Crock Pot Mexican Casserole
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground turkey — or chicken, I used 93% lean ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion — diced
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cans red enchilada sauce — (10 ounce cans) (mild or medium) or 2 1/2 cups homemade red enchilada sauce
1 can black beans — (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices — (15 ounces)
1 cup corn kernels — fresh or frozen
1 red bell pepper — cored and diced
1 green bell pepper — cored and diced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese — divided
For serving: chopped fresh cilantro — diced avocado, chopped green onion, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high. Add the turkey and onion. Cook and stir, breaking up the turkey as you go, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bottom of a large slow cooker.
To the slow cooker, add the quinoa, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, then cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
Remove the lid and stir. Taste and adjust any seasonings as desired. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Cover and cook on high until the cheese melts, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot with any desired toppings.
Make it ahead: You can sauté the turkey and onions up to 1 day in advance and chop the peppers 1 day in advance as well. Store in the refrigerator in separate containers, then add to the slow cooker according to the directions when ready to cook.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently in the microwave or in a casserole dish, covered, in the oven.