell peppers are high in vitamin C, while sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A.


  • Sodium Content: Canned ingredients and store-bought chicken broth tend to be high in sodium. To reduce sodium intake, look for low-sodium versions of canned goods and broth, or adjust the added salt accordingly.
  • Fat Content: The total fat content can be kept on the lower side by avoiding high-fat toppings such as sour cream and cheese. Opting for low-fat versions of these toppings or using them sparingly can also help control the fat content.
  • Customization: Adjusting ingredients or portion sizes will affect the nutritional values. For a lighter version, increase the vegetables and reduce the amount of chicken.

This nutritional estimate serves as a general guide. For more precise calculations, especially if managing dietary restrictions or health conditions, consider using a nutrition calculator where you can input the exact brands and quantities of ingredients used.


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